There was a time when everyone thought the world was flat, only for Galileo to disprove it. There was also a time when smallpox was fairly common, before scientists finally developed a vaccine for the disease.
Scientists and medical doctors always try to find a way to improve people’s lives and to learn the truth about this world. Research is done constantly to achieve this. Here now is a list of the top 10 most groundbreaking studies of 2013.
10. Naturopathic Care Key to Reduction of Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, or CMAJ, shows that naturopathic care can decrease the chance of cardiovascular disease among high-risk patients. The study shows that those who receive naturopathic care had a lower risk of developing the disease when compared with those that only underwent the usual care.
9. Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) Found
Sensory processing disorders, or SPD, are more common than autism and as prevalent as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet it has never been recognized as a distinct disease and is not even listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists. Now, new research from the University of California San Francisco has discovered quantifiable differences in the brain structure of those who have the disease. This means that there is now a biological basis for SPD that makes it different to other neurodevelopmental disorders.
8. Breakthrough in Preventing Heart Attacks
A groundbreaking study of 20 heart attack patients has isolated a specific type of plaque that is blocking the artery. In 17 of the patients, a very large lipid core was present that was nearly wrapped around the inside of the artery. This represents a significant step in the effort to identify the cause of heart attacks.
7. Treatment Discovered for Mitochondrial Diseases
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Miami and published in Nature Medicine showed potential new ways of treating mitochondrial diseases that can affect a person’s nerves, muscles and vital organs. Artificial enzymes were used to bind and cut strands of DNA in the mitochondria at specific locations. This technique is called genome editing and the result was a dramatic reduction in the levels of the mutant mtDNA that can cause the disease. It thus helped restore the cell back to its normal bioenergetic state.
6. HPV Vaccine Linked with Premature Menopause
HPV vaccine has been hailed in recent years for helping prevent the outset of cancer in the cervix. There have been documented cases, however, showing that those who take it can have premature menopause. The cases happened in Australia, Italy and Israel. In one case, a girl as young as 16 years old and who was otherwise healthy suffered from premature menopause. Japan has even taken the initiative of issuing a nationwide notice that the vaccine should not be recommended to girls between 12 and 16 years old because of the possible adverse effects.
5. Traditional Virgin Coconut Oil Helpful for the Heart, Kidney and Liver
A study published in Food and Function of the Royal Society of Chemistry states that the high amount antioxidants in virgin coconut oil could be good for a person’s internal organs. The amount of antioxidants is much higher than those in olive oil, sunflower oil and refined coconut oil. Taking it increases the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, which are good for the heart, kidneys and liver.
4. Genetically Modified Organisms Linked to Health Problems
Over 3.9 million acres of land in the United States have crops that are focused on GMO foods. Advocates for GMO always claim that it is safe and necessary to ensure that there will be no food shortage. Recent groundbreaking studies published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases show however that biopesticides engineered into crops like corn, sugar cane, soy and others have bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), or what is more known as cry-toxins. These toxins can contribute to health problems like blood abnormalities, abnormal lymphocyte patterns, suppression of bone marrow proliferation and even leukemia.
3. Turmeric Extract as Effective Alternative to Prozac in the Treatment of Depression
Research performed at the Government Medical College in India and published in the Phytotherapy Research shows that circumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, is a safe and effective way in treating depression. It was taken well by patients and is the first clinical evidence that the turmeric extract is an effective and safe way to treat patients with depression without concurrent psychotic disorders.
2. Genetic Study Links Woman to Ancestor from 5,500 Years Ago
Powerful new techniques are being perfected to analyze the complete mitochondrial genome of individuals being studied. The new method allows anthropologists to completely reconstruct a line of maternal descent spanning a millennia. It also provides new proof of a people’s enduring habitation of a specific place. The groundbreaking study was able to connect a direct DNA link between a living Tshimshian woman from the Metlakatla First Nation with that of a remains of an aboriginal woman estimated to be 5,500 years old. The remains were found on an island in British Columbia. A second set of ancient bones from 2,500 years ago was also found to be related to the two.
1. Liver Tissues Produced from the Laboratory
Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a way of how to create new liver tissues from liver cells in a laboratory dish. The liver has always been known of being able to regenerate itself even if a part of it is taken off. Scientists have been trying to replicate this outside the human body in order to produce liver tissue artificially that can then be used for transplants. The only problem was that the cells lose their function once it is removed from the body. MIT researchers, however, have identified 12 compounds that allow liver cells to continue with its functions even when outside a human host.
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