NEWS ABOUT: medical breakthrough

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Schizophrenia Isn't Actually One Disease

Genetic research points to 8 disorders

(Newser) - Genetic research is paving the way to a "new era" in psychiatry, a researcher says, and that includes a different way of looking at schizophrenia: It's not one disease, but rather eight different ones, divided by their genetic profiles, a study suggests. Researchers reviewed genetic data from 4,... More »

Quadriplegic Moves Hand by Thinking About It

Ian Burkhart broke his neck while swimming in 2010

(Newser) - It is, as the Washington Post writes, "science fiction come true": A 23-year-old quadriplegic managed to move his right hand last Wednesday, a hand that he'd had no power over since he broke his neck after diving into a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean in 2010. Since then,... More »

Breakthrough DNA Test Saves Boy in 48 Hours

New software sifts through DNA sample to make quick diagnosis

(Newser) - A 15-year-old boy is alive thanks to a diagnosis that sounds like it’s from a sci-fi novel. Doctors took a DNA sample from Joshua Osborn—whose brain was swelling with fluid for reasons that had doctors stumped—ran it through DNA-sequencing machines, and let the software work its magic,... More »

This 46-Year-Old Woman's Baby Set a Record

Belinda Slaughter gave birth via IVF, using her own fresh eggs

(Newser) - A 46-year-old Florida woman became a new mom to a healthy baby boy last year via IVF—and though it's not unheard of for a woman to deliver a baby at her age, what's medically remarkable is that Belinda Slaughter didn't use frozen or donated embryos, but... More »

Constipation Solution: a Vibrating Pill?

Study: Capsule could work for those who are unsatisfied with laxatives

(Newser) - Here's a novel idea that could literally shake up the way that millions of people treat constipation: a pill that vibrates when swallowed, rather than delivering medication. The capsule, which is being developed by the Israeli company Vibrant , is the size of a multivitamin and works by mimicking the... More »

Eyes of the Dead Could Help Living See

Cell transplants restore brain, eye connection

(Newser) - A new technique could dramatically improve the ways in which the eyes of the dead can help restore sight to the blind, according to research published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine . Researchers extracted a type of adult stem cell from the back of donated eyes and found that... More »

Food Poisoning May Trigger Multiple Sclerosis

Study suggests that a toxin plays a role

(Newser) - Scientists still don't know what causes multiple sclerosis, but new research suggests that a particular strain of food poisoning may play a role, reports the BBC . The food bacterium in question is called Clostridium perfringens, which NBC News notes is responsible for millions of cases of foodborne illnesses per... More »

Look Out, Cancer Cells, Here Come 'Sticky Balls'

Cornell researchers develop promising technique to keep tumors from spreading

(Newser) - It sounds ingenious: Cornell researchers have created roving proteins whose sole purpose is to destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream. If further tests hold up, this could offer a way to keep cancers from metastasizing, or spreading, reports the BBC , which uses the phrase "cancer-killing sticky balls" to describe... More »

Child Born With HIV Possibly 'Cured'

Scientists agree Mississippi girl is in 'clear remission'

(Newser) - Doctors are hesitant to call it a cure, but a Mississippi girl born with HIV remains in "clear remission" after beginning treatment 30 hours after her birth, according to a new report published online yesterday. The child received a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs for 18 months; another 18 months... More »

'Brain Dead' Might Not Mean Brain Dead After All

Study detects activity even after a flat EEG line

(Newser) - An intriguing new study out of Montreal might redefine our concept of being "brain dead." Researchers for the first time think that the brain remains active even in patients whose EEG lines have gone flat, reports the Los Angeles Times . The study sprang from an unusual case in... More »

New Tool Measures Consciousness for First Time

It could help treat unresponsive patients with brain injuries

(Newser) - How to determine whether an unresponsive patient is conscious? Introducing the PCI, a technique that involves measuring the brain's response to a magnetic pulse, reports LiveScience . “You’re kind of banging on the brain and listening to the echo,” explains a UK neuroscientist to ScienceNow . The new... More »

Smart Knife Helps Doctors Find Cancer

It can instantly detect whether tissue is healthy or not in surgery

(Newser) - A nifty new knife that can sniff out cancer might soon be in operating rooms, reports Bloomberg . In its first major test, the "intelligent knife," or iKnife, did spectacularly well—as in, 100% accuracy in 91 cases. Here's how it works: When a surgeon cuts into a... More »

Experimental Drug Makes High Cholesterol Vanish

Three companies in mad dash in what could be a huge breakthrough: NY Times

(Newser) - Might high cholesterol one day be a thing of the past? A story in the New York Times about an experimental drug suggests as much. Three companies—Amgen, Pfizer and Sanofi—are racing to complete tests and gain approval for their own version. The drug mimics a rare genetic mutation... More »

Paralyzed Rats Regain Ability to Pee

Breakthrough gives hope that it might restore bladder control in humans, too

(Newser) - Neuroscientists working with rats have pulled off a feat raising hopes that paralyzed people might someday be able to regain control of their bladders and ditch the catheter. The scientists grafted nerves from elsewhere in the rats' bodies to their severed spinal cords, and the rats eventually were able to... More »

Boy, 3, Hears for First Time

Grayson Clamp gets to listen to his dad's voice

(Newser) - A few weeks ago, 3-year-old Grayson Clamp become the first child in the US to receive something called an auditory brain stem implant, reports CNN . The upshot is that the boy, who was born without a cochlear nerve, was able to hear sound for the first time—as captured on... More »

Doctors 'Print' Airway Tube So Boy Can Breathe

3D technology saves life of Ohio tot

(Newser) - In a medical first, doctors used plastic particles and a 3D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy who used to stop breathing nearly every day. It's the latest advance from the booming field of regenerative medicine, making body parts in... More »

Human Stem Cells Made From Cloned Embryos

Oregon scientists report breakthrough

(Newser) - Scientists have made a long-sought—and controversial—breakthrough: They created stem cells from cloned human embryos for the first time, reports AP . In theory, the development by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University means that doctors might someday be able to grow tissue from an ailing patient's own... More »

Scientists 'Grow' Kidney in Lab

Engineered rat kidneys a step toward helping humans

(Newser) - In a breakthrough with the potential to save many thousands of lives, scientists have "grown" a kidney that produced urine both in the lab and after being transplanted into a rat. The new kidneys were created by stripping old kidneys of their cells and pumping the remaining "scaffold"... More »

Woman With Transplanted Womb Is Pregnant

Turkish transplant patient will have a C-section

(Newser) - A medical breakthrough from Turkey: The world's first recipient of a womb from a dead donor has become pregnant and appears to be healthy, Sky News reports. Derya Sert, 22, was born without a uterus and deemed a "medical miracle" when she received her transplant in 2011. Eighteen... More »

Surgeons Replace 75% of Guy's Skull —Using 3D Printer

It's the latest marvel for the nascent technology

(Newser) - The world of 3D printing continues to impress: Now, experts have used it to replace three-quarters of a man's skull. The team obtained images of the needed skull sections using CT scans; they then made the replacement by layering a special type of plastic known as PEKK, whose rough... More »

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