From the linked article: “The researchers found that people who habitually surf the Internet for long periods at a time suffer higher incidence of ‘negative moods’ after they stopped surfing, leading to addiction-like urge to return to the Web to alleviate or lift the negative mental states. The researchers warned that surfing the Internet for long stretches of time can result in withdrawal symptoms similar to those that drug abusers experience.”
Archive for the 'Medicine' Category
After a certain battle during the American Civil War, some soldiers discovered that their wounds were glowing in the dark. And these men were more likely to recover from their injuries. Modern researchers have concluded that the culprit was a bioluminescent bacteria named Photorhabdus luminescens. And one of the things that P. luminescens does is release a toxin that kills other, competing bacteria—thus acting as a primitive antibacterial.
The mineral zinc, which can be purchased inexpensively in pill form, is very effective at treating the common cold. Take it as soon as symptoms start to appear. This will reduce both the length of the cold and the severity of the symptoms.
From the article: “[P]sychologists have long been known that the more psychopathic a person is, the more easily they can identify potential victims. Indeed, they can do so just by watching the way a person moves. In one study, test subjects watched videos of twelve individuals walking, shot from behind, and rated how easily they could be mugged. As it happened, some of the people in the videotapes really had been mugged—and the most psychopathic of the subjects were able to tell which was which.”
Scurvy is a potentially fatal illness caused by a lack of vitamin C. Historically it was a problem for sailors, who went out to sea for long periods on a restricted diet. The cure (eating citrus fruit, fresh meat, etc.) has been known since at least the 15th century, but in a tragic comedy of errors this fact was repeatedly forgotten, misapplied, or misunderstood. It wasn’t until 1932 that vitamin C was identified and definitively shown to be the “cure” for scurvy. The linked article explains the long history, with special emphasis on Robert Falcon Scott’s disastrous Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole.
Researchers have shown that there is a physical basis to the placebo effect. They measured pain-related nerve activity in the spinal cord and found that it vanished when a placebo was used.
In yet another case of science fiction becoming science fact, researchers have been working on nanoparticles that home in on cancer cells and destroy them, without damaging the rest of the body. Much, much better than chemotherapy. I hope this technology makes it to the mainstream.
Medical researchers have long wanted a generic anti-viral agent that works on most viruses, much like antibacterials (such as penicillin) work on bacterial infections. The main way we protect against viruses is to inject a vaccine consisting of a harmless or dead version of the virus. This causes the body to generate antibodies and allows it to react more quickly when exposed to the real virus. The problem is that this doesn’t work on new or mutated viruses (think SARS or the ever-changing flu virus).
Now researchers have developed a promising anti-viral drug that should work on most existing viruses as well as any new ones. Rather than prepping the body’s immune system, it works directly on the virus and prevents it from replicating. And as an added bonus, it will be quite difficult for a virus to develop an immunity to the drug. The linked article has more details.
Chad’s News has no opinion on political issues, but given the controversy surrounding the US government’s proposed health care legislation, I thought the linked article would be helpful. It provides basic information about the existing programs in various countries (including the US).
Japanese researchers have successfully grown replacement teeth in mice. Here’s hoping this will be a common procedure for humans when I’m old enough to need dentures.
A new strain of swine flu has broken out in Mexico and Texas, leading to concerns about a pandemic. The linked article has more information, as well as answers to common questions.