Monday, April 11, 2011

Cheerful Scoop Moves

Hello Cheerful Scoop Readers,

It's been a long time, but I am bringing back the good news blog. For the new and improved site please visit:

If you like what's happening there, please spread the word to friends, family or Facebook. The idea: spread good news in a world filled with bummer bombs.

Kimberly Gengler

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine Flu Not Spreading

The World Health Organization said the Swine Flu does not appear to be spreading in a significant way. Mexican health officials have lowered its suspected death toll by 75 people, which indicates the disease is not as widespread or dangerous as originally suspected. 

So far, cases of the Swine Flu outside of Mexico haven't been as severe. At this point 18 countries have reported outbreaks of the disease and significant measures have been taken in each to prevent further contamination.  Overall, initial concerns and predictions haven't been substantiated

Originally reported by the BBC

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scars Be Gone

Scars are a part of life, but not for much longer. Scientists have discovered a drug that reduces the appearance of surgical scars. 

Scaring is prevented when the compound, avotemin, is injected into the skin around a surgical incision before and after a surgery. Avotemin works to send signals between cells so the body's collagen knits more effectively, which reduces scars. 

With more research the compound may result in an anti-scaring treatment. Even thought the drug is only cosmetic it can help people feel better about themselves - always a good thing. No one wants to be reminded of their injuries and illnesses. 

Originally reported by Daily Mail. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"The Pill" For Men and Infertility Cure

A recent study on sperm may result in a win for everyone. Researchers discovered a gene mutation that causes infertility and the discovery may lead to  a cure. The discovery may also lead to the development of a male contraceptive pill. In just one study two issues may be addressed. 

The researchers were initially trying to isolate genetic causes of deafness, but instead found two different DNA mutations in the CATSPER 1 gene that effected a man's ability to produce a protein related to sperm "hyperactivity," or sperms ability to move fast enough to penetrate a female egg.

It is possible that antibodies could be developed that could bind to the defective protein thus creating healthy, active sperm. Additionally, the mutation would be selectively applied in pill form and create a male birth control pill. Both applications need more research and development. Nevertheless - there's hope for those who and don't want children. 

Originally reported by the BBC

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Blind Man Who Could See

Seeing is believing and a 73-year-old man that lost his eyesight thirty years ago can now believe - his sight is back. With the help of a bionic eye, Ron can now track light and make out basic shapes. He says he can short socks for the first time in thirty years.  

Ron's experimental surgery took place at London's Moorfield's eye hospital. A tiny camera mounted on a pair of sunglasses transmits data via a cable to electrodes that sit upon Ron's retinas. When the electrodes are stimulated they transmit messages to the optic nerve in Ron's brain, which in turn allows him to see the light pattern experienced by the camera. 

With training, patients will be able to create meaningful images based on the light patterns they can now see. To date, eighteen people have bionic eyes and more will follow. 

Originally reported by the BBC.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Antibody Injections Help Severe Asthma

Half a million people with severe asthma now have an effective treatment. 

Two groups of researchers from the UK and Canada found injections of mepolizumab, an antibody, help reduce the frequency of severe attacks in people with asthma exacerbated. Aside from decreasing the number of attacks, the treatment also allows asthma patients to decrease their use of steroids, which have multiple negative side effects like weight gain and bone loss. 

This type of asthma is linked to abnormally high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils. The antibody injections bring the white blood cell count down and that prevents the server airway inflammation associated with asthma. 

The treatment reduces attacks by up to 50 percent and increases the quality of life for asthma sufferers

Originally reported by the BBC

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rare Cheetah Gets a Close Up

Learning about endangered species is no easy task. The Saharan cheetah falls into this category and is rarely seen - until now. A team from the Zoological Society of London has captured several images of the endangered animal. The images help identify individual animals and provide information about the allusive species, which little is know about. 

With fewer than 250 mature individuals in the wild, the Saharan cheetah faces extinction. By gathering images of the animals that roam just six countries (Algeria, Togo, Niger, Mali, Benin, and Burkina Faso), zoologists hope to understand the animals' movement and ecology. This information may help save the species. 

If nothing else, the images provide another face to a problem humans love to ignore - endangered species. 

Originally reported by the BBC. Photo by Farid Belbachir of the Zoological Society of London.