Health Highlights: July 9, 2014

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Implantable Memory-Restoring Device Being Developed by Researchers

U.S. scientists are working on an implantable device that will help restore memory.

The $2.5 million project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is being funded by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NBC News reported.

The small wireless device would be implanted in regions of the brain involved with memory. An external device worn around the ear will store information.

The first patients to use the device will be those with traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as soldiers who've survived bomb blasts, NBC News reported.

"Currently, there is no effective treatment for memory loss resulting from conditions like TBI," project leader Satinderpall Pannu said.

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Old Vials of Smallpox Found in NIH Building

Decades-old vials of smallpox were discovered last week by workers cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington, D.C., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials revealed Tuesday.

They said the six glass vials of freeze-dried virus -- which may date from the 1950s -- were intact and sealed with melted glass, and that the virus may have been dead because it hadn't been refrigerated over the years, the Associated Press reported.

It's the first time that unaccounted-for smallpox has been found, according to the agency officials. They said no one has been infected, and no smallpox contamination was found in the building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Smallpox was declared eradicated in the 1980s and it was thought that the only remaining samples were in highly-secure laboratories in Atlanta and Russia, the AP reported.

Posted: July 2014


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