Medical researchers from Case Western Reserve University have developed a treatment that could herald a breakthrough for patients with spinal cord injuries. Using a combination of drug and light therapy, the researchers successfully activated an alternate nerve pathway in a rat with a severed spinal cord, allowing the animal to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator.
SOME might call it a miracle, but it relies on technology. At two separate clinics, three people paralysed from the waist down have walked again, thanks to an electrical stimulation implant, combined with intensive exercise and rehabilitation (see "Three people with paralysis can walk again with nerve-boosting implant"). Yet it is true that prevailing medical wisdom says this should be impossible. Because these people's injuries had ruptured the spinal cord, contact between the brain and the nerves operating the leg muscles was thought to be entirely severed. Controversially, the researchers who restored mobility believe that some weak connections survived.
Honey bees in the UK are increasingly suffering at the hands of a deadly viral disease that is sweeping England and Wales, according to a new study. British scientists found colonies of the honey bee that are infected with'chronic bee paralysis' rose nearly 200-fold between 2007 and 2017. Whole colonies are frequently lost to the disease, which causes abnormal trembling, an inability to fly and a disturbing loss of hair leading to odd shiny abdomens. The disease is caused by the chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), and infected bees die within a week, leading to piles of dead honey bees outside hives. Data recorded from more than 24,000 bee keepers confirmed CBPV is present in 45 counties in England and Wales, after only being recorded in one county in 2007.
The UK narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016. At the time, it was presented as a relatively straightforward decision. But events since then have proved it to be anything but, as a second referendum, a no-confidence vote and a general election are just the start of the potential Brexit effects in the near future. Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull explains the options facing the UK as Brexit fast approaches.