What we're reading
Hey BMSA blog readers! It's finally spring and we are back this week with more noteworthy articles that our team picked out and summarized for you. We hope they will catch your interest and if so, you can read the full articles through the linked titles. Happy spring!
MMR Vaccinations Jumper in B.C. After Measles Outbreak, Data Shows
Contributor Michelle Li
A recent outbreak of measles has hit British Columbia, causing an increase of individuals seeking measles vaccinations. In fact, the Fraser Health Authority has given out more than two and a half times last year’s amount when measured over the same week. This outbreak began last month, February, when the disease was brought overseas by an infected traveller and has since put a spotlight on the low vaccination rates in some Vancouver elementary schools. Read this article to find out more about how the B.C. provincial government and health-care professionals plan to tackle this issue.
Humans and machines can improve accuracy when they work together
Contributor Si-Cheng Dai
Artificial intelligence (AI) will take over human jobs — discussions on artificial intelligence, more often than not, end up reaching this conclusion. But seldom has the possibility of artificial intelligence working alongside humans, achieving more than what either alone could have, been mentioned. This article describes a proof of concept: AI with a facial recognition algorithm and the human mind compete in a test of facial recognition, and then the two work together. Read the whole story to find out more.
Diet reverses Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in lab model
Contributor Ramtin Hakimjavadi
Yes, there is some evidence to suggest that certain compounds in green tea and carrots can reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. And yes, these findings are from a studies on mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, so their conclusions should be cautiously related back to humans. In an article published in the University’s of Southern California’s News website, it was recently reported that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, and ferulic acid (FA), found in carrots, was shown to reverse Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in mice. The key word being “Alzheimer’s-like”, since these mice were genetically programmed to have a disease that models the human form. As science students, we are well-versed in the principle that research on animal models serves as a good starting point for learning about human-related phenomena. Therefore, it is not the case that the same diet of green tea and carrots will reverse symptoms in human Alzheimer’s patients. Nevertheless, the article does highlight an approach to treatment known as “combination therapy” – an approach that is already standard for other disease such as cancer. The idea is to administer multiple drugs rather than one and it will be interesting to see how this approach will fair with Alzheimer’s patients in the future.