One Shot Wonder: A Vaccine Against All Coronaviruses
As the current pandemic continues to affect populations around the globe, the search for a viable vaccine for coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) continues. However, rather than constantly scrambling to generate a vaccine after an outbreak happens, some researchers are working on what they see as a better approach: developing a broad-acting “pan-coronavirus” vaccine that provides protection from any coronavirus, present or future... Read more
Carbon Nanotubes Show Promise in Biomedicine
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), those tiny cylindrical configurations of pure carbon that have been finding myriad applications in a wide variety of fields, have been the subject of headlines for well over a decade for their potential uses in biological research and medical treatment. Progress toward those goals has been slowed by questions about the safety of the tiny particles when injected directly into the body, where they can sometimes accumulate in certain organs with unknown longterm effects... Read more
A Devastating Disorder, Poorly Understood
James Greenblatt, functional psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA, has noticed a disturbing trend in the patient population he sees. “We didn’t take 11- and 12-year-olds, five or 10 years ago,” he says. “They were much fewer, and they could be treated outpatient. But the ages of onset are getting younger and the symptoms are getting more severe.”... Read more
The Biology Behind Eating Disorders
For many decades, the popular narrative surrounding anorexia nervosa was that it was an emotional disorder springing from profound cultural pressures combined with dysfunctional family dynamics. Teenage girls, typically, would refuse to eat in an obsessive bid to lose weight. They would imagine themselves to be fat, even if mirrors and scales demonstrated otherwise. Because of the surfeit of images of rail-thin preteen models cluttering the pages of trendy fashion magazines, it was easy to imagine this theory to be true. It made sense if some clinicians regarded anorexia as the inevitable result of a “you-can-never-be-too-rich-or-too-thin” culture... Read more
Predictive Models on the Rise, But Do They Work for Health Care?
Predictive models are designed to remove some of the subjectivity inherent in medical decision-making and to automate certain health-related services with the idea of improving the accuracy of diagnosis, providing personalized treatment options, and streamlining the health care industry overall. More and more of these models using approaches including machine learning are showing up for use in doctor’s offices and hospitals, as well as in telemedicine applications, which have become prevalent with the growing demand for online alternatives to office visits... Read more
Overcoming Challenges in Organ Transplantation
Organ transplantation has become an established and life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage organ failure. However, patients still face constraints when it comes to access to transplantation, as well as its efficacy. One major concern is the global shortage of organs for transplantation... Read more
The Brain on COVID-19
In March 2020 —still the early days of the U.K.’s COVID-19 crisis—Rhys Thomas, a neurologist at Newcastle University, got a call at home from a concerned colleague. The colleague’s cousin was hospitalized, critically ill with COVID-19, and had developed brainstem encephalitis, a severe inflammatory condition of the brain causing a suite of symptoms, from eye problems to balance problems and drowsiness. He wanted to know if Thomas knew anything about these conditions. At the time, the research coming out of Wuhan, China, only suggested a mild whiff of neurological ­symptoms—headache, dizziness, and the loss of taste and smell... Read more

Pulse Ideas

State of the Art November/December 2020
There’s Nothing Like Real Experience: II
As the saying goes, the point on a pencil is the inspiration and the other end with the eraser is the experience. A pencil without an eraser is next to useless, as I have found out. Yes, I know that, instead of using pencils, we all type on computers these days, but the principle still holds: Experience tempers our creative endeavors with realistic expectations. Whether we are considering engineering solutions to outstanding problems or are considering more broadly how to live our lives, real-life experiences guide our every move... Read more
Retrospectroscope November/December 2020
Syncopation and Its Perceptions
Let us begin by suggesting the reader to listen the Italian Hetty & Jazzato Band playing “Tu vo’ fa’ l’American” (“You Want to be Disguised as an American” or “You Want to Play the American”), a nice and funny Neapolitan song, sang in such difficult dialect. By the way, my maternal grandma was Neapolitan... Read more
Book Reviews November/December 2020
Biomechanics and Gait Analysis, 1st ed.
The primary author of and eight contributors to this text have generated this overview text of the general area of human biomechanics and gait analysis. All authors are contributors to the field and have leant their experiences to this text. Students and professionals interested in the general area of biomechanics and gait analysis, and applications thereof to areas related to rehabilitation and orthotics, will find this text of interest... Read more
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