Scientists at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Harvard School of Medicine report in the Journal of Nature Biotechnology that they have isolated stem cells from amniotic fluid . Further, by introducing growth factors, they were able to get the anmiotic fluid-derived stem cells to differentiate (a concept from developmental biology describing the process by which cells acquire a “type”) into muscle, fat, bone, blood vessel, liver and nerve cells.
Merck recently announced that it will collaborate with Hong Kong-based Chi-Med, a pharmaceutical firm that focuses on researching, developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals, health supplements and other consumer health and personal care products derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine and botanical ingredients, to develop new cancer drugs.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is native to Iran and was likely domesticated during the Bronze Age to feed horses arriving from Central Asia. It was later used in Greece around 490 B.C. as horse feed for the Persian army. The name alfalfa comes from the Arabian al-fac-facah, for “father of all foods”. A perennial herb, alfalfa was and is easy to grow, thriving in many varied climates throughout the world, and provides an excellent protein-rich food source for cattle, horses, sheep and other animals.
In the medical field, health is commonly defined as an organism’s ability to efficiently respond to challenges (stressors) and effectively restore and sustain a “state of balance” known as homeostasis.
Health is the level of functional and/or metabolic efficiency of an organism at both the cellular and social level. The word “health” comes from the Old English word hale, meaning “free from disease or infirmity”.
In humans, it is the general condition of a person in the mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (referred to as “in good health” or “healthy”).
In 1946, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” . The highest possible attainment of health is a fundamental right of every human being without distinction of any kind.
- Grad FP. The Preamble of the Constitution of the World Health Organization. World Health Organization. 1946.