With most lethal form of melanoma, skin cancer, a huge number of hazardous -looking moles are really harmless, but has always been not possible to know for certain without invasive surgical biopsy. Today dermatologists have innovative aid in making right call handheld tool approved by FDA for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology. MelaFind optical scanner is not for definitive diagnosis but rather to give extra information a doctor can use in finding whether or not to order biopsy. Objective is to decrease number of patients left with needless biopsy scars, with additional benefit of eliminating cost of needless procedures. MelaFind technology (MELA Sciences, Irvington, NY) utilized missile navigation technologies initially paid for Department of Defence to optically scan surface of suspicious lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths. Gathered signals are processed by using heavy-duty algorithms and matched against registry of 10,000 digital representations of melanoma and skin disease.
People who are suffering from cluster headaches, migraines, and other causes of chronic, terrible head or facial pain, "take 2 aspirins in morning" method is ineffective. Doctors have long connected the most cruel, chronic forms of headache with sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), facial nerve bundle, but have not yet found treatment which works on SPG long-term. Technology under clinical investigation at Autonomic Technologies, Inc., (Redwood City, CA) is patient-powered tool for blocking SPG signals at first sign of headache. System involves enduring implant of small nerve stimulating device in upper gum on side of head generally affected by headache. Lead tip of implant connects with SPG bundle, and when patient senses onset of headache, he or she puts a handheld remote controller on cheek adjacent the implant. Resulting signals stimulate SPG nerves and block pain-causing neurotransmitters.
A Valve Job with Heart:
Sapien transcatheter aortic valve is life-saving substitute to open-heart surgery for patients who require new a new valve but cannot undergo the rigors of operation. Produced by Edwards Life Sciences (Irvine, CA), Sapien has been available in Europe for some time but is only now determining its first use in U.S. heart centres—where it is restricted only to weakest patients thus far. Sapien valve is guided through femoral artery by catheter from small incision near grown or rib cage. Valve material is prepared of bovine tissue connected to stainless-steel stent that is expanded by inflating a small balloon when correctly placed in valve space. Simpler method which promises dramatically shorter hospitalizations is bound to have positive effect on cost of care.
By using human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as cure. It might sound risky and far-fetched, but Italian scientists have discovered a method to connect gene therapy vectors deduced from HIV to cure two brutal genetic diseases, metachromatic leukodystrophy and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
Researchers from San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (TIGET) and Telethon in Italy have been changing method we believe of HIV since 1996, when team led by TIGET director Dr. Luigi Naldini discovered they could learn something from virus as potent as HIV. 17 years later, they have successfully treated six children by using HIV-derived genetic messengers.
“Idea of using HIV vector came many years ago to Dr. Luigi Naldini and his team. They recognized that this vector had unique property that is highly efficient in introducing information into cell’s precise DNA,” said Alessandra Biffi, MD, PhD, group leader at TIGET, in press release.
HIV functions by infecting and altering cell’s DNA, but researchers realized that if they could correspondingly “infect” a malfunctioning cell with genetic material it was missing, they could, in effect, heal some genetic diseases.
Scientists targeted 2 genetic disorders of childhood: Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, that causes cruel bleeding and infection because of defective immune function, and metachromatic leukodystrophy, that causes faulty production and maintenance of myelin, padding which insulates nerve cells in brain.