September 15, 2017

U.S. Median income Hits New High and Other Good News

By Human Progress Team
Anti-inflammatory drug cuts heart attack risk 

A recent study of 10,000 patients indicates that using a new anti-inflammatory drug named Canakinumab can reduce the risk of repeat heart attacks by 15%. The outcome of the trial which the British Heart Foundation (BHF) dubbed “exciting and long-awaited” represents a “milestone in a long journey” according Harvard Medical school. The study is being described by its authors as representing potentially the most significant breakthrough in heart attack treatment since Statins, a drug which helps to lower cholesterol.  Despite this breakthrough, Canakinumab still has serious potential risks. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has called for further research. 

Middle-class income hit highest level on record in 2016

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that median household income reached a record high of $59,039 in 2016, increasing in real terms by 3.2% when compared to the 2015 median. This study is adjusted for inflation and includes data from almost 100,000 homes, making it one of the most of the most accurate and well regarded indices. The Census Bureau also found the number of people working full-time with increased earnings has increased by 2.2 million between 2015 and 2016, whilst the poverty rate has fallen 2.1% since 2014.

Trail raises Parkinson’s therapy hope 

A team of Japanese scientists have restored destroyed nerve cells caused by a disease similar to Parkinson’s, in the brains of macaque monkeys. By transplanting human stem cells to replace those destroyed, the monkeys have showed a substantial improvement after two years. The stem cells, which are known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are artificially created by reverting adult human cells into an embryonic-like state, meaning they can develop into a variety of different cell types. This treatment looks to reverse the release of dopamine by nerve cells, which occurs during Parkinson’s and typically results in severely impaired movement. The Japanese researchers are hoping to begin human trails by the end of 2018, but for now it is being described as “extremely promising research” as it proves “safe and highly effective cell therapy for Parkinson's can be produced in the lab.”