Trending News Today: Electronic Chip Heals Mice Wounds in New Study

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

New study findings indicate the rising levels of a single hormone during menopause could be the driver for weight distribution and bone loss, according to The New York Times. The scientists were curious of whether the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) affects bone density, so for the study, they developed an antibody that blocked FSH in female mice whose ovaries were removed. The results showed mice who received the antibody did not develop fat-filled bone marrow, and more surprisingly, lost significant amounts of fat. Although the findings show promise, the investigators are unsure if they will translate to humans. “I think the idea has some credibility,” Dr Clifford J. Rosen, who replicated the experiments independently, told the NY Times. “But does it mean anything? I don’t know.”

Although rapid diagnostic tests significantly improve the treatment of malaria, new findings reveal they also have some unexpected negative consequences. According to The New York Times, study results showed the tests substantially decreased the number of patients with fever who were incorrectly given or sold malaria drugs; however, the number of patients who received antibiotics dramatically increased, even if they were not tested for bacterial infections. Furthermore, a shocking number of patients who tested positive for malaria did not receive treatment. At 5 of 8 testing sites in Africa, more than 20% did not receive malaria drugs, the NY Times reported.

A novel electronic chip can reprogram damaged skin cells in mice to heal their wounds, according to NPR. The device was placed on the legs of mice and activated to send a small electrical pulse into skin cell membranes to open a tiny hole on the cell surface. A microscopic chute is then used and the chip shoots a new genetic code through the window and into the cell to begin reprogramming. The device is about the size of a big toenail, and the process takes less than 0.1 seconds. Furthermore, it can successfully deliver its genetic payload almost 100% of the time, according to the investigators. Developer Chandan Sen hopes the device can one day be used to treat human wounds, according to NPR.