Your weekly newsflash:
On Monday, Researchers at Baylor College along with Texas Children Hospital Center for Vaccine Development have just received an $860,000 grant from the Department of Defense for the development of the new Lyme disease vaccine. Lyme disease, transmitted by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, can infect at the site of the tick bite and then survive in the bloodstream and spread to the heart, joints, or brain, resulting in arthritis, neurological abnormalities, and carditis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 300,000 Americans are infected annually, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, including New York state. Researchers from Baylor will partner on this work with Lyme disease experts from the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health. Researchers and scientists hope they can find a vaccine for this deadly and population ravaging disease.
On Thursday, 26-year old Bob Hendrix from the Netherlands has just created a new coffin that turns bodies into nutrients. Dubbed as the “living cocoon” the coffin gives an option for a more ecologically conscious generation who may want to leave a positive impact on the planet after they’ve gone. The coffin is made by a growing mycelium which is part of the underground fibrous network of a mushroom. Hendrix also refers to his creation as “nature’s recycler” and says that these coffins will considerably increase the health of the soil in years to follow.
On Friday, sufferers living with severe arthritis could be given lasting pain relief thanks to a new technique known as cooled radiofrequency ablation. The procedure involves the placement of needles where the main sensory nerves exist around the shoulder and hip joints. The nerves are then treated with a low-grade current known as radiofrequency that “stuns” them, slowing the transmission of pain to the brain. For the new study, 23 people with osteoarthritis underwent treatment, including 12 with shoulder pain and 11 with hip pain that had become unresponsive to anti-inflammatory pain control and intra-articular lidocaine-steroid injections. Treatment was performed two to three weeks after the patients received diagnostic anesthetic nerve blocks. There were no procedure-related complications, and both the hip and shoulder pain groups reported a statistically significant decrease in the degree of pain with a corresponding increase in dynamic function after the treatment. This new discovery is a scientific breakthrough and the future of pain relief for those suffering from severe arthritis.