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Archive for the ‘Professions’ Category

The Heart Of An Astronaut, Five Years On

JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, demonstrates the ultrasound used to collect data for the Cardio Ox investigation, in the Columbus Module.
Source: NASA

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are looking at how oxidative stress and inflammation caused by the conditions of spaceflight affect those hearts for up to five years after [...]

Researchers Create Vaccine For Dust-Mite Allergies

Dust mites are tiny and ubiquitous, but they cause big allergic reactions for many people. University of Iowa researchers have created a vaccine that may provide relief to dust-mite allergies. Source: Illustration by Austin Smoldt-Sáenz, University of Iowa

If you’re allergic to dust mites (and chances are you are), help may be on the way. Researchers at the University of Iowa have developed a vaccine that can combat dust-mite allergies by naturally switching the body’s immune response. In animal tests, the nano-sized vaccine package lowered lung inflammation by 83% despite repeated exposure to [...]

Vanderbilt Physicians Seeing Increase in Brown Recluse Spider Bites

The brown recluse spider has a violin-shaped image on its back. Source: Stock photo from CDC image library

Vanderbilt medical toxicologists are reporting an increase in patients seen with brown recluse spider bites this summer. The venomous bites usually heal well if left alone, according to Tennessee Poison Center Medical Director Donna Seger, MD, but there are so many urban legends about these bites, patients frequently apply many treatments before seeking medical advice. [...]

Dangers Of Desert Dust: New Diagnostic Tool For Valley Fever

Graphic shows the lifecycle of coccidioides, the fungal pathogen responsible for Valley fever.
Source: Image courtesy of Arizona State University

On July 5, 2011, a massive wall of dust, (“haboob,” in Arabic), blanketed Phoenix, Arizona, creating an awesome spectacle, (or stubborn nuisance, depending on your perspective). Dust storms are a common occurrence in the arid desert environments of the American Southwest. But windborne dust can be a serious health risk, lofting spores of a sometimes-lethal [...]

Number Of People Susceptible To Painful Mosquito-Borne Virus Increasing, Says Leading Researcher

Stephen Higgs conducts research on mosquitoes in Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute. Source: Kansas State University Photo Services

In just two weeks, the number of Americans infected with the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya has almost doubled and the virus has now been found in mosquitoes in the United States, something that is very concerning to a Kansas State University professor who is a leading researcher of the virus. At least 243 travel-related cases of [...]