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CJD and Alzheimer’s?

According to new research, the brains of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) victims show evidence of Alzheimer’s pathology.  However, neuroscientists have dismissed concerns that people can “catch” Alzheimer’s by becoming infected with the “seeds” of the condition through surgery with contaminated instruments or blood transfusions.  The study, published in Nature last week, reported autopsy results from the brains of eight people between 36 and 51 years old who died of CJD after receiving contaminated growth hormone injections.  In four subjects, there was evidence of...
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3D Printed Cadavers?

The onset of 3D printing has truly revolutionized numerous fields, such as fashion, prosthetics and human organs, although medical educators have been a little more skeptical when it comes to artificial cadavers.  The 3D Printed Anatomy Series, to be sold later this year by Paul McMenamin, the director of Monash University’s Centre for Human Anatomy Education, contains life-sized replicas of all parts needed to teach the anatomy of the limbs, chest, abdomen, head and neck.  While this may replace plastic models with higher resolution models, its place in medical schools...
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Ebola Test Kit Developed

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has led to German researchers developing a fast, cheap and accurate test to be performed in patient-care settings without a centralized medical laboratory.  In the parts of West Africa hit hardest by Ebola, a lack of electricity, reliable cold storage and diagnostic equipment pose as major obstacles for technicians trying to test patients for Ebola.  However, a new test developed by researchers at the German Primate Center (DPZ) cuts the time to answer an Ebola diagnosis to just 15 minutes.  This method requires no electricity, and is...
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Ancient Genome Discovered

While it doesn’t seem like a 2,330 year-old skeleton from the southernmost tip of Africa could tell us a lot about our genetic ancestry, it actually can reveal a great deal.  This skeleton’s DNA profile is one of the “earliest diverged” found to date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated from some 200,000 years ago.  The man’s maternal (or mitochondrial) DNA was sequenced to effectively provide clues to early modern human prehistory and evolution.  This mitochondrial DNA provided the first evidence that humans originally came from Africa, and...