Diagnosing Malaria. Malaria infects an estimated 207 million people worldwide. Reliable detection before symptoms appear, when treatment would be more successful, has been very difficult. Now, scientists have successfully tested a shoebox-sized magnetic-sensing device that permits early detection of malaria in mice. Malaria parasites in the bloodstream gorge on the iron-containing hemoglobin in red blood cells and convert it to tiny crystallites called hemozoin. Hemozoin boosts the natural magnetism of the blood cells, allowing the test device to detect the presence of malaria parasites before symptoms appear.
Cartilage Replacement. The loss of cartilage that coats the ends of bones leads to crippling osteoarthritis. Attempts to replace or restore lost cartilage has been an elusive goal. The trick is to get cartilage-making cells called chondrocytes to grow replacement patches. Researchers have discovered that implanting cartilage-making cells from their nose tissue into the knees of goats succeeded in regrowing cartilage so well that a small group of human volunteers with knee injuries have undergone the treatment with their own nasal cartilage. While full results are not yet available, the patients reportedly are doing extremely well.
Can the Sodas. Scientists studying have found that daily drinking of soft drinks might age you as much as smoking. Ample research has shown that having shorter telomeres, tips of DNA stings that cap the ends of chromosomes, correlate with aging. Drinking an 8-ounce sugary soda daily corresponded to 1.9 additional years of aging. Drinking 20 ounces of such sodas daily corresponded to 4.6 additional years of aging, about the same amount of aging as smoking causes. Drinking diet sodas did not seem to have the same adverse effect, but the science is incomplete and ongoing.