You’ll probably remember the last time you had the flu, but what about that time you had measles – or was it chicken pox? Your blood knows: it keeps a record of every virus you’ve ever been infected with. A tiny drop of the stuff can now be tested to reveal a person’s viral history.
The test, called VirScan, reveals that adults around the world tend to have been infected by an average of 10 viruses over their lifetime. It could also be used to identify links between viral infections and mysterious diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome.
The article goes on to largely dismiss the use of the test, as the immune response takes time to build up the antibodies necessary to register an indication of infection. And points out that we have established symptoms…
About a year ago, a series of startling papers came out. They describe how a single protein circulating in the blood of young mice can impose youth on the organs of older mice. Effects were found on muscles, the heart, and the brain, all of which appeared to revert to a more youthful state following exposure to the signaling protein GDF11.
This is why critical peer review and replicating experiments is crucial to how science is correctly advanced. Hurry up science, my organs aren’t getting any younger here. Get me an organ regeneration pill, or I’m going to need to get new ones… starting with your young scientist grad students!
Tourism isn’t the only industry eager to benefit from the relaxing of the decades-long trade embargo against Cuba. Medical researchers on both of sides of the Straits of Florida now have the chance to collaborate with previously off-limits colleagues. Of particular interest to the U.S. is a Cuban lung cancer drug that took 25 years to develop.
Cows are big hulking creatures—not so great for tipping over while drunk, but great for turning into living factories that make massive quantities of antibodies. Scientists have inserted a modified human chromosome to cows that can now make human antibodies for hantavirus. Other deadly disease like Ebola and MERS could come next.
…These antibodies from these genetically modified cows, however, would be basically indistinguishable from those made in a human body after purification. Cows are much bigger and more efficient than mice, too; a single cow could make up to 1,000 doses a month. Someday, cow-men could save your life.