Progeria: New treatment could extend lives of children with 'premature aging' syndrome

The new treatment targets the underlying genetic cause of the disease.

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  • Progeria is an "accelerated aging" disease that causes children to die of "old age" at around 13 to 15 years.
  • There are only two existing treatments, and both have unpleasant side effects.
  • A promising new therapy based on biotechnology increases the lifespan of mice by over 60% and is ready for human clinical trials.
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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine authorized: Here's what makes it unique

Millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed as early as this week.

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  • The FDA and CDC recently authorized the distribution of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
  • It will soon be the third vaccine available in the U.S., the other two being vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
  • The new vaccine has a lower efficacy rate, but clinical data suggest its highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
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Toward a disease-sniffing device that rivals a dog’s nose

Trained dogs can detect cancer and other diseases by smell. Could a device do the same?

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Numerous studies have shown that trained dogs can detect many kinds of disease — including lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers, and possibly Covid-19 — simply through smell. In some cases, involving prostate cancer for example, the dogs had a 99 percent success rate in detecting the disease by sniffing patients' urine samples.

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New study identifies 126 species that could host coronavirus

The study suggests scientists are underestimating the number of animal species that could generate the next novel coronavirus.

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  • The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a product of different coronaviruses recombining in animal species.
  • A new study suggests that hundreds of animal species may harbor multiple types of coronaviruses, meaning recombination events could be more likely than previously thought.
  • The authors noted that their results could help improve surveillance programs to mitigate the risks associated with a future novel coronavirus.
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Catnip is for both pleasure and protection, according to a new study

The main bioactive compound in catnip seems to protect cats from mosquitoes. It might protect humans, too.

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  • For centuries, humans have observed that cats exhibit strange behaviors when exposed to catnip and silver vine.
  • A new study examined how the main bioactive compound in these plants affects cats' opioid systems and protects them against mosquito bites.
  • The findings suggest that the compound nepetalactol could be used to develop new mosquito repellents for humans.
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