Some people have no fingerprints. That might be handy in a burglary but it can be an issue when passing through immigration or in security situations where a fingerprint is required, like getting a notary public to take your five bucks for some benign document.
Like DNA, fingerprints are unique to each person or set of identical twins. That makes them a valuable identification tool for everything from crime detection to international travel. But what happens when the tips of our fingers are missing those distinctive patterns of ridges?
In many cases, you can determine a child's age by what affliction their helicopter parents have saddled them with and you don't even have to meet the kid. If they are ADHD, for example, they are likely close to graduating high school. If you look in a grade school today, 25 percent of kids will be on 'the spectrum' for Autism and those that aren't may have a life-threatening allergy.
A generation ago, very few children had allergies to nuts and so it was taken seriously. Today, with hyperactive parents flipping out in restaurants over nothing every day, there is a lot more skepticism. The result is that actual nut-allergy sufferers face hostility and disbelief when trying to find safe environments for their children.
Right now on the east coast of Australia where I live, we have an outbreak of the deadly Hendra Virus (HeV) which kills horses and humans and even infects dogs and I have to admit that I’m scared, especially as I own 3 horses and 3 dogs. Over the last month of July 2011, 14 horses have died and have potentially infected 55 people who are being tested for HeV and remain under observation along with any horses, dogs and cats that also came into contact with the sick horses. This is required even when that contact occurred before the infected horses started to exhibit any symptoms of the virus, as they were potentially infectious for at least 2 days beforehand while they were still outwardly symptom free.
Endocarditis is a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart sometimes caused after a dental procedure.
Henry VIII, King of England and founder of the Anglican Church, was basically the Brad Pitt of his day when he was younger. Charming, attractive and even kind, for a member of the Royal family. Yet he is most remembered for being gluttonous, impaired and executing wives.
Bacteria attack with toxins designed to hijack or kill host cells but they have ways of protecting themselves from their own toxins. Researchers have described one of these protective mechanisms, potentially paving the way for new classes of antibiotics that cause the bacteria's toxins to turn on themselves.
Scientists determined the structures of a toxin and its antitoxin in Streptococcus pyogenes, common bacteria that cause infections ranging from strep throat to life-threatening conditions like rheumatic fever. In Strep, the antitoxin is bound to the toxin in a way that keeps the toxin inactive.
Avian influenza, bird flu, causes the unnecessary deaths of millions of chickens each year, preventing them from instead being killed for my dinner.
Luckily, science is on the case, though irrational left-wing anti-science types won't like the solution; breeding chickens resistant to it.
Obviously the meat and eggs from these chickens cannot in any conceivable way be different from any other egg but the same mentality that leads people to believe the world will end because of a Mayan calendar can allow people to believe these eggs can be different, so look for the usual protests.
The super chicken was created by researchers from Cambridge and Edinburgh.
Humans have greater susceptibility than other primates to certain infectious diseases which could be explained by species-specific changes in immune signaling pathways, a University of Chicago study finds.
The first genome-wide, functional comparison of genes regulated by the innate immune system in three primate species discovers potential mediators of differences in disease susceptibility among primates.
Writing in Blood, a group says that a 2007 adult stem cell transplant cured a patient of both his HIV and his leukemia. Up to 33 million people worldwide have HIV/AIDS.
How did it work and what does it mean? It was a perfect storm of good fortune for the patient so it's an interesting medical starting point but not really a cure-all just yet. Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man in Germany, also had leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy but he got a bone marrow transplant from a donor who carried an inherited CCR5 gene mutation that seems to make carriers immune to HIV.
If you've been to a hospital to see a newborn you've likely been assaulted by a number of sprays and soaps before even getting near the little critter. You'd have to wonder how you ever survived as a child without antibacterial soaps, wipes and special clothing.