research

Human World Records: The Greatest Achievements of the Human Body

Every year, thousands of people around the world submit their entry for a new world record. From the world’s longest fingernails to the most pints of beer drank in under 5 minutes, many of them show what the human body is capable of when it’s taken to extremes. For many of these people, it is a case of pushing the limits of the human body and mind. Mental barriers and physical hurdles are overcome. When signals are sent from the brain saying “stop”, they break through those, exercising incredible willpower and pushing beyond what they know is capable, breaking records time and again. There have been incredible feats of bravery and endurance. However, pushing mind and body to the limit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The challenge though, is to many, addictive and the sense of achievement once the goal is completed gives them unparalleled satisfaction. The “three needs” theory breaks motivation into three, arguing that motivation can be sliced into three: People push forward for achievement, for power and for belonging. This is certainly the case when the goal is more obscure or niche. They may be the only one striving for this goal and pursuing something against the advice of others. As humans, we strive to grow faster and stronger. To say, “what’s next?” and move forward. We enhance our capabilities every day and we all have...

Can We Smell Diseases: An Interesting Correlation Between Illness and Odor

You probably didn’t know this, but research shows that human beings can smell diseases. Most research conducted regarding smells usually involve mice and rats. Consequently, the sense of smell in human beings has been the last in the scorecard of senses. However, a recent study in the area disproves of the belief of the 19th-century scientists that the sense of smell is weaker than any other senses. A study published by Swedish Researchers from Karolinska Institute, Sweden, suggests that one can smell when another person is ill. Scientists who study volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have long established that each has a distinct odor. In that, we have an “odorprint” that is unique as one’s fingerprint. Your smell escapes from the skin, urine, breathe, and blood. Your body smell emanates from compounds that depend on your diet, age, sex, metabolism and most importantly, your health. As you consider an Australian medical residency, go through this article to gain more insight on the sense of smell in humans. Does Infection modify one’s body odor? One’s body odor is a complex combination of variable compounds. Microbes in our bodies play a role in how we smell. When pathogens invade our bodies, they change the level and type of these bacteria which leads to adjustment of one’s body odor. Once your immune system is activated to respond to the pathogens, it changes the...

32 Amazing Tips to Learn and Study Faster

Have you ever felt that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Or that you’re always struggling to get everything done in time? Medical Students—and anyone trying to learn something new—will probably understand what I’m talking about. Even if you’re fully invested in the process and have strong motivation, there’s just one thing keeping you from succeeding more: the lack of time. While it’s impossible to add extra hours to a day, there is still a way out. Want to know what it is? Learn and study faster. We’ve put together an infographic that will show you how to make the most of the time you have at your disposal. With 32 different ways of fast learning to choose from, at least some of them will surely be perfectly fitting for you. It won’t hurt to look through our infographic. And the couple of minutes you spend on it will pay off when you start using some of the techniques described below! Part of having a healthy study habit and maximizing your learning capacity is a healthy diet. Make sure to know about these eight superfoods for better studying! Everything steps up a notch on test days. You have to work harder and be ready to change things if they don’t work. As you progress you gain a better sense when to cut corners. Free more time for important things,...

A New FDA-Approved Therapy That Treats Leukemia and Lymphoma

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T, is a precision medicine approach to treating certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma. The patients own cells are filtered and separated, then mixed with a deactivated virus that causes the cells to grow an artificial receptor that will track down the CD19 antigen expressed by these cancers. The modified T-cells are then reintroduced to the patient’s blood stream to begin therapy. Click here to read the press announcement from the FDA Newsroom. The FDA’s August 2017 approval of the CAR-T therapy known as tisagenlecleucel for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia was the first gene therapy approved in the United States. Less than two months later, the approval of axicabtagene ciloleucel expands the milestone further and reinforces the FDA’s willingness to support these novel therapies. Earlier this year, the FDA was in works to approve therapy which genetically alter’s a patient’s T-cells: The FDA may soon approve a new cancer therapy that genetically alters a patient’s own existing T-cells to fight leukemia. This new, investigational treatment is known as CTL019 and is a type of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. CTL019 utilizes a process in which T-cells are carefully harvested from each individual leukemia patient. These patient-specific T-cells are then genetically reprogrammed to express a chimeric CD19 antigen receptor and subsequently transfused back into the specific patient from whom they were originally collected. Once back inside the patient, these reprogrammed T-cells multiply,...

Three Ancient Medicinal Practices: A Look Back Through History

Get ready to be skeeved out and generally disgusted. In this article we will take a trip through history to review three different types of ancient medicinal practices. Warning, this article may contain content that can cause an unsettled stomach, (but the small amounts of humor and interesting facts can be an antidote).  Bloodletting Originating in the time of the Romans and Ancient Greeks, bloodletting is the practice of doing exactly what it sounds like, letting out blood to cure the disease.  Ancient physicians like Hippocrates and Galen thought influenced the idea that blood was made of of four basic components, yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm.  So the practice ensued that if you had a sore throat, blood; migraines and stomach ache, blood; the plague, yep you can probably guess where I’m going with this.  Basically, any type of illness was thought to be solved through the purifying of one of the substances of the body.  This makes me appreciate history and the development of our society so much more, that I now can have a minor cold and go to the doctor without getting a leech attached to my arm or a knife to the leg. Animal Dung Ointments Another self explanatory name for another disgusting medicinal practice.  Poop, yes poop, used to be CELEBRATED by Egyptian physicians circa 1500 b.c.  It was used for it’s...

Scientists Develop New Antibody to Target HIV Strains

In 2016, HIV continued to confound patients, physicians, and researchers while resulting in one million deaths due to AIDS-related illness worldwide. Additionally, there were 36.7 million people living with HIV and 1.8 million new HIV infections reported. HIV mutational ability generally inactivates the immune system leading to lethal virulence. As a result of a collaboration between Sanofi and the United States National Institutes of Health, research scientists have developed a revolutionary tri-specific antibody designed to target three separate components of HIV, disrupting resistance mechanisms that render accepted therapeutic paradigms ineffective. Preliminary studies reveal that in twenty-four monkeys treated with the antibody and then infected with HIV, no test subjects progressed to developing symptoms or advanced disease. Beginning in 2018, the tri-specific antibody will be tested in humans. HIV life expectancy is improving. A new study published in The Lancet reports advances in antiretroviral drug treatment (ART) that improve life expectancy for patients living with HIV. ART is the standard treatment regime for HIV patients. While ART cannot cure HIV, a combination of medications help patients live longer and reduce the risk of HIV transmission. ART was first introduced in 1996. One year after ART was introduced, the FDA approved Combivir, a combination drug taken as a single daily tablet, which made taking daily medication HIV patients easier. Since then, ART initiation has improved by leaps and bounds, making medication management easier for patients. Reference: Xu L, Pegu...

Why we STILL Don’t Have a Male Contraceptive

The first female pharmaceutical contraceptive pill was approved by the FDA in 1960. That’s 57 years ago! With all the advances in medical research, why do we still not have a pharmaceutical contraceptive for men? Too Much Risk with Too Little Reward Surely there are many men who would love to have the sort of agency over their reproductive capacity that women have had for nearly 60 years. However, for-profit pharmaceutical companies allocate their research funds to the most profitable ventures, such as cancer medications or those that treat heart conditions. Although some non-profit and governmental groups, such as the NIH, are funding contraceptive research, they tend to look for a private-sector partner to share the financial burden of Phase 3 clinical trials. In addition to liability and profit concerns, the female contraceptive pill has about a 91% effectiveness rate; a male pill would have to be at least close to that range to be a viable option, and even worse, the marketing team would have to start from scratch. Image: Syringe by Zaldylmg / CC by 2.0 Men Just Can’t Take the Heat The most promising research into a pharmaceutical option has been hormonal contraceptives. In fact, researchers published a 100-person clinical trial in 2016 that showed that an injectable hormone treatment suppressed sperm concentration in 95.9% of the patients, with a pregnancy rate of 1.57% among their female partners....

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