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  1. Blind Man Regains Sight After Science Implants A Tooth Into His Eye

    Because WHY THE HECK NOT.

    Because science is totally insane and doesn't care what you think, they've decided to go ahead and start restoring sight in blind patients. And because science is really ridiculous, they're doing it by implanting teeth into eye sockets. Yep, that's what you do when you're just that crazy-awesome.

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  2. New Hip Dislocation Treatment Inspired By Captain Morgan

    Yes, that Captain Morgan. The pirate representing the rum brand has led doctors to develop a new way to "reduce" (put back in place) a hip dislocation. When a hip is dislocated the head of the femur (aka. thigh bone) comes out of its proper alignment in the acetabelum, which is the socket part of the hip. This is usually treated by a doctor pushing the bone back into the socket, which is a delicate task that should only be attempted by a physician. Writing in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, several physicians report that there may be a better way to correct hip dislocations. It is the rum brand's mascot, Captain Morgan, who inspired the new technique. Captain Morgan always appears with one leg up resting on a barrel, in a pose that has become iconic. That pose is actually useful for doctors to reduce a hip by putting force on the joint.

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  3. Researchers Announce Successful Clinical Trial Of Gene Therapy Treatment For Leukemia

    For the first time, researchers have successfully used gene therapy to treat a form of leukemia called chronic lymphoblastic leukemia. The clinical trial was only conducted in three patients, which is such a small sample size that it is far too soon to be declaring victory over cancer, but it is an encouraging breakthrough. The research is described in two papers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. People have been talking about gene therapy for more than twenty years. Though it holds immense potential, researchers have run into problems with gene therapy as a treatment. In previous research, therapeutic genes that are inserted in a specific place tended to move around for reasons that researchers have struggled to understand. The goal of gene therapy is for a gene that is inserted into a specific place to stay in that spot to serve out its function in the cell. With the new leukemia treatment, this is exactly what the researchers were able to achieve.

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  4. MIT Researchers Announce Broad Spectrum Treatment For Viral Infections

    Some of the biggest human health threats facing the world today come from viruses which can cause anything from the common cold to deadly hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola. Over the years, researchers have struggled to find an efficient way to treat viral infections, leaving many people to struggle with disease. Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have announced the creation of a broad spectrum treatment for viral infections that works by killing just the cells in the body infected with the virus. The research was led by a team from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and was published in the journal PLoS One. Invented by researcher Todd Rider, the treatment is a drug called DRACOs (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers). It was tested on human cells in a lab and in mice against 15 different viruses and was effective against all of them, including the common cold, H1N1 (swine flu), influenza, polio, and dengue fever.

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  5. New Treatment For Hereditary Blindness Is First Drug To Restore Vision

    For the first time, scientists have been able to delay -- and in some cases reverse -- a hereditary blindness disorder called Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy using a daily drug treatment. The disease is a mitochondrial disease that causes the rapid onset of blindness in men in their twenties. It leads to total loss of vision within three to six months after the first symptoms begin to appear. This marks the first time that an inherited mitochondrial disease has been treated using a drug. Researchers from Newcastle University (UK) led by Patrick Chinnery conducted a clinical trial of the drug Idebenone. During the six month trial 55 people were given the drug, and 30 were given a placebo. The study showed that 11 people who received the drug were able to read an extra two lines of increased difficulty on a standard vision chart, and nine people who couldn't read at all were able to discern letters by the end of the trial. No negative side effects of the drug were reported. While the improvement of just 20 patients may not seem like much, it does suggest that Idebenone has a significant effect on restoring sight when the disease is caught in an early stage.

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  6. A Cool Brain Offers New Relief To Insomniacs

    Forget counting sheep. For many people, sleep doesn't come easily, and no combination of comfy bed, soothing sounds, warm milk, or even prescription medication will do the trick. But, people suffering from insomnia may have another option when it comes to sleep aids. According to new research, wearing a cap that cools the brain reduces the amount of time it takes insomniacs to fall asleep. The research was presented at the Sleep 2011 conference, the annual meeting of the Associated Profession of Sleep Studies. The cooling process, called frontal cerebral thermal transfer, was developed by Dr. Eric Nofzinger and Dr. Daniel Buysse from the Sleep Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Cooling the brain is an effective way to help people with sleep difficulties because it slows metabolism in the frontal cortex, and insomnia is linked to increased metabolism in that area of the brain.

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