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HIV-infected H9 T Cell. NIAID via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 
HIV-infected H9 T Cell. NIAID via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 

Scientists Report HIV No Longer Detected in the Blood of British Trial Subject

HIV-infected H9 T Cell. NIAID via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 
HIV-infected H9 T Cell. NIAID via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 

Scientists recently made a huge stride toward finding a cure for HIV. A team of researchers from five UK universities reported the apparent disappearance of the virus from the blood of a trial subject. According to The Telegraph, the 44-year-old British man may be the first person fully cured of the disease using the new treatment.

The treatments currently available target active T-cells infected with HIV but do nothing to treat dormant T-cells. The team of scientists are currently running a trial of a different kind of therapy meant to tackle HIV in its dormant state. It goes a few steps beyond existing anti-retroviral therapies (ART) by training the body’s immune system to recognize HIV with a vaccine and awakening dormant T-cells so they’re easier to eradicate.

The therapy is currently being administered to 50 volunteers, and so far it seems to have been fully effective in at least one subject. The virus is no longer detectable in the blood of the unnamed patient. This might be due to the regular drugs he’s taking, but if the dormant cells are completely gone as well then the case represents the trial’s first full cure.

HIV has been eliminated from one patient before using a rather roundabout method: In 2008, Timothy Brown received a stem cell transplant from someone with a natural immunity to the disease and was effectively cured. If this new treatment is as promising as it looks, it could offer a more practical solution to the 2.1 million people infected with HIV each year. Researchers plan to move forward with medical tests for the next five years and may eventually look into the treatment as a replacement for current therapies.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Stop Your Snoring and Track Your Sleep With a Wi-Fi Smart Pillow
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REM-Fit

Everyone could use a better night's rest. The CDC says that only 66 percent of American adults get as much sleep as they should, so if you're spending plenty of time in bed but mostly tossing and turning (or trying to block out your partner's snores), it may be time to smarten up your sleep accessories. As TechCrunch reports, the ZEEQ Smart Pillow improves your sleeping schedule in a multitude of ways, whether you're looking to quiet your snores or need a soothing lullaby to rock you to sleep.

After a successful Kickstarter in 2016, the product is now on sale and ready to get you snoozing. If you're a snorer, the pillow has a microphone designed to listen to the sound of your snores and softly vibrate so that you shift positions to a quieter pose. Accelerometers in the pillow let the sleep tracker know how much you're moving around at night, allowing it to record your sleep stages. Then, you can hook the pillow up to your Amazon Echo or Google Home so that you can have your favorite smart assistant read out the pillow's analysis of your sleep quality and snoring levels the next morning.

The pillow is also equipped with eight different wireless speakers that turn it into an extra-personal musical experience. You can listen to soothing music while you fall asleep, either connecting the pillow to your Spotify or Apple Music account on your phone via Bluetooth or using the built-in relaxation programs. You can even use it to listen to podcasts without disturbing your partner. You can set a timer to turn the music off after a certain period so you don't wake up in the middle of the night still listening to Serial.

And when it's time to wake up, the pillow will analyze your movements to wake you during your lightest sleep stage, again keeping the noise of an alarm from disturbing your partner.

The downside? Suddenly your pillow is just another device with a battery that needs to charge. And forget about using it in a place without Wi-Fi.

The ZEEQ Smart Pillow currently costs $200.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Add This Tweak To Your Bedtime Routine
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iStock

There are countless reasons people have trouble falling asleep. It could be physiological, as in the case of airway-obstructing sleep apnea, or it could be because you’ve had too much caffeine too late in the day. But some of us experience delayed slumber for a different reason: Our racing minds can’t quite shift into a lower gear. If you fall into this hyper-vigilant category, there’s a side effect-free way to try and resolve the problem.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that subjects who were tasked with writing out a to-do list for the following day (or days) before bed were able to fall asleep more quickly than other subjects who wrote about only what they had done that day.

The test, performed at Baylor University, recruited 57 people between the ages of 18 and 30 and kept them overnight in a sleep lab. Those who wrote down their planned tasks could use bullet points or paragraphs and fell asleep an average of nine minutes faster than subjects who didn’t. The more specific the list, the faster they were able to crash.

Researchers believe that the act of writing down responsibilities might be one way the brain can let go of a person’s obligations. (Thinking of what you have to do won’t have quite the same effect.) It was a small study, but considering how non-invasive it is, it might be worth trying if you're experiencing a lot of tossing and turning.

[h/t Travel+Leisure]

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