What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Magnets may help treat major depression

Psychiatric researchers at Rush University Medical Centre have found a non-invasive, non-drug therapy to be an effective, long-term treatment for major depression.
The study was done to determine the durability and long-term effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

TMS therapy is a non-invasive technique that delivers highly focused magnetic field pulses to a specific portion of the brain, the left prefrontal cortex, in order to stimulate the areas of the brain linked to depression.

These pulses are of a similar intensity to the magnetic field produced during an MRI imaging scan. The repeated short bursts of magnetic energy introduced through the scalp excite neurons locally and in connected areas in the brain. TMS received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2008. This novel treatment option is a safe and effective, acute antidepressant therapy, but there is limited information on its long-term benefits.

Cellphones may reveal disease outbreaks

Texting, browsing, playing games, taking directions, listening to music are the things you use your cellphone for. But now it can be used to fight diseases.

Cellphones would start a fight against diseases by relaying a telltale signature of illness to doctors and agencies monitoring new outbreaks. “This technology is an early warning system,” said Anmol Madan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Madan’s team concluded that you could spot cases of flu by looking for changes in the movement and communication patterns of infected people. This technology could be an early warning system to enable us to spot outbreaks of influenza.

Epidemiologists know that disease outbreaks change mobility patterns, but until now have been unable to track these patterns in any detail.

Bacteria in yogurt turned into silver bullets to fight flu

Scientists are hailing a breakthrough that could provide a cure for the common cold.
They have turned bacteria, normally found in yogurt, into ‘silver bullets’ that can destroy viruses. Researchers have found that they can attach tiny studs of silver onto the surface of otherwise harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses.

They have tested the silver-impregnated bacteria against norovirus, which causes winter vomiting outbreaks, and found that they leave the virus unable to cause infections.

According to researchers, the similar could help combat other viruses, including influenza and those responsible for causing the common cold.

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