Science 

Mystery disease killing beech trees

Image copyright C.Ewing Image caption Once a tree displays the symptoms of Beech Leaf Disease, it will die in the coming years A mysterious disease that is killing beech trees is spreading across parts of the United States. Scientists say the disease, known as Beech Leaf Disease, has been recorded in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and parts of Ontario in Canada. They say the cause of the tree killer needs to be identified in order to halt the spread. It is expected to spread widely if the deadly pathogen becomes established…

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Catherine Wreford: The dancer with an ‘invisible disease’

Image caption Catherine Wreford and Craig Ramsay will play Lady and Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet You could easily go and see Catherine Wreford perform in a show and not know anything was wrong. A professional dancer with a huge number of stage credits to her name, it’s perhaps only when you look at the show programme that you’d find out she has brain cancer. “I always put it in my bio because I want people to know I’m on stage and still performing, but I have an invisible…

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Does gum disease have a key role in Alzheimer’s?

Image copyright Getty Images Does gum disease play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s? Scientists believe this may be the case after their study found further evidence of the link between bacteria in a common type of gum disease and people with dementia. Researchers say their findings offer hope for a new way of tackling the illness, for which there is no cure and no effective treatments. But does it mean people should be more worried about their oral health? What did the research find? Scientists analysed brain…

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Longleat koala Wilpena put down after kidney disease

Image caption Five koalas arrived at Longleat from Australia last October as part of a conservation programme One of Longleat Safari Park’s koalas has been put down after becoming seriously ill. The female, called Wilpena, was one of five southern koalas to arrive from Australia last October as part of a conservation programme. The park said it had no alternative after she developed kidney disease. One male and four female koalas were sent to the Wiltshire park from Adelaide under a scheme to protect the vulnerable species. They are the…

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Parkinson’s disease ‘may’ start in gut

Image copyright Getty Images The brain disease Parkinson’s may actually start in the depths of the digestive system, US scientists say. In their study, people whose appendix had been removed were less likely to develop the neurodegenerative disease. And the appendix, long thought of as pointless in the human body, contained the substance that kills brain cells. Parkinson’s UK said the findings were the most compelling evidence yet that the disease’s origins lie outside the brain. In Parkinson’s, toxic proteins build up in the brain to kill nerves, particularly those…

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Malaria: Sniffer dogs to help in fight to eradicate disease

Image copyright Once Upon a Pixel Scientists in the UK and The Gambia say they have the first evidence that dogs can sniff out malaria. They have trained dogs to recognise tell-tale aromas using clothes from people infected with the disease. It is hoped the animals can be used to stop malaria spreading and eventually help with eradication. Although the research is still at an early stage, experts say the findings may even lead to new ways of testing for the disease. Studies have already shown that being infected with…

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Aberdeenshire ‘mad cow disease’ farmer speaks of devastation

Image caption The isolated case involves Boghead Farm in Lumsden The farmer of the herd found with BSE in Aberdeenshire has spoken of his devastation. Movement restrictions at Boghead Farm in Lumsden were introduced after so-called mad cow disease was found in one cow. Speaking through NFU Scotland, Thomas Jackson said: “This has been a very difficult time – we have found the situation personally devastating.” It is the first case of its kind in Scotland in a decade. What you need to know about BSE In his statement, Mr…

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‘Mad cow disease’: What is BSE?

Image copyright Getty Images The first case of BSE in Scotland in a decade has been confirmed after a cow died. In total, there have been 16 cases in the UK in the past seven years – but that’s a far cry from the thousands of cattle infected at the height of the BSE crisis back in the 1980s and 1990s. So what is it, what happened – and what’s the situation now? What does BSE mean? It’s an acronym for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and is sometimes known as mad…

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‘Mad cow disease’ in Aberdeenshire farm after BSE confirmed

A case of BSE – so-called mad cow disease – has been confirmed at a farm in Aberdeenshire. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said a movement ban was now in place on the unnamed farm. Investigations are under way to identify the origin of the disease – the first in Scotland in 10 years – which was found after an animal died. Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “I would urge any farmer who has concerns to seek veterinary advice.” She added: “While it is too early to tell where…

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J&J’s Stelara succeeds in chronic bowel disease study

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday its blockbuster drug Stelara was found to be effective in treating a chronic bowel disease in a late-stage trial. FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo Two doses of Stelara, already approved for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease, was tested in 961 patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC) who had failed prior therapy. Both 6 mg/kg and 130 mg/kg doses of the intravenous treatment showed clinical remission in significantly…

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