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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).

...

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 hear...

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 a...

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 retur...

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 tor...

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 h...

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...

Blood Test Spots Biological Markers for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease that can make navigating daily life a massive challenge, but a new blood test could flag it in its early stages, researchers say.

Their analysis of blood samples identified epigenetic markers -- part of your DNA -- that differ between people with schizophrenia and those without the mental health disorder.

The researchers developed a model to a...

Barnacles Inspire a Better Way to Seal Off Wounds

Barnacles may be the bane of ships, but they could point to new ways to quickly halt severe bleeding, researchers report.

Barnacles are small crustaceans that attach to rocks, ship hulls and even other animals, such as whales. Their ability to cling to surfaces that are often wet and dirty caught the attention of researchers trying to find new ways to seal wounds in emergency situations.<...

New Drug Might Be Non-Surgical Option for Common Skin Cancers

An experimental gel has shown early promise in treating the most common form of skin cancer -- hinting at a potential alternative to surgery in the future.

Researchers tested the gel in 30 patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a skin cancer diagnosed in more than 3 million Americans each year. The tumors rarely spread and are highly curable, usually through surgical removal.

Eve...

CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy Rids Woman of Tough-to-Treat Lupus

In a first, researchers have used genetically tweaked immune system cells to send a woman's severe lupus into remission.

The treatment -- called CAR T-cell therapy -- is already approved in the United States for fighting certain cases of blood cancer. It involves removing a patient's own immune system T-cells, genetically altering them to target the cancer, then infusing them back into th...

An ALS Drug Shows Early Promise Against Alzheimer's

Could a drug used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) help people with mild Alzheimer's disease?

The results of a small new study suggest the strategy could work.

Riluzole has been used for more than 20 years to slow the progression of ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. This phase 2 study found that the drug slowed brain metabolic decline and had a positive effect o...

Cats Might Be Purrfect Model for Human Genetics Research

Dogs may be man's best friend, but cats may hold critical keys to humans' health.

Our feline friends have the potential to become a valuable model for genetic research, because their genome is similar to that of people, according to Leslie Lyons of the Feline Genetics Laboratory at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

"Using cats in research is really overlooked, since people don...

How Trust in Science Can Make You Vulnerable to 'Pseudoscience'

Trusting science is good, but it could put you at risk for being duped by false science, or "pseudoscience," if you let your guard down, researchers warn.

Investigators found that people who trust science are more likely to believe and share false claims that contain scientific references than those who don't trust science.

"We conclude that trust in science, although desirable in m...

'Light Flash' Treatment Might Help Slow Alzheimer's

While efforts to develop Alzheimer's medications have so far borne little fruit, new research highlights the therapeutic promise of two non-drug tools: light and sound.

According to a pair of small new studies, exposing Alzheimer's patients to an hour a day of carefully modulated light and/or sound appears, over time, to slow down the telltale brain degeneration that typifies disease prog...

Kids With Autism Have Unique Gut 'Microbiomes'

Children with autism differ socially and developmentally from their typically developing peers. Now, researchers say there are also differences in their array of healthy gut bacteria or "microbiome."

The findings may lead to earlier treatment for kids with an autism spectrum disorder, suggested the authors of a new small study.

The gut microbiome can vary according to where people l...

Drug Shows Promise in Easing Dementia-Linked Psychosis

A drug that eases hallucinations in people with Parkinson's disease may be able to do the same for those with dementia, a new clinical trial finds.

The medication, called Nuplazid (pimavanserin), is already approved in the United States for treating hallucinations and delusions related to Parkinson's.

The new study, published July 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, ...

Chinese Man Dies of Rare Virus From Monkeys

A Chinese researcher has died after catching a rare infectious disease called the Monkey B virus, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials say.

In March, the 53-year-old veterinarian dissected two dead monkeys as part of his work in a Beijing research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding. He developed nausea, vomiting and fever a month later, and died May...

Geneticists Probe Origins of Painful Cluster Headaches

The causes of a type of excruciating headache known as cluster headaches aren't clear, but heredity is known to play a role. Now, genetic factors associated with cluster headaches are under investigation as scientists search for more effective treatments.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed blood samples from more than 600 people with cluster heada...

A Better Test to Help Spot Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

"Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentiall...

Stroke Prevented His Speech, But Brain Implant Brought It Back

Researchers have developed an implant that allowed a man with severe paralysis to "speak" again by translating his brain signals into text.

The achievement is the latest step in "brain-computer interface" (BCI) research.

Scientists have been studying BCI technology for years, with the aim of one day giving people with paralysis or limb amputations greater independence in their daily...

Inhaled COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Breathing in protection: Scientists say an experimental inhaled COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in animal tests.

"The currently available vaccines against COVID-19 are very successful, but the majority of the world's population is still unvaccinated and there is a critical need for more vaccines that are easy to use and effective at stopping disease and transmission," said study co-leader ...

Global Consortium Finds Genes That Drive Severe COVID-19

Why do some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have either no or negligible symptoms, while others sicken and die?

Scientists who've pinpointed several genetic markers associated with severe COVID-19 say their findings could provide answers to that important question -- and targets for future treatments.

The investigators spotted 13 locations in human DNA that are strongly associated w...

Scientists Track Spirituality in the Human Brain

Researchers have identified specific brain circuitry that is related to people's sense of spirituality -- and it's centered in a brain region linked to pain inhibition, altruism and unconditional love.

The findings add to research seeking to understand the biological basis for human spirituality.

"It is something of a treacherous subject to navigate," said lead researcher Michael Fe...