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.

Credit: Rafael Henrique via Adobe Stock
  • 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.
Keep reading Show less

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?

JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Keep reading Show less

Lab-grown brain organoids mature like real infant brains

After 20 months, scientists find lab-dish brain cells matured at a similar rate to those of an actual infant.

Credit: Girl with the red hat/Unsplash/jolygon/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • Scientists have found that cultures of embryonic brain cells mature at the same rate as a 20-month-old infant's.
  • Researchers have looked to such cell structures, called "organoids," as potential models for understanding the human body's biological mechanisms.
  • Their study validates the use of lab-dish organoids for research.
Keep reading Show less

How tiny bioelectronic implants may someday replace pharmaceutical drugs

Scientists are using bioelectronic medicine to treat inflammatory diseases, an approach that capitalizes on the ancient "hardwiring" of the nervous system.

Credit: Adobe Stock / SetPoint Medical
  • Bioelectronic medicine is an emerging field that focuses on manipulating the nervous system to treat diseases.
  • Clinical studies show that using electronic devices to stimulate the vagus nerve is effective at treating inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Although it's not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, vagus nerve stimulation may also prove effective at treating other diseases like cancer, diabetes and depression.
Keep reading Show less

Drinking coffee while pregnant alters the fetal brain

A large new study puts caffeine-drinking moms on alert.

Credit: Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash
  • A study finds that the brains of children born to mothers who consumed coffee during pregnancy are different.
  • Neuroregulating caffeine easily crosses the placental barrier.
  • The observed differences may be associated with behavioral issues.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast