health

CRISPR DNA editing may cause serious genetic damage, researchers warn

CRISPR-Cas9, the gene-editing tool that is currently the darling of biotech and many other fields, may not be quite as miraculous as early tests suggested. A new study finds that what scientists thought of as a scalpel may be more like a felling axe, causing damage hundreds of times what was previously observed. Before anyone panics and checks out the window for mutated monstrosities, it should be said right away that this isn’t a nightmare scenario by any means: the tool can still be used in many ways safely, and the clinical repercussions of the damage are unexplored. But this unexpected limitation of a tool so widely applied will almost certainly put a chill on its use. CRISPR, as a quick reminder, is basically a molecule that cleanly and reliably snips bases out of DNA strands paired w...

Medical care scheduling startup Doctolib acquires MonDocteur

What do you do when you’ve raised nearly $100 million and you want to grow as quickly as possible? In Doctolib’s case, the startup is acquiring its main competitor MonDocteur. Together, the two companies work with tens of thousands of doctors and get tens of millions of unique visitors every month. Doctolib has developed an online scheduling platform for all sorts of doctors, from your physician next door to the hospital in the big city. Instead of creating integrations with existing calendars and software solutions, Doctolib is replacing your doctor’s scheduling system altogether. After signing up, you can create your profile and manage your calendar from Doctolib directly. This way, patients can look at their doctor’s calendar on Doctolib’s website and find a time slot that works for eve...

Technology in healthcare is moving from mainframes to iPhones

Justin Butler Contributor New technologies are often first manifested in behemoth machines that may take up entire rooms, only to be miniaturized as the technology matures. We have witnessed this shift over the last 70 years in computers, and an analogous trend is now underway in healthcare. Startups across the world are transforming capabilities that were once relegated to specialty labs with large, expensive capital equipment and highly trained technicians. For example, in the early 2000s, Celera Genomics used nearly 300 DNA sequencers and 7,000 processors, and cost nearly $100 million to complete the sequence of one human genome. Today, an entire human genome can be run on a desktop machine for less than $1,000. Beyond DNA sequencing, new companies focusing on everything from flu to str...

Scientists find method to help target HIV virus in human cells

Scientists from Australia and Britain have discovered a new method which may help to target the HIV virus as it makes its way to infecting cells. Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, led by Associate professor Till Bocking,described on Tuesday how the HIV virus forms a protein shell called a capsid, to protect itself from thehosts defence mechanism as it infects the nucleus of a cell. Using a new microscope technique developed at UNSW, the team discovered that the HIV virus uses a molecule fromthe host cell to strengthen its capsid. HIV “It’s like a switch, when you bind this molecule, you stabilise the capsid, and release the molecule to openit up,” Bocking said. The molecule, called inositol hexakisphosphate, is abundantly present in...

Family planning, birth spacing key to sustainable healthy population – NPopC

The National Population Commission (NPopC) says Family Planning (FP) is a pathway to achieving Demographic Dividend (DD) in the country. The commission also said FB was fundamental to the realisation of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and strategic for national progress.Chief Eze Duruiheoma, the Chairman of NPopC, said this at news conference as part of activities to commemorate 2018 World Population Day on Monday in Abuja. The theme for this year’s event is “Family Planning as a Human Right’’. He noted that the theme was a reminder to the first proclamation on FP as a Human Right made on May 13, 1968, at the conclusion of the United Nations International Conference on Human rights. According to him, 20 years after, the 1994 International Conference on Populati...

NAFDAC calls for compliance to Breast Milk Substitute Marketing Code

Prof Mojisola Adeyeye The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for compliance to the Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) Code, saying it is affecting infant nutrition. Prof. Mojishola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, made the call at a day sensitisation workshop in Lagos, on “Compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes’’. Adeyeye said that this would protect optimal infant and young child feeding through promotion, protection and support for exclusive breastfeeding. The workshop was organised by Fhi360- Alive and Thrive Team, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Adeyeye said: “The importance of appropriate infant and young child feeding and its resultant effect on nationa...

Gear for making outdoor fitness more enjoyable

Makula Dunbar Contributor More posts by this contributor The best home Wi-Fi and networking gear Worthwhile gadget upgrades for the tech-obsessed Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch earn affiliate commissions.      Exercising outdoors comes with space, terrain and, if you’re lucky, a nice breeze that you don’t get in a gym. While fitness fanatics care most about completing a good workout, having the right gear to help with keeping track of progress — and getting on with your day when you’re done — makes a big difference. We’ve gathered some of our favorite fitness wearables, headphones and accessories that improve and make outdoor workout routines more enjoy...

Alan launches Alan Map to find doctors around you

Health insurance startup Alan has launched a new product in France called Alan Map. It’s a dead simple way to find GPs, dentists, ophthalmologists and more around you. You first type your address and the name of a doctor or the type of doctor you’re looking for. There’s a big map front and center with dots representing doctors around you. If you click on a dot or a name in the right column, you can learn more about this doctor. Alan Map currently lists the name, address, phone number, opening hours and average price. You also can find out if you can see this doctor without booking an appointment, and if they accept national healthcare cards. This is already so much better than searching through a directory. But Alan doesn’t plan to stop there. The company will soon launch an integration wi...

Traditional Chinese medicine debuts in Nigeria

•One of the visiting Chinese Medical Team members demostrating heat medicine therapy during a health talk organised by Chinese Government in Lagos recently. By Chioma Obinna The group of experts from the Jiabngxi University Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM,  said the development and current situation of TCM is  scientific knowledge system that takes the natural science as its main subjects and integrates with social science. In the views of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Deputy Consul General, Duan Zhongqi who listed some  advantages of TCM to include definite curative effect, relatively safe medication, flexible service mode, low cost, great innovation potential and extensive development space said delegations was organised by the C...

BEWARE! First-time mothers likely to suffer mental disorders

•  Babies may be at risk By Chioma Obinna Childbirth brings happiness and a feeling of completeness in the family. It is a significant life-changing event although it comes with its own challenges.   According to medical experts, these challenges can present in various ways in unsuspecting mothers. Sadly, through this life-changing experience, many Nigerian women have been maimed for life while some lost their lives.   Thousands of helpless women in this clime live and die with the scars due to ignorance. Cases abound of women who, in the process of bringing another life, end up with obstetric fistula and mental illnesses such as postnatal depression and postpartum depression. Out of ignorance, many of these cases in Nigeria are most times tagged spiritual. Such was th...

Replacing pills with a Band-Aid? Avro Life Science thinks there’s a patch for that

Shak Lakhani, the  21-year-old chief executive and co-founder of Avro Life Science, started researching biomaterials when he was 15 years old. Every summer and after school the teenager would travel nearly two hours by bus and train from the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Toronto where he lived to the tissue engineering lab at the University of Toronto and develop three-dimensional, in-vitro models of tumors using biomaterials. For three years, Lakhani worked in the lab, before going on to study nanotechnology engineering at the University of Waterloo a short 73 miles away. It was there, in his first year, that Lakhani met another Richmond Hill resident, Keean Sarani, and launched Avro Life Science. Sarani, also 21, had his own history in life sciences. A former epidemiologist who worked as...

Burden of Sickle Cell Disease reducing in FMC Ebute Metta — DADA

By Chioma ObinnaWith annual infant  deaths of 100,000 from Sickle Cell Disease, SCD, in Nigeria, the Management of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Ebute Metta, Lagos said the hospital has been in the forefront of reducing the burden of the disorder through introduction of genotype screening for all newborn babies in the hospital. Sickle Cell Child The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Adedamola Dada, said the screening of newborns is to ensure early diagnosis and prompt management of the disorder. Speaking during an event to mark the 2018 World Sickle Cell Day with the theme: Sickle Cell Disease: Consolidating Our Gains, Dada who regretted that Nigeria by its virtue of population stands out as the most affected  country in Africa said one out of every four Nigeria...