medicine

Inside The Weird Brains Of Real-Time Translators

The world’s most powerful computers can’t perform accurate real-time translation. Yet interpreters do it with ease. Geoff Watts meets the neuroscientists who are starting to explain this remarkable ability.


Scientists Can Predict The Spread Of Disease Using Wikipedia

While Google couldn’t track influenza particularly accurately using search analysis, a team of researchers reckons it can predict the spread of diseases using data lurking within Wikipedia.


Why Miracle Drugs Exist And You Can't Have Them

It’s supposedly getting easier for innovative drugs for rare diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy to reach the market. So why, asks Andy Extance, is hesitancy still proving devastating to desperate families?


These Strange Looking Screws Could Help Repair Your Body

Miniature grenades? Fishing lures? Broken screws? Nope: these are in fact a new kind of medical implant that could help your ruptured tendons recover.


How The Bugs In Our Buildings Could Actually Make Us Healthier

University of Oregon researchers Jessica Green and G Z ‘Charlie’ Brown call it the Pickle Box. This former walk-in storage unit for pickles, remodelled into an enclosed climate chamber, is helping scientists understand how people shed their own ‘microbial cloud’ in a built environment.


Can You Really Bust A Gut From Eating Too Much At Once?

Although extremely rare, some people actually have ruptured their stomachs after eating too much, and, perhaps not surprisingly, many did not survive.


Scratching An Itch Does Indeed Just Make It Itch More

Well that’s settled. You know how your mum always told you not to scratch that mosquito bite because that just makes it itch more? Your mum was right, and now we have the science to prove it.


Google Flu Trends Resorts To Actual Data Because It Got It Wrong

Remember how excited everyone was about Google Flu Trends last year when it confirmed all of our deepest and darkest fears that we were doomed to a winter of misery? Apparently, using peoples’ neurotic self-diagnoses isn’t the most accurate way to track disease. So now, Google has decided to introduce a “new” flu-tracking engine. The new part? Reliable data.


Google X Wants To Track Cancer With Nanoparticles And Wearables

Google X, the company’s secretive arm tasked with dreaming up the future, is as you would imagine pretty ambitious. But in the area of medicine, their plans seem ripped from the pages of science fiction. Today, at the WSJD conference, Google X announced a project that wants to track cancer in your blood with the help of nanoparticles and a wearable.


Should The Rich Be Able To Buy Places On Clinical Trials?

“But you have missed the bigger idea!” exclaimed Peter Lanciano, grabbing the pepper grinder and banging it on the table. “The problem isn’t how to get my drug into Mr Pepperpot. The problem is how to protect me from being sued if Mr Pepperpot dies.”


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