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Harvard Medical School

  1. New Organ “Supercooling” Technique Could Save Lives of Those on Transplant Lists

    Not be confused with "Super Cool."

    Too many people die each year waiting on organ transplant lists, but a new technique could increase the number of available, viable organs. The technique, developed at Harvard, "supercools" the organ while pumping it full of nutrients and oxygen, making it last up to three times longer. That can save a lot of lives.

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  2. Rhesus Monkeys Can Do Math, Time to Trade in Your TI-84 and Get Yourself a Math Monkey

    Alright. Your calculator is still probably better at math, but it's not as cute.

    As the saying goes, if you put 100 monkeys with typewriters in a room long enough, you'll get Hamlet. That's not true, but apparently if you put some rhesus monkeys in a room with numbers and reward them for choosing the right one long enough, you can get them to do math.

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  3. Guinea Pig Turned Into Living Battery, The Matrix One Step Closer To Just Being Our Lives

    You may think of guinea pigs as just furry little machines designed to process alfalfa into poop, but they are so much more than that! They are furry little poop machines that also make convenient batteries, like potatoes, that have fur and squeal! It's not just them, either -- pretty much any mammal can be turned into a battery, courtesy of our highly conductive inner ears, meaning the plot of The Matrix just got more plausible.

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  4. We May Have Finally Figured Out What Makes The Placebo Response Tick

    For as large a role as it plays in modern medicine -- from testing to treatment -- the mechanics of the placebo effect remain a remarkably ill-understood mystery. A team of researchers at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School may have just had a break in the case, though. According to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers have identified the first ever genetic difference between patients who respond to placeboes and patients who don't. Finding a genetic marker for the placebo effect might impact how some diseases are treated, but its real value could be in revolutionizing the way clinical trials are conducted and new drugs are approved for use.

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  5. Study Shows Coffee Can Help Prevent Depression, Empty Coffee Cups

    If you need a study to tell you that coffee may prevent depression, you probably don't drink coffee. If you did, you would know that its magical, motivational properties can compel you to accomplish tasks with reckless abandon in a delightful, suddenly-I-don't-hate-being-alive-this-morning sort of way. Well, a study of 50,000 female nurses published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that coffee (but only the real, caffeinated stuff) reduces the occurrence of depression, in women at least. Doctors, being doctors, are suggesting more study rather than suggesting that women start drinking more coffee. Ladies, allow me to suggest that you start drinking more coffee. The study, orchestrated by doubtlessly caffeinated folks from The Harvard Medical School, tracked the involved nurses for an entire decade, relying on self-reporting to record their coffee consumption. The results were that out of the 2,600 who developed varying degrees of depression, coffee drinking was not popular. In comparison to the non-drinkers who had one cup or less per week, women who drank two to three cups a day where 15% less likely to become depressed; the guzzlers who drank four or more were 20% less likely, assuming no one tried to pry them off the coffee maker.

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