Science News Update: August 9



In our latest science news update, we take a look at MERS, malaria, a very expensive cheeseburger, and a link between a common OTC drug and rare skin infections.

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Acetaminophen Use Linked to Rare Skin Diseases

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) are all rare skin conditions – but they can be caused by a common OTC medicine – acetaminophen. While rare, the FDA has issued warnings to individuals who use acetaminophen

link (Time, Aug 2nd):

The Condition of Your Desk Predicts Your Personality

Do you keep your desk organized or messy? It may be time for you to look at the consequences to your answer to that question! Scientists believed that a neat and tidy working area led people to be generous, healthy, and productive. However, a messy working area also has its benefits as it boosts creativity and outside-the-box thinking!

link (Science Daily, Aug6):


Editor’s Choices

MERS linked to Racing Camels in the Middle East

MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, has been a concern of the medical community for the past year. Yet, its method of transmission has been unknown until now. This interesting story traces the virus from bats in Australia and Africa to Middle Eastern camels. While camels may not be the only host – this is a promising opportunity to investigate how the virus is transmitted, and thus develop management programs to limit its spread.

LInk (Science, Aug 8th):

RicochetScience content on the viral life cycle

Experimental Vaccine Developed for Malaria

Recent developments in the search for a vaccine malaria are very positive. A new vaccine enhances the ability of T cells in the body to attack malarial parasites. While the test group is very small, the initial results indicate that this may be a future method of producing a vaccine for the general population.

link (NPR, Aug 8th):

Photo of the Week

Our photo choice for this update once again comes from our friends at 5BlueMedia. Competition is a form of natural selection, with different species competing for limited resources – including food and habitat. Even a simple garden flower can become a battleground in the war to survive. We liked this photo so much we made it our FaceBook cover for August!


Image used courtesy of 5BlueMedia

Video of the Week

Would you eat a burger produced entirely in the lab? The video below explains how scientists used stem cells to produce the first test-tube burger in the lab. The plus side: The process takes 60% less energy, 98% less land, and 95% fewer greenhouse gases.
The minus side: The first one cost about $332,000 to produce.

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