"Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23.
The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers."
"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets."
After an extensive
, months-long debate
, one of two controversial
papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published
today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research
" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed.
's special report
has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful
young musicians. A classical violinist
and former child prodigy
who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion
," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic
. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me
. [more inside]
Obesity and Diabetes
- another free supplement by Nature
are available only by prescription in the US
and the UK
. Eclipsed by the discovery of penicillin, maggots now may turn out to be effective when anitbiotics stop working
. Although the FDA hasn't yet decided exactly how to classify maggots
, they are generally considered to be medical devices
. The BTER Foundation
(BioTherapeutics Education and Research) offers maggot therapy workshops
, but no special certification is currently required to use them. As beneficial as they are, their use is not always indicated
. And when they showed up on their own
in a subacute care facility in Chicago
, the patient sued for "at least $50,000".