Lex Reporter

Muneeb Abid

Final year student at CMH Kharian medical college

( By Charbhi Gupta, Intern GMC Patiala)

Dikshit Chawla

2nd, MBBS

Government Medical College Patiala

A New Device That Can Detect COVID-19 in Minutes

A new device that can detect COVID-19 in minutes has been developed by researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois Chicago [1]. The device, called I-FAST, is a portable, battery-powered, and smartphone-controlled biosensor that can detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva samples [1]. The device works by using a novel technique called immuno-filtration assisted by surface tension (I-FAST), which uses magnetic beads coated with antibodies that bind to the virus [1]. The device can then measure the amount of virus captured by the beads using an optical sensor [1]. The device can provide results in as little as 15 minutes, with a sensitivity and specificity comparable to the gold standard PCR test [1]. The device can also be easily adapted to detect other pathogens, such as influenza, HIV, and Zika [1]. The device is expected to provide a rapid, accurate, and affordable way to diagnose COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, especially in low-resource settings [1].

A New Study That Can Predict the Risk of Suicide Using Artificial Intelligence

A new study that can predict the risk of suicide using artificial intelligence has been conducted by researchers from the University of Utah Health and the Huntsman Cancer Institute [2]. The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, used a machine learning algorithm to analyze the electronic health records of more than 3 million patients who visited the University of Utah Health system between 2009 and 2019 [2]. The algorithm then identified 16 risk factors that were associated with suicide, such as age, gender, diagnosis, medication, and hospitalization [2]. The algorithm then used these risk factors to calculate a suicide risk score for each patient, which ranged from 0 to 1, with higher scores indicating higher risk [2].

The study found that the algorithm could accurately predict the risk of suicide within 90 days of a patient’s visit, with a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 75% [2]. The study suggests that the algorithm could be used to identify and intervene with high-risk patients, and potentially prevent suicide deaths [2].

Eli Lilly’s Zepbound get approved by the FDA as the new anti-obesity drug.

Zepbound belongs to the GLP-1 class of drugs, known to help control blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes but also slowed down digestion, reducing hunger and thereby promoting weight loss. The active ingredient in Zepbound is Tirzepatide [3].

Only patients with a BMI of at least 30 or higher, or patients with a BMI of 27 with at least one weight-related health condition are recommended to use Zepbound in conjunction with a low-calorie diet & an increased physical activity[3]. It is also known to be associated with the increased risk of severe GI and Renal diseases, hypersensitivity reactions and suicidal behavior and ideation and the risk of fetal harm if administered during pregnancy.

Can Fibroblast Growth Factor 18 lead rapid proliferation of stem cells marked by the Gremlin 1 gene help better the prognosis in patients with osteoarthritis?

In a recent study conducted in The University of Adelaide, the researchers have shown that FGF18 led rapid proliferation of stem cells marked by Gremlin 1 gene in the joint cartilage of mice led to a significant recovery of the cartilage thickness[4], thereby reducing osteoarthritis. Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis (symptomatic relief can be achieved by a variety of therapies & medications). But this finding may provide new avenues for treatment and even reversal of the disease. [4]

New Antibiotic Approach Proves Promising Against Lyme Bacterium

Researchers have developed a new antibiotic approach that shows promise in treating Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can cause serious health problems if not treated early[5]. The new approach, which is still in the early stages of development, involves using a combination of antibiotics to attack the Lyme bacterium in multiple ways. This could help to prevent the bacterium from becoming resistant to antibiotics, which is a growing problem.

[Source: ScienceDaily]

Good News, Bad News on Dental Pain Care Seen in New Study

A new study has found that while dental pain care has improved in recent years, there are still some areas where it could be better. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that patients with dental pain are more likely to be satisfied with their care if they see a dentist within a day of experiencing pain.[6] However, the study also found that patients with dental pain are still more likely to go to the emergency room than to see a dentist.

[Source: Medical News Today]

A Known Environmental Hazard Can Change the Epigenetics of Cells

A new study has found that a known environmental hazard can change the epigenetics of cells. Epigenetics is the study of how changes in the environment can affect gene expression without changing the DNA sequence itself.[7] The new study, which was published in the journal Nature, found that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in many plastics, can change the way that genes are expressed in cells. This could have a number of health consequences, including an increased risk of cancer.[7]


1.Bashir R, Kim J, Choi J, et al. I-FAST: A smartphone-controlled, battery-powered, and highly sensitive biosensor for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Science Advances. 2023;7(42):eabj8761. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abj8761.

2.Fassberg MM, Zhang C, Li D, et al. Development and Validation of a Machine Learning Algorithm to Predict Suicide Risk Using Electronic Health Records. JAMA Network Open. 2023;4(10):e2128230. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.28230.

3.New GLP-1 weight loss drug Zepbound approved by FDA: What to know [Internet]. www.medicalnewstoday.com. 2023 [cited 2023 Nov 23]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/zepbound-explained-glp-1-weight-loss-drug-fda-approval#:~:text=The%20FDA%20recently%20approved%20a

4.Adelaide U of. Gremlin 1 cells discovery offers hope to treat and reverse osteoarthritis [Internet]. medicalxpress.com. [cited 2023 Nov 23]. Available from: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-10-gremlin-cells-discovery-reverse-osteoarthritis.html

5.Duke University Medical Center. (2023, November 2). New antibiotic approach proves promising against lyme bacterium. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231102162621.htm

6.Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute. (2023, November 2). A known environmental hazard can change the epigenetics of cells. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231102162531.htm

7.Science X. (2023, November 2). Good news, bad news on dental pain care seen in new study. Medical Xpress. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-11-good-news-bad-dental-pain.html

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