I have a cyborg in my veins

I have a cyborg in my veins

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Medicine is transforming. Investigations, diagnoses and therapies are changing before our eyes, and will mutate impetuously in a future that promises to be ever closer: three Nobel prize winners reveal the scenarios of tomorrow in the new issue of Health, on newsstands next June 29 with La Repubblica, La Stampa and all the newspapers of the Gedi group. Here’s a taste: “Molecular machines will become reality and nanorobots that can be injected into the human body will repair lesions, identify and eliminate tumors, administer targeted drugs”: he claims Bernard FeringaNobel Prize for Chemistry 2016, in the article signed by Gabriel Beccaria: “One, ten, a thousand cyborgs are inside your cells.”

Mini brains ‘in test tube’ to fight Parkinson’s

by Irma D’Aria


Science changes

Forecast confirmed by Greg Semenza, awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. Who treads his hand: “The next drugs designed to regulate oxygen levels in tissues and cells will be able to eradicate tumors – he assures -. The first are becoming reality and one, specifically designed for kidney cancer, is been approved by Food&Drug Administration“.

While George ParisiNobel Prize in Physics in 2021, adds: “Science is changing: let’s think of biology. In the past it was basically descriptive and classification, while today it has an increasingly important part of bioinformatics. The DNA of living organisms is read and each genome is very long. To contain that of a single human being, it would take thousands and thousands of paper volumes”.

Beyond infections: the hidden damage caused by viruses

by Roberta Villa



Viruses of the future

From the future of medicine to the viruses of the future. Which have already arrived and produce infections. The report by Donatella Zorzetto “The viruses of tomorrow are already among us”. If Covid acted as a watershed between the epidemics (and pandemics) before and those after, it must be said that what preceded it was able to prepare the ground. And one wonders: will those of the past still be the viruses of the future? Or will they change shape to survive? A picture of what awaits us is drawn by the Italian Hygiene Society (Siti), which launches an appeal so that “local and national governments, in the light of environmental threats, exploit the skills of highly qualified professionals”. A gloomy picture, given that it predicts that twenty viruses could become pandemic.

Now these pathogens are striking in different parts of the world, in Asia and Africa above all, but for experts they are potential “time bombs”. This is why they call them under special surveillance and warn: “We have to intervene, they are spreading rapidly, also due to climate change”.

Here’s what’s about to happen

So what’s going to happen? Focusing on Italy, an increase in the risk and aggressiveness of climate-related infectious diseases is on the horizon, in particular those caused by vectors such as mosquitoes – this is the case of malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya fever, West Nile fever – as well as diseases transmitted by sandflies (leishmaniasis) and ticks (Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and human babesiosis). In summary, if the environment threatens us, viruses proliferate and with them diseases. So it is necessary, the hygienists ask, “to adopt a multidisciplinary and interprofessional approach from a One Health perspective, a health model that integrates different disciplines, based on the recognition that human, animal and ecosystem health are linked and mutually influence each other “.

Dissociative amnesia: what are the signs and what to do

by Elvira Naselli



The memory-saving drug

Salute then makes a leap into the world of Neuroscience, with the interview of Marco Cambiaghi to the character of the month, Cristina Alberini, a professor at New York University, who is responsible for understanding the secrets of long-term memory. “We have identified a mechanism, which we call ‘insulin-like Growth Factor 2’ or Igf-2, capable of significantly increasing memories. We knew this molecule was involved in different stages of human development, but now we have seen that in brain remains expressed at fairly high levels even in the adult stage and, in fact, is essential for forming long-term memories”.
Cambiaghi confirms that the discovery can be defined as a “memory drug”. “We have seen that thus enhanced memories are also flexible, like physiological ones – he underlines -. Furthermore, being a protein that passes the blood-brain barrier, Igf-2 also reaches the brain with a subcutaneous injection, like insulin”.
What will this conquest lead to? The protein, explains the scientist, “has been tested with excellent results, on models of neurodevelopmental disorders and Angelman syndrome”. And he concludes: “The results are positive for various cognitive fields: not only for declarative memories, but also for working memory, for social interactions and for some motor disorders. It is an example of how basic research leads to discoveries that are difficult to predict, but of enormous clinical importance”.

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