Our editor’s collection of the best discoveries this week – 9th September Top 10 STEM News

The ‘impossible’ EM Drive is about to be tested in space

An actual EM Drive is about to be launched into space for the first time, so scientists can finally figure out – once and for all – if it really is possible for a rocket engine to generate thrust without any kind of exhaust or propellant.

Built by American inventor and chemical engineer, Guido Fetta, the EM Drive is as controversial as it gets, because while certain experiments have suggested that such an engine could work, it also goes against one of the most fundamental laws of physics we have.

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Babies born with a low birth weight may be less active in later life

Individuals who are born with a low birth weight are less likely to be good at sports at school or participate in exercise later on in life.

The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, used data from the MRC National Survey for Health and Development, a unique birth cohort that closely monitors a group of people all born in the same week in March 1946. This particular research involved data from 2,739 of study participants.

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Paralyzed man regains use of arms and hands after experimental stem cell therapy

After receiving a stem cell injection into his spine, Kris Boesen, who was paralyzed from his neck to his toes after a car accident, is regaining movement in his extremities and hope for increased independence.

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HIV patients ‘getting old before their time

While combination antiretroviral therapy has meant that people with HIV can live longer lives, research shows that the virus makes fundamental changes to the immune system by increasing the risk of developing age-related conditions.

“What we are now realising is that HIV as a disease is really a disease of inflammation. We are able to control the virus, but what remains are the immune dysfunction and dysregulation in patients that are leading to the diseases of ageing such as cardiovascular diseases, bone disease, cancer and diabetes,”

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The US has given fast-track approval to a surprising new cancer drug

A new cancer drug called Venetoclax is causing quite a stir in the medical community, with the announcement that the US FDA has given it fast-track approval for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

CLL is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults, and during a recent clinical trial, 80 percent of patients treated with Venetoclax experienced complete or partial remission of their cancer.

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Marijuana to be trialed in Epilepsy patients

Medical marijuana hopeful MGC Pharma has teamed up with Epilepsy Action Australia as they move closer to commencing medical cannabis trials in Australia and Europe.

The trials will focus on how to use medical cannabis as a potential treatment for severe epilepsy in children…

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FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.

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Unprecedented atmospheric behavior disrupts one of Earth’s most regular climate cycles

A team of scientists has discovered an unexpected disruption in one of the most repeatable atmospheric patterns.

The normal flow of air high up in the atmosphere over the equator, known as the quasi-biennial oscillation, was seen to break down earlier this year. These stratospheric winds are found high above the tropics, their direction and strength changes in a regular two- to three-year cycle which provides forecasters with an indication of the weather to expect in Northern Europe. Westerly winds are known to increase the chance of warm and wet conditions, while easterlies bring drier and colder weather.

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Air pollution a risk factor for diabetes

Exposure to air pollution at the place of residence increases the risk of developing insulin resistance as a pre-diabetic state of type 2 diabetes, report scientists.

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Early life exposure to antibiotics is related to increased risk of allergies later in life

New research shows that exposure to antibiotics early in life is related to increased risk of developing allergies later in life

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