Health Line

Scientists make artificial heart design

French scientists have created a new artificial heart using technology from airplanes and satellites. Scientists in the United States, Japan, and South Korea are also working on artificial hearts, but they have not succeeded in creating a fully functioning artificial heart. The new device has been tested only in animals, but it has capabilities beyond those of previous artificial hearts.

Sensors, like those measuring pressure and altitude in airplanes and satellites, have been used in this artificial heart. These sensors measure pressure and pumping speed, and the heart is able to react to this data. It is more realistic than previous artificial hearts, with two pumps sending blood into the body.

Many hope that this new artificial heart will work for a longer time than current models that are only used until a real heart transplant is available. Experts, however, are concerned about complications that may arise due to the use of the device.

The heart will be sold for about $200,000, slightly less than top artificial hearts produced in the United States.

Source: Associated Press

Studies show that sleep helps hearts

Turning the clock back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time results in fewer heart attacks, due to the extra hour of sleep. Swedish researchers looked at records of heart attacks in the past 20 years, and compared the number of heart attacks preceding and following the time shifts of daylight-saving time.

They found that turning back the clocks on Sunday decreased the number of heart attacks on Monday. In contrast, moving the clocks forward at the beginning of daylight-saving time caused an increase in heart attacks in the first few days of the week. This research suggests that the minor sleep loss and gain associated with an hour time shift is enough to impact cardiovascular health.

Source: The Washington Post

Allergies help against cancer

The sneezing caused by allergies is more than just an annoyance. Allergy symptoms help remove particles — some of which may be carcinogenic — from the body. Allergies help to protect against cancer and to inform people when dangerous substances are in the air. This specifically applies to particular cancers in areas that come in contact with the external environment, such as cancer in the throat, skin, or colon. This finding suggests that suppressing allergies through medication might increase one’s likelihood of cancer.

Source: Science Daily

Levels of Type 2 diabetes are rising

In the past decade, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes has risen 90 percent. Of the newly diagnosed cases of diabetes, nearly all are cases of Type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes that is linked with obesity.
Changes in lifestyle such as weight loss and exercise can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. However, the rising levels of obesity suggest that many people are unwilling to make these changes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 8 percent of the population, or about 23.6 million Americans, has diabetes.

Source: Reuters