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This new blood test can predict due date and premature birth

Researchers from Standford University have developed a new blood test for pregnant women that may detect whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth. The technique can also be used to estimate a foetus’s gestational age — or the mother’s due date — as reliably and less expensively than ultrasound. There have been several studies on preterm births in the past, and the reasons for it. A study by the University of Pennsylvania linked such births to changes in the mother’s bacteria. Another study by CHU Sainte-Justine in Canada found that having a baby…

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Dear parents, watch out for these 9 signs that indicate your kid needs an eye test

With the proliferation of screens in our lives – phone screen, tablets, Kindles, computers – television isn’t the only source of eye strain for kids and adults. But, unlike in case of adults, it is harder to gauge when children develop vision issues. “More often than not, vision problems go unnoticed until children begin school,” said associate professor of Ophthalmology Marcela Frazier, “Children grow up naturally adapting to vision issues, so when they get into school and start reading and learning, that is when parents and teachers begin to notice…

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Lyft Partners nuTonomy to Test Self-Driving Cars in Boston

Uber rival Lyft said Tuesday it would begin testing autonomous ridesharing in Boston under a partnership with the technology startup nuTonomy. Under the partnership, nuTonomy and Lyft will collaborate to gain insights into “all aspects of ensuring a passenger’s comfort and safety” in self-driving vehicles, a joint statement said. Lyft’s move follows a similar effort by Uber, which has been using autonomous vehicles in a test program in some US cities. “At Lyft, we imagine a world where car ownership is optional and cities are designed for people instead of…

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Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy. Together, stomach and oesophageal cancer account for around 1.4 million new cancer diagnoses each year worldwide. Both tend to be diagnosed late, because the symptoms are ambiguous, meaning the five-year survival rate for these two types of cancer is only 15 per cent. Currently, the only way to diagnose oesophageal cancer or stomach cancer is with endoscopy —…

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How long will you live? Your blood test can give the answer

Believe it or not, scientists at Boston University claim to have discovered a game-changing blood test that could help predict lifespans. The study, published in the journal Aging Cell on Friday, used biomarker data collected from 5,000 blood samples and analysed it against the donors’ health developments over the subsequent eight years. Together, they identified patterns which indicated both good and bad futures. Specifically, their chances of getting age-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In all, the researchers generated 26 different predictive biomarker signatures. The breakthrough means…

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Your saliva test can check body’s immunity

Y Researchers from the University of Birmingham have found that antibody levels in saliva are linked to those in blood serum, suggesting a new method for assessment of protection against bacterial infections. The study was published in the journal Biomarkers. They found that in general, higher antibody concentrations in serum were associated with higher concentrations in saliva, with the strongest relationships observed for IgA antibodies. “Protection against bacterial infection is usually inferred by measuring antibody levels in blood serum,” said lead study author Dr Jennifer Heaney. “But taking blood samples…

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