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WHO Approves First Long-Acting Device to Shield Women From HIV

With HIV a continuing threat to women's health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the first long-acting device to protect women from sexually transmitted HIV.

The device is a vaginal ring made of silicone elastomer, a flexible rubber-like material that makes it easy to insert and comfortable to use. The ring releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine into the vagina slowly...

Even T. Rex Had Bone Trouble

They once ruled the planet, but even the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex could suffer from bone disease, new research shows.

Scientists used imaging to examine the lower left jaw of a fossilized T. rex skeleton discovered in Montana in 2010. The skeleton, which is about 68 million years old and one of the most complete skeletons of the carnivorous dinosaur ever found, is at the Museum für Natur...

FDA Panel Mulls Merck's COVID Antiviral Pill

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is meeting Tuesday to weigh both the safety and power of Merck's new antiviral pill in preventing severe COVID-19.

There are already two strikes against the pill: Fresh data from Merck shows that the drug, molnupiravir, isn't as effective as first reported; and FDA documents prepared for the panel meeting show the pill may pose a risk of ...

Could Coffee Help Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer's?

TUESDAY, Nov. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee lovers know a steaming cup of java can quickly deliver energy and mental clarity every morning, but new research suggests it may also guard against Alzheimer's disease in the long run.

"Worldwide, a high proportion of adults drink coffee every day, making it one of the most popular beverages consumed," said lead research...

Red Light in Morning May Protect Fading Eyesight: Study

A weekly dose of deep red light in the morning may protect fading eyesight as people age, U.K. researchers say.

"Using a simple LED device once a week recharges the energy system that has declined in the retina cells, rather like recharging a battery," according to Glen Jeffery, lead author of a small, new study.

In previous work, the researchers found that daily three-minute exposu...

New Insights Into What Might Drive Parkinson's Disease

A defect in the blood-brain barrier may play a role in Parkinson's disease, a groundbreaking research study suggests.

The blood-brain barrier acts as a filter to keep out toxins while still allowing the passage of nutrients to nourish the brain. This study found that in some people with Parkinson's, the b...

Gene Therapy Could Be Big Advance Against Hemophilia

Gene therapy shows promise in reducing, and even halting, potentially life-threatening bleeding events in people with hemophilia, researchers report.

Hemophilia A is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting one in 5,000 males worldwide. It's caused by a missing coagulation factor called FVIII.

The current standard of care involves regular infusions of the FVIII protein...

A Woman May Have Rid Herself Naturally of HIV -- But How?

Researchers have identified a second HIV-positive person whose body might have naturally cleared the infection -- sparking hope that studying such exceedingly rare events will help lead to a cure.

The researchers cautioned that they cannot prove the woman has fully eradicated the virus from her body, in what's known as a "sterilizing" cure.

But in exhaustive tests of over 1.5 billio...

Study Suggests a Better Blood Thinner Could Be Near

For decades, doctors have struggled with the fact that the benefit of any blood-thinning pill came with the added risk of excess bleeding.

Now, an experimental anti-clotting pill called milvexian has been found to be effective in patients who had knee replacement surgery — without adding any excess risk for bleeding.

The study focused on these patients because they're known to ...

Mouse Study Points to Possible Breakthrough Against Spinal Cord Injury

Severe spinal cord injuries are incurable today in humans, but a new injectable therapy that restored motion in laboratory mice could pave the way for healing paralyzed people.

The therapy — liquid nanofibers that gel around the damaged spinal cord like a soothing blanket — produces chemical signals that promote healing and reduce scarring, researchers report.

The treatment...

Ultra-Low Dose of Rituximab Safely Eases Rheumatoid Arthritis Over Long Term: Study

"Ultra-low" doses of the drug rituximab may be enough to keep some patients' rheumatoid arthritis under control for several years, a new, preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that among 118 patients, low doses of the drug were comparable to standard ones in controlling flare-ups for up to four years.

The findings, the researchers said, suggest that some patients can try low...

Millions of Tons of COVID Masks, Gloves Will End Up in Oceans

While the lockdowns of the pandemic may have done the planet's atmosphere a favor, a new study predicts that discarded masks, gloves and face shields will add more than 25,000 tons of plastic waste to the world's oceans.

Researchers from Nanjing University's School of Atmospheric Sciences in China and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Scripps Institution of Oceanography used...

How Bilingual Brains Shift Quickly Between Languages

Why is it so easy for bilingual folks to switch back and forth from one language to another?

Researchers have discovered that the brain uses a shared mechanism that makes using multiple languages completely natural.

"Languages may differ in what sounds they use and how they organize words to form sentences," said lead study author Sarah Phillips, a doctoral student in the Neurolingu...

Could a Quick Breathalyzer Test for COVID-19 Be on the Way?

An experimental Breathalyzer-type test can detect COVID-19 within seconds and could become a noninvasive, faster alternative to nasal swab tests, researchers report.

COVID-19 infection produces a distinct breath print from the interaction of oxygen, nitric oxide and ammonia in the body, the investigators said. An initial study of the breath test found that it accurately identified COVID-1...

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Helped Rid Him of Decades-Long Depression

When Tommy Van Brocklin signed up for a trial of a special type of magnetic brain stimulation therapy that could potentially ease his depression, he had already been living with the mood disorder for 45 years.

Van Brocklin, 60, first underwent an MRI that located the part of his brain that regulates executive functions such as problem-solving and inhibits unwanted responses.

Then f...

Bald Truth: Mouse Study May Get at Roots of Hair Loss

New research in mice may provide clues to age-related hair loss in men and women.

Scientists found that as hair stem cells in mice age, they lose the stickiness that keeps them secured inside the hair follicle. This allows the stem cells to drift away from the follicle.

"The result is fewer and fewer stem cells in the hair follicle to produce hair," said study lead author Rui Yi, a ...

Is Sheltering Under an Overpass Safe When Tornadoes Strike?

You're driving down the highway when a tornado warning is issued over your car radio. Is it safe to follow widespread advice and seek shelter under an overpass?

While the U.S. National Weather Service warns that the wind from a tornado can accelerate as it flows under the overpass, creating a wind tunnel effect, a new study found differently.

"In our research, there is no one findin...

Ten Years On, Gene Therapy Still Beating Most Cases of 'Bubble Boy' Immune Disease

Nine of 10 patients with so-called "bubble boy" immune disease who received gene therapy about a decade ago are still disease-free, researchers report.

The gene therapy was developed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to treat the rare and deadly immune system disorder formally known as adenosine deaminase--deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID).

It'...

Heartburn Meds Might Be Good for Your Gums

While they're helping to ease reflux, some heartburn drugs may also be reducing the severity of gum disease, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers assessed probing depth in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums) in more than 1,000 patients with gum disease who were or weren't using drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs widely prescribed to treat heart...

Still Too Few Women in Stroke Treatment Clinical Trials

Men still outnumber women in stroke therapy clinical trials, which means women may end up receiving less effective treatment, researchers say.

For the new study, investigators analyzed 281 stroke trials that included at least 100 patients each and were conducted between 1990 and 2020.

Of the nearly 590,000 total participants, 37.4% were women. However, the average rate of stroke amo...

Long Bouts of Space Travel May Harm Astronauts' Brains

Prolonged stays in space appear to damage astronauts' brains, a small, new study suggests.

The researchers studied five Russian cosmonauts, mean age 49, who stayed on the International Space Station (ISS) for an average of 5.5 months.

Blood samples were taken from the cosmonauts 20 days before their departure to the ISS, and one day, one week, and about three weeks after they return...

Scientists Share Nobel Prize for Discoveries That Changed Pain Research

Two American researchers have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries that could help ease chronic and acute pain.

The prize was given jointly on Monday to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, the New York Times reported.

Julius, a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, turned to hot chili peppers to id...

'Personalized' Brain Zaps May Ease Tough-to-Treat Depression

Imagine battling debilitating depression for years, trying everything but finding little or no relief.

That's what Sarah, 36, lived with most of her adult life.

"I had exhausted all possible treatment options," recalled Sarah, who did not want her last name used. "It [depression] had controlled my entire life. I barely moved. I barely did anything. I felt tortured every day."

...

Powerful New Antivirals for COVID Are Coming

People newly infected with COVID-19 might soon have access to what essentially is Tamiflu for the novel coronavirus, a breakthrough that experts say would drastically alter the course of the ongoing pandemic.

At least three contenders are vying to become the first antiviral pill that specifically targets COVID-19, according to reports from drug manufacturers.

Such a pill could be pr...

Existing Drugs Could Treat Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers

There's some encouraging news for people who develop lung cancer even though they've never smoked.

Precision drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be used to treat 78% to 92% of their tumors, a new study reports. These precision drugs target specific mutations in tumors.

Most never-smokers' lung tumors have so-called driver mutations, specific mistakes...

Merck to Ask FDA for Emergency Approval of Its New Antiviral Pill for COVID

Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. said Friday that it will seek federal approval for emergency use of its new antiviral pill molnupiravir, after a clinical trial showed the drug halved the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk people shortly after infection with COVID-19.

The new medication is just one of several antiviral pills now being tested in studies, and experts s...

Over Half of Police Killings Aren't Reported, Blacks Most Likely Victims

While high-profile cases like the 2020 killing of George Floyd have cast a harsh spotlight on police violence in the United States, researchers say deaths attributable to it have been underreported for at least 40 years.

That's the key finding in a new study published Sept. 30 in The Lancet.

For the study, a team from the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Se...

SmartWatches Detect Viral Infection Before Symptoms Surface in Study

Someday, your smartwatch might be able to tell you if you're coming down with a virus and how sick you'll be — even before symptoms start.

In a small study, researchers showed that a wearable device, like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, could detect which patients had the H1N1 flu and which had a common cold.

"One of our goals was to be able to detect that infection before a person feel...

AI Model Predicts Which Animal Viruses Are Likely to Jump to Humans

Artificial intelligence (AI) might be able to spot the next virus to jump from animals to humans, Scottish researchers report.

Identifying diseases before they become a threat to humans is challenging, because only a few of the nearly 2 million animal viruses can infect humans. By developing machine learning models, researchers can analyze genetic patterns of viruses that might infect peo...

New Hope for IBD Patients

A drug previously approved for multiple sclerosis also can treat inflammatory bowel disease in some patients, a new clinical trial reports.

The medication, ozanimod (Zeposia), proved effective in helping patients with ulcerative colitis, sending many into full remission, according to results being published Sept. 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ulcerative colitis...

New Tests for Colon, Prostate Cancer Show Promise

A pair of experimental tests could help doctors detect colon or prostate cancer with just a sample of blood or saliva.

One test examines a person's blood for four biomarkers linked to inflammation. In a small study, it outperformed the fecal blood test now used in colon cancer screening, said lead researcher Dr. Mona Eldeeb, of Alexandria University Medical Research Institute in Egypt.

Babies Know Best When It Comes to Play

Spend time with babies and you'll see they pick up items, bang them together and, often, chew on them.

That play is key to learning and development, but most research on infant play has taken place in a lab and not on a living room floor — until now.

"At a time in development when infants must acquire information about what objects are and what they can do with them, massive amoun...

Osteoporosis Drug May Keep Type 2 Diabetes at Bay

A drug widely used to treat osteoporosis might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Taking the drug alendronate (Fosamax) for at least eight years could potentially reduce a person's risk of type 2 diabetes by more than half, compared to people never prescribed the drug, according to findings presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the S...

Smoke From Nuclear War Would Trigger Massive Climate Change, Endangering Health

Nuclear war would trigger worldwide climate change and take a dire toll on food production and human health, according to scientists who studied different scenarios using a modern climate model.

"Although we suspected that ozone would be destroyed after nuclear war and that would result in enhanced ultraviolet light at the Earth's surface, if there was too much smoke, it would block out t...

Saline Spray Could Slow COVID's Spread in the Lungs: Study

A saltwater solution may help stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its tracks, Brazilian researchers report.

However, although saline may keep the virus from replicating, it does not offer full protection against infection or a cure for COVID-19.

"It's not a single solution, and it would have to be used in the first few days after infection," said researcher Cristiane Guzzo, a professor of...

Could a Japanese Plant Turn Cold Cuts Into Healthy Fare?

There's good news for health-conscious sausage and bacon lovers.

A new study suggests the Japanese knotweed plant could be used to make healthier cured meats.

According to researchers, this fast-growing plant that invades gardens and buildings contains a chemical that could take the place of the preservative nitrite, which has been linked to cancer, in cured meats. That might not on...

DNA Sensor Can Spot When COVID Is Contagious

A new DNA sensor can detect viruses and tell if they are infectious or not in minutes, a new study finds.

The sensor was developed by using DNA technology, and does not require the need to pretreat test samples. Researchers demonstrated this technique with the human adenovirus (which causes colds and flu) and the virus that causes COVID-19.

"The infectivity status is very important...

Can Llama Antibodies Fight COVID in Humans? New Research Says They Might

The future of COVID-19 treatments might include a tiny antibody made by llamas.

British researchers credit a llama named Fifi with their finding.

The investigators said these llama nanobodies, which are also produced by camels, could eventually be produced in a lab and administered by a nasal spray, binding tightly to the COVID-19 virus and neutralizing it.

The potential solu...

Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients Unaware

Movement can be very difficult for people with Parkinson's disease, as shaking and stiffness play havoc with balance, coordination and gait.

There are many different tricks Parkinson's patients can use to improve their walking and avoid injury from a bad tumble -- but a new study reveals that people often have to figure them out on their own, with no help from either a doctor or physical ...

Robotics Bring the White Cane Into the 21st Century

The "white cane" that many blind people rely on for navigating the world hasn't been upgraded in a century, but researchers are reporting progress on a "robo-cane" they hope will modernize the assistive device.

The prototype cane is equipped with a color 3D camera, sensors and an "on-board" computer designed to guide the user to a desired location and avoid any obstacles alon...

Stories Get Listeners' Hearts in Sync

The heart rates of people sync up when listening to a story, a new study finds.

"There's a lot of literature demonstrating that people synchronize their physiology with each other. But the premise is that somehow you're interacting and physically present [in] the same place," said co-author Lucas Parra, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York.

"What we hav...

Israeli Data on COVID Boosters to Be Published This Week in Major Journal

TUESDAY, Sept. 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- New data out of Israel, to be published this week, could bolster the notion that a third booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine significantly lowers a recipient's odds for severe illness.

The data is scheduled to be published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine, ahead of this week's U.S. Food and Drug Administration advi...

New Insights Into Why Asthma Worsens at Night

Many people with asthma know their illness can flare up at night, and new research suggests the body's internal clock could be to blame.

The findings could prove important for treating and studying asthma, the researchers said.

"This is one of the first studies to carefully isolate the influence of the circadian system from the other factors that are behavioral and environmental, in...

FDA Approves First Nerve-Stimulation Device to Aid Stroke Recovery

A first-of-a-kind nerve stimulation treatment for people who have problems moving their arms after a stroke has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"People who have lost mobility in their hands and arms due to ischemic stroke are often limited in their treatment options for regaining motor function," explained Dr. Christopher Loftus. He is acting director of the FDA's ...

Survivors' Plasma Won't Help Fight COVID in Patients With Early Symptoms

Early treatment with COVID-19 survivors' blood plasma doesn't prevent disease progression in people who have mild COVID-19 symptoms but are at risk for more severe illness, a new clinical trial finds.

"As physicians, we wanted this to make a big difference in reducing severe illness and it did not," said principal investigator Dr. Clifton Callaway, professor of emergency medicine at the U...

Even Delta Variant Can't Evade Vaccine-Linked Antibodies: Study

Antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant and other coronavirus variants of concern, new research shows.

The findings may help explain why most vaccinated people have avoided the surge of Delta variant cases sweeping across the United States.

"In face of...

Experimental Drug Could Cut Migraine Frequency

A new pill specifically designed to prevent migraines appears to do the job, a new clinical trial finds.

Atogepant cut patients' migraine days in half over 12 weeks of treatment, without causing serious side effects, the researchers said.

Experts said the drug, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, would give migraine sufferers a welcome new option.

"There's a ...

Dexamethasone Can Help the Sickest COVID Patients Survive. So Why Are Too Few Getting It?

There's strong evidence that the steroid drug dexamethasone can significantly lower hospitalized patients' risk of dying from COVID-19, but many who might benefit from it the most aren't getting it.

"Dexamethasone is a steroid that is used for the treatment of arthritis, inflammation and allergic reactions," explained Hemalkumar Mehta, who studied its use in treating COVID-19 patients. He...

Physics Shows Why 20 Seconds Is Right for Hand-Washing

Twenty seconds.

That's how long you need to wash your hands to remove germs, a new physics study confirms.

Typical hand-washing guidelines -- including those from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- advise scrubbing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

To assess that recommendation, researchers used a mathematical model to examine the key mechanics of han...

Bimonthly, Injected PrEP Beats Daily Pill in Warding Off HIV: Study

When the antiretroviral regimen known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, was launched nearly a decade ago, patients were suddenly able to achieve near-complete protection against contracting HIV by taking just one pill a day.

But there's a big hitch: Not everyone is equally diligent about sticking to that once-a-day daily pill regimen, and when doses are missed PrEP's protective shield...