Science News

Candy With Benefits: An Anesthetic Lollipop

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that is often administered intravenously or by subcutaneous injection. Recently, however, researchers from the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in Lebanon found a more delectable way to package lidocaine,in a lollipop. For patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy procedures, lidocaine lollipops were found to completely eliminate the need for additional sedation. Previously, patients undergoing upper endoscopy procedures were anesthetized with a lidocaine spray. Although lidocaine lollipops have been used previously in children, they have never been reported for use by adults.

Protein Mimics Trap HIV Virus in a Cellular Box

HIV has killed over 25 million people since its emergence in late 1981. The virus' resilience comes from mutations – there could be thousands of different HIV strains in a single patient, each with their own resistance to treatments. Research teams from the University of Zurich and the University of Washington have potentially developed a new class of drugs to treat the pandemic Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Einstein's "Blunder" is Right, After All

An international research team is currently working to test Einstein's long-ago dismissed theory of a cosmological constant, noted by Einstein himself as being his "biggest blunder." In the project ESSENCE, this group of scientists is studying supernovae to see whether the accelerating force of the universe, known as "dark energy," is related to Einstein's postulation.

Fragile X Syndrome Mechanism discovered

Dr. Nissim Benvenisty and Dr. Rachel Eiges from the Hebrew University Department of Genetics in Jerusalem, Israel, and Dr. Dalit Ben-Yosef from the in vitro fertilization unit at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have determined the order of events that lead to Fragile X syndrome early in development by using a line of embryonic stem cells carryiwwwng the mutation for the syndrome. The results are published in the November issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Schizophrenia Genes Favoured by Natural Selection

Schizophrenia is commonly known as one of the most horrific mental illnesses, but new research has suggested that it is also the inevitable outcome of human creativity. According to data published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B earlier this month, genes which predispose to schizophrenia may have been favoured by natural selection. Lead author Bernard Crespi, professor of evolutionary biology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and his colleagues concluded that "schizophrenia represents, in part, a maladaptive by-product of adaptive changes during human evolution".

The emergence of the robot brain

The first artificial mind is closer than we think: it is already here. Many researchers have built many different types of thinking machines, and none so far have come to become the thinking, feeling, song-singing machines that we might expect. But scientist have given the next generation of robot new, remarkable features, the foremost being the ability to remember and to guess. These abilities, though are present in even the most simplistic mammal, have already made improvements to the functions and performance of today's robots.

Improving the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Advances in the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) are giving hope to physicians, patients, and family members for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Researchers led by Dr. Howard Feldman, Head of the Division of Neurology at the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine, have developed new guidelines for the diagnosis of AD based primarily on the structure of the brain. AD may now be diagnosed when patients are experiencing only slight to mild degrees of cognitive impairment; an improvement on current guidelines which often delay treatment until severe dementia has already set in.