Saturday Health (5 – 11 Dec 2020)

Health News related to Self-Learning Algorithms for Different Imaging Datasets, Potential Cancer Therapy for Immunity Boosting, Disliking of Physical Appearance Strong Predictor of Depression, UK’s COVID-19 Vaccine, The Spread of Cancer to Brain, Neurons Forming Long-Term Memories, Brain Functions and Mood Regulations, Failing Hearts and Hard Workouts, Building Whole Functioning Thymus, Testing Heart Health

Note: I do not write/own any of the health news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Self-Learning Algorithms for Different Imaging Datasets

Source: German Cancer Research Center

7 Dec 2020

AI-based evaluation of medical imaging data usually requires a specially developed algorithm for each task. Scientists have now presented a new method for configuring self-learning algorithms for a large number of different imaging datasets – without the need for specialist knowledge or very significant computing power.

2. Potential Cancer Therapy May Boost Immune Response

Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

7 Dec 2020

A new approach to cancer therapy shows potential to transform the commonly used chemotherapy drug gemcitabine into a drug that kills cancer cells in a specialized way, activating immune cells to fight the cancer, according to a study. The findings were made in human and mouse cancer cells and laboratory mice.

3. Teen Dislike of Physical Appearance Strong Predictor of Depression in Early Adulthood

Source: BMJ

7 Dec 2020

Teens who are unhappy with their physical appearance are at significantly heightened risk of depression by the time they reach early adulthood, reveals the first UK study of its kind. The size of the increased risk ranges from 50% to 285%, the findings show, with boys more likely to experience severe depression than girls.

4. UK’s COVID-19 Vaccine Starts Working Within Two Weeks After First Shot

Source: The Verge

8 Dec 2020

The Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and starts working within about two weeks of the first dose, according to documents published by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s briefing document shows that the vaccine is 95 percent effective at protecting against symptomatic COVID-19, and there are no serious safety concerns with the shot.

Original written by: Nicole Wetsman

5. Key Driver of The Spread of Cancer to The Brain

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University

8 Dec 2020

Approximately 200,000 cancer patients are diagnosed with brain metastases each year, yet few treatment options exist because the mechanisms that allow cancer to spread to the brain remain unclear. However, a study offers hope for the development of future therapies by showing how a poorly understood gene known as YTHDF3 plays a significant role in the process.

Original written by: John Wallace

6. Neurons Forming Long-Term Memories

Source: Harvard Medical School

9 Dec 2020

Neuroscientists have taken a decisive step in the quest to understand the biology of long-term memory and find ways to intervene when memory deficits occur with age or disease. They describe a newly identified mechanism that neurons in the adult mouse hippocampus use to regulate signals they receive from other neurons, in a process that appears critical for memory consolidation and recall.

Original written by: Kevin Jiang

7. Gut Microbiota Plays A Role in Brain Function and Mood Regulation

Source: Institut Pasteur

9 Dec 2020

Depression is a mental disorder that affects more than 264 million people of all ages worldwide. Understanding its mechanisms is vital for the development of effective therapeutic strategies. Scientists recently conducted a study showing that an imbalance in the gut bacterial community can cause a reduction in some metabolites, resulting in depressive-like behaviors.

8. Why Failing Hearts Love Hard Workouts

Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

10 Dec 2020

High-intensity interval training strengthens the heart even more than moderate exercise does. Now researchers have found several answers to what makes hard workouts so effective. Research on rats with heart failure shows that exercise reduces the severity of the disease, improves heart function and increases work capacity.

Original written by: Anders Revdal

9. Scientists Build Whole Functioning Thymus from Human Cells

Source: The Francis Crick Institute

11 Dec 2020

Researchers have rebuilt a human thymus, an essential organ in the immune system, using human stem cells and a bioengineered scaffold. Their work is an important step towards being able to build artificial thymi which could be used as transplants. The scientists rebuilt thymi using stem cells taken from patients who had to have the organ removed during surgery.

10. Test Your Heart Health by Climbing Stairs

Source: European Society of Cardiology

11 Dec 2020

Climbing four flights of stairs in less than a minute indicates good heart health. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between a daily activity – i.e., climbing stairs – and the results obtained from exercise testing in a laboratory. The study included 165 symptomatic patients referred for exercise testing because of known or suspected coronary artery disease.

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