Mahrenholz with the patch. Image: Wacker Chemie / Jan Michael Hosan

German company Coldplasmatech has developed a new wound-treatment method that speeds up healing and kills bacteria without the use of antibiotics. Their treatment, as the company name subtly hints, involves cold plasma — the state of matter least understood by the general population.

In this case, “plasma” means the ionized state of matter, rather than platelet-rich plasma (PRP) — the liquid in which our blood cells are suspended. PRP itself has shown great promise in wound healing and skin regeneration, too: you might have heard of the “vampire facial” or the many studies worldwide using PRP to heal chronic wounds.

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You may think of scarlet fever as one of those Victorian illnesses, now thankfully eradicated with modern medicine, which afflicted the consumption-weakened people of the era. In fact, scarlet fever is the result of a common bacterial infection gone untreated. The culprit is Group A streptococcus, which typically resides on our faces and in our throats, and is responsible for scarlet fever, strep throat, and impetigo.

While the infection has been controlled through better hygiene practices and antibiotics, reducing its incidences, it’s been making a dramatic comeback in the past couple years, leaving scientists scrambling to understand why.

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Fatigue can be a side effect of many other diseases, but with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), it is typically the primary symptom of this potentially debilitating condition that continues to baffle doctors and patients alike.

Like many diseases that tend to affect women in greater numbers than men, CFS, now more formally known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID), began its introduction into medicine with much skepticism. Its lack of an easily identifiable underlying cause has created a lot of controversy among the scientific community as to whether it is even a real disease.

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Researchers at IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore have created a macromolecule––one giant molecule made of smaller subunits––that might treat multiple types of viruses and prevent infection.

According to a paper published in Macromolecules, the macromolecule warded off viruses such as influenza, dengue and Ebola successfully in a lab environment. Importantly, the macromolecule remained effective even after the viruses mutated. Researchers plan to test the Zika virus next, and they believe its similarities to a form of dengue already tested will result in yet another successful trial.

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