May 15th, 2013
05:02 PM ET
We think of malaria as a disease that infects more than 200 million people a year, with transmission happening through mosquito bites.
But it's not entirely the fault of the mosquitoes. Scientists are exploring how the malaria parasite itself may actually change a mosquito's behavior to make it more attracted to humans, as if controlling its mind so that the bug goes after us.
A new study in the journal PLOS One demonstrates, for the first time, that mosquitoes infected with malaria are more attracted to human odor than uninfected mosquitoes. This is only a proof of concept, however; more research needs to be done to confirm.
May 14th, 2013
04:12 PM ET
Hospital-acquired infections are a huge problem in the United States. Wouldn't it be amazing if they could be prevented merely through the materials used in the hospital room?
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina explored covering key surfaces in hospital intensive care units in copper alloy, and found that this is an effective measure against the spread of some key types of bacterial infections. Their study is published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
May 9th, 2013
05:20 PM ET
Worldwide elimination of malaria would save hundreds of thousands of lives each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But eradication remains elusive, because the parasite that causes the disease can evolve to withstand the effects of new malaria drugs and become drug-resistant.
Researchers, however, now believe they have discovered a way to track the spread of drug-resistant malaria, and this discovery may help to finally eradicate the disease. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Genetics.
“We’ve seen past cases of (malaria) drug resistance spread in a specific pattern,” said study author Nicholas White from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, and the University of Oxford in the UK. “It starts in Cambodia, spreads across Southeast Asia and crosses over to Africa, killing millions of children in the process.” FULL POST
March 26th, 2013
10:04 AM ET
The virus causing your cold sore may put you at risk for something more insidious: Lower cognitive abilities.
In a study of 1,625 people, researchers at Columbia University measured specific antibodies to common infectious agents in each person's blood, and using this information, created an "infectious burden index." Participants higher on the infectious burden index were more likely to have worse cognition, or cognitive abilities.
The study, published Monday in the journal Neurology, further suggests a link between cognitive decline and herpesviridae viral infections in particular, which previous studies have also linked to Alzheimer's disease and risk of stroke, an accompanying editorial notes. Herpesviridae is a family of viruses including HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus-1, which causes cold sores and can cause genital herpes, and HSV-2, which commonly causes genital herpes.
January 23rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET
The stuff we’re made of may be the means by which we store information that we want kept around long after we're gone.
Scientists have developed a technique of storing information in DNA, the molecule found in living creatures including humans that contains genetic instructions. The experiment is discussed in a new study in the journal Nature.
Researchers aren't using DNA from any living organism, or one that was once alive; instead, they are synthesizing it.
January 9th, 2013
01:52 PM ET
Could the Pap smear, which is already commonly used to detect cervical cancer, also be used to find endometrial and ovarian cancers? A small study suggests that may be possible in the future.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that cervical fluid collected during a routine Pap smear can be used to detect both types of cancers by using a genome sequencing test called the “PapGene.”
Researchers administered the test on a small group of samplings, and found the procedure accurately detected all 24 endometrial cancers, or cancer of the lining of the uterus. However, they were only able to find nine of 22, or 41%. of ovarian cancers. FULL POST
January 7th, 2013
04:51 PM ET
A marker for later cognitive problems may be starting to show up in the brain tissue of former National Football League players.
According to a study published Monday in JAMA Neurology, researchers found that cognitive problems and depression are more common among aging NFL players with a history of concussion. But brain damage and mood problems among some segments of the NFL population is not stunning news anymore.
What has got scientists slightly giddy are those markers: Poor performance on cognitive tests also showing up on sophisticated brain scans. It suggests that damage post-concussion could some day be detectable by scanning the brain.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.