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New tool assesses skill development in robotic microsurgery

New tool assesses skill development in robotic microsurgery

A new standardized assessment provides a useful tool for tracking surgeons’ progress as they develop the skills needed to perform robot-assisted microsurgery, reports a study in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® , the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). “The Structured Assessment of Robotic Microsurgical Skills (SARMS) is the first validated instrument for assessing robotic microsurgical skills,” according to the report by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr Jesse C Continue reading

Scanning babies’ fingerprints could save lives through vaccination tracking

Scanning babies’ fingerprints could save lives through vaccination tracking

Each year 2.5 million children die worldwide because they do not receive life-saving vaccinations at the appropriate time. Anil Jain, Michigan State University professor, is developing a fingerprint-based recognition method to track vaccination schedules for infants and toddlers, which will increase immunization coverage and save lives Continue reading

Computational model: Ebola could infect more than 1.4 million people by end of January 2015

Computational model: Ebola could infect more than 1.4 million people by end of January 2015

The Ebola epidemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and infect more than 1.4 million people by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC forecast supports the drastically higher projections released earlier by a group of scientists, including epidemiologists with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, who modeled the Ebola spread as part of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored project called Midas, short for Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study Continue reading

Agonizing rabies deaths can be stopped worldwide

Agonizing rabies deaths can be stopped worldwide

The deadly rabies virus–aptly shaped like a bullet– can be eliminated among humans by stopping it point-blank among dogs, according to a team of international researchers led by the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University. Ridding the world of rabies is cost-effective and achievable through mass dog vaccination programs, the scientists report in a paper that appears in the Sept Continue reading

Stem cell transplant does not cure SHIV/AIDS after irradiation of infected rhesus macaques

Stem cell transplant does not cure SHIV/AIDS after irradiation of infected rhesus macaques

A study published on September 25th in PLOS Pathogens reports a new primate model to test treatments that might cure HIV/AIDS and suggests answers to questions raised by the “Berlin patient,” the only human thought to have been cured so far. Being HIV-positive and having developed leukemia, the Berlin patient underwent irradiation followed by a bone-marrow transplant from a donor with a mutation that abolishes the function of the CCR5 gene. Continue reading

Yoga, meditation may help train brain to help people control computers with their mind

Yoga, meditation may help train brain to help people control computers with their mind

New research by biomedical engineers at the University of Minnesota shows that people who practice yoga and meditation long term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience. The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases Continue reading

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown Continue reading

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Scientists have developed an approach to creating treatments for osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases that may avoid the risk of infection and cancer posed by some current medications. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis redesigned a molecule that controls immune cell activity, changing the molecule’s target and altering the effects of the signal it sends. Continue reading

Perfectionism is a bigger than perceived risk factor in suicide: Psychology expert

Perfectionism is a bigger than perceived risk factor in suicide: Psychology expert

Perfectionism is a bigger risk factor in suicide than we may think, says York University Psychology Professor Gordon Flett, calling for closer attention to its potential destructiveness, adding that clinical guidelines should include perfectionism as a separate factor for suicide risk assessment and intervention. “There is an urgent need for looking at perfectionism with a person-centred approach as an individual and societal risk factor, when formulating clinical guidelines for suicide risk assessment and intervention, as well as public health approaches to suicide prevention,” says Flett. More than one million people worldwide, including over 40,000 North Americans commit suicide on an annual basis, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 estimation. Continue reading

Perfectionism is a bigger than perceived risk factor in suicide: Psychology expert

Perfectionism is a bigger than perceived risk factor in suicide: Psychology expert

Perfectionism is a bigger risk factor in suicide than we may think, says York University Psychology Professor Gordon Flett, calling for closer attention to its potential destructiveness, adding that clinical guidelines should include perfectionism as a separate factor for suicide risk assessment and intervention. “There is an urgent need for looking at perfectionism with a person-centred approach as an individual and societal risk factor, when formulating clinical guidelines for suicide risk assessment and intervention, as well as public health approaches to suicide prevention,” says Flett. More than one million people worldwide, including over 40,000 North Americans commit suicide on an annual basis, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 estimation. Continue reading