Health

A golden result for TB diagnosis

A gold electrode is modified to recognise antibodies present in infected blood South African scientists have devised an electrochemical technique that could provide a quick and easy diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). TB is a highly contagious disease and is often a secondary infection that causes death in many HIV/AIDS infected patients, particularly in south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Current diagnostic techniques involve culture analysis of phlegm from patients and usually take 4-8 weeks. This leads to delayed diagnosis and hinders prompt patient care, explains Kenneth Ozoemena from the...

Barcoding" DNA to identify menacing mosquitoes

For years scientists have examined DNA fragments of animals and insects for biodiversity preservation, but researchers from the University of Ghana for the first time are using DNA "barcoding" - examining a small fraction of an organism's DNA sequence - for disease control. "We wanted to answer the question of how barcoding can go beyond identification and tell us what type of mosquitoes are deadly and where they live," said the study's lead researcher Daniel Boakye.

Human gene therapy, what doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger.

Warren Hochfeld While genetically modified foods are proving increasingly controversial, the path towards genetically modifying humans is perhaps in great demand. The recently completed mapping of the human genome and years of genetic engineering research drives its progress. Our genes are part of make us unique, inherited from our parents, they form the blueprints for our physical traits.

Clinical trial finds microbicide promising as HIV prevention method for women

A clinical trial involving more than 3,000 women in the U.S. and southern Africa demonstrates for the first time the promise of a vaginal microbicide gel for preventing HIV infection in women. According to findings presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), one 0.5 % dose of a microbicide designed to prevent HIV from attaching to cells in the genital tract, was 30% effective. While the results are encouraging, researchers on the study, known as HPTN 035, report that additional evidence is needed to determine more definitively its effectiveness.

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