Medical Science | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 4, 2015
  • Updated: 6:47am

Medical Science

Biomimicry pushes science forward

A bee on a web of camera lenses that mimics its own ocular system. Photos: AFP

In 1941, Georges de Mestral was in a Swiss forest walking his dog when he noticed his socks were dotted with small burrs. Looking under the microscope, he saw the barbed covering of the seeds had hooked onto the looped fibres in his clothes.

Monday, 24 June, 2013, 10:55am

Antibiotics can cure chronic lower back pain, say Danish scientists

Studies show antibiotics can treat chronic lower back pain.

Up to 40 per cent of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize.

12 May 2013 - 2:08am

Zebrafish helps push the frontiers of research

The tiny zebrafish has aided in many scientific discoveries.

Zebrafish are unsung heroes of contemporary science. The humble tropical freshwater fish is an under-appreciated species that has helped scientists worldwide to make new discoveries and develop new technology.

28 Apr 2013 - 4:58am

Yuen Kwok-yung - the stoic scientist soldiers on

Yuen Kwok-yung - the stoic scientist soldiers on

Long before the H7N9 novel coronavirus emerged in the mainland, University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, along with other researchers, warned the world that if another Sars-like pandemic struck, the disease would likely come from an animal. Some even went as far as to pinpoint the bird as a carrier.

22 Apr 2013 - 4:52am

Nanomedicine could outdo surgery

The nanoparticle is made by linking amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

In 1959, the Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman predicted that we would one day be able to "swallow the doctor" to heal ailments from inside our bodies.

22 Apr 2013 - 9:36am

Remembering Robert Edwards, the pioneer of IVF

Professor Robert Edwards. Photo: Reuters

The sentiment that "the most important thing in life is having a child" is universal. This Sunday, the first family day after his death, we will attribute it to someone on record as having said it - scientist Robert Edwards, father of five. His Nobel Prize-winning research led to millions of families sharing the joy of parenthood otherwise denied to them by infertility or difficulty in conceiving naturally.

14 Apr 2013 - 2:15am

Prevention key to containing new avian flu outbreak

Guangxi health workers inoculate chickens to halt bird flu. Photo: AFP

The unexpected outbreak of influenza A(H7N9) on the mainland marks the first time the virus has been detected in humans. As of Friday, there were 16 confirmed cases, of which six have been fatal.

7 Apr 2013 - 1:43am

How much do man-made chemicals affect our health?

Laboratories have demonstrated endocrine disruption on human hormones. Photo: Felix Wong

An urgent hunt is under way across Scandinavia for the culprit causing testicular cancer rates 10 times the global mean. Scientists suspect a man-made substance or interaction between substances which disrupts hormones, possibly before birth.

20 Mar 2013 - 3:11am

From the Experts: collective action and individual choice

From the Experts: collective action and individual choice

The availability of cheap antibiotics has saved many lives, but it has also created a severe public health problem. 

18 Mar 2013 - 10:06am

Mapping human brain may unravel mystery of the mind

Mapping human brain may unravel mystery of the mind

Although humans have explored the earth and gained insights into far flung reaches of the universe, our brains remain mysterious. Indeed, the human brain has been described as the most complex structure known to mankind.

17 Mar 2013 - 2:20am

Muddled thinking is fuelling obesity epidemic

Cutting down on what you eat is a far more effective way to lose weight than burning calories with exercise

People's beliefs about the causes of obesity can affect their own weight, my research has shown. If you think lack of exercise is the primary cause of obesity, you are more likely to be overweight than someone who implicates poor diet.

10 Mar 2013 - 2:53am

University urges public to donate bodies for research and teaching

The university desperately needs the public to donate bodies because computer images and models such as these are no substitute for the real thing. Photo: David Wong

The medical faculty receives only three to five donated corpses each year. Many of the 20 corpses needed for research and autopsy training come from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department which collects unclaimed bodies of homeless people.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:08am

Anti-HIV drug effort boosts life expectancy in South Africa

Anti-HIV drug effort boosts life expectancy in South Africia. Photo: Reuters

An intensive campaign to combat HIV/Aids with costly antiretroviral drugs in rural South Africa has increased life expectancy by more than 11 years and significantly reduced the risk of infection for healthy individuals, according to new research.

24 Feb 2013 - 1:54am

Research paper finds obesity myths are still accepted at face value

Sorting obesity myths from fact. Photo: Reuters

In a study titled "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity" published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors scoured popular media and scientific literature for obesity-related myths and presumptions and weighed them against scientifically proven facts.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:31am

March of science transforming lives of the disabled

The artificial retina developed by scientists to restore partial vision to people who suffer from a certain type of blindness. Photo: Reuters

We use phrases like "physically handicapped" with increasing unease, preferring those that are more positive-sounding such as "differently abled". But such politically correct euphemisms may prove to be prophetic. Extraordinary advances in medical technology have already improved the conditions of disabled individuals and promise even greater things in the near future.

21 Feb 2013 - 5:46am