In a year filled with alarming health scares such as the Zika virus, increased deaths due to cold weather as reported earlier, a growing heroin epidemic, opioid overdoses, and a startling decrease in life expectancy, 2016 also have bright spots in the area of science and health.
In recognition of all the hard work of scientists everywhere, and to appreciate all the money that went into enhancing the quality of life, here are our top picks of the most under recognized health achievements in 2016.
The number of smokers has hit all time low. This year, the rate of people who have stopped smoking have increased as more smokers become more motivated to quit the habit. As a consequence, cancers related to smoking have also dropped. Unfortunately, it is still the second cause of death in Americans.
Cancer rates have dropped. This great news is probably because a lot more people have quit smoking, but also because of the development of new immunotherapy drugs that prove effective for a longer time. The new cancer drugs are more potent against cancer cells, but also less harmful to the healthy ones.
Effective vaccines to protect from HIV and HPV are now available. These diseases that have ravaged millions of people are now considered to be manageable and even preventable. Ebola also now have 100% effective vaccine. These new prophylaxis could save untold number of lives, according to the Denver Post.
The first uterus transplant was done in the U.S. One of the first in science and health, this procedure is promising news to women hoping to get a new lease at motherhood. Reproductive diseases could render a woman unable to carry children and this surgery was a new hope. Sadly, the procedure soon failed due to infection.
The availability of organs for transplant have now expanded. It was tough to transport organs for transplant before, since they have to be used within 4 hours after harvest. Now, a special box can keep the organs warm and functional for a longer period of time.
A paralyzed man regained his ability to feel touch. An awesome experiment gave a paralyzed man brain implants that link directly to his robotic arm. This mind-controlled sensation combined with robotics promises to improve the way prosthetics are made.
A new antibiotic is found in the human nose. Bacteria in the nose is found to kill antibiotic-resistant superbugs including MRSA. This amazing discovery opens a new and untapped resource for the creation of new antibiotics, according to Discover Magazine.
A simple new way to prevent nut allergies is discovered. It turns out that regularly feeding peanuts to babies under one year is the most effective way to avoid the allergy.
A 70-year-old man underwent gender reassignment successfully. Despite higher chances of failure and risks, the senior citizen finally transformed into a woman after decades of longing for one.
Overshadowed by bigger, more sensational stories, these science and health news certainly have made a significant impact on the world today.