Saturday Health (31 Oct – 6 Nov 2020)

Health News related to Heart Disease and Stroke Risk, COVID-19 Deaths in Under-65s, Predicting Anti-Cancer Drug Efficacy, Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, Vulnerability to Type 2 Diabetes, The Global Spread of The Coronavirus, COVID-19 Lung Damage, Risk in Delayed in Cancer Treatment, Face Mask during Exercises, Mystery of Human Intelligence, Powerful Weapon Against COVID-19, Poor Nutrition in School Years

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. Avoiding Inflammatory Foods Can Lower Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

Source: American College of Cardiology

2 Nov 2020

Diets high in red and processed meat, refined grains and sugary beverages, which have been associated with increased inflammation in the body, can increase subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke compared to diets filled with anti-inflammatory foods according to a study. A separate study assessed the positive effects of eating walnuts, an anti-inflammatory food, had on decreasing inflammation and heart disease risk

2. Focus On COVID-19 Deaths in Under-65s For Better Insights into Infection Rates

Source: University of Cambridge

2 Nov 2020

New research highlights how large COVID-19 outbreaks in European nursing homes, and the potential for missing deaths in some Asian and South American countries, have skewed COVID-19 death data for older age groups, rendering cross-country comparisons of the scale of the pandemic inaccurate.

The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License

3. Machine Learning that Predicts Anti-Cancer Drug Efficacy

Source: Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

2 Nov 2020

A research team is drawing attention by successfully increasing the accuracy of anti-cancer drug response predictions by using data closest to a real person’s response. The team developed this machine learning technique through algorithms that learn the transcriptome information from artificial organoids derived from actual patients instead of animal models.

4. New Method Shows Great Potential for The Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Source: Uppsala University

2 Nov 2020

In Alzheimer’s disease, the peptide amyloid-beta begins to form clumps in the brain. This process is called aggregation and the clumps so created are called aggregates. The treatment method developed in a new research study using mice degrades the building blocks from which these aggregates form before they have a chance to aggregate. This treatment method, therefore, reduces the formation of all types of aggregates.

Original written by: Linda Koffmar

5. Most Humans Are Vulnerable to Type 2 Diabetes

Source: Indiana University School of Medicine

2 Nov 2020

Scientists have found that insulin has met an evolutionary cul-de-sac, limiting its ability to adapt to obesity and thereby rendering most people vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes. A recent study has determined that the sequence of insulin has become entrenched at the edge of impaired production, an intrinsic vulnerability unmasked by rare mutations in the insulin gene causing diabetes in childhood. The study exploits biophysical concepts and methods to relate protein chemistry to the emerging field of evolutionary medicine.

6. Europe Was Centre-Stage in The Global Spread of The Coronavirus

Source: University of Huddersfield

3 Nov 2020

A collaboration between genome researchers has led to one of the largest analyses of its kind focussing on thousands of virus genomes sampled from all around the world. The research group has mapped out the dispersal of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, responsible for the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, putting Europe centre-stage as the main source of the spread.

7. COVID-19 Lung Damage Caused by Persistence of ‘Abnormal Cells’

Source: King’s College London

4 Nov 2020

Investigations of deceased COVID-19 patients have shed light on possible lung damage caused by the virus. The study shows the unique characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and may explain why patients suffer from ‘long COVID’.

8. Every Month Delayed in Cancer Treatment Can Raise Risk of Death by Around 10%

Source: BMJ

4 Nov 2020

People whose treatment for cancer is delayed by even one month have in many cases a 6 to 13% higher risk of dying – a risk that keeps rising the longer their treatment does not begin – suggests research. The researchers found there was a significant impact on a person’s mortality if their treatment was delayed, whether that be surgical, systemic therapy (such as chemotherapy), or radiotherapy for seven types of cancer.

9. Researchers Find Face Masks Don’t Hinder Breathing During Exercise

Source: University of Saskatchewan

5 Nov 2020

Questions have been raised as to whether mask-wearing during vigorous exercise might compromise oxygen uptake or increase the rebreathing of carbon dioxide, leading to a condition (hypercapnic hypoxia) whereby increased carbon dioxide displaces oxygen in the blood. But a study did not find evidence to support these concerns.

Original written by: Chris Morin

10. Human Intelligence Just Got Less Mysterious

Source: University of Leicester

5 Nov 2020

Neuroscience experts have released research that breaks with the past fifty years of neuroscientific opinion, arguing that the way we store memories is key to making human intelligence superior to that of animals. It has previously been thought that it is ‘pattern separation’ in the hippocampus, that enables memories to be stored by separate groups of neurons so that memories don’t get mixed up. Now, after fifteen years of research, experts believe that in fact the opposite to pattern separation is present in the human hippocampus.

11. Llama Nanobodies Could be a Powerful Weapon Against COVID-19

Source: University of Pittsburgh

5 Nov 2020

Researchers describe a new method to extract tiny but extremely powerful SARS-CoV-2 antibody fragments from llamas, which could be fashioned into inhalable therapeutics with the potential to prevent and treat COVID-19. These special llama antibodies, called “nanobodies,” are much smaller than human antibodies and many times more effective at neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They’re also much more stable.

12. Poor Nutrition in School Years May Have Created 20cm Height Gap Across Nations

Source: Imperial College London

5 Nov 2020

A new global analysis has assessed the height and weight of school-aged children and adolescents across the world. The study, which used data from 65 million children aged five to 19 years old in 193 countries, revealed that school-aged children’s height and weight, which are indicators of their health and quality of their diet, vary enormously around the world.

Original written by: Kate Wighton

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