Month: August 2019

Characteristics of patients attending English and Welsh Hospitals with Lyme disease

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of specific ticks and has a variety of clinical presentations, most notably a bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans) and an associated flu-like illness. Its distribution through Europe is heterogenous with a large variation in incidence between countries and within them. Over an eighteen-year period (1998-2015) we observed a six-fold increase in cases seen in hospitals. In the United Kingdom, information relating to infected patients’ characteristics, where they live and how they are managed within the National Health Service (NHS), is poorly understood. Currently most information is derived from Public Health England’s and...

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Schistosomiasis… coming to a river near you

(Image source: flickr) Background on schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever or bilharzia, is an infection caused by parasitic blood flukes endemic to  subtropical and tropical regions. Transmission occurs in 78 countries, with 52 countries having moderate-to-high transmission requiring preventive treatment to reduce and prevent morbidity. Over 220.8 million people needed preventive treatment in 2017, with at least 90% living in Africa. The two major forms of disease are intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis and these are mainly caused by five Schistosoma species. Schistosomiasis primarily affects poor and rural communities where people are regularly exposed to infested water, such...

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Artificial Vision

woman blue eye, futuristic concept of medical exam/surgery.macro lights of technology. Usage: Online (2019) Usage: Online (20190304) Usage: Book Cover ISBN (20190311) Usage: Online (20190801) Usage: Online (20190801) *** Local Caption *** © stock_colors / Getty Images / iStock For nearly 100 years, we have understood the idea that it might be possible to restore sight to those who have become blind through a device that delivers electrical stimulation to the brain [Mirochnik, Pezaris, 2019]. Visual prostheses, as they are called, form part of a constellation of approaches that seek to deliver input to the brain to replace...

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Why it’s Good News the Suicide Scene from 13 Reasons Why got Deleted

Netflix recently edited the controversial suicide scene from its widely popular 13 Reasons Why series, entirely deleting the protagonist Hannah’s graphic death. The scene in question has been the center of ongoing debate since its release. A high-profile suicide (even a fictional one) can actually lead to an observed increase in suicidal behavior in others. For many mental health advocates, this decision will be a welcome move for one very important reason – suicide can be contagious. What this means is that a high-profile suicide (even a fictional one) can actually lead to an observed increase in suicidal behavior in others....

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Answering the call for real-time plant disease diagnostics in resource-poor regions

Erumpent yellow rust pustules seen on wheat leaves in Ethiopia. Photography by Matt Heaton, John Innes Centre. Plant pests and diseases are a major threat to global food security and have the potential to destroy whole crops if left untreated. It is estimated that halting the spread of fungal diseases in the top five food crops alone could feed over 600 million people. Wheat – one of these top five crops – is under increasing threat, with fungal pathogens causing wheat rust diseases the biggest concern. Today, those in less-developed countries are at greatest risk of large-scale crop losses...

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