Thursday, 23 August 2018

New saliva kit can detect HFMD cases before symptoms appear

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a test kit that could soon allow children to be tested for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at home or at their childcare centres - with just their saliva - even before symptoms appear.

The researchers say the test kit allows for faster results, at greater accuracy and a cheaper price.

In collaboration with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), KK Women's and Children's Hospital and Taiwan's Chang Gung University, the test uses salivary microRNA as a diagnostic marker to accurately detect the HFMD virus.

HFMD is spread by contact via the bodily fluids of an infected person. There is currently no approved antiviral drug or vaccine available in Singapore.


Exceptional people: ITE nursing student aids accident victim on expressway

Miss Siti helping Madam Siti

Miss Siti Aida Juma'at was riding her motorcycle to Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East for an 8am lecture on Aug 13 when she saw the motorbike in front of her swerve to avoid a car on the Tampines Expressway.

Both the motorcyclist and pillion rider were thrown off the motorbike.

The motorcyclist, Mr Mohammad Yuzri Razali, 34, had minor abrasions while the pillion rider, Madam Siti Fitriah Amran, 31, felt pain and numbness.

Miss Juma'at, who has eight years of experience as a healthcare assistant, laid Madam Amran down after assessing her motor responses and held her in supine position for around 30 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

The position helped prevent spine injury.


The surprising reason why mosquitoes bite some people more than others

The best evidence for what motivates a mosquito’s choice between different people is the variation in our skin microbiota.

We have an estimated 1m bacteria per square cm of skin, often comprising hundreds of species.

The odour this emits from our pores and hair follicles is the critical factor in telling mosquitoes how tasty we would be.

In other words, mosquitoes do not select somebody for their inner biology, but rather for the micro-organisms that live on their skin.

While we are pretty sure that mosquitoes choose their human hosts according to the bacteria which live on our skin, it is less clear why they prefer the odour signature of some skin’s microbial life over others.

If we could learn this secret, perhaps we could change our skin’s bacterial composition to make ourselves less appetizing targets.


Women do not want a man who is TOO clever or handsome

It is the age-old question - whether looks or brains are more important.

And now one study has concluded that while it is not possible for them to be too physically attractive, men can be too clever for their own good.

Figures from a paper published in the British Journal of Psychology show that women want men to be smart - but not too smart. But men are NOT put off by extreme intelligence or good looks in a potential partner.


Maple-leaf extract is as good as Botox

Maple-leaf extract is a 'plant-based Botox', researchers claim.

Leaves of the Canadian trees, which produce the natural sweetener maple syrup, contain compounds that prevent wrinkles forming, a study found.

Wrinkles develop when the enzyme elastase breaks down elastin, which maintains skin elasticity, as part of the natural ageing process.

Previous research suggests the maple-leaf extracts, known as glucitol-core-containing gallotannins (GCGs), also prevent skin inflammation and lighten dark blemishes, such as age spots.