Giant hogweed, plant that causes blindness and third-degree burns, discovered in Virginia
Giant hogweed, an invasive plant that can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness, has been found in Virginia and other states.
"Giant Hogweed" sounds like a mythical plant that the students of Hogwarts may study, but it's real -- and it's dangerous.
Hogwart's Express《The ～》ホグワーツ特急
The plant grows in the wild and touching it can cause third-degree burns and even blindness. Giant hogweed was recently spotted in Virginia for the first time and may also grow in other states. Warnings have been issued in previous years after discoveries in Michigan, New York and elsewhere in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
The latest confirmed sighting of giant hogweed came in Clarke County, Virginia. It was identified by researchers at the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech, who say there are about 30 plants in the area.
Giant hogweed is part of the carrot family, and for a toxic plant, it is surprisingly pretty. It can grow up to 14 feet tall, with thick leaves stretching two to five feet across and large clusters of white flowers gracing the top of the plant in an umbrella pattern. The spray of white flowers looks similar to Queen Anne's Lace, but the experts at Massey Herbarium note that giant hogweed is much larger, with chunkier leaves.
Why is hogweed so dangerous?
Wild parsnip, giant hogweed: Toxic plants to watch out for
The Virginia Tech group posted photos of the plant on Facebook, urging anyone who comes across a giant hogweed plant to report it -- and be careful not to touch it.
The dangerous plant also grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Its sap contains toxic chemicals known as photosensitizing furanocoumarins. When these chemicals come into contact with human skin, it can cause a reaction that makes skin extremely sensitive to light. The reaction also causes dark, painful blisters, which can leave scars.
DNAがダメージを受けると、細胞は本来の役割を果たせなくなり、時には死んでしまいます。 (phytophotodermatitis) の原因である。紫外線が当たって皮膚細胞のDNAにダメージを与える化学反応が起こったわけです。
Touching giant hogweed can also lead to long-term sunlight sensitivity, and blindness if sap gets into a person's eye.When the plant spread across New York in the past, The New York State Department of Health recommended that anyone who came in contact with the plant wash it off with cold water immediately and get out of the sun. A toxic reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact. Call your health care provider in case of a severe reaction.
The New York State Department of Health also recommends applying sunscreen to the affected areas, since this can prevent further reactions if you're stuck outside. Compresses soaked in an aluminum acetate mixture -- available at pharmacies -- can provide relief for skin irritations. If hogweed sap gets into the eyes, rinse them with water immediately, put on sunglasses, and contact your health care provider.
These pesky plants spread when birds and waterways carry seeds to new locations. Seeds can grow for 10 years once they're dropped off.
It's important to know how to recognize giant hogweed if you are in a state where it might grow, and what to do if you find it. New York State officials advise:
"Do not mow, cut or weed whack the plant, as it will just send up new growth and put you at risk for being exposed to sap -- the same kind of thing that would happen with poison ivy or sumac. Seek advice from professional plant control specialists about management options. If you must touch giant hogweed, wear disposable rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and pants. If you get sap on your clothes, carefully remove the clothing to avoid skin and eye contact and wash separately from other clothing with warm water and detergent."
Knowing what to look for and how to handle it could help you avoid a serious injury.
Prehistoric frogs in amber surface after 99 million years
Frogs trapped in amber for 99 million years are giving a glimpse of a lost world.
The tiny creatures have been preserved in sticky tree resin since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs.
The four fossils give a window into a world when frogs and toads were evolving in the rainforests.
Amber from Myanmar, containing skin, scales, fur, feathers or even whole creatures, is regarded as a treasure trove by palaeontologists.
Dr Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences in Beijing said it was a "miracle" find.
"In China, frogs, lizards and scorpions are called three treasures of amber," he told BBC News.
"These amber fossils provide direct evidence that frogs inhabited wet tropical forests before the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous."
The fossil record of the earliest amphibians is sparse, which makes the discovery particularly valuable for science.
Dr David Blackburn of the University of Florida, who worked on the fossils alongside Dr Xing, said being small and living in a tropical forest makes the likelihood of ending up in the fossil record "pretty low".
"Frogs have been around on earth for approximately 200 million years," he said.
"How long have they been associated with these wet forests? Is it a recent phenomenon or an ancient one? These amber frog fossils indicate that this association extends back to at least 100 million years ago."
The four specimens provide a record of life in the forests of what is now Kachin State, Myanmar during the Cretaceous.
Cretaceous【名】《the ～》《地学》白亜紀◆中生代（the Mesozoic）のジュラ紀（the Jurassic）に続く最後の時代区分（1億4千5百万年前～6,550万年前）。翼竜やティラノサウルスなどが現れ、恐竜が最も発達した時代である。胎生の小型の哺乳類も出現する。大隕石の衝突によると考えられるK-T境界により白亜紀が終わる 粘土質な土、すなわち石灰岩を意味し、石灰岩の地層から設定された地質年代のため白堊紀の名がついた
As well as the frogs, which the researchers have named Electrorana limoa, they found plants, spiders and insects.
There were even marine molluscs, suggesting frogs lived in a humid, warm, tropical forest ecosystem that contained freshwater lakes.
Dr Ricardo Perez-De-La Fuente, of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, who is not part of the research team, said every new finding adds a piece to the puzzle.
"The new frog species is a relevant piece of this exciting puzzle, a potential top predator of the fossil insects that my colleagues and I so passionately study," he said.
Electrorana has similarities to modern frogs and toads, including fire-bellied toads and midwife toads.
Gene therapy reverses rat's paralysis
Scientists say they have taken a significant step towards the goal of giving paralysed people control of their hands again.
The team at King's College London used gene therapy to repair damage in the spinal cord of rats.
The animals could then pick up and eat sugar cubes with their front paws.
It is early stage research, but experts said it was some of the most compelling evidence that people's hand function could one day be restored.
The spinal cord is a dense tube of nerves carrying instructions from the brain to the rest of the body.
The body repairs a wounded spinal cord with scar tissue.
scar tissue《医》瘢痕組織 器官の組織欠損が、肉芽組織の形成を経て、最終的に緻密な膠原線維や結合組織に置き換わる事で修復された状態
However, the scar acts like a barrier to new connections forming between nerves.
How the gene therapy works
The researchers were trying to dissolve components of the scar tissue in the rats' spinal cord.
They needed to give cells in the cord a new set of genetic instructions - a gene - for breaking down the scar.
The instructions they gave were for an enzyme called chondroitinase. And they used a virus to deliver them.
chondroitinase コンドロイチナーゼ 脊髄損傷後の機能回復を促進する
Finally, a drug was used to activate the instructions.
The animals regained use of their front paws after the gene therapy had been switched on for two months.
Dr Emily Burnside, one of the researchers, said: "The rats were able to accurately reach and grasp sugar pellets.
"We also found a dramatic increase in activity in the spinal cord of the rats, suggesting that new connections had been made in the networks of nerve cells."
The researchers hope their approach will work for people injured in car crashes or falls.
Prof Elizabeth Bradbury told the BBC: "We find this really exciting, recovery of this type of function, because for spinal injured patients their highest priority is to get their hand function back.
"Being able to pick up a coffee cup, hold a toothbrush, these types of things will have a dramatic increase on their quality of life and their independence."
In 2014, a paralysed man was able to walk with a frame after cells from inside his nose were used to regenerate part of his spinal cord.
The patient, Darek Fidyka, was injured in a knife attack that caused a different type of wound to those in car crashes.
The gene therapy approach is not yet ready for human clinical trials.
Dr Mark Bacon, from the charity Spinal Research, told the BBC: "The data is some of the most compelling I've seen demonstrating restoration of skilled forelimb function.
"It's exciting, but getting approval for gene therapies represents a particular, but not insurmountable, challenge to getting it to the clinic.
"Transferred to the clinic, this research could be life-changing for the millions of people worldwide with paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury."
16-Year-Old Girl in Intensive Care After Getting Bubonic Plague
A child in Idaho is recovering after contracting the plague -- a disease often associated with the "Black Death" that killed millions in Medeival Europe, but still exists in a few different forms.
《医》腺ペスト 腺ペスト、敗血症型ペスト、 肺ペスト 腺ペストはノミによる皮膚の咬傷からペスト菌が侵入しリンパ管を通ってリンパ節に感染し、リンパ節の腫れを引き起こす Yersinia pestis 腸内細菌科 通性嫌気性／グラム陰性／無芽胞桿菌）が感染することにより発症する伝染病である。黒死病
The child could have been exposed to the disease in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon, Central District Health Department said in a statement.
The child -- whose age and gender have not been disclosed -- is recovering after receiving antibiotics, the agency said, and other people are not at risk.
Modern antibiotics can effectively treat this form of the plague. But without quick treatment, it can lead to serious illness or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The child lives in Elmore County, where plague has been identified in ground squirrels, but "this season, no ground squirrel die offs or unusual behavior has been reported by state wildlife officials," Central District Health said.
About seven people in the U.S. are infected every year, usually after being bitten by a rodent flea or an infected animal, according to the CDC.
PHOTO: The Oropsylla montana flea can be a carrier of the Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes the plague.CDC via Getty Images
The Oropsylla montana flea can be a carrier of the Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes the plague.
Since 1990, there have been eight cases of the plague in Oregon and two in Idaho; the disease has historically been found in wildlife in both states, according to the Central District Health Department in Idaho.
Symptoms usually appear within two to six days of exposure and include fever, chills, headache and weakness, as well as swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck, health officials said.
Central District Health Department epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Correll recommends that people wear insect repellent, long pants and socks when in plague-affected areas.
Tonsillectomy Risks May Outweigh Benefits
Watchful waiting may be a good strategy when the condition is not too severe.
More than 530,000 children have their tonsils or adenoids removed in the United States each year to prevent recurrent infections and sleep or breathing disorders. But a new study suggests that the surgery may have long-term risks that in some cases outweigh any short-time benefits.
扁桃炎 ウイルスや細菌が病原体となって炎症を起こす病気である。扁桃腺炎ともいわれる。ウイルス性が多く、ライノウイルス、コロナウイルスやアデノウイルスなどが原因 扁桃には免疫細胞が多く、鼻や口から気管や肺へ侵入する病原体やウイルス、細菌に対しての防御機能を果たす。一方で、表面に腺窩が多いため細菌の巣になりやすく、感染源となってしまうこともある。
The report, in JAMA Otolaryngology ? Head and Neck Surgery, compared 60,667 Danish children under 9 who had tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies or both with 1.1 million who had not had the surgeries. They were born between 1979 and 1999, and researchers followed their health for up to 30 years.
After controlling for many health factors, they found that tonsillectomy was associated with almost triple the relative risk of diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Adenoidectomy was associated with about double the relative risk of obstructive pulmonary disorder, upper respiratory tract diseases and conjunctivitis.
The surgery has some short-term benefits in cases of abnormal breathing, sinusitis and ear infections, but the long-term risks for those conditions were either significantly higher after surgery or not significantly different.
“This is the first study to look at long-term risks,” said the lead author, Sean G. Byars, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. “With some kids, knowing that there are future risks may cause people to hold off, use pain medication and so on. Watchful waiting may be a good strategy when the condition is not too severe.”
Denbighshire mum 'paralysed' after tick bite in garden
A woman suffered severe facial paralysis - and could only eat through a straw - after being bitten by a tick in her garden.
Rachel Foulkes-Davies, 43, said the bite started off as small red mark before it caused her eyes to swell up.
The mother-of-three said she is still in pain three years on and is angry a correct diagnosis was not made sooner.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said it encouraged patients to discuss their concerns with them.
Ms Foulkes-Davies said: "I'm constantly tired and have no energy to do simple tasks."
Before the bite Ms Foulkes-Davies (inset) said she was fit and healthy
The mother-of-three, of Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Denbighshire, said the bite happened in June 2015.
Initially she noticed a small red mark on her neck, which later had swollen to the size of 2p coin and turned white.
Then four days later, she started to lose movement in the left side of her face - a sign of facial paralysis.
After attending Deeside NHS hospital, she was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and given an eye patch before being sent home.
《医》ベルまひ 特発性片側性末梢性顔面神経麻痺 顔面神経の麻痺によって障害側の顔面筋のコントロールができなくなった状態のことである。顔面神経麻痺の原因として脳腫瘍、脳卒中、ライム病などがあるが、原因が特定できない場合にベル麻痺と呼ばれる。
She added: "Over the course of seven to eight months my ability to speak worsened.
"I couldn't talk for two years. I was just living off soups and stews and had to have them through a straw. The same went for hot drinks."
Ms Foulkes-Davies said she has only been able to open her eye since Christmas last year - more than two years after she was first bitten
After disputing doctors' initial diagnosis, Ms Foulkes-Davies paid ￡89 for private tests - which she said diagnosed her with Lyme Disease. Its symptoms include nerve pain, weakened muscles, fatigue and blurred vision.
スピロヘータの一種、ボレリア Borrelia の感染 ボレリア・ブルグドルフェリ B. burgdorferi（アメリカの典型的ライム病の病原体）特徴的な遊走性紅斑
She added: "If it was diagnosed straight away and treated with Doxycycline I wouldn't have had to go through all this. Doxycycline just wouldn't work now as I'm so far gone."
Almost three years on, Mrs Foulkes-Davies said she suffers from chronic fatigue and has since given up work while struggling to look after her children.
She said: "I was really healthy before the bite.
"I now suffer from blurred vision, brain fog and constant headaches. I have to wear glasses now to watch the TV as the brightness blurs my vision."
Ticks, which are small arachnids, can carry infectious diseases like Lyme Disease - although health officials say most of the bugs are harmless
However, a spokesman added: "We would encourage anyone who has a concern about the care they have received to contact us directly to discuss this.
"In Wales, as well as elsewhere in the UK, cases of laboratory-confirmed Lyme disease have increased in recent years.
"This is as a result of better reporting, increased diagnostic testing, and increased awareness by the public and healthcare professionals.
"Anyone who is worried about Lyme Disease or a tick bite can get more information from the NHS Wales website."
Syphilis and gonorrhoea up by one-fifth
England has continued to see a rise in cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea over the past year.
New data shows a 20% increase in cases of syphilis and a 22% increase in gonorrhoea, compared with 2016.
Diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England remain stable overall, with around the same number reported as the previous year.
Health experts have expressed concern over a decline in testing for chlamydia.
クラミジア・トラコマチス(Chlamydia trachomatis, CT)とは、主に目と性器に感染するクラミジアの1種。その種によって、主な性感染症のひとつである性器クラミジア感染症や、もはや日本では流行のないトラコーマや鼠径リンパ肉芽腫などを引き起こす。
The impact of STIs remains greatest in young people aged between 15 and 24 years, with gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men among those most at risk, says Public Health England in its report.
Black and minority ethnic populations are also disproportionately affected by STIs.
Chlamydia remains the most prevalent of the diseases, accounting for more than 200,000 cases last year - nearly half (48%) of all new STI diagnoses in 2017.
Testing in contraceptive clinics has fallen by 61% since 2015, which experts say may indicate a squeeze on resources. However, it may also reflect a rise in the use of home testing kits - and the availability of testing in other settings.
squeeze on water resources取水制限する、少雨対策を行う
More than 7,000 cases of syphilis and nearly 46,000 cases of gonorrhoea were reported to Public Health England in 2017.
The rise in syphilis follows a 10-year trend, with three-quarters of new diagnoses in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
Health professionals have expressed concern at the rise of gonorrhoea and the threat of super-gonorrhoea, a rare but emerging strain that is resistant to routine drug treatment.
In March, the first case of super-gonorrhoea was detected in the UK, in a man who is thought to have caught the infection having sex abroad in South East Asia.
Two "similar" cases were subsequently discovered in Australia, suggesting that super-gonorrhoea may become more common in the future.
Debbie Laycock, from the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Our sexual health services are stretched too thinly and demand outweighs availability, with more cuts already planned.
"The significant rise in both syphilis and gonorrhoea shows why further cuts are completely unacceptable and would be extremely damaging, particularly given the emergence of a new extensively drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea."
Chart that says that in 2017 there were about 420,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections made in England. 48% of these were chlamydia, 14% genital warts, 11% gonorrhea, 27% other STIs.
Chart that says that in 2017 there were about 420,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections made in England. 48% of these were chlamydia, 14% genital warts, 11% gonorrhea, 27% other STIs.
In 2017, there were approximately 420,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed in England, around the same number that was reported last year. Find out more: https://bit.ly/2JgOfAy
Meanwhile, a significant fall in rates of genital warts - a 90% decrease on 2009 - reflects the widespread take-up of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine in girls aged 12-13.
Last December, Public Health England (PHE) launched a sexual health campaign aimed at promoting condom use among young people.
Dr Gwenda Hughes from PHE said: "Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defence against STIs, and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment."
Prostate cancer immune system drug results could be 'spectacular'
Drugs that boost the immune system have saved the lives of some men with terminal prostate cancer, say doctors in the UK.
The team at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London said the results were "spectacular" and a "big deal".
However, the therapy will not work for most patients.
Cancer Research UK said the next step was to predict who would respond.
Immunotherapy is transforming the treatment of cancer and is now part of routine practice for some skin and lung cancers.
It works by taking the brakes off a patients' own immune system so it can attack a tumour.
take off the brakeブレーキを外す
An early stage trial, presented at the world's biggest meeting of cancer doctors and scientists in Chicago, is the first to show that this approach works on prostate cancer too.
In the UK, the disease is the most common cancer in men and it has recently overtaken breast cancer to become the third biggest killer.
Prostate cancer patient Michael English had more than 10 years of treatment before an immunotherapy drug made him "effectively cancer-free"
Michael English, 72, was one of 258 men who took part in the trial.
He was first diagnosed in 2005, but radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone-based therapies did not kill his cancer.
Two years ago, he was given the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab.
免疫チェックポイントは過剰な免疫反応を抑制し、自己免疫疾患等の発生を抑える働きがある。この機構に関わる免疫チェックポイントタンパク質としては、樹状細胞等の抗原提示細胞の受容体 CD80/86 に応答する CTLA-4、腫瘍細胞表面の PD-L1 リガンドに応答する PD-1 等が知られている。いずれのタンパク質も、T細胞の細胞膜表面に存在する。これらのタンパク質に対する阻害抗体が免疫チェックポイント阻害剤である。このような免疫チェックポイント阻害剤を投与することにより、T細胞の免疫抑制が解除され、抗腫瘍免疫応答が増強される。
He said: "We were astonished when scans showed that the tumour had become undetectable.
"Today I'm effectively cancer-free."
He says he's now planning out the next 20 years of his life, not the next two.
Researcher Prof Johann de Bono told the BBC: "This is the first evidence that a subset of prostate cancer patients do spectacularly well on immunotherapy.
"We have several patients in the Marsden who have had a complete response.
"It is a new arrow in the quiver for men with lethal prostate cancer, it's a big deal for these patients."
arrows in one's quiver矢筒に矢
However, he said that only between 10% and 15% of patients had any response to the therapy at all.
This is an approach that will not help the majority of men.
That is not unusual for immunotherapy. It seems to work incredibly well for a handful of patients, have a temporary effect in others, and do nothing for the rest.
The team in London have seen hints that it works best in patients with the most heavily-mutated cancers.
Nell Barrie, from Cancer Research UK, said: "The next step will be to find out how to tell which men will benefit from taking this drug.
"This is important as although immunotherapy is exciting, it can have severe side effects."
How immunotherapy drugs work
Your immune system is trained to fight infection, but it also attacks parts of the body if they malfunction - such as in cancers.
However, tumours have a few tricks up their sleeve in order to survive.
have a few tricks left up one's sleeveまだ幾つかの切り札を隠し持っている
They can produce a protein called PD-L1 which switches off any part of the immune system that tries to attack them.
Pembrolizumab is one of a suite of drugs called "checkpoint inhibitors" being developed by pharmaceutical companies.
They stop cancers turning off the immune system so the body can keep on attacking the tumour.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
'Remarkable' therapy beats terminal breast cancer
The life of a woman with terminal breast cancer has been saved by a pioneering new therapy, say US researchers.
It involved pumping 90 billion cancer-killing immune cells into her body.
Judy Perkins had been given three months to live, but two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body.
The team at the US National Cancer Institute says the therapy is still experimental, but could transform the treatment of all cancer.
Judy - who lives in Florida - had spreading, advanced breast cancer that could not be treated with conventional therapy.She had tennis ball-sized tumours in her liver and secondary cancers throughout her body.
She told the BBC: "About a week after [the therapy] I started to feel something, I had a tumour in my chest that I could feel shrinking.
"It took another week or two for it to completely go away."
She remembers her first scan after the procedure when the medical staff "were all very excited and jumping around".
It was then she was told that she was likely to be cured.
Now she's filling her life with backpacking and sea kayaking and has just taken five weeks circumnavigating Florida.
The technology is a "living drug" made from a patient's own cells at one of the world's leading centres of cancer research.
Dr Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, told the BBC: "We're talking about the most highly personalised treatment imaginable."
It remains experimental and still requires considerably more testing before it can be used more widely, but this is how it works: it starts by getting to know the enemy.
A patient's tumour is genetically analysed to identify the rare changes that might make the cancer visible to the immune system.
Out of the 62 genetic abnormalities in this patient, only four were potential lines of attack.
Next researchers go hunting. A patient's immune system will already be attacking the tumour, it's just losing the fight between white blood cells and cancer.
The scientists screen the patient's white blood cells and extract those capable of attacking the cancer.
These are then grown in huge quantities in the laboratory.
Around 90 billion were injected back into the 49-year-old patient, alongside drugs to take the brakes off the immune system.
Dr Rosenberg told me: "The very mutations that cause cancer turn out to be its Achilles heel."
These are the results from a single patient and much larger trials will be needed to confirm the findings.
The challenge so far in cancer immunotherapy is it tends to work spectacularly for some patients, but the majority do not benefit.
Dr Rosenberg added: "This is highly experimental and we're just learning how to do this, but potentially it is applicable to any cancer.
"At lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy - a unique drug for every cancer patient - it is very different to any other kind of treatment."
Around 90 billion cancer-killing cells were infused back into Judy
The details were published in journal Nature Medicine.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Simon Vincent, director of research at Breast Cancer Now, said the research was "world class".
He told the BBC: "We think this is a remarkable result.
"It's the first opportunity to see this sort of immunotherapy in the most common sort of breast cancer at the moment it has only been tested in one patient,
"There's a huge amount of work that needs to be done, but potentially it could open up a whole new area of therapy for a large number of people."
One-third of dementia cases could be prevented, report says
One-third of cases of dementia worldwide could potentially be prevented through better management of lifestyle factors such as smoking, hypertension, depression, and hearing loss over the course of a lifetime, according to a new report.
Across the globe, about 47 million people were living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia in 2015. That number is projected to triple by the year 2050 as the population ages. Health care costs associated with dementia are enormous, with an estimated $818 billion price tag in 2015.
projected to《be ～》～すると予測される
The new study, published in The Lancet and conducted by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care, brought together 24 international experts to review existing dementia research and provide recommendations for treating and preventing the devastating condition.
"Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century," lead study author Professor Gill Livingston, of University College London, told CBS News. "The purpose of the commission was therefore to address it by consolidating the huge strides and emerging knowledge as to what we should do to prevent dementia and intervene and care for people with dementia."
There is currently no drug treatment to prevent or cure dementia. But the report highlights the impact of non-drug interventions and identifies nine modifiable risk factors through various stages of life ? beginning in childhood ? that affect the likelihood of developing dementia.
modifiable risk factor修正可能な危険因子
To reduce the risk, factors that make a difference include getting an education (staying in school until over the age of 15); reducing high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes; avoiding or treating hearing loss in mid-life; not smoking; getting physical exercise; and reducing depression and social isolation later in life. About 35 percent of dementia cases are attributable to these factors, the analysis found. Removing them could then theoretically prevent 1 in 3 cases.
In contrast, finding a way to target the major genetic risk factor, a gene called the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 allele, would prevent less than 1 in 10 cases ? or about 7 percent.
アポリポ蛋白 E (ApoE) の対立遺伝子 ε4 はアルツハイマー病（AD）の危険因として知られている. アポリポ蛋白 E (ApoE) の対立遺伝子 ε4 が晩発性家族性アルツハイマー病で著しく高いことが報告され, さらにこの傾向は孤発型アルツハイマー病でも確認された.
"There's been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," commission member Lon Schneider, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, said in a statement. "But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches." Schneider presented the findings at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017.
lose sight of〔見えにくくなって〕～を見失う〔人や物事を〕忘れる、見落とす
Of the nine risk factors, the researchers identified the three most common ones that could be targeted for dementia prevention.The first is increasing education in early life, which the report estimated could reduce the total number of dementia cases by 8 percent if all people worldwide continued their education until over the age of 15.The researchers note that not completing secondary education could raise dementia risk by reducing what's referred to as "cognitive reserve." It's believed that education and other mentally stimulating tasks help the brain strengthen its networks so it can continue to function at a higher level even if it starts to decline later in life.
For the first time, the researchers also identified hearing loss as a major modifiable risk factor for dementia. They estimated that reducing hearing loss in mid-life could also reduce the number of dementia cases by 9 percent if all people were treated.Livingston notes that research surrounding hearing loss and dementia is still in early stages and the link likely has something to do with the social isolation that can come with losing the ability to hear."They may work in similar ways as they reduce the chance of interactions and conversations, which are like exercise for the brain and enrich it and predispose to depression," she said.
It's not clear from medical research yet whether using hearing aids can counteract this risk.
Additionally, the researchers found the number of dementia cases worldwide could be reduced by 5 percent if all people stopped smoking. It's particularly important to stop smoking later in life, they say, to reduce neurotoxins and improve heart health, which in turn improves brain health.
Other interventions likely to reduce dementia rates include increased physical activity and treating high blood pressure and diabetes.
The study authors say the report can offer guidance on ways to reduce the risk of dementia throughout life and improve the care for those living with the disease.
"This includes providing safe and effective social and health care interventions in order to integrate people with dementia within their communities," Schneider said. "Hopefully this will also ensure that people with dementia, their families and caregivers, encounter a society that accepts and supports them."
It's important to note that lifestyle interventions will not delay or prevent all dementia cases. But the researchers say they are hopeful that the report will help shift more focus to concrete steps that can be taken to help avoid the disease.
"We hope that this report will feed into individual nations' dementia policies and public health strategies, be used by individual clinicians to inform and improve their practice, and through media publicity inform the general public of what they can do to help avoid dementia, which is the most feared illness in old age
Five people die in US romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak
Five people have now died in a major E. coli outbreak in the US involving romaine lettuce, with 197 cases reported across 35 states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 25 more people had been affected since its last report on 16 May.
Two of the victims were from Minnesota, with the other three from Arkansas, California and New York.
It is the largest US outbreak of E. coli since 200 people fell ill in 2006.
According to the latest statement from the CDC, many of the people affected fell ill two to three weeks ago, when the contaminated lettuce was still on shop shelves.
Romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona is thought to be the source of the latest outbreak, although the Food and Drug Administration says no single grower, distributor or region can account for the spread.
The CDC said that some of the affected people had not eaten lettuce, but had contact with others who had fallen ill.
When eaten, it can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and even kidney failure in severe cases.
Of the infected people, 89 have been hospitalised, and 26 have developed a kidney failure type known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Canada's Public Health Agency has also recorded six cases of E. coli "with a similar genetic fingerprint" to the US infections.The E. coli outbreak began in April and has spread across the US.California and Pennsylvania are recording the most cases.
Pompeii victim crushed by boulder while fleeing eruption
The unfortunate victim survived the initial eruption - but did not get far
Archaeologists at Pompeii have uncovered the remains of an unfortunate man who was decapitated by an enormous rock while fleeing the volcano.
Nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing many Pompeii residents and famously freezing them in place.
This skeleton appears to be from a man who survived the initial explosion and was fleeing the doomed city.
A leg injury, however, may have slowed him down before he was crushed by the huge stone hurtling through the air.
Pompeii archaeologists say the skeleton shows signs of a bone infection in his leg, which could have made walking - much less running - very difficult.
But it was not slow-moving molten lava that killed most of the people of Pompeii. Instead, a vast cloud of hot gas and fragments - called a pyroclastic flow - surged over the city, killing its inhabitants wherever they were, and burying them in ash, preserving their final moment.
Archaeologists believe it was this lethal cloud which struck their newest discovery, throwing him backwards as he turned to look at it.
The man's head has yet to be identified - and could still be under the rock
The man, believed to be in his 30s, was found on the first floor of a building, above the layer of small stones carried by the cloud.
But the force of the erupting gas and rock also picked up an enormous rock - which experts think might have been a door jamb (the vertical part of a door frame) - and hurled it at the victim, crushing his upper body near the throat and possibly removing his head, which is missing.
Archaeologist Massimo Osanna said the skeleton was an "exceptional find".
Apart from the "emotional impact" of these discoveries, they allow archaeologists to study the people of the city, and even how they tried to escape the eruption of Vesuvius.
This latest discovery is part of fresh excavations in Pompeii undertaken using modern technology.
Vaccine for cancer that killed Tessa Jowell 'remarkably promising'
A vaccine could help to significantly extend the lives of people diagnosed with the brain cancer that killed ex-Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, early trial results suggest.
People with glioblastoma who took part in the study lived more than twice as long as those on standard treatments in many cases, researchers say.
膠芽腫 glioblastomaは、脳腫瘍の一種。神経膠腫（グリオーマ）の中でも最も悪性の腫瘍とされる。グリア細胞（主として星状膠細胞）由来の悪性腫瘍の中で、極端に未分化で増殖能の高いものを指す。腫瘍は出血を伴うことが多く、腫瘍の内部に壊死巣が見られる事がある。腫瘍細胞は円形、紡錘形などのさまざまな形状が存在し、大小不同である。急速に増大する腫瘍による頭蓋内圧亢進症状が見られる。初発症状は頭痛が多い。他の脳腫瘍と同じく、朝に強い頭痛が見られること（morning headache）が多い。その他に運動麻痺、痙攣、見当識の低下などが見られる。神経膠細胞（しんけいこうさいぼう）とも呼ばれ、神経系を構成する神経細胞ではない細胞の総称であり、ヒトの脳では細胞数で神経細胞の50倍ほど存在していると見積もられている。gliaという語は、膠（にかわ、英: glue）を意味するギリシャ語に由来する。
The vaccine works by using the body's immune cells to target the cancer.
A cancer charity said preliminary results seemed "remarkably promising".
The standard treatment for glioblastoma, the most aggressive of brain tumours in adults, involves removing the tumour followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
But it is difficult to treat and patients live on average for only 15 to 17 months after surgery.
For this phase three trial of 331 people from the UK, the US, Canada and Germany, 232 patients were given the immunotherapy vaccine DCVax on top of standard treatments while the rest received a placebo along with normal care.
The vaccine works by taking immune cells, known as dendritic cells, from the patients' bodies and then combining them with a sample of their tumours.
When the vaccine is injected back into the patient, the body's entire immune system recognises the cancer to attack.
Preliminary results from the 11-year study, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, found those involved in the trial survived for more than 23 months on average after surgery, with 100 living for 40.5 months at the time of the researchers' analysis.
Because the study has not concluded yet, the data does not break down who received the vaccine and who had the placebo, but this will be released when the trial concludes.
The longest survivors have lived for more than seven years after surgery.
The study's authors said it appears that patients on the trial who reach a certain threshold beyond diagnosis "may continue onwards to unusually long survival times".
Kat Charles was told in 2014 that she had three months to live after NHS doctors ran out of options to treat her brain cancer.
run out of options打つ手がなくなる、策が［万策］尽きる
"They said there was nothing more they could do for me," says Kat, now 36 from Milton Keynes.
"I was distraught."
After undergoing the standard forms of treatment, and even taking part in a clinical trial for another medicine, she and her husband Jason raised funds to pay for DCVax privately.
After receiving the treatment, Kat's most recent MRI scan showed no trace of the tumour.
"DCVax has done what everyone said was impossible," her husband Jason says. "If not for this treatment, I would be without my wife and without a mother for our child."
Kat continues to have regular injections of the vaccine.
"I go to London on the train, I have a shot in each arm and then I'm free to go home. It doesn't give me any side-effects. It's fantastic."
What is glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma is the most common type of brain tumour that starts in the brain
It is the most aggressive form of adult brain tumour and is often resistant to treatment
It is believed that the variety of cells in a glioblastoma is one of the reasons it is so hard to treat because current drugs are not able to effectively target all the cell types in the tumour
As with most brain tumours, the cause of glioblastoma is not known
Source: The Brain Tumour Charity
Keyoumars Ashkan, professor of neurosurgery at King's College Hospital in London, who was the trial's European chief investigator, said the results gave "new hope to the patients and clinicians battling with this terrible disease".
"Although definitive judgement needs to be reserved until the final data is available, the paper published today hints at a major breakthrough in the treatment of patients with glioblastoma.
"Cautious optimism is welcome in an area where for so long the disease and suffering have had the upper hand."
Dr David Jenkinson, chief scientific officer for the Brain Tumour Charity, said: "These results appear remarkably promising for a community of patients who have been given little hope for decades.
"We need further analysis of the data from this trial and more research in this area to ascertain the role that immunotherapy can play in the battle against brain cancer."
Doctors explain Michael Jackson's impossible dance move
Neurosurgeons have described in detail how Michael Jackson achieved biomechanically impossible dance moves in his music video Smooth Criminal.
In the 1987 routine, Michael leans from the ankle at a 45 degree angle, while keeping his body straight as a rod.
The illusion, which many have tried to copy, was thanks to specially designed shoes and the artist's core strength.
The spine experts warn others against attempting the potentially injurious but mind-boggling move.
Manjul Tripathi and colleagues from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, say in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine: "Most trained dancers with strong core strength will reach a maximum of 25 to 30 degrees of forward bending while performing this action. MJ pulled off a gravity-defying 45 degree move that seems unearthly to any witness."
If a person were to attempt the Smooth Criminal lean, they would notice that the bulk of the strain to strike the pose moves to the Achilles tendon in each ankle, rather than the erector spinae muscles of the back.
erector spinae muscles〈ラテン語〉《解剖》脊柱起立筋
This allows for only a very limited degree of forward bend, even for someone matching Michael's strong athletic abilities, explains Assistant Prof Tripathi.
Michael got the extra degrees of tilt thanks to some fancy footwear.
A v-shaped slit in the bottom of each heel of his spats slotted onto a strong nail or "hitch member" driven into the ground, allowing the dancer to pivot and lean further forward, for the gravity-defying move.
Prior to the patented footwear invention, Michael had relied on supporting cables and a harness around his waist to create the illusion.
It's said that he and two Hollywood colleagues borrowed the footwear idea from US astronauts' boots, which can be docked to a fixed rail when working in zero gravity.
But even with specially designed footwear and the support of the hitch member, the move is incredibly hard to pull off, requiring athletic core strength from strengthened spinal and lower-limb muscles, say the doctors.
"Several MJ fans, including the authors, have tried to copy this move and failed, often injuring themselves in their endeavours," they caution.
Dr Tripathi said: "The chances of injury to the ankle are significant. You need strong core muscles and good support around the ankle. It's not a simple trick."
Five Blood Transfusions, One Bone Marrow Transplant ? All Before Birth
In the three months before she was even born, Elianna Constantino received five blood transfusions and a bone-marrow transplant. All were given with a needle passed through her mother’s abdomen and uterus, into the vein in her umbilical cord.
Elianna, born Feb. 1 with a robust cry and a cap of gleaming black hair, has a genetic disease that usually kills a fetus before birth. The condition, alpha thalassemia major, leaves red blood cells unable to carry oxygen around the body, causing severe anemia, heart failure and brain damage.
重症型アルファサラセミア ヘモグロビンを構成するグロビン遺伝子の異常による貧血である。(溶血性貧血をきたす遺伝性疾患である)地中海沿岸に多いので地中海貧血 異常ヘモグロビンにより貧血を来たす。血管外溶血により黄疸や脾腫を呈する
The transfusions in the womb kept her alive, but only treated her illness. The bone-marrow transplant has the potential to cure it. Whether it will succeed is still too soon to tell.
Elianna and her mother, Nichelle Obar, were the first patients in an experiment that pushes the limits of fetal therapy, a field already known for its daring.
push the limits限界を押し広げる、限界の壁を越える、現状を打破する
3 simple habits linked to weight loss
People looking to shrink their waistlines may want to adopt three simple eating habits to help them get there, new research suggests. The study tracked nearly 60,000 people and discovered that how fast they ate and the timing of their evening meal and snacks appeared to be significant factors in whether they ended up obese or managed to lose weight.
Specifically, eating more slowly, avoiding snacks after dinner, and not eating within two hours before going to bed were all linked to weight loss.
The researchers, who published their findings in the journal BMJ Open, said they set out to analyze "the effects of changes in lifestyle habits on changes in obesity."
They examined data on thousands of people with diabetes in Japan who submitted claims and had regular health checkups between 2008 and 2013, when measurements of their body mass index and waist circumference were taken. During the checkups, the patients also reported their lifestyle habits, including their eating and sleeping patterns, as well as alcohol and tobacco use.
Among other questions, the people were asked to report the speed at which they ate -- categorized as fast, normal, or slow.
At the start of the study, 22,070 people -- nearly a third of the group -- admitted they normally gobbled down their food fast. More than 33,400 said they ate at "normal" speed. Only about 4,190 were self-professed slow eaters.
After taking into account other potential factors, the researchers found that those who said they ate at normal speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese than those who said they were fast eaters. The findings for slow eaters were even more striking: those who said they ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be obese.
People who said they don't usually snack after dinner and those who avoiding eating within two hours of bedtime also tended to see some weight loss, the researchers found.
Overall reductions in waist circumference were small, but they were greater among the slow and normal speed eaters in the study.
Other habits the researchers looked at -- including whether people ate or skipped breakfast, and how much sleep they got -- did not appear to have a significant impact on weight.
The study is observational, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. But previous research has suggested a link between weight and the speed at which one eats and experts say there's reason to believe eating more slowly can help contribute to weight loss.
"When you tend to eat quickly, you may miss out on your body's cues for satiety, or fullness, and end up eating more. Those who naturally eat slowly may be attending to their body's cues for fullness, and eat a more appropriate portion during each eating occasion," Nina Crowley, Ph.D., a registered dietitian nutritionist and health psychologist working at the Medical University of South Carolina, told CBS News.
Crowley notes that the study uses the Japanese standard of obesity, which is a BMI greater than 25. In the U.S., obesity is defined as a BMI over 30, while 25 to 30 is considered overweight.
The study concludes that "changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference."
"Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and program to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases," the authors write.
If you tend to be a fast eater, Crowley suggests trying to practice mindful eating, in which you consciously pay attention to each bite of food you put into your mouth and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
"Mindful eating can help you train yourself to identify your own cues for both hunger and fullness and connect with physical, psychological and environmental cues that affect food decisions," she said. "Most people could benefit from eliminating distractions like smartphones while eating and increasing their consciousness and awareness of the experience of eating and enjoying their food."
Lini Puthussery: India's 'hero' nurse who died battling Nipah virus
"I don't think I will be able to see you again. Sorry. Please raise our children well."
養豚場労働者の間で急性脳炎の流行 ウイルスが分離された患者の村と川の名前にちなんで、新たにNipah virus（ニパウイルス）と名付けられた Nipah virusの自然宿主はコウモリである。マレーシアにおいては、養豚業が盛んになるにつれてジャングルなどを切り開き大規模経営となり、その結果ブタが未知のウイルスと遭遇し、そのブタを介してヒトへ感染が伝播されたと考えられている。発熱、頭痛、めまい、嘔吐など、急性脳炎症状
Lini Puthussery, a 28-year-old nurse, wrote this note to her husband as she was dying from the deadly Nipah virus on Monday in India's southern state of Kerala. She has two sons, aged five and two.
At least nine other people have died in the outbreak in Kozhikode, formerly Calicut.
Two others who have tested positive for the virus are critically ill. Some 40 people have been put into quarantine following the deaths.
Health authorities across Kerala have been on alert, setting up medical camps and a control room to tackle the situation.
The virus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, is hard to diagnose. Symptoms of infection include fever, vomiting and headaches. It has a mortality rate of 70% and there is no vaccine.
Lini had been treating a family of three who had been diagnosed with the virus - she is believed to have spent the entire night caring for them.
She is reported to have started feeling feverish on Sunday. When she realised that she was experiencing what could be symptoms of the infection, she admitted herself to hospital and asked to be quarantined, according to local media reports.
Authorities have ordered emergency measures to control the spread of the infection
Her husband, Sajish, works as an accountant in Bahrain and flew back when his brother called and told him Lini was in hospital. Lini's husband told the BBC that she had also called him.
"She said, 'I am sick and I am going to the hospital for treatment'," Mr Parambath said. He arrived in Kozhikode early on Sunday but by then Lini was already in the intensive care unit.
"She was using an oxygen mask because her oxygen levels were low," Mr Parambath said. "She could not speak but she took my hand in hers and held it."
After she died the following morning, a relative gave him the note she had written. It has been widely shared on social media after Mr Parambath showed it to local journalists.
Lini's body was not handed over to the family to prevent the infection from spreading further. She was cremated under official supervision.
Her death is being hailed on social media as a sacrifice and officials and doctors are calling her a hero.
A nurse who took care of a NIPHAVirus patients succumbed to same. Her body was cremated with extreme urgency to prevent any possible spread and even her family could not pay due respect.
Nipah is "top of the list" of 10 priority diseases that the World Health Organization has identified as a potential next major outbreak.
Some 60 blood and body fluid samples of suspected cases in Kerala have been sent for confirmation to the National Institute of Virology in the western city of Pune, officials said.
"Health staff are visiting individual households giving them specific instructions including about eating fruits from outside and other precautions," UV Jose, the senior-most official of Kozhikode, told the AFP news agency.
Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the Nipah virus. Health workers said they had found dead bats in a well at the home of an affected family. They have sealed off the well with fluorescent nets.
Reports say the infection was first reported in India in 2001 and again six years later. Some 50 people were killed in the two outbreaks.
What is Nipah virus?
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats
The infection was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among pig farmers and people with close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore
Nearly 300 human cases with over 100 deaths were reported in that outbreak. In order to stop it, more than a million pigs were euthanised, causing tremendous trade loss for Malaysia
Nipah virus infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas and not drinking raw date palm sap
Symptom of the infection include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours
There is no vaccine for either humans or animals
Ebola outbreak in DR Congo: Patients 'taken to church'
Three Ebola patients left a treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their families demanded to take them to church, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Two of the patients later died, while the third returned to the centre in the city of Mbandaka.
This presents a new challenge for health workers battling to stop the spread of the contagious disease, says the BBC's Anne Soy in DR Congo.
Ebola has no known cure.
Health officials fear it could spread rapidly in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of one million.
Isolation is the main way to keep the disease under control.
The WHO says 58 cases of Ebola have been recorded since the outbreak was declared on 8 May. There have been 27 deaths so far, with three deaths confirmed as Ebola.
How did the patients leave?
The patients' relatives came to the centre, which is run by medical aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and demanded to take them for prayers, WHO officer Eugene Kabambi told the BBC.
They were reportedly taken away on motorbikes and a search was ordered by the police.
One patient was found dead at home and his body was returned to the hospital for a safe burial. The other was sent back to hospital on 22 May and died that evening, according to MSF.
Efforts were made by staff to convince the patients not to leave and continue treatment, MSF says.
"However, forced hospitalisation is not the solution to this epidemic. Patient adherence is paramount," it said in a statement.
The families of the three patients are now being monitored and some of them have been vaccinated against the disease.
Is the situation under control?
The disease's spread from rural areas to Mbandaka, located on the Congo River, has sparked fears of it spreading downstream to the capital, Kinshasa, and to neighbouring countries.
The WHO says the outbreak has the potential to expand.
"We are on the epidemiological knife-edge," Peter Salama, head of emergency responses at the WHO, said at a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Geneva.
knife-edge【名】危うい［際どい］状況、剣が峰◆【参考】on a knife-edge
"The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we are going to be able to keep it under control," he added.
Health workers began an immunisation campaign to halt the spread of the Ebola virus on 21 May.
Limited trials of the experimental vaccine was rolled out during the epidemic in West Africa in 2014-16, which killed more than 11,300 people.
This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo.
Cuba acoustic attack: What is a covert sound weapon?
At least 16 staff members at the US Embassy in Havana have reported symptoms blamed on an "acoustic attack"
The US state department says its diplomats in Cuba have been suffering symptoms including hearing loss after suspected sonic attacks, some of which were - according to some reports - inaudible to human ears.
The use of sound as a weapon is not new, but what about unheard sound attacks?
What damage can sound do?
If you've ever heeded the warning to wear ear plugs to a loud concert, you have been taking care of the hair cells in your inner ear that pick up noise and send it to the brain. You've been trying to avoid hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
But sound can have effects that go beyond hearing.
Symptoms of a sonic attack may include dizziness, headaches, vomiting, bowel spasms, vertigo, permanent hearing loss and even brain damage.
How would an inaudible sound weapon work?
There are two options - go low or go high.
Lower frequencies than humans can hear - below 20Hz - are known as infrasound. They're used by animals including elephants, whales and hippos to communicate.
Infrasound could affect human hearing if very loud, and could cause vertigo and even vomiting or uncontrollable defecation if deployed very intensely.
But Dr Toby Heys has told the New Scientist that an attack using infrasound would rely on "a large array of subwoofers" and "wouldn't be very covert".
Given the Associated Press reports embassy staff were targeted at their residences, it's hard to see how anyone would pull that off without the huge racks of speakers giving the game away.
give the game away秘密を漏らす［ばらす］、馬脚を現す
Ultrasound frequencies above 20,000Hz, or 20kHz, are also inaudible to humans but can damage the parts of the ear, including hairs, that pick up sound.
This is more likely in the Cuban case as ultrasound can be targeted more easily. It has many medical applications so has been at the forefront of research, and directional speakers already exist for home use. These could direct sound through walls.
But any equipment would need to be reasonably large to fit a battery that could power it strongly enough, and an ultrasound attack would place other people in the vicinity - including, potentially, the person carrying out the attack - at risk.
Steve Goodman, author of the book Sonic Warfare, told BBC Radio 4 that it was "not clear" whether inaudible soundwaves could give someone the hearing loss the state department described.
"The information given is so vague it's hard to say," he said.
Who has this kind of technology?
Again, it's not clear. And it's also not clear who would have carried out such an attack on embassy staff. Cuba has denied involvement and security analysts say it may have been done by a third country, hostile to the US.
Elizabeth Quintana, a senior research fellow at the UK-based military think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), specialises in emerging technologies in the defence world.
"The US have been surprised at the extent to which others have caught up with them in all sorts of technologies," she told the BBC.
"It's probably not so much a surprise that the technology exists, more that others are aware of it and using it."
Has sound been used as a weapon before?
Yes. Sound cannon are used in crowd control by police forces around the world, were fitted to a ship to deter Somali pirates, and were made available for London police during the 2012 Olympics, although not used.
Some versions are capable of producing deafening sound levels of 150 decibels at one metre. They can deafen people within a 15 metre range and some can be heard miles away - not quite the subtle, covert operation supposed to have happened in Havana.
Police in the US have access to Long Range Acoustic Devices, a form of sonic cannon
Sound has been used in psychological operations too - the US army played heavy metal and Western children's music to Iraqi prisoners of war in an attempt to deprive them of rest and make them co-operate in interrogations.
And some shop owners in the UK use so-called Mosquitos, devices that emit high-pitched sounds (15-18kHz) and cannot be heard by people who have turned 25, to try to discourage teenagers from standing around near the entrance to their shops.
But in all of these examples, the person being targeted could hear the sound - a key difference from the incidents said to have happened in Havana.
Missing microbes 'cause' childhood cancer
Our modern germ-free life is the cause of the most common type of cancer in children, according to one of Britain's most eminent scientists.
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia affects one in 2,000 children.
Prof Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research, has amassed 30 years of evidence to show the immune system can become cancerous if it does not "see" enough bugs early in life.
It means it may be possible to prevent the disease.
The type of blood cancer is more common in advanced, affluent societies, suggesting something about our modern lives might be causing the disease.
There have been wild claims linking power cables, electromagnetic waves and chemicals to the cancer.
That has been dismissed in this work published in Nature Reviews Cancer.
Instead, Prof Greaves - who has collaborated with researchers around the world - says there are three stages to the disease.
The first is a seemingly unstoppable genetic mutation that happens inside the womb
Then a lack of exposure to microbes in the first year of life fails to teach the immune system to deal with threats correctly
This sets the stage for an infection to come along in childhood, cause an immune malfunction and leukaemia
This "unified theory" of leukaemia was not the result of a single study, rather a jigsaw puzzle of evidence that established the cause of the disease.
Prof Greaves said: "The research strongly suggests that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia has a clear biological cause and is triggered by a variety of infections in predisposed children whose immune systems have not been properly primed."
predisposed to《be ～》〔病気〕にかかりやすい素因を持っている
Evidence that helped build the case included:
An outbreak of swine flu in Milan that led to seven children getting leukaemia
Studies showing children who went to nursery or had older siblings, which expose them to bacteria, had lower rates of leukaemia
Breastfeeding - which promotes good bacteria in the gut - protects against leukaemia
Lower rates in children born vaginally than by caesarean section, which transfers fewer microbes
Animals bred completely free of microbes developed leukaemia when exposed to an infection
This study is absolutely not about blaming parents for being too hygienic.
swine flu豚インフル（エンザ）オルトミクソウイルス科のC型インフルエンザウイルス（属）、およびA型インフルエンザウイルス（属） H1N1、H1N2、H2N1、H3N1、H3N2、H2N3などが確認されている。
Rather it shows there is a price being paid for the progress we are making in society and medicine.
price to be paid代価
Coming into contact with beneficial bacteria is complicated, it's not just about embracing dirt.
But Prof Greaves adds: "The most important implication is that most cases of childhood leukaemia are likely to be preventable."
His vision is giving children a safe cocktail of bacteria - such as in a yoghurt drink - that will help train their immune system.
This idea will still take further research.
In the meantime, Prof Greaves said parents could "be less fussy about common or trivial infections and encourage social contact with other and older children".
fussy about 神経を使う
Dr Alasdair Rankin, the director of research at the blood cancer charity Bloodwise, said: "We urge parents not to be alarmed by this study.
"While developing a strong immune system early in life may slightly further reduce risk, there is nothing that can be currently done to definitively prevent childhood leukaemia."
This study is part of a massive shift taking place in medicine.
To date we have treated microbes as the bad guys. Yet recognising their important role for our health and wellbeing is revolutionising the understanding of diseases from allergies to Parkinson's and depression and now leukaemia.
Prof Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: "Childhood leukaemia is rare and it's currently not known what or if there is anything that can be done to prevent it by either medical professionals or parents.
"We want to assure any parents of a child who has or has had leukaemia, that there's nothing that we know of that could have been done to prevent their illness."
Breath test can save money and catch cancer early
The only way to test for symptoms of stomach or esophageal cancer is to undergo an upper endoscopy, a test that can be invasive, cost thousands of dollars and has a small percentage of success in actually finding a tumor.
Researchers in the U.K. wanted a diagnostic tool that would be easier and cheaper to test for these cancers so they used a noninvasive breath test to collect samples of 500cc of exhaled breath from 335 people, 172 of which they knew had those cancers, after a minimum four-hour fast.
The exhaled breath was quickly analyzed for five previously identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known to have some association with gastric and esophageal cancers (VOCs happen with other cancers, including lung, bladder, and breast). The researchers were looking for evidence of butyric acid, pentanoic acid, hexanoic acid, butanal and decanal.
酪酸（らくさん、butyric acid）哺乳類は極微量でも臭いを探知することができる 特有の不快臭を有する バターから得られたのでこの名で呼ばれるようになった。銀杏の異臭の原因でもあり、足の悪臭の原因でもある。
吉草酸ペンタン酸 (pentanoic acid) 足の裏の臭い
カプロン酸 ヘキサン酸 きわめて不快な臭いを有するカプロン酸はヤギの体臭様の臭気を持つ カプリ (capri) とはヤギ (Capra aegagrus) のこと
The breath test was able to accurately identify esophageal or gastric cancer about 80 percent of the time.
Dr. Raja Flores, chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, told ABC News that endoscopy is underutilized in the U.S. Flores, who was not involved in the U.K. study, noted that the breath test is not the current standard of care.
If this new diagnostic tool is proven to succeed, many doctors might want to change their approach to patients and how they screen cancer.
Nasty germs may be lurking in your hotel swimming pool
With summer almost upon us, health officials are warning Americans to take precaution against nasty germs that could be lurking in swimming pools. Waterborne disease outbreaks from treated recreational water such as pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds have been common in recent years -- and it turns out hotel swimming pools are among the biggest culprits.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that a third of the outbreaks over a 14-year period occurred at hotel swimming pools.
The report, published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, looked at data from 2000 through 2014 and found that 493 outbreaks were reported, resulting in at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths.
Cryptosporidium, also known as "Crypto," a parasite tough enough to survive even in properly maintained pools, was the most common cause of illness. Crypto was responsible for 58 percent of outbreaks, and 89 percent of all illnesses, where a germ was identified linked to pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds.
環境中ではオーシスト (oocyst) となっており、環境条件にたいして耐性を持っている。
Crypto spreads in pool water when someone who is sick with the parasite goes swimming and has diarrhea in the water and then others swallow the contaminated water. Parents of young children play a key role in preventing Crypto outbreaks.
"Swallowing just a mouthful of water with Crypto in it can make otherwise healthy kids and adults sick for weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting," Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement. "Chlorine cannot kill Crypto quickly. We need to keep it out of the water in the first place. Don't go into the water, and don't let your kids go into the water, if sick with diarrhea."
Other causes of waterborne disease include the bacteria Legionella -- the source of Legionaires' disease -- and Pseudomonas. Legionella can cause severe pneumonia and symptoms similar to the flu and accounts for 16 percent of outbreaks during the study period. Pseudomonas can lead to a skin rash and ear infection and made up 13 percent of the outbreaks.
Both bacteria can survive disinfectants in slimy areas called biofilm. It's harder to kill Legionella and Pseudomonas when they're protected by biofilm, so pool operators need to maintain proper cleaning practices and disinfectant levels to prevent these bacteria from growing and causing illnesses in swimmers.
biological film生体膜 菌膜 微生物により形成される構造体。歯垢や台所のヌメリなどがある カテーテル内に黄色ブドウ球菌などがバイオフィルムを形成することが問題となる。これは、バイオフィルム内の細菌は、抗生物質や免疫に対する抵抗性が高くなるからである。細菌が、細胞外多糖(EPS, extracellular polysaccharide）を分泌する。 EPSはバリアーや運搬経路の役割を果たし、環境変化や化学物質から内部の細菌を守る。 そういった作用により、生息密度の高い閉鎖的なコロニーが形成され、恒常性が保たれる。
Certain people are more likely to get sick from Legionella, including adults 50 years or older, current or former smokers, people with chronic lung disease, and people with a weakened immune system. Individuals who fall into these categories should see their doctor immediately if they develop symptoms and could have been exposed to Legionella in a hot tub or pool.
To help stay safe in the pool, the CDC recommends:
Don't swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea. If Crypto is the cause of the diarrhea, wait until 2 weeks after diarrhea has stopped to go swimming.
Don't swallow pool water.
Take kids on bathroom breaks hourly, and change diapers in a diaper-changing area away from the water.
Before swimming, check the facility's inspection score.
Use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check if the water's pH and bromine or free chlorine level are correct before getting in the water.
Growing resistance to antifungal drugs 'a global issue'
Candida auris is responsible for increasing invasive fungal infections in hospitals
Scientists are warning that levels of resistance to treatments for fungal infections are growing, which could lead to more outbreaks of disease.
抗真菌薬に多剤耐性の酵母Candida auris C.aurisは医療施設においてアウトブレイクの原因となる可能性があることが挙げられています 血流感染、創傷感染、耳感染の原因となったことが報告されています。auris〈ラテン語〉耳
Intensive-care and transplant patients and those with cancer are most at risk because their immune systems cannot fight off the infections.
Writing in Science, researchers said new treatments were urgently needed.
Fungal infections had some of the highest mortality rates of infectious diseases, an expert said.
An international team, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Exeter, found a huge increase in resistance to antifungal drugs worldwide over the past 30-40 years.
Everywhere in the air
Prof Matthew Fisher, professor of epidemiology at Imperial College London, said this was probably down to farmers spraying their affected crops with the same drugs used to treat fungal infections in patients.
The "unintentional by-product of this 'dual use' of drugs in the field and the clinic" was that drugs were no longer working in patients who were unwell, he said.
"There are fungi in the air all the time, in every lung-full of air we breathe," Prof Fisher said.
"Bodies with a fully functioning immune system do an amazing job of curing the infection - but it can become an invasive fungal infection in others and [this] needs a drug."
He said the number of people at risk from fungal infections was rising rapidly as a result of increased numbers:
people with HIV
patients in hospital
The review said improvements were needed in how existing drugs were used, as well as an increased focus on the discovery of new treatments, in order to avoid a "global collapse" in the fight against fungal infections.
'Under the radar'
under the radar
Prof Sarah Gurr, from the University of Exeter, said: "Emerging resistance to antifungal drugs has largely gone under the radar, but without intervention, fungal conditions affecting humans, animals and plants will become increasingly difficult to counteract."
Prof Gordon Brown, director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology, said some fungal infections had mortality rates of more than 50%.
He said: "Given the high rates of mortality of these infections, these disturbing trends suggest that even our limited ability to treat these diseases is being severely compromised."
Prof Brown said we were also seeing the rise of new multidrug-resistant fungi such as Candida auris.
Candida auris is responsible for increasing rates of invasive fungal infections in hospitals around the world - but there are very few treatments for it.
The review said it was resistant to all antifungal drugs and "presents a threat to intensive-care units" because it could survive normal efforts at decontamination.
Latest: San Diego mayor sees lessons from hepatitis outbreak
San Diego's mayor says he agrees with a county grand jury report that found communication between authorities was lacking during a recent Hepatitis A epidemic.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Thursday that the outbreak was an "unprecedented health crisis" and city and county officials need to improve coordination ahead of the next emergency.
The grand jury said poor communication delayed sanitation procedures that could have slowed the spread of Hepatitis A, especially among the homeless population.
Sanitation Standard Operation Procedure衛生標準作業手順
The outbreak killed 20 people and sickened more than 575 between November 2016 and last fall.
Faulconer said the crisis underscored the need to address the homelessness problem. He said the city is implementing the largest expansion of homeless services in city history.
A San Diego County grand jury report faults local response to a recent Hepatitis A epidemic and recommends improving lines of communication to prepare for future health emergencies.
The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper says the 20-page report released Thursday commends officials for effectively contacting at-risk residents and getting them vaccinations.
But the grand jury criticizes the county and the city for inadequate coordination that delayed sanitation procedures that could have slowed the spread of Hepatitis A.
The report recommends updating the county's emergency operations plan and designating a medical professional to report directly to the San Diego mayor.
The outbreak killed 20 people and sickened 577 between November 2016 and October 2017.
New rabies test could revolutionize treatment, spare some the shots
The CDC says a new rabies test could make it much quicker to determine if an animal is infected, potentially sparing people painful treatments.
A new rapid rabies test for animals could revolutionize screening and spare humans unnecessary painful treatment, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC-developed test -- called LN34 -- is highly accurate and produces results more quickly and cost-effectively than current methods, according to the agency.
"The LN34 test has the potential to really change the playing field," said the study's first author Crystal Gigante, a CDC microbiologist.
"Quickly knowing who needs to receive rabies treatment, and who does not, will save lives and families' livelihoods," she said in a CDC news release.
Rabies is fatal if not treated early. With a better test, people exposed to potentially rabid animals could avoid the weeks-long series of shots now given to prevent the disease.
ラブドウイルス科リッサウイルス属の狂犬病ウイルス (Rabies virus) を病原体とするウイルス性の人獣共通感染症である
It's hoped the new test will make rabies screening more feasible in high-risk regions across Africa and Asia.
"Many of the areas hardest hit by rabies are also the areas least prepared to run current tests to diagnose it," Gigante said.
The test, done on suspect animals, can be run on platforms already widely used to screen for the flu, tuberculosis and HIV.
By contrast, the current screening mechanism -- called the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test -- requires expensive microscopic instruments and highly skilled technicians. Both are often in short supply in those parts of the world where rabies risk is a serious concern.
direct fluorescent antibody
Another advantage of the LN34 test: it doesn't require complex training. And it can produce reliable results whether the animal tissue probed is fresh, frozen or decomposed, the researchers said. The DFA test only works with fresh tissue that's kept cold, a tall order in places where electricity is not always available.
tall order《a ～》難しい注文、手に負えない仕事
To date, 3,000 animal brain samples from more than 60 mammal species have been tested in 14 labs across the world. The LN34 test proved nearly 100 percent accurate, producing just one false negative and 11 false positive results, according to the study.
Animals including dogs, raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats get rabies. People develop rabies following contact with infected animals.
Once symptoms appear, rabies is nearly always fatal, claiming the lives of roughly 60,000 people worldwide each year.
Drug target for curing the common cold
UK scientists believe they may have found a way to combat the common cold.
Rather than attacking the virus itself, which comes in hundreds of versions, the treatment targets the human host.
It blocks a key protein in the body's cells that cold viruses normally hijack to self-replicate and spread.
This should stop any cold virus in its tracks if given early enough, lab studies suggest. Safety trials in people could start within two years.
The Imperial College London researchers are working on making a form of the drug that can be inhaled, to reduce the chance of side-effects.
In the lab, it worked within minutes of being applied to human lung cells, targeting a human protein called NMT, Nature Chemistry journal reports.
All strains of cold virus need this human protein to make new copies of themselves.
Researcher Prof Ed Tate said: "The idea is that we could give it to someone when they first become infected and it would stop the virus being able to replicate and spread.
"Even if the cold has taken hold, it still might help lessen the symptoms.
"This could be really helpful for people with health conditions like asthma, who can get quite ill when they catch a cold."
He said targeting the host rather than the infection was "a bit radical" but made sense because the viral target was such a tricky one.
Cold viruses are not only plentiful and diverse, they also evolve rapidly, meaning they can quickly develop resistance to drugs.
The test drug completely blocked several strains of cold virus without appearing to harm the human cells in the lab. Further studies are needed to make sure it is not toxic in the body though.
Dr Peter Barlow of the British Society for Immunology said: "While this study was conducted entirely in vitro - using cells to model Rhinovirus infection in the laboratory - it shows great promise in terms of eventually developing a drug treatment to combat the effects of this virus in patients."
rhinovirus【名】《医》ライノウイルス ピコルナウイルス科エンテロウイルス属に属するライノウイルス系のウイルスの総称 様々な種類のウイルス（ライノウイルス、アデノウイルス、コロナウイルス、ヒトメタニューモウイルス）がかぜの原因となりますが、なかでも100以上の亜型をもつライノウイルスが多く関与します。
Fighting a cold
Colds spread very easily from person to person. And the viruses that cause the infections can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
Painkillers and cold remedies might help ease the symptoms. But currently there is nothing that will halt the infection.
You can catch a cold by:
inhaling tiny droplets of fluid that contain the cold virus - these are launched into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes
touching an object or surface contaminated by infected droplets and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
touching the skin of someone who has the infected droplets on their skin and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
Symptoms - a runny or blocked nose, sneezing and sore throat - usually come on quickly and peak after a couple of days. Most people will feel better after a week or so. But a mild cough can persist for a few weeks.
Red squirrels 'may have introduced' leprosy to Britain
The discovery supports the theory that the rodents, may have spread of the disease throughout medieval Europe
Red squirrels may have brought leprosy to Britain more than 1,000 years ago, scientists have said.
抗酸菌の一種であるらい菌 (Mycobacterium leprae) の皮膚のマクロファージ内寄生および末梢神経細胞内寄生によって引き起こされる感染症である。(lepos) 皮・鱗 らい菌は31℃前後が増殖の至適温度のため皮膚を好んで侵す。また末梢神経（シュワン細胞）に親和性があり、主に表在の末梢神経に障害を起こす。
Swiss researchers said DNA taken from a fifth-century victim of the disease in Essex revealed the same strain of leprosy carried by red squirrels today.
The discovery supports the theory that the rodents, once prized for their meat and fur, played a role in the spread of the disease throughout medieval Europe.
Grey squirrels were not introduced to the UK until the 19th Century.
Scientists at the University of Zurich took samples of leprosy DNA from 90 Europeans with skeletal deformations characteristic of the disease from 400 AD to 1,400 AD.
From the fragments they reconstructed 10 new genomes - complete genetic codes - of medieval Mycobacterium leprae, the bug that causes leprosy.
One was from Great Chesterford, Essex, and dated to between 415 and 545 AD. It was this leprosy genome, the oldest yet constructed, that contained the red squirrel clue.
'Not fully resolved'
Leprosy was prevalent in Europe until the 16th Century and is still endemic in many countries, with more than 200,000 cases reported each year.
Lead researcher Dr Verena Schuenemann said: "The dynamics of Mycobacterium leprae transmission throughout human history are not fully resolved.
"Characterisation and geographic association of the most ancestral strains are crucial for deciphering leprosy's exact origin.
"While we have some written records of leprosy cases that predate the Common Era, none of these have yet been confirmed on a molecular level."
Common Era＝ Christian Eraキリスト［西暦］紀元◆必ず年数の後ろに付ける。
The new research, published in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens, suggests that leprosy may have originated in western Europe or Asia.
The medieval genomes included strains now found in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In Ancient Skeletons,Scientists Discover a Modern Foe: Hepatitis B
From 15 sets of skeletal remains, researchers
have recovered DNA from the oldest viruses
known to have infected humans ? and have
resurrected some strains in the laboratory.
Scientists reported on Wednesday that they have recovered DNA from the oldest viruses known to have infected humans ? and have succeeded in resurrecting some of them in the laboratory.
The viruses were all strains of hepatitis B. Two teams of researchers independently discovered its DNA in 15 ancient skeletons, the oldest a farmer who lived 7,000 years ago in what is now Germany.
Until now, the oldest viral DNA ever recovered from human remains was just 450 years old.
The research may provide clues to the continuing evolution of hepatitis B, a plague that infects an estimated 257 million people worldwide and contributes to an epidemic of liver cancer.
“It’s a hugely important moment in our understanding of one the most important pathogens of humans,” said Edward C. Holmes, a virologist at the University of Sydney. 5, 2018
One of the teams was led by Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen who has helped revolutionize our understanding of human prehistory by collecting DNA from age-old skeletons.
In some instances, by grinding teeth and bits of bone to powder, and then pulling out fragments of genetic material, he and his colleagues have succeeded in reconstructing all of the DNA of individuals. But along the way, the scientists discovered that human genes aren’t the only ones hidden in bones and teeth.
In 2015, Dr. Willerslev and his colleagues discovered DNA of the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, in seven Bronze Age skeletons unearthed in Europe and Asia.
ノミやエアロゾルを介して伝播する。感染ルートや臨床像によって腺ペスト、肺ペスト、および敗血症型ペストに分けられる。ペスト菌含有ノミの咬傷や、稀に、感染したヒトあるいは動物への接触により、傷口や粘膜から感染する。侵入 部位にほとんど変化を起こすことなく、近くの局所リンパ節に伝播する。リンパ節は壊死、膿瘍を形成し、クルミないしアヒルの卵大に腫大する。その後、リン パ流、血流を介して脾臓、肝臓、骨髄を経て、心臓、肺臓など全身に伝播して敗血症を起こす。ペストは本来、森林原野のペスト菌常在地域に生息する齧歯類の感染症である。ペスト菌常在地域に近づいたハンターやきこりがノミを介して罹ったり、時に は、地震や水害などによる環境の悪化に伴い、森林原野の野ネズミが田畑や人居地域まで下りてきて、家ネズミやヒトにまでペストを伝播する。悪条件が重なる と大きな流行も起こる。
His team turned over raw genetic data they had gathered from hundreds of ancient skeletons to the Centre for Pathogen Evolution at the University of Cambridge for further evaluation.
“He handed us a gold mine,” said Barbara Mu?hlemann, a graduate student at the university and co-author of the new study.
Ms. Mu?hlemann and her colleague Terry Jones led an inspection of 114 billion fragments of DNA retrieved from the skeletons of 304 people who lived 200 to 7,100 years ago. In most of the fragments, the researchers found nothing of interest.
But in the remains of 12 skeletons, they discovered that a tiny fraction of the recovered DNA came from viruses. A closer look revealed that the bones carried the same infection: hepatitis B.
Today, the virus represents a massive burden on human health. Present in blood and saliva, hepatitis B can be transmitted by pregnant mothers to their unborn children, and also can be spread through sex or by sharing needles.Chronic infections can lead to liver cancer. Each year, the World Health Organization estimates, hepatitis B kills 887,000 people. Researchers have long wondered how it became a worldwide menace.
A virus like influenza, which can spread through the air and also infect birds and pigs, may race around the planet in a matter of weeks. But hepatitis B depends on close human contact.
In 2012, researchers studying a mummified body in Korea from the late 1600s discovered DNA from the hepatitis B virus, specifically a strain common today in Asia.
Skeletons from a mass burial of ancient warriors, one of which was among the dozen infected with hepatitis B studied by Dr. Willerslev and his colleagues. Their research demonstrates that hepatitis B existed across Europe and Asia as early as the Bronze Age.
In January, another team recovered the virus’s DNA from a 450-year-old mummy from Italy. That virus belonged to a strain still found around the Mediterranean today.
But the skeletons in which the Cambridge geneticists found hepatitis range from 820 to 4,500 years old. The research, published in the journal Nature, demonstrates that hepatitis B existed across Europe and Asia as early as the Bronze Age.“It gives a whole new light on understanding human suffering in the past,” said Hendrik Poinar, an expert in ancient DNA at McMaster University.
How to stay safe from ticks and the diseases they carry
With warmer weather in spring comes the start of tick season. Ticks are most active in the months of April through October and peak in the summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bloodsucking insects aren't just creepy ? they can be dangerous, transmitting pathogens that cause a number of serious illnesses. Tick-borne diseases are on the rise and that means prevention should be on everyone's mind, experts say.
It's especially important to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones ? including pets ? from tick bites this time of year.
《病理》ライム病コネティカット州の町Old Lymeスピロヘータの一種、ボレリア Borrelia 遊走性紅斑
One of the biggest threats from ticks is Lyme disease. It's caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to people through the bites of infected blacklegged ticks. These ticks, once limited to a few areas, have spread over the past 20 years to about half of all U.S. counties.
《動物》クロアシダニアメリカ東部および中西部の北に分布するマダニ。【学名】Ixodes scapularis◆病原菌媒介生物で、ライム病（Lyme disease）やバベシア症（babesiosis）を媒介
Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC by state health departments, though the actual number of cases is believed to be much higher.
Symptoms of Lyme disease include:
A rash that resembles a bullseye, called erythema migrans
Diagnosis is mainly based on symptoms and the possibility of having encountered infected ticks, although sometimes laboratory testing is also used and can be helpful in some cases.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, the infection can lead to serious long-term complications and may even turn fatal. That's a big concern because sometimes there's no obvious rash or other symptoms early on.
Later signs and symptoms of Lyme disease that can appear days to months after a tick bite include:
Severe headaches and neck stiffness
Additional rashes on other areas of the body
Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
Facial palsy, or the loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face
Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
Dizziness or shortness of breath
Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
Problems with short-term memory
Catching Lyme disease early is key to preventing further complications. Health officials say people who receive appropriate treatment in early stages usually recover rapidly and completely.
If you are experiencing symptoms and think you may have been exposed to ticks, see your doctor right away.
Other threats from ticks
While Lyme disease may be the most widely known, there are also other tick-borne diseases to watch out for.
Just this week, officials announced that a tick that's never been seen before in the U.S. has been spotted in New Jersey by the thousands. The East Asian tick, sometimes called a longhorned or bush tick, has been known to spread a deadly virus called SFTS, which stands for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome. So far, no cases of the illness have been reported in the U.S.
SFTS【略】＝severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome重症熱性血小板減少症候群 フレボウイルス属SFTSウイルス
Symptoms of SFTS include fever, fatigue, chill, headache, nausea, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, disease of the lymph nodes, and conjunctival congestion. In some cases, it can lead to death.
Other tick-borne illnesses include Powassan disease, a virus that has been called "worse than Lyme" but is fortunately rare. Only about 100 cases have been reported to the CDC over the past decade.
Borrelia miyamotoi disease (BMD) can cause fever, severe headaches and body aches. Extreme cases can be fatal.
Two other uncommon but serious tick-borne illnesses include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which claimed the life of a 2-year-old girl in Indiana last summer, and the very rare Bourbon virus, which killed a Missouri woman a month later.
People with these diseases may experience symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash, while others who've been exposed may not have any symptoms at all. That's why it's important to do tick checks after being outdoors and to see a doctor if you think you may have been exposed.
How to stay safe from ticks
While some people may think they're safe from ticks if they live in the city, this is not true. To become infected with a tick-borne disease, you do not need to live in the country.
"There are many green belts and streams that come down into cities and those habitats support deer and ticks really well," Dr. John Aucott, director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center, told CBS News. "The ticks are really everywhere unless you live in an incredible urban center where it's all asphalt and concrete."The CDC recommends the following steps to protect yourself and your family from ticks:
Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails.
Use repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours.
Use products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents.
Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas.
Examine clothing, gear, and pets for ticks.
Can the science of autophagy boost your health?
A little-known scientific process is being hailed as the new way to lose weight, look younger and prolong life.
hailed as《be ～》～としてもてはやされる、～として支持される
Autophagy is a natural regeneration process that occurs at a cellular level in the body, reducing the likelihood of contracting some diseases as well as prolonging lifespan.
likelihood of ~ are high～する［～の］可能性
In 2016, Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries into the mechanisms of autophagy. These have led to a better understanding of diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia.
Since then, drug companies and academics have raced to find drugs that will stimulate the process, and diet and wellness experts are jumping on the bandwagon claiming that the process can be induced naturally by fasting, high-intensity exercise and restricting carbohydrates.
So what do scientists say?
"Certainly the evidence from experiments in mice suggest that would be the case," said Dr David Rubinsztein, professor of molecular neurogenetics at the University of Cambridge and UK Dementia Research Institute.
as would be the case with～の場合ならそうだろうが
"There are studies where they have switched on the process using genetic tools or drugs or fasting, and in those cases the animals tend to live longer and be in better overall shape."
However, he said it was not yet clear how that translated to humans.
"For example, in mice, you see the effects of fasting on the brain in 24 hours, and in some areas of their body, like the liver, much more quickly. Yet even though we know fasting is beneficial, we don't know yet exactly how long humans would need to fast to see the benefits," said Dr Rubinsztein.
That said, fasting does stimulate autophagy, he said, and its benefits had also been proven by other studies.
What is autophagy?
The word autophagy comes from the Greek for "self" and "phagein", which means "to eat"
It is the process by which cells degrade and recycle their components
It provides fuel for energy and building blocks for cell renewal
After infection, autophagy can destroy bacteria and viruses
Cells use autophagy to get rid of damaged proteins and organelles, to counteract the negative effects of ageing on the body.
Autophagy was first discovered in the 1960s, but its fundamental importance was only recognised after Yoshinori Ohsumi's research in the 1990s.
"What we've discovered is that it protects against diseases like Parkinson's, Huntington's and certain forms of dementia," said Dr Rubinsztein.
Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries in autophagy
"It also seems to be beneficial in the context of infection control, as well as protecting against excessive inflammation."
New lifestyle books are saying the process can be "switched on" by changes to our diet and lifestyle, such as fasting - already popular with many of those who follow the 5:2 or Fast Diet.
One new book, Glow 15 by Naomi Whittel - a self-styled "wellness explorer" - sets out a 15-day programme that includes 16-hour fasts three times a week, reducing protein on some days, eating carbohydrates later in the day and periods of high-intensity exercise.
In basic tests of the programme on volunteers at Jacksonville University in Florida, she says she found a number of benefits.
"Some people lost weight, up to 7lbs in 15 days. Others saw a reduction in fine lines, changes in their blood pressure and improvements in lean muscle mass," she says.
Dr Rubinsztein says none of these lifestyle recommendations are going to do you any harm.
"And if you have a bad lifestyle, if you're always snacking and eating rubbish, then you wouldn't have the opportunity to switch this on," he says
Clearly, fasting to excess is not a good idea and anyone looking to make major changes to their diet or lifestyle should check with their GP first.
Dr Rubinsztein is optimistic about the future benefits of autophagy for treating disease.
His laboratory discovered that proteins form in clumps in the nerve cells of people with diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"We discovered that if you switch on autophagy you remove these proteins rapidly and protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's and forms of dementia."
He hopes that one day there might be drugs available to boost autophagy. Others clearly hope so too.
It was recently reported that a new start-up in America, Casma Therapeutics, received $58.5m to look into new drugs to boost autophagy.
Casma Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, based biotechnology company
New peanut allergy blood test developed
Scientists have developed a blood test for peanut allergies that they say is less risky and more cost-efficient than other tests.
The skin-prick test used currently can result in people being diagnosed with an allergy when they do not have one.
And the new test could be used after inconclusive skin-prick tests instead of tests that involve eating nuts.
The Medical Research Council team says new the test could be adapted to test for other food allergies.
skin prick test皮膚プリックテスト【略】SPTアレルギー検査方法の一つでアレルゲン・エキスを針で引っかいて傷つけた皮膚に塗って反応を調べる
The current oral food challenge (OFC) involves feeding peanuts in increasingly large doses to a patient in a controlled setting in hospital to try to confirm the allergy.
oral food challenge経口負荷試験
However, it has a risk of causing severe allergic reactions. And the researchers say the new test is safer and more accurate.
Their study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, involved 174 children aged from six months to 17 years, 73 of whom were allergic to peanuts.
The study's lead author, Dr Alexandra Santos, of King's College London, said: "The current tests are not ideal.
"If we relied on them alone, we'd be over-diagnosing food allergies - only 22% of school-aged children in the UK with a positive test to peanuts are actually allergic when they're fed the food in a monitored setting."
Food allergy symptoms
The symptoms of a food allergy usually start within seconds or minutes of eating the food.
tingling or itching in the mouth
a raised, itchy red rash
swelling of the face, mouth, throat or other parts of the body
wheezing or shortness of breath
feeling dizzy or light-headed
feeling sick or vomiting
abdominal pain or diarrhoea
Dr Santos told the BBC oral food challenges, conducted in hospital with an allergist and two nurses with an individual patient, who needs constant monitoring, "require access to sophisticated medical facilities needed to treat severe allergic reactions should they develop, which can be very expensive".
"The new test is specific in confirming the diagnosis. So when it's positive, we can be very sure it means allergy," she said.
"We would reduce by two-thirds the number of expensive, stressful oral food challenges conducted, as well as saving children from experiencing allergic reactions.
"One of the advantages for its use on the NHS is the fact that it is less expensive and safer compared to the OFC, but proper cost-effectiveness studies and studies about the wider impact of the test need to be performed once it is indeed available to the clinicians.
"Before it can be used clinically, it needs to be running routinely in a diagnostic laboratory."
Holly Shaw, nurse adviser at Allergy UK, told the BBC: "We welcome food-allergy focused research, an area of concern for health professionals and those whose lives are impacted on by food allergy.
"Research in this area enables scientists and clinicians to further improve their understanding and make advancements in diagnostic testing."
David Goodall: Scientist, 104, begins trip to end his life
On Wednesday, 104-year-old scientist David Goodall bid farewell to his home in Australia to fly across the world to end his life.
The lauded ecologist and botanist is not suffering from a serious illness but wishes to bring forward his death. Key to his decision, he says, has been his diminishing independence.
"I greatly regret having reached that age," Dr Goodall said on his birthday last month, in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"I'm not happy. I want to die. It's not sad particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented."
Assisted dying was legalised by one Australian state last year following a divisive debate, but eligibility requires a person be terminally ill. It is illegal in other states.
Dr Goodall says he will travel to a clinic in Switzerland to voluntarily end his life. However, he says he resents having to leave Australia to do so.
The London-born academic had lived on his own in a small flat in Perth, Western Australia, until only a few weeks ago.He stepped back from full-time employment in 1979, but remained heavily involved in his field of work.
Among his achievements in recent years, Dr Goodall edited a 30-volume book series called Ecosystems of the World and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his scientific work.
In 2016, aged 102, he won a battle to keep working on campus at Perth's Edith Cowan University, where he was an unpaid honorary research associate.
Accompanying Dr Goodall on his journey out of Australia on Wednesday was his friend, Carol O'Neill, a representative from assisted dying advocacy group Exit International.
Mrs O'Neill said the dispute in 2016 over Dr Goodall's working space had affected him greatly. The row began when the university raised concerns about his safety, including his ability to commute.
Although Dr Goodall ultimately prevailed, he was forced to work in a location closer to home. It came at a time when he was also forced to give up driving and performing in theatre, Mrs O'Neill said.
"It was just the beginning of the end," she told the BBC.
"He didn't get to see the same colleagues and friends any more at the old office. He just didn't have the same spirit and he was packing up all his books. It was the beginning of not being happy any more."
Dr Goodall's decision to end his life was hastened by a serious fall in his apartment last month. He was not found for two days. Later, doctors said he needed to engage 24-hour care or be moved into a nursing home.
"He's an independent man. He doesn't want people around him all the time, a stranger acting as a carer. He doesn't want that," Mrs O'Neill said.
"He wants to have intelligent conversation and still be able to do the same things like catching the bus into town."
Switzerland has allowed assisted suicide since 1942. Other countries and jurisdictions have passed laws allowing people to voluntarily end their life, but many state terminal illness as a condition of eligibility.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) remains strongly opposed to assisted dying, which it sees as an unethical practice of medicine.
Where else is assisted dying allowed?
Assisted suicide describes any act that intentionally helps another person kill themselves, for example by providing them with the means to do so, most commonly by prescribing a lethal medication.
It differs from euthanasia, which is a third-party intervention to end a life to relieve suffering, such as when a doctor administers the lethal dose.
In Switzerland, assisted suicide is allowed only if the person assisting acts unselfishly. It is the only country with centres offering assisted suicide to foreign nationals
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg permit euthanasia and assisted suicide. In the Netherlands and Belgium, euthanasia is available to minors in specific instances
Colombia allows euthanasia
Six US states - Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, California and Colorado - permit assisted dying for terminally ill patients. The US capital Washington DC implemented a similar law for the city's residents in 2017
Canada followed the province of Quebec in permitting euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016
"Doctors are not trained to kill people. It is deep within our ethics, deep within our training that that's not appropriate," president Dr Michael Gannon said during last year's legislative debate in the state of Victoria.
"Now, not every doctor agrees with that," he added. Indeed, a survey of the AMA - Australia's most influential medical association - found four in 10 members supported right-to-die policies.
Mrs O'Neill said Dr Goodall's main desire was to die peacefully and with dignity.
"He's not depressed or miserable, but there's just not that little spark that was there a couple of years ago," she said.活気、元気、生気
Dr Goodall will be joined in Switzerland by close relatives
An online petition raised $A20,000 (￡11,000; $15,000) for the scientist to fly in business class to Europe. He will visit family in France before heading to Switzerland with his closest relatives.
"They [my family] realise how unsatisfactory my life here is, unsatisfactory in almost every respect," Dr Goodall told the ABC. "The sooner it comes to an end, the better."
Mrs O'Neill said he had spent recent days revising his final letters and holding conversations with his extended family, including his many grandchildren.
Dr Goodall's story has gained attention locally at a time when his home state, Western Australia, considers whether to debate assisted dying legislation.
The state government has publicly expressed sympathy for Dr Goodall, but said any proposed legislation would cover only terminally ill patients.
"My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right of assisted suicide," Dr Goodall said last month.
He told ABC he hoped the public would understand his decision, saying: "If one chooses to kill oneself then that's fair enough. I don't think anyone else should interfere."