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How the Mathematics Behind Molecular Interactions Could Help Streamline Pharmaceutical Development

Science and mathematics are inextricably linked. Often, expertise in one requires experience in the other.

In the case of pharmaceutical development, fundamental mathematical equations underlie even the most complex molecular interactions. By studying the mathematical basis of the relationships between molecules, researchers can predict how changes might affect different reactions between molecules.

Binding Sites

Many pharmaceutical advancements rely on molecular interactions at binding sites. Macromolecules, such as the proteins that make up much of the human molecular catalog, have binding sites which allow the protein to attach to and interact with another molecule. Molecular binding creates a change within the protein that can cause it—and the cell—to function differently.

In some situations, proteins and other molecules don’t bind as they should. This can occur for a number of reasons, but continued binding issues can inhibit normal protein and cell function, leading to disease. For example, if the brain’s proteins don’t bind correctly with serotonin, neurotransmitters cannot function correctly, often resulting in anxiety and depression. This is just one example; protein binding happens constantly and is a key aspect of many diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

Remedying Flawed Molecular Interactions

Medications and medicine rely on the binding process to do their job. Therefore, they are tasked with binding to proteins at specific binding sites that lack natural binding opportunities.

Of course, there are many disease mechanisms, but all hinge on faulty molecular interactions.

There are three main criteria for all molecular binding interactions, including:

  • Bond strength
  • Link rigidity
  • Size of linkage array

If one of the above is compromised, it can lead to diseased or disordered cell processes. Luckily, scientists have uncovered ways to change or manipulate these factors to control what occurs between two molecules or predict how molecular interactions will change with altered binding.

Experimenting With Binding Properties

Historically, experiments to see how medications bind to a protein were performed primarily in a lab setting. This meant trying different families of chemical compounds until one could properly bind to the protein and then identifying which of several analogous compounds most effectively addressed the disease or disorder at hand.

Now, scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a computational model that takes some of the guesswork—and time—out of this process. Rather than running back-to-back experiments on hundreds or thousands of compounds, scientists can use a mathematical framework to predict how the molecules might interact. This streamlines the testing process, allowing scientists to make model predictions and then test valid candidates in real-time lab experiments. Though this framework does not eliminate the need for lab experiments by any means, it does allow researchers to change test parameters and develop a better understanding of which molecules will bind effectively to the desired binding sites.

Moving Forward

Researchers hope to use new computational models and mathematical frameworks to create a web-based app accessible to the scientific community. Researchers around the world could utilize these frameworks to test and develop pharmaceutical medications and other types of therapies for many diseases. This could provide huge breakthroughs in treatments for a wide range of conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disease, and neurological diseases.

Sources:

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200103/Novel-study-on-molecular-interactions-could-make-it-easier-to-develop-new-medicines.aspx (Jan 2020)




Kevin Dalby, UT Austin Professor, Discusses DNA Testing — A Promising Weapon in the War on Cancer

Dr. Kevin Dalby

The fruits of the Human Genome Project are showing promise in diagnosing and treating cancer. Modern oncology is in the midst of radical change, with DNA testing methods designed to help patients live longer through early cancer detection and treatment. Dr. Kevin Dalby explains some of the ways in which DNA testing is proving to be a promising weapon in the war on cancer.

Predictive Genetic Testing

This type of testing looks for any inherited gene mutation that could put someone at a higher risk of getting some cancer types. People who have a family history of cancer can see if they have the gene mutation that would, in turn, increase their risk of getting cancer themselves.

By identifying the gene mutation early, they can potentially lower their particular risk to that cancer.

In addition, people who have been diagnosed with cancer can benefit from this testing, too. DNA testing could show if the patient also has a high risk of contracting other cancers as well.

Targeted Therapy

DNA testing can help healthcare providers determine whether some targeted drugs could help patients treat certain cancers. In many cancers, a cell mutation leads to a specific form of protein found in a tumor’s tissue.

Most tumors that contain this type of mutation tend to grow more rapidly, are more prone to spread, and could be resistant to standard chemotherapy. In these cases, therapy that specifically targets the protein that has changed could prove to be very effective.

DNA testing helps healthcare providers detect mutations that could “code” the specific proteins, which in turn would identify the tumor that could be susceptible to a particularly targeted cancer therapy.

Tumor Detection

Dr. Kevin Dalby points out that it’s not always easy to detect a tumor. One way that DNA testing can help this is by identifying circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA.

When a tumor increases in size, it kills off the cells, replacing them with new ones. The cells that are dead break down, with their contents being released into a person’s bloodstream.

DNA testing can help detect ctDNA in a person’s bloodstream, indicating that a tumor is present somewhere — or is in development. ctDNA stands out because it doesn’t match precisely with a person’s regular DNA. This allows healthcare providers to detect a genetic difference between the two types of DNA and hopefully detect the tumor.

ctDNA can also help doctors determine the treatment that could be most effective for that specific tumor. If ctDNA decreases over time, it could also suggest that the tumor is getting smaller and the treatment is working.

About Dr. Kevin Dalby

Kevin Dalby is a UT Austin professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, currently working on cancer drug discovery. At the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas, he examines the mechanisms of nature and cancer to develop new treatments and teach and motivate students to conduct research. Dalby is optimistic about the future of cancer treatments.




Virtual Reality and Its Practical Application in Modern Medicine

IT technologies are actively developing and opening up a wide range of opportunities for the entertainment industry. Virtual Reality is perhaps the most sparkling example. And although this technology is currently used primarily for entertainment, it has broad prospects for use in the development of medicine. Together with experts from the Healthcare IT industry, we reviewed the latest VR trends in medicine.

History of VR with its start from gaming

The announcement of Microsoft’s Project X-Ray prototype caused a flurry of emotions among gamers around the world. The first game was released in the form of a demo, where users wearing VR glasses and holding a special manipulator in their hands were supposed to destroy hostile robots breaking through the walls.

In March 2020, Valve Corporation released Half-Life: Alyx for VR, which has seriously altered ideas about the future of VR technology. In this game, together with realistic graphics, producers introduced a drawing function – this feature has become a small breakthrough.

The history of VR in games dates back to 1990. At that time, no one could have imagined that this technology would be applied anywhere outside gaming. Today, VR and AR are applied in education, scientific and military research, sports, transport, and medicine. The last option will be discussed here.

VR in studying medicine

A significant event in the world of medicine was a surgical operation, during which a cancerous tumor was removed. The operation was performed at the Royal London Hospital and was observed by 13,000 students. The surgeon used Google Glass and streamed the event on the Internet with a one-minute delay.

Why this event was so remarkable:

  1. The audience watched the operation through the eyes of the surgeon.
  2. Viewers could ask questions online.
  3. The broadcast of the operation could be viewed on any device.

The surgeon received questions during the operation – they were displayed as text off to one side, and he could answer them vocally without stopping the process.

Although students could enjoy a full view, they still were passive viewers in the process. This was the main reason why 3D simulations, not only accurately reproducing all details but also intended for students to practice their skills, started appearing.

Medical Simulation Corp offers a product called Simantha that educates future cardiologists. The product is a 3D manikin with a cardiovascular system, which is designed for training for all operations known to cardiological surgeons. Students can inject contrast agents, study the insides of the heart, see the patient’s reaction to certain medical manipulations, etc.

There are more traditional teaching methods as well. HumanSim offers a simulator for learning the basics of communication with patients, first aid (including that in tactical conditions), lung ventilation, etc. Here users can create unique simulations on their own.

Advantages of learning with 3D simulators

An artificial manikin doesn’t provide the same experience of interacting with a patient as simulations do. The virtual simulator reproduces all the anatomical features of the human body, while standard manikins are not able to contain and display all the necessary information. In the case of using a 3D model, a student can even assess the consequences of their mistake, for example, if a blood vessel is damaged. Stanford University has a simulator that even allows for the tactile sensations of conducting an operation.

By polishing up their surgical skills, future doctors gain experience that will allow them to work more delicately and accurately. This will help to improve the qualifications of graduates, and from a practical perspective, this will reduce the number of errors and post-surgery complications. Such simulators are especially useful for microsurgeons and telesurgeons.

Caring for patients

VR technologies can be useful not only for training future doctors but also for managing various mental disorders. For example, using VR, phantom-limb pains and various forms of phobias can be treated. According to experiments carried out at the Chalmers University of Technology, thanks to the use of VR technologies, it was possible to reduce phantom pain by up to 22% through restructuring the neural networks of the patients’ brains. By simulating the presence of a hand, this technology relieved patients of the obsessive thoughts of a missing limb.

VR can also be used in the treatment of autistic people by helping them practice behaving in a society where patients are not ready to act. Provided that technologies are rapidly developing and becoming more accessible, there is hope that, in the near future, we will receive a qualitatively new level of medical care in all areas.

Finally, VR technology may soon be used for diagnosing and monitoring Alzheimer’s disease. About two years ago, scientists from Cambridge University and University College London conducted research where they used VR headsets to detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Those who participated in the experiment (both with mild cognitive impairment that often develops into Alzheimer’s disease and without it) were asked to walk within an artificial environment. The technology helped to detect navigation problems in those participants who previously tested positive for MCI. Such a method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease may soon prove itself to be better than the tests we have today.

Conclusion

VR is a promising technology in healthcare. The simulated environments that it creates are already used for transferring valuable knowledge in the field of surgery, and it soon might prove itself helpful for diagnosing and monitoring various diseases. This, in turn, leads to significant improvement of the quality of patients’ lives, lifts medicine up to a new level, and opens the potential for the development of innovative healthcare software solutions.




New Discovery Shows Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences into DNA

Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.

The work was published June 11th in the journal Science Advances.

Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division. The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers, therefore, noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses—the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand.

In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best-studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.

The group collaborated with Dr. Xiaojiang S. Chen’s lab at USC and used X-ray crystallography to define the structure and found that this molecule was able to change shape in order to accommodate the more bulky RNA molecule—a feat unique among polymerases.

“Our research suggests that polymerase theta’s main function is to act as a reverse transcriptase,” says Dr. Pomerantz. “In healthy cells, the purpose of this molecule may be toward RNA-mediated DNA repair. In unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, polymerase theta is highly expressed and promotes cancer cell growth and drug resistance. It will be exciting to further understand how polymerase theta’s activity on RNA contributes to DNA repair and cancer cell proliferation.”

More information: Polθ reverse transcribes RNA and promotes RNA-templated DNA repair, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf1771

Journal information: Science Advances

Provided by Thomas Jefferson University

Source: phys.org




Visual Sclerotherapy Treatment: Answering the Hard Questions

Did you know that over 324,000 sclerotherapy procedures were done in the USA in 2017 alone? These figures show that visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins is a popular method for treating this venous condition. This treatment method is minimally invasive and entails injecting chemicals into the affected veins. The method diminishes spider veins’ appearance and reduces the pain or side effects damaged veins cause.

But when is this medical procedure necessary? What can you expect after undergoing it? This post answers these and other hard questions you might have regarding this method.

When is Sclerotherapy Necessary?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment is used to treat spider veins. It’s also effective for treating other conditions like varicose veins. Additionally, it treats hemorrhoids when other treatment options fail. This condition occurs when blood vessels around the rectum swell and start irritating patients.

This method also treats deformed lymph vessels that carry lymphatic fluid or lymph, helping the immune system fight infections. It’s also beneficial for hydroceles, an unhealthy development of fluid in a body cavity. The procedure is ideal for cosmetic purposes to enhance spider veins’ appearance. Additionally, it’s effective for relieving symptoms like burning, night cramps, swelling, and aching.

Which Areas Can Sclerotherapy Treat?

Spider veins and varicose veins can develop on any body part. However, they usually affect the legs and feet. The veins the condition affects become discolored, raised, swell, and can become uncomfortable. Spider veins are smaller and closer to the skin. They appear red, blue, or purple. So, visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins can treat damaged veins and spider veins in the following body areas:

  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Face
  • Anus

How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins depends on several factors like the severity of the patient’s condition. The procedure can last anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes. The surgeon gets you to lie on your back with raised legs if spider veins are on your legs. Additionally, the vein specialist may use an ultrasound scan as part of the treatment, but all that depends on the condition’s severity.

The doctor starts the procedure by cleaning the skin surrounding the affected area requiring treatment. They inject the affected region using a fine needle with a sclerosing agent. These agents or solutions usually include polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, and hypertonic saline. These solutions shut the injected veins’ walls. The shutting redirects blood to healthy veins. Gradually, the body absorbs the affected veins, making them less visible and more comfortable. The number of treatment sessions you need depends on the treated vein’s size.

How Many Sessions Are Enough?

It’s difficult to fix the number of sessions one needs to recover from spider veins. The reason is that the number of sessions differs among patients based on their desired results or expectations and how many veins require treatment. Averagely, one may need between three and four sessions to enjoy the best results. It’s also recommended for patients with spider veins to undergo regular checkups to ensure new ones don’t develop with time.

What Should You Expect After the Procedure?

Visual sclerotherapy treatment is the best remedy for spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Most patients start seeing improvements after just a few weeks. Those battling larger varicose veins can wait for up to several months before they register any significant results. Thus, they also need to undergo several sessions to enjoy optimal results.

Different studies have shown that 83% of those who undergo visual sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins experience decreased pain. However, it’s important to set reasonable expectations before undergoing this procedure. The reason is that the procedure doesn’t guarantee 100% elimination of these veins.

However, it minimizes their appearance so that they don’t become an unsightly sight to behold. The procedure also doesn’t guarantee zero side effects. So, be hopeful but also realistic to avoid unnecessary disappointments.

How Much Does Sclerotherapy Cost?

This medical procedure will cost you some money. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery placed the average cost of a sclerotherapy procedure in 2017 at $369. However, the actual cost depends on other factors that vary among patients. For example, the number and size of veins requiring treatment affect the price. Your geographical location also determines how much you will spend on the procedure.

It’s also worth noting that this procedure is for cosmetic purposes. Therefore, insurance doesn’t cover it. But if you suffer medical symptoms resulting from spider or varicose veins, your insurer will pay for it.

That is it. This post has answered all the fundamental hard questions you had about this procedure. It’s up to you to use this information to make a smart decision.




Cellular Aging Process REVERSED for 1st Time in History

Human chromosome with shining telomeres,

Source: RT.com

Researchers in Israel claim to have partially reversed cellular aging using a somewhat controversial treatment. While only a small study, it improves our understanding of the aging process in humans.

The shortening of telomeres, the caps at the end of each of our chromosomes, is one of the main underlying mechanisms behind aging. Cell division whittles down these telomeres each time it occurs, leaving each new chromosome slightly shorter than its predecessor.

This, in turn, increases the risk of mutation down the line, which can often lead to age-related diseases like certain types of cancer.

Scientists in Israel, led by Shair Efrati, a physician from the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, claim they can now partially reverse this process by extending the length of these telomeres using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

They placed 26 volunteers aged 64 and older in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for five 90-minute sessions every week for three months, taking regular samples throughout the process.

At the end of the study, the researchers were pleasantly surprised to find some of the patients’ telomeres had extended by up to 20 percent.

The aging process isn’t the direct result of shrinking telomeres but keeping the lid on chromosomes means better cellular performance into old age. Staving off telomere shrinkage can be helped by plenty of quality sleep, exercise, and good food but applying hyperbaric oxygen therapy appears to also promote healthier telomeres in the body.

However, the researchers acknowledge that their study was based on small sample size, needs to be replicated, and that the technique has been attempted before without success.

Furthermore, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be a somewhat controversial topic, however, as there have been extraordinary and poorly-evidenced claims that it can treat conditions ranging from aseptic bone necrosis, global brain ischaemia to autism.

Efrati describes the full knowledge and understanding of telomere shortening as “the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging.”

In order to ‘turn back time’ on the aging process altogether, we would need to recover some of the bits of genetic code lost during cell division. This does happen in certain tissues that line our gut, via an enzyme called telomerase, another avenue of extensive research.

However, reactivation of telomerase is a technique employed by certain cancers to replicate, so scientists must also proceed with caution while exploring that particular avenue.

The aging process extends far beyond shortening telomeres, so humanity is still some way off discovering the fountain of youth, but early indications are that HBOT can improve health in old age.




Tel Aviv University Study Finds Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments Reverse Aging Process

By AMERICAN FRIENDS OF TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY | EurekAlert

First clinical trial reverses two biological processes associated with aging in human cells

The researchers found that a unique protocol of treatments with high-pressure oxygen in a pressure chamber can reverse two major processes associated with aging and its illnesses: the shortening of telomeres (protective regions located at both ends of every chromosome) and the accumulation of old and malfunctioning cells in the body. Focusing on immune cells containing DNA obtained from the participants’ blood, the study discovered a lengthening of up to 38% of the telomeres, as well as a decrease of up to 37% in the presence of senescent cells.

The study was led by Professor Shai Efrati of the Sackler School of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at TAU and Founder and Director of the Sagol Center of Hyperbaric Medicine at the Shamir Medical Center; and Dr. Amir Hadanny, Chief Medical Research Officer of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at the Shamir Medical Center. The clinical trial was conducted as part of a comprehensive Israeli research program that targets aging as a reversible condition.

The paper was published in Aging on November 18, 2020.

“For many years our team has been engaged in hyperbaric research and therapy – treatments based on protocols of exposure to high-pressure oxygen at various concentrations inside a pressure chamber,” Professor Efrati explains. “Our achievements over the years included the improvement of brain functions damaged by age, stroke or brain injury.

“In the current study we wished to examine the impact of HBOT on healthy and independent aging adults, and to discover whether such treatments can slow down, stop or even reverse the normal aging process at the cellular level.”

The researchers exposed 35 healthy individuals aged 64 or over to a series of 60 hyperbaric sessions over a period of 90 days. Each participant provided blood samples before, during and at the end of the treatments as well as some time after the series of treatments concluded. The researchers then analyzed various immune cells in the blood and compared the results.

The findings indicated that the treatments actually reversed the aging process in two of its major aspects: The telomeres at the ends of the chromosomes grew longer instead of shorter, at a rate of 20%-38% for the different cell types; and the percentage of senescent cells in the overall cell population was reduced significantly – by 11%-37% depending on cell type.

“Today telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging,” Professor Efrati says. “Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation. Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level.”

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




How Can Technology Improve Healthcare?

Technology permeates all spheres of human life. It promotes the flow of ideas, knowledge, and services around the globe. Technology changes the way people travel, shop, do business, and communicate. Moreover, technology is making massive inroads into the healthcare industry. It offers new opportunities for both patients and doctors and continuously improves the quality of countless people’s lives. To deliver exceptional outcomes in the future, we need to unleash the power of technology and start to reap the benefits. Presently, lots of people who lead a healthy life and do their best to stay in good shape also rely on technology. Litslink.com has created an exhaustive list of health benefits modern technology presents us with. You can familiarize yourself with this list right now and figure out how you can avail yourself of health and wellness technologies. And then you can go on reading our article and learn about the major breakthroughs in the medical space that were inspired by technology.

# 1 Digitization of Medical Files

The significance of recording the history of a patient’s illnesses is unquestionable. Still, apart from patient history, there are tons of other medical documents that are critical to improving overall efficiency and quality of healthcare. Technology made it possible to replace outdated paper-based medical records with convenient Electronic Health Records (EHRs). EHRs made it possible to significantly improve care for patients, make the treatment process more transparent, reduce medical errors, make a diagnosis more effectively, and help maximize healthcare providers’ overall productivity.

# 2 Nanomedicine

Nanomedicine is probably the most effective technology being developed. It involves the manipulation of atoms and molecules at the atomic level of 1 to 100 nanometers. A nanometer is extremely small considering that the period in the sentence is 1 million nanometers in length. Nanomedicine is particularly promising for diagnosing, treating, and preventing various diseases more accurately. Nanomedicine is a also huge step towards battling impenetrable diseases like cancer.

# 3 3D Printing Technology

Since its creation, 3D printing has developed immensely. Now the technology allows for easier reconstruction of prototypes. People are developing cheaper, more effective prosthetics and polypills so far cheaper than before. This has changed the way we look at organ transplants and tissue repair.

# 4 Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making the biggest splash in healthcare, and it’s projected to do so even more. It has several applications in the healthcare space from clinical work to image analysis. AI could actually save many countries’ healthcare economy over a hundred and fifty billion dollars. Since it represents an obvious money saving potential, thousands of enterprises start investing in the AI technology.

# 5 Healthcare Blockchain Technology

By now you’re more than likely heard of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency turning pizza delivery boys into millionaires. Stories like that have sparked a gold rush in the development and use of blockchain. However, what is blockchain? Blockchain is an independent database that exists over several locations owned by a specific community. The plan for the healthcare industry is to create a massive independent database that centralizes the EMRs, mentioned earlier on our list. As confusing as that may sound this is big news for the healthcare industry.

# 6 Virtual Healthcare

Virtual healthcare, also known as telemedicine, creates remote communication between doctors and patients. Video apps coupled with wearable technology allow healthcare providers to monitor patients and provide emergency assistance. Virtual healthcare technology dramatically increases convenience and cuts travel times. Virtual technology will undoubtedly be a necessity if the predicted physician shortage comes to fruition.

# 7 Robotics Technology

Robotic surgery may maybe the first and recent renovation to be implemented. The use of robotics significantly increases surgery success rates and minimizes the impact on patients through minimally invasive procedures. This technology coupled with artificial technology is also a powerful tool to solve the staffing issue and combat the shortage.

# 8 Virtual Reality Technology

Virtual reality is already massive in the entertainment industry and even in the military for training purposes. Healthcare is the next industry to take on virtual reality. Virtual reality is the immersive sensory tech that has created uses for both doctors and patients. For physicians, hospitals have begun using VR to train staff in simulations that have deficient risk factor. As for patients, it has been found that VR has rehabilitation and therapeutic benefits. VR is a cost effective practice. So hospitals have begun its widespread implementation.

Conclusion

We live in the world of innovation, disruption, and change. How we provide care is also rapidly evolving. The healthcare industry is among the leading industries to embrace the influx of technology innovations in recent years. From data analytics, helping connect patients to the right physicians, to artificial intelligence assistants who can handle massive workloads of data… The future is bright in healthcare technology and isn’t as far off as previously thought. Look out for the aforementioned technologies being put to use in your hospital soon!




16-Yo Teen Develops Armor That ‘Blocks’ Radiation During Cancer Treatments, Reducing Exposure By 16%

Image Credit: Truth Theory

By Mandy Froelich | Truth Theory

Meet Macinley Butson, a young inventor who has received international recognition for her efforts to protect women from excess radiation during breast cancer treatments. Thanks to her ingenuity, the copper SMART armor has the potential to save countless lives.

Butson has always been fascinated by science. Only after her father, who works in medical physics, discussed his experience with ineffective cancer treatments did Macinley consider how she could add to the field. Knowing first-hand the loss of a relative due to cancer, she decided to conduct her own investigation on the subject.

As GoodNewsNetwork reports, Butson tried to begin her research by reading scientific journals. However, making sense of the medical jargon turned out to be a challenge. So, Butson turned to ‘YouTube University’ to discover videos that taught her how to read scientific journals.

As she became familiar with the process, Butson found a key piece of information: copper has been shown to be dramatically more effective at protecting skin from radiation compared to lead. One day, during class at her high school in Wollongong, New South Wales, Butson had a “eureka” moment.

She and her 10th-grade class members were watching a film on medieval wars when she spotted the scaled patterns of armor. Equipped with fresh inspiration, she began designing an “armor” made out of copper.  To learn how to weave together tiny scales, Butson once again returned to YouTube.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…..




The Ethical Minefield of ‘Mind Reading’ by Recording Brain Activity

By reading brain activity with an EEG machine, scientists have been able to reconstruct faces with almost perfect accuracy. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

By CBC NEWS

In a small room tucked away at the University of Toronto, Professor Dan Nemrodov is pulling thoughts right out of people’s brains.

He straps a hat with electrodes on someone’s head and then shows them pictures of faces. By reading brain activity with an electroencephalography (EEG) machine, he’s then able to reconstruct faces with almost perfect accuracy.

Student participants wearing the cap look at a collection of faces for two hours. At the same time, the EEG software recognizes patterns relating to certain facial features found in the photos. Machine-learning algorithms are then used to recreate the images based on the EEG data, in some cases within 98-per-cent accuracy.

Nemrodov and his colleague, Professor Adrian Nestor say this is a big thing.

“Ultimately we are involved in a form of mind-reading,” he says.

The technology has huge ramifications for medicine, law, government, and business. But the ethical questions are just as huge. Here are some key questions:

What can be the benefits of this research?

If developed, it can help patients with serious neurological damage. People who are incapacitated to the point that they cannot express themselves or ask a question.

According to clinical ethicist Prof. Kerry Bowman and his students at the University of Toronto, this technology can get inside someone’s mind and provide a link of communication. It may give that person a chance to exercise their autonomy, especially in regard to informed consent to either continue treatment or stop.

In a courtroom, it may end up being used to acquit or convict those accused of a crime. Like lie detector tests and DNA analysis, brain scanning our memories may become a legal tool to help prove innocence or guilt.

It may even change our relationship with animals. If, as student Nipa Chauhan points out, we know what they understand and feel, we may act differently toward them.

So what’s the flipside?

A lot. Let’s start with the concept of memory. Our memories are never “pure” — nor are they ever completed.

And our brain often fills in the blank spots with biases and personal reflections. Researchers like Adrian Nestor and his colleague Dan Nemrodov agree it’s still a bit like archaeology-digging beneath the layers to find the raw information. They haven’t found it yet, but they believe it’s just a matter of time.

That, according to Bowman and his students, raises the thorny issue of freedom, especially freedom of thought.

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Robotic Implants Spur Tissue Regeneration Inside the Body

Image via kkolosov / Fotolia

Source: Boston Children’s Hospital | Science Daily

An implant, a programmable medical robot can gradually lengthen tubular organs by applying traction forces — stimulating tissue growth in stunted organs without interfering with organ function or causing apparent discomfort, report researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The robotic system, described today in Science Robotics, induced cell proliferation and lengthened part of the esophagus in a large animal by about 75 percent, while the animal remained awake and mobile. The researchers say the system could treat long-gap esophageal atresia, a rare birth defect in which part of the esophagus is missing, and could also be used to lengthen the small intestine in short bowel syndrome.

The most effective current operation for long-gap esophageal atresia, called the Foker process, uses sutures anchored on the patient’s back to gradually pull on the esophagus. To prevent the esophagus from tearing, patients must be paralyzed in a medically induced coma and placed on mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit for one to four weeks. The long period of immobilization can also cause medical complications such as bone fractures and blood clots.

“This project demonstrates proof-of-concept that miniature robots can induce organ growth inside a living being for repair or replacement, while avoiding the sedation and paralysis currently required for the most difficult cases of esophageal atresia,” says Russell Jennings, MD, surgical director of the Esophageal and Airway Treatment Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a co-investigator on the study. “The potential uses of such robots are yet to be fully explored, but they will certainly be applied to many organs in the near future.”

The motorized robotic device is attached only to the esophagus, so it would allow a patient to move freely. Covered by a smooth, biocompatible, waterproof “skin,” it includes two attachment rings, placed around the esophagus and sewn into place with sutures. A programmable control unit outside the body applies adjustable traction forces to the rings, slowly and steadily pulling the tissue in the desired direction.

The device was tested in the esophagi of pigs (five received the implant and three served as controls). The distance between the two rings (pulling the esophagus in opposite directions) was increased by small, 2.5-millimeter increments each day for 8 to 9 days. The animals were able to eat normally even with the device applying traction to its esophagus, and showed no sign of discomfort.

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Are Ancient Potions Better Than Modern Drugs?

Source: DNews

Much ancient medicine was so effective, that it could serve as a useful alternative to drugs we use today! Here are some examples:

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DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won’t find anywhere else! New videos twice daily.




Eternal Youth May Be Possible. Which Age Would You Stay At Forever? | Michio Kaku

Video Source: Big Think

Michio Kaku transcript:
Historically kings, queens, and emperors have tried to find the fountain of youth; they failed.
Ponce de Leon instead founded Florida, emperor Qin of China, apparently he sent his princes to look for the fountain of youth with the order “if you don’t find the fountain of youth, don’t come back.” And apparently he founded Japan and he founded Korea as a consequence of that.
So we have a long history of people searching for the fountain of youth without success at all. In fact, the tales of Gilgamesh, perhaps one of the oldest written tales predating parts of the Bible—the tale of Gilgamesh, well he had a mission and his mission was to find the secret of immortality.
So today we have two kinds of immortality: digital immortality and genetic/biologic immortality.
Digital immortality I think we will attain. It is an attainable goal. And that is to digitize our entire life. One day when you go to the library instead of getting a book about Winston Churchill you’ll talk to Winston Churchill, you’ll see a holographic image of him that has all the mannerisms, the speeches and maybe the memories of Winston Churchill.
In fact, one of these days your descendants could go to a library and talk to you because you have been digitized.
I mean think of your credit card transactions, for example, if I know your credit card transactions I already know where you like to vacation, what kinds of wines you like to buy and drink, what you like to do in your spare time.
Think of what happens if I have the totality of your digital fingerprints, all the videos, all the vacations, everything—perhaps I can create a reasonable facsimile of you. And then, of course, the question is: is that really you?
Well, to paraphrase former President Bill Clinton, it all depends on how you define “you”. If you define “you” as the biological entity with your memories then of course it is not you, but if you define your soul as entropy and information, that is, if you say that your soul is information that evolves with time via the laws of entropy, then you can be digitized—because your soul is digital.
The other immortality, of course, is biologic and genetic immortality. We have artificially intelligent systems that can scan tremendous amounts of data to look for patterns so in the future we will take the genomes of millions of old people and the genomes of millions of young people, run them through an AI system that looks for patterns: where is error concentrated? Which genes control the aging process?
For example, take a car: where does aging take place in a car? Well, that’s obvious, right? Most of the aging takes place in the engine because that’s where you have moving parts, that’s where you have combustion, oxidation, that’s where all the action takes place.
Well, in a cell… where is the engine of a cell? It is the mitochondria. And where do we find error buildup, entropy building up in a cell? And that is the mitochondria.
So, bingo, we now know more or less where to look when you look for the build-up of error in a cell, because that’s what aging is.
Aging is the build-up of error, cellular error, biological error, genetic error, error. Entropy, that’s what aging is.
Now, if you take a look at the Greenland shark, the Greenland shark has one of the world’s records for a vertebrate that lives so long you could barely measure it. By looking at the eye, the eye of the Greenland shark, you’re looking at the layers, they add layers once a year just like tree rings and you can actually date the life of a Greenland shark. The ones they’ve looked at so far are over 400 years old.
And so we already have examples of vertebrates that have life spans far beyond anything that we humans can muster.
Now, we also have other clues, we know that telomerase, for example, can “stop the clock”. We have a clock in our cells called telomeres, they get shorter and shorter after every cell reproduction, after a certain point they simply unravel the chromosomes of the cell and the cell goes into senescence and eventually dies. That is the biological clock.
Skin cells, for example, reproduce about 60 times approximately, that’s the Hayflick limit for a skin cell.
But, in Menlo Park California they’ve immortalized these cells. We can now take ordinary human skin cells, apply telomerase on them, and they stop the clock; they simply reproduce forever.
Now, what’s the catch? There’s always a catch someplace.
The catch is that cancer cells also use telomerase on the way to immortality.



Fantastic Evolution of Medicine

While innovation has driven the development of medicine to gift humanity with various life-saving technologies and surgical adaptations news of organ transplants may no longer impressive the masses. However, the development of medicine has gone a step further and developed fully functional artificial organs such as pacemakers that can mimic the functions of the human heart; keeping people alive who would otherwise not be as lucky.

It seems absolutely anyone is able to take advantage of the innovative ideas that fuel the development of medicine as the industry continues to grow and bring us amazing products that are able to improve virtually every aspect of our lives. Beyond the incredible creation of artificial organs, it has now been made possible to pass urine tests without much stress with the use of PH balanced synthetic urine. This specially designed product has been made available to provide a great deal of relief to those who have been patiently waiting for the day that urine tests will no longer be a concerning factor in their lives.

Thanks to the continuous development of the medical industry, unbelievable medical procedures have been made possible for the world to take advantage of.




“Three-Parent” Baby has Been Born in Greece, Making Medical History

Image Credit: Natural Society

Julie Fidler | Natural Society

Researchers at the Institute of Life in Athens, Greece, announced April 9 that medical history had been made with the birth of a healthy baby boy to a 32-year-old woman who had experienced several failed cycles of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The boy was born with DNA from three different parents.

The boy, who weighed 6 pounds at birth, was born using a technique called maternal spindle transfer. The process involves removing the grouped-together DNA from a mother’s egg and placing it inside a donor egg from another woman, which has had its DNA removed. The donor’s egg with the mother’s genes is then fertilized and develops into an embryo that is transferred for pregnancy. This solves the problem of something inside the mother’s egg preventing a viable embryo from forming.

Mitochondria might have been a factor in the mother’s inability to conceive, though the woman was not diagnosed with any mitochondrial conditions. Mitochondria are found in every human cell and lie outside of the nuclear DNA that contains a cell’s genes. Maternal spindle transfer replaces the mother’s faulty mitochondria with the donor’s, making it possible for the egg to be fertilized and turn into an embryo.

In a statement, Dr. Panagiotis Psathas, president of the Institute, said:

“We are now in a position to make it possible for women with multiple for women with multiple IVF failures or rare mitochondrial genetic diseases to have a healthy child.”

Mitochondria powers cells, including the copying and dividing of DNA. Recent research shows they also play a vital role in reproduction, particularly helping eggs from older women to get fertilized, develop into a healthy embryo, and eventually a newborn.

And although the baby was born with genetic material from 3 parents, he will mostly have DNA from his biological parents.

There have been other similar births, but this is the first time that a baby has been born to a mother without mitochondrial disease. However, researchers say the case supports the theory that mitochondria may play a role in fertility treatments more broadly in women, even if they don’t suffer from mitochondrial conditions.

While the procedure offers hope to infertile women, it is not without ethical concerns. It was banned in the U.S. in 2015 over concerns that it is a form of genetic mutation. So, when a baby was born in 2016 with the help of a team from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, the baby boy was born in Mexico. [2]

A three-parent baby was also born in Ukraine in 2017 following 15 years of failed attempts.

Sources:

[1] Time

[2] Insider