A Soviet-era poison called Novichok was used to poison an ex-Russian spy and his daughter last week in England, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament today (March 12). This announcement shows that U.K. authorities were right to suspect that a type of nerve agent had poisoned the former spy, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, who were found stiff and unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, England on March 4. Both Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal are critically ill and in intensive care. But what is Novichok and how does it affect humans? [5 Lethal Chemical Warfare Agents] Novichok, which means "newcomer" in Russian, is a Soviet-era class of nerve agents that was created in the 1970s and 1980s as an attempt to get around the Chemical Weapons Treaty, according to "Responding to Terrorism: A Medical Handbook," published in 2010. That's because the treaty banned chemical weapons that have a certain chemical structure, and Novichok has a different … [Read more...] about What Is Novichok, the Poison that Nearly Killed a Russian Ex-Spy?
Rutgers new jersey medical school
Update at 1:00 p.m. EST: U.K. investigators have announced that Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were likely poisoned by a nerve agent, according to The Guardian. Nerve agents are highly poisonous chemicals that can interfere with signaling from the nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both of the Skripals are still in intensive care. It's not yet clear which kind of nerve agent was used or the long-term effects the poison will have on the Skripals if they survive this attack. But nerve agents, including sarin, soman, tabun and VX, can have long-lasting effects. For instance, when the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo attacked a man with VX nerve agent in 1995, the man survived but continued to feel numbness in part of his body and was reliant on an oxygen tube more than 20 years after the attack, Live Science previously reported. Live Science published this article (below), at 7:11 a.m. EST today: It's still a … [Read more...] about Ex-Russian Spy and Daughter Attacked With Nerve Agent, Not Radiation
If humans were meant to take attractive selfies, they would be born with 5-foot-long arms. According to a research letter published today (March 1) in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, 5 feet (1.5 meters) is the optimal distance for taking portraits that don't distort your facial features. Selfies taken just 12 inches (30 centimeters) away from the face, meanwhile, often result in a forced "funhouse mirror" perspective that can make your nose look up to 30 percent wider than it is, Dr. Boris Paskhover, study co-author and facial plastic surgeon, told Live Science. "For years, I've heard patients and family members say, 'Oh, look at my nose, it looks so big,' when they show me a selfie," Paskhover said."I was always telling my patients, that's not how you really look. I knew that selfies distort how your nose looks. And I wanted to prove it." In their new study, Paskhover and his colleagues at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and at Stanford University in California … [Read more...] about Selfies Distort Your Face by 30% — And Here’s the Math to Back It Up
Your nose isn’t actually as big as it looks in selfies, says facial plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover. So maybe hold off on that nose job — at least, until you’ve seen a decent portrait photo of yourself. Last year, more than half of plastic surgeons were approached by patients who wanted to look better in selfies, according to a survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. But selfies don’t actually reflect what people look like in the flesh, says Paskhover, who works at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “They take out their phone and they say, ‘Look at this picture, look how big my nose looks,’” he says. “I went out to prove why selfies don’t look like the real person, why they’re distorted.” So he teamed up with a computer scientist to create a model of the average human head. The team calculated how much bigger the nose would appear in a photo taken at selfie distance 12 inches … [Read more...] about Your nose isn’t really as big as it looks in selfies
In the ongoing battle between cancer and modern medicine, some therapeutic agents, while effective, can bring undesirable or even dangerous side effects. "Chemo saves lives and improves survival, but it could work much better if you eliminate unwanted side effects from it," said Princeton University cancer researcher Yibin Kang, the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology. To explain his new weapon in the war against the metastatic spread of cancer to bone, Kang uses a movie metaphor: "Independence Day." In the 1996 blockbuster, the people of Earth fight back against alien attackers, deploying a computer virus to disable the shields guarding the attackers' spaceships. A new antibody, developed through a collaboration of Kang's lab with drug company Amgen, works similarly. Antibody 15D11 fights bone metastasis by undermining cancer's defense strategy and allowing chemotherapy to work. "The Kang Lab primarily studies breast cancer metastasis--how cancer cells spread … [Read more...] about A new weapon against bone metastasis?
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- MIT researchers have discovered a way to make bacteria more vulnerable to a class of antibiotics known as quinolones, which include ciprofloxacin and are often used to treat infections such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The new strategy overcomes a key limitation of these drugs, which is that they often fail against infections that feature a very high density of bacteria. These include many chronic, difficult-to-treat infections, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, often found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). "Given that the number of new antibiotics being developed is diminishing, we face challenges in treating these infections. So efforts such as this could enable us to expand the efficacy of existing antibiotics," says James Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological … [Read more...] about Boosting the antibiotic arsenal
New tests to detect early Lyme disease - which is increasing beyond the summer months -could replace existing tests that often do not clearly identify the infection before health problems occur. In an analysis published on December 7 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, scientists from Rutgers University, Harvard University, Yale University, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH and other academic centers, industry and public health agencies say new diagnostic methods offer a better chance for more accurate detection of the infection from the Lyme bacteria. "New tests are at hand that offer more accurate, less ambiguous test results that can yield actionable results in a timely fashion", said Steven Schutzer, a physician-scientist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and senior author. "Improved tests will allow for earlier diagnosis which should improve patient outcomes." Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection in North America and Europe. There … [Read more...] about New Lyme disease tests could offer quicker, more accurate detection
Think about this. You have diabetes, are trying to control your insulin levels and instead of taking a pill or giving yourself an injection, you click an app on your phone that tells your pancreas to bring blood sugar levels back to normal.Sound improbable? Not according to Luis Ulloa, an immunologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in a paper published today in Trends in Molecular Medicine."Our bodies are a lot like rooms in a house," says Ulloa. "In order to see when you enter a darkened room, you need electricity to turn on the lights. Our body is like that room and has an electrical network that can be used to manipulate and help control how it works."In a 2014 study, Ulloa and his colleagues discovered that transmitting short electrical pulses into mice through acupuncture needles, the vagus nerve that links the neck, heart, lungs and abdomen to the brain was stimulated and sepsis, a life-threatening infection that kills about 750,000 Americans each year, prevented. There is … [Read more...] about Controlling diabetes with your phone might be possible someday
East Hanover, NJ. Nov.20, 2017. Stroke researchers at Kessler Foundation have proposed a theory for the high incidence of delirium and spatial neglect after right-brain stroke. Their findings are detailed in "Disruption of the ascending arousal system and cortical attention network in post-stroke delirium and spatial neglect," which was published online ahead of print on September 27, 2017 by Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. The authors are Olga Boukrina, PhD, research scientist, and A.M. Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. Delirium and spatial neglect affect approximately half of individuals with right brain stroke, increasing their risk for prolonged stays and rehospitalization. Identifying the factors associated with these often disabling conditions is the initial step toward minimizing their impact on recovery and rehabilitation. Stroke survivors with spatial neglect are more likely to develop delirium, an acute disorder of … [Read more...] about Researchers link post-right stroke delirium and spatial neglect to common brain mechanism
Drug Discovery Crystal structures of Mtb RNAP bound to rifampin (left), Mtb RNAP bound to an AAP (center), and Mtb RNAP bound to both rifampin and an AAP (right) show that rifampin and the AAP interact with non-overlapping binding sites on Mtb RNAP and, as a result, can bind simultaneously to Mtb RNAP. Gray and cyan ribbons, Mtb RNAP; yellow and orange ribbons, transcription initiation factor sigma; red and pink ribbons, DNA (specific sequence elements in blue). Source: Wei Lin and Richard H. Ebright Rutgers University scientists have determined the three-dimensional structure of the target of the first-line anti-tuberculosis drug rifampin. They have also discovered a new class of potential anti-tuberculosis drugs that kill rifampin-resistant and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria infect a third of the world's population and the disease kills 1.8 million people annually.Rifampin, a compound that kills TB bacteria, has been the cornerstone of anti-TB … [Read more...] about Researchers Determine Structure of Tuberculosis Drug Target