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Eleven fascinating studies about the human body


Category: Health

25 June 2018

From print-your-own tablets to ferocious superbugs (eek) – eleven studies to make you think about the future of healthcare and medical science.

On the subject of the human body, research is constantly leading towards breakthroughs and medical advances that will have a huge impact on our health.

1. Oxygen is a nutrient. Discuss

We probably wouldn’t consider the air we breathe to be one of our vital ‘nutrients’. But weirdly, Webster’s dictionary describes a nutrient as ‘any substance that is needed for the life and growth of living things’. Oxygen definitely falls right into that category.

2. There is a 79th organ in the human body

A part of our digestive system has been recently reclassified as an organ. Introducing the mesentery, a handy set of tissues which connect the intestine to the abdominal wall.

3. The human eye is unique

In 2001, Hiromi Kobayashi and Shiro Kohshima conducted a study on the human eye, comparing its morphology to a number of primate eyes. They concluded that the human eye is totally unique. The main thing that separates us? The ability to use our eyes to communicate through gaze, owing to the larger white sclera than our primate counterparts’.

4. Do artificial sweeteners make you fat?

Surely eating less sugar is healthier, right? New research seems to suggest that by consuming more sweeteners, the chemicals present might be encouraging our cells to absorb more fat more readily.

ARU’s Senior Lecturer Havovi Chichger tells you more: https://theconversation.com/artificial-sweeteners-may-make-you-fat-93452

5. Nutritional content of takeaway food

Greasy takeaways have become much more of a common household meal in recent decades. This journal entry looks into why this has come about, and how the popularity of fast foods has affected the health of our population.

6. Antibiotic resistance is a food safety issue

Antibiotic resistance is a pressing issue that can also affect what we eat, as studies show that diseases can pass from food animals and into our diet. This paper looks into how to prevent this from happening.

7. Careless disposal of antibiotics could produce ‘ferocious superbugs'

The disposal of antibiotics into the environment can lead to bacteria forming resistances, recent studies have warned. This could lead to terrifying consequences, but don’t fret: this article offers up several options for a solution.

8. A ticking time bomb?

As travel becomes more and more accessible, the threat of tick-born infections has increased drastically. This article looks into the effect and the dangers these nasty critters can pose.


9. 3D printed drugs can be made patient-specific

3D printing has a lot of potential for improving the prescription and preparation of drug dosages. In this study, researchers demonstrate for the first time the use of a novel design approach to printing tablets.

10. Knowing your genetic code could lengthen your life

As reading and analysing the human genome becomes more efficient, experts say it could be used to check our individual vulnerabilities to certain diseases even from birth – allowing us to prepare for or even prevent from an early age.

11. Scientists are working on drugs that delay the diseases of ageing

The identification of longevity genes by Einstein researchers could lead to new drug therapies that might help people live longer. This article explores the benefits.

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