New Human Organ, Super Gonorrhea (Abstract Science: March 26 - 30)
Treating a super-resistant strain of gonorrhea, discovering a new human organ and the science behind the sound of knuckle cracking.
(New Scientist, 3/27/2018, Jessica Hamzelou)
Our bodies are full of dozens of organs, all performing unique and specialized tasks. A newly discovered network of fluid-filled channels in the human body may be a previously-unknown organ, and it seems to help transport cancer cells around the body. This discovery was made by chance, from routine endoscopies, a procedure that involves inserting a thin camera into a person’s gastrointestinal tract. Newer approaches enable doctors to use this procedure to get a microscopic look at the tissue inside a person’s gut at the same time, with some surprising results.
(Washington Post, 3/29/2018, Lindsey Bever)
Health officials in the U.K. say a man contracted a strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to multiple drugs used to treat the infection. The "super-resistant" infection is the first case of its kind in the world, and raises concerns about the growing problem of bacteria that don't respond to standard treatments. Gonorrhea, which is caused by the bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases around the world. Each year, there are an estimated 78 million cases across the globe — about 820,000 of which are reported in the United States, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. But public health officials said it is becoming more and more resistant to drugs.
(BBC News, 3/29/2018), Helen Briggs)
Are you a knuckle cracker? Or is it one of those human habits that drives you crazy? Well scientists have turned their attention to investigating the sound made when you crack your knuckles. The characteristic pop can be explained by three mathematical equations, say researchers in the US and France. Their model confirms the idea that the cracking sound is due to tiny bubbles collapsing in the fluid of the joint as the pressure changes. The equations make up a complete mathematical model that describes the sound of knuckle cracking, said Chandran Suja, who is now a postgraduate student at Stanford University in California
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola