12 january 2013
New breath test to diagnose TB in minutes
Scientists have developed a simple breath test which they claim can diagnose lung infections such as tuberculosis in minutes instead of weeks. Researchers managed to identify the ‘fingerprints’ of different types and strains of bacteria by testing the breath of mice, the Daily Mail reported. A scaled up version of the technique could reduce the time it takes to diagnose lung infections in humans from weeks to just minutes, they claimed. The team analysed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) given off by two common bugs that infect lungs, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. The test was able to identify two different strains of one of the bugs.
Brown fat transplant may fight obesity and prevent diabetes
London: Scientists have discovered that transplanting brown fat also called ‘good fat’ could be key to weight loss and it may even prevent diabetes. Scientists at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston found that brown fat transplants not only significantly decreased body weight, they also improved insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, reducing the risk of diabetes, the Daily Mail reported. There are two types of fat in the body. One is the much-dreaded white fat, which sits under the skin and gives people a beer belly or wobbly thighs. It’s caused by eating too much. People also have a smaller amount of brown fat, which generates heat by boosting metabolism, burning large amounts of energy so the body starts to burn up ‘white fat’. When ‘switched on’ it is said to produce around 300 times more heat than any other organ in the body.