Search for: "RNA" - 218 articles found

Photo

Detection

Zybio – SARS-CoV-2 Nucleic Acid Detection Kit

Highlights: This product qualitatively detects the RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in the specimen by measuring the change of fluorescence signal intensity during RT-PCR amplification with specific primers and probes against the conserved region of ORF 1ab and N gene, using One Step RT-PCR method. The UNG-dUTP was used to minimize the possibility of contamination of PCR amplification products. In the…

Photo

Synthetic nucleic acid

New approach could help weak hearts

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction was previously considered largely untreatable. A research team at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) led by Professor Michael Gotthardt has now succeeded for the first time in improving cardiac function with the help of a synthetic nucleic acid, as the researchers report in the journal Science…

Photo

Extraction

Promega – Maxwell CSC Instrument

Dimensions: 330.2 × 299.7 × 345.2 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 11 kgSample througput: up to 16 samples / 24 – 72 minutesHandheld / Stationary: Very small benchtop instrumentAssays: Blood, FFPE (CE-IVD) or plasma, cells, swabs, stool and many others (RUO)Highlights: Automated DNA and RNA extraction for IVD useGenerates consistent, high-quality nucleic acid for use…

Photo

Extraction

MolGen – PurePrep 96

Highlights: The PurePrep 96 is an automated nucleic acid extraction system and suitable for high throughput workflows.High-quality processing of up to 96 samples per runWide volume range: 50–1000 µLCompact, user-friendly and easy to installThis device uses magnetic separation technology to process matrices such as blood, cultured cells, bacteria, tissues, cell-free body fluids,…

Photo

Laboratory equipment

MolGen opens new UK office

DNA / RNA extraction technology, system, products and kits for human and animal diagnostics, agriculture, aquaculture, pharma and biotech solutions provider MolGen B.V., announces the recent opening of its UK office. The new office is located at 6th Floor, South Quay Building, 189 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SH. This expansion will enable the company to meet the rapidly increasing demand for…

Photo

Relapse research

Multiple myeloma: Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, relapse almost always occurs after treatment. Initially, most patients respond well to therapy. However, as the disease progresses, resistant cancer cells spread in the bone marrow, with fatal consequences for the patients. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the National Center for…

Photo

Early detection & prevention

Blood-based micro-RNAs indicate colorectal cancer risk

The risk of colorectal cancer can be predicted more accurately by determining seven blood-based micro-RNAs (miRNAs) than by using traditional methods - and can be done so many years before a diagnosis is made. In a current study, researchers from the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg show that miRNA profiles provide greater predictive…

Photo

Infection research

Understanding lung damage in Covid-19 patients

Covid-19 disease severity is determined by the individual patient’s immune response. The precise mechanisms taking place inside the lungs and blood during the early phase of the disease, however, remain unclear. Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Freie Universität Berlin have now studied the cellular mechanisms…

Photo

Genome editing

Using CRISPR to speed up Covid-19 testing

A research team led by scientists in the labs of Jennifer Doudna, David Savage and Patrick Hsu at the University of California, Berkeley, is aiming to develop a rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test that is much faster and easier to deploy than qRT-PCR. It has now combined two different types of CRISPR enzymes to create an assay that can detect small amounts of viral RNA in less than an hour. Doudna…

Photo

Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method. The strategy has already been tested against hepatitis and adeno-associated viruses in cell…

Photo

Sample-to-answer workflow

Partnership for Covid-19 test solution

SpeeDx Pty, Ltd. and MolGen announced the signing of an agreement to collaborate on supply and distribution of clinical diagnostics products and instrumentation across Europe and Asia Pacific. The partnership links specimen handling, nucleic acid extraction, assay set-up, amplification, and results reporting in a seamless integration of the companies technologies. “This partnership capitalises…

Photo

Antibiotic resistance

Five-minute MRSA detection with aptasensor swabs

An international research team from Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Jordan has developed a novel pathogen aptasensor swab designed to qualitatively detect, within five minutes, any methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination that remains in a hospital isolation room or other surface following standard decontamination and cleaning.

Photo

SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

When a cell is infected, SARS-CoV-2 not only causes the host cell to produce new virus particles. The virus also suppresses host cell defence mechanisms. The virus protein nsP3 plays a central role in this. Using structural analyses, researchers at Goethe University in cooperation with the Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute have now discovered that a decomposition product of the virostatic agent…

Photo

dPCR and HSAFM

Low-cost technique for missed genetic mutations

A new low-cost method targeting genetic mutations often missed by existing diagnostic approaches has been developed. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States noted that most rearrangement mutations implicated in cancer and neurological diseases fall between what can be detected by DNA sequence reads and optical microscopy methods. The new technique combines…

Photo

Building a coronavirus factory

How SARS-CoV-2 reprograms human cells to their own benefit

Coronavirus researchers under Prof. Rolf Hilgenfeld of the University of Lübeck and Dr. Albrecht von Brunn of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich discovered how SARS viruses enhance the production of viral proteins in infected cells, so that many new copies of the virus can be generated. Other coronaviruses apart from SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 do not use this mechanism, thereby providing a…

Photo

Lipid research

Solving the sub-zero challenge of Covid-19 vaccines

New research by University of Texas at Dallas scientists could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain Covid-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage. In a study published online in Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline…

Photo

CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

Photo

Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

Antimicrobial technologies such as coatings and textiles containing silver and copper are helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring that whatever they touch, whether that is a door handle or their own mask, is free from live SARS-CoV-2 particles. But how exactly do these antimicrobial technologies work? How can a silver, copper or even polymeric coating kill microorganisms such as…

Photo

Nanotechnology

New low-cost solution for virus-scale microscopy

Using an ordinary light microscope, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a technique for imaging biological samples with accuracy at the scale of 10 nanometers — which should enable them to image viruses and potentially even single biomolecules, the researchers say. The new technique builds on expansion microscopy, an approach that involves embedding…

Photo

Potential for rapid, accurate glycan sequencing

Enormous boost for sequencing key molecules

Using a nanopore, researchers have demonstrated the potential to reduce the time required for sequencing a glycosaminoglycan — a class of long chain-linked sugar molecules as important to our biology as DNA — from years to minutes. Research to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences shows that machine-learning and image recognition software could be…

Photo

Improved Coronavirus detection

Low-cost and fast Covid-19 test uses pool of gargle lavage samples

In order to monitor and contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 it is necessary to test large numbers of people on a regular basis in decentralized settings. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Hospital St. Georg in Leipzig, Germany, have developed improved protocols for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The method can detect a positive sample in a pool with 25…

Photo

Tiny changes, huge effects

Finding causes of disease with induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are suitable for discovering the genes that underly complex and also rare genetic diseases. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), together with international partners, have studied genotype-phenotype relationships in iPSCs using data from approximately one thousand donors. Tens of…

Photo

Coronavirus research

Promising SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors discovered

A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as…

Photo

Regenerative medicine

Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ to repair human livers

Scientists have used a technique to grow bile duct organoids – often referred to as ‘mini-organs’ – in the lab and shown that these can be used to repair damaged human livers. This is the first time that the technique has been used on human organs. The research paves the way for cell therapies to treat liver disease – in other words, growing ‘mini-bile ducts’ in the lab as…

Photo

Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

Photo

Portable testing solution

A corona lab that fits in a suitcase

The PCR test is the most accurate tool to identify SARS-CoV-2. However, valid results are often available only after days. Moreover, the laboratory must be well equipped, have trained personnel and sufficient financial resources. All of this is usually a problem in Africa. A portable suitcase could help. In cooperation with several African universities, scientists at Leipzig University have found…

Photo

Viral sequencing

How SARS-CoV-2 spreads and evolves

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants that are adding twists in the battle against COVID-19 highlight the need for better genomic monitoring of the virus, says Katia Koelle, associate professor of biology at Emory University.

Photo

Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

This FAQ from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is provided to help answer patient questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These recommendations are based on best knowledge to date, but could change at any time, pending new information and further guidance from the FDA or CDC.

Photo

RNA editing

New mechanism of cancer formation discovered

A team of scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) led by Dr Polly Leilei Chen from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine has discovered a previously unknown mechanism of cancer formation, the understanding of which may lead to more effective treatment. Their findings concern a process called RNA editing. The DNA code of a gene gets…

Photo

AI use in clinical diagnosis

Deep learning tool predicts tumour expression from whole slide images

A deep learning model to predict RNA-Seq expression of tumours from whole slide images was among the industry innovations outlined at the 7th Digital Pathology and AI Congress for Europe. Created by French-American start-up Owkin, the detail of how the company’s HE2RNA model provides virtual spatialization of gene expression was detailed to online delegates by senior translational scientist…

Photo

Intensive care

Protecting lungs from ventilation-induced injury

An unfortunate truth about the use of mechanical ventilation to save the lives of patients in respiratory distress is that the pressure used to inflate the lungs is likely to cause further lung damage. In a new study, scientists identified a molecule that is produced by immune cells during mechanical ventilation to try to decrease inflammation, but isn’t able to completely prevent…

Photo

Lasts longer, causes more damage

Covid-19 pneumonia: not your typical garden-variety pneumonia

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, investigators at Northwestern Medicine show Covid-19 pneumonia is…

Photo

Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

Photo

Dangerous immune response

New insight on severe virus attacks on the lungs

In some cases, immune cells in the lungs can contribute to worsening a virus attack. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet describe how different kinds of immune cells, called macrophages, develop in the lungs and which of them may be behind severe lung diseases. The study, which was published in Immunity, may contribute to future treatments for Covid-19, among other diseases.

Photo

Crossing the blood-brain barrier

Nanoparticle drug-delivery system to treat brain disorders

In the past few decades, researchers have identified biological pathways leading to neurodegenerative diseases and developed promising molecular agents to target them. However, the translation of these findings into clinically approved treatments has progressed at a much slower rate, in part because of the challenges scientists face in delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier (BBB)…

Photo

Computer model vs. Covid-19

Discovering new weaknesses of SARS-CoV-2 through bioinformatics

The search for antiviral agents against the new coronavirus is in full swing. Using a novel approach, Bioinformaticians have now discovered a weakness in the virus that could be exploited for drug development. In a computer model, the scientists discovered a human enzyme that is crucial for the virus. When it was switched off in the model, the virus could no longer multiply.

Photo

Stepstone for new treatments

Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists have discovered a gene-regulating snippet of RNA that may contribute to the spread of many breast cancers. In animal experiments, the researchers could reduce the growth of metastatic tumors with a molecule designed to target that RNA and trigger its destruction. The same strategy, they say, could be used to develop a new breast cancer treatment for…

Photo

SARS-CoV-2 vs the proteome

Researchers explore coronavirus interactions with cells

Scientists from Würzburg and the US have charted the first global atlas of direct interactions between SARS-CoV-2 RNA and human host cells. This may provide a starting point for novel treatments. SARS-CoV-2 infections pose a global threat to human health and a formidable research challenge. One of the most urgent tasks is to gain a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions between the…

Photo

Coronavirus imaging

Covid-19: Is CT more sensitive than PCR testing?

Covid-19 causes characteristic changes in lung tissue visible in CT scans and chest radiographs, known as “ground-glass” opacities. Imaging is now considered a valid alternative, possibly even superior to RT-PCR. ‘This sparked an international debate about the role of CT in the diagnostic work-up of Covid-19,’ said radiologist Professor Cornelia Schäfer-Prokop.

Photo

Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV-3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. This could not only lay the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection with new corona viruses that may develop in the future.

Photo

Detecting coronavirus infections

Covid-19: CRISPR-based test gives GPs quick results

Recent research in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has identified two enzymes that can detect Covid-19 RNA as simply as a pregnancy test Jesús Pla, an eminent microbiologist at the Complutense University in Madrid, explained in our exclusive interview. CRISPR technology could help alleviate workloads in packed hospitals and expand testing to primary care and…

Photo

Cancer research

New therapeutic approach against leukemia

Leukemia frequently originates from the so-called leukemic stem cell, which resides in a tumor promoting and protecting niche within the bone marrow. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, have found a new way to make these cells vulnerable by specifically dislodging these cells from their niches.

Photo

Therapy development

New approach to 'BEAT' COVID-19

The present Coronavirus pandemic with all its effects on society – both health and economic – highlights the urgency of developing new therapies for COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, it demonstrates the necessity to become well prepared for new virus infections we may be facing in the future. To help control the current pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future…

Photo

COVID immunity research

Coronavirus re-infection: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19? To date, there have been six published cases of COVID-19 reinfection, with various other unverified accounts from around the world. Although this is a comparably small fraction of the millions of people known to have been infected, should we be…

Photo

For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, “for the development of a method for genome editing”, more commonly known as the 'gene scissors' CRISPR/Cas9.

Photo

For breakthroughs against Hepatitis C

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus.

Photo

Taking control

How the coronavirus hijacks cells

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the coronavirus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus.

Photo

Prototype

Portable point-of-care for Covid-19 tests

As COVID-19 continues to spread, bottlenecks in supplies and laboratory personnel have led to long waiting times for results in some areas. In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable…

Photo

Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

Genes that are thought to play a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells have been found to be active in embryos as early as during the second week of pregnancy, say scientists at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The researchers say this could mean embryos are susceptible to COVID-19 if the mother gets sick, potentially affecting the…

Photo

Immune system sabotage

SARS-CoV-2 induces shutdown of protein synthesis

Although its name is relatively unspecific and indeed opaque, the Nonstructural Protein 1 (Nsp1) encoded by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the current pandemic, has now been shown to have a devastating effect on host cells. Nsp1 is in fact one of the central weapons used by the virus to ensure its own replication and propagation in human hosts. Nsp1 was identified as a…

Photo

Hidden in our genes

scHOT: Discovering the fate of cell development

As cells develop, changes in how our genes interact determines their fate. Differences in these genetic interactions can make our cells robust to infection from viruses or make it possible for our immune cells to kill cancerous ones. Understanding how these gene associations work across the development of human tissue and organs is important for the creation of medical treatments for complex…

Photo

Light or severe progression

The dangerous dual role of the immune system in COVID-19

Infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 follows a highly variable course: some of those infected do not even notice it, while others become so seriously ill that their lives are placed at risk. Scientists from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and their colleagues from Leipzig and Heidelberg have now discovered that the immune system has a…

Photo

Disinfection

Robots help fight hospital infections

In the hustle and bustle of a hospital, properly disinfecting all surfaces in a patient room can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Now, in times of the coronavirus pandemic, it can also be life-threatening. To minimize the risk for their staff, hospitals are utilizing disinfection robots to sanitize surfaces and rooms. Read on and learn more about how some of those robots are used to…

Photo

Sample analysis

Next-generation analytical lab software strengthens data exploration

Scientists in the life sciences can now benefit from upgrades to a suite of analytical software solutions with new features designed to enhance productivity, confidence and accuracy in numerous fields, including proteomics, food safety and biotherapeutic drug development. The latest suite of software strengthens laboratory workflows across a range of applications through expanded capabilities,…

Photo

New gene therapy approach

Tumor-tropic technology for targeted cancer therapy

Toshiba Corporation and a team led by Professor Yozo Nakazawa at the Department of Pediatrics, Shinshu University, have together developed a “tumor-tropic liposome technology” for gene therapy. The technology uses unique, nano-sized biodegradable liposomes developed by Toshiba to accurately and efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to targeted cancer cells, and achieves safer gene delivery…

Photo

Changes in cells caused by coronavirus

Potential targets for COVID-19 therapy discovered

A team of biochemists and virologists at Goethe University and the Frankfurt University Hospital were able to observe how human cells change upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 in people. The scientists tested a series of compounds in laboratory models and found some which slowed down or stopped virus reproduction. These results now enable the search for an active substance…

Photo

Cell division

Researchers find protein that helps cancer cells to survive

In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered two important functions of a protein called RTEL1 during cell division. The researchers hope that the new knowledge will help to find new cancer treatments. One of the body's most important processes is cell division, which occurs throughout life. Normal cells only have a limited number of divisions, while in cancer…

Photo

Going viral

Coronavirus clone produced in the lab

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method developed in Bern can also be used in future to combat other highly infectious viruses. In the…

Photo

COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

Photo

COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems. Jing Wang and his team at Empa and ETH Zurich usually work on…

Photo

Coronavirus mutations

Tracking COVID-19 with genetic ‘barcode’

Drexel University researchers have reported a method to quickly identify and label mutated versions of the virus that causes COVID-19. Their preliminary analysis, using information from a global database of genetic information gleaned from coronavirus testing, suggests that there are at least six to 10 slightly different versions of the virus infecting people in America, some of which are either…

Photo

Prostate Urine Risk (PUR)

Urine test could reduce unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies

Unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies could be reduced by 60 per cent thanks to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Researchers have developed new methods to identify biomarkers for prostate cancer by combining information from multiple parts of urine samples. It is hoped that the breakthrough could help large numbers of men avoid an unnecessary initial biopsy.

Photo

Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers…

Photo

SARS-like virus from China

What we know about the new corona virus

Nine people have died and more than 400 have been sickened by the new corona virus spreading in China. A few cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S., and on Wednesday, the World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on the outbreak. How worried about a new pandemic should we be? Virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department…

Photo

Molecular map

Striatum: where our brain makes decisions

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have come one step closer toward understanding how the part of our brain that is central for decision-making and the development of addiction is organized on a molecular level. In mouse models and with methods used for mapping cell types and brain tissue, the researchers were able to visualize the organization of different opioid-islands in striatum. Their…

Photo

Detailed map of immune cells

The Human Blood Atlas: a mighty new tool to fight deadly diseases

A first-ever map of the human body’s immune cells has been created by scientists at SciLifeLab, providing medical research with a detailed description of the proteins in human blood. The open-access database offers medical researchers an unprecedented resource in the search for treatments for diseases. Published in the journal Science, the Blood Atlas resource is the latest database to be…

Photo

Transporting DNA

An easier way of sneaking antibodies into cells

For almost any conceivable protein, corresponding antibodies can be developed to block it from binding or changing shape, which ultimately prevents it from carrying out its normal function. As such, scientists have looked to antibodies as a way of shutting down proteins inside cells for decades, but there is still no consistent way to get them past the cell membrane in meaningful numbers. Now,…

Photo

Chronic inflammations

GATA-3: 'Switching off' allergies and asthma

Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as allergies and asthma, are not only an acute problem but also a major research and prevention challenge. We spoke with Professor Harald Renz, Director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine at the University Hospital Gießen/Marburg, Germany, and discussed the major reason for increases in the number of these widespread diseases.

Photo

CRISPR 2.0

Is 'prime editing' the next step in gene editing?

A team from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has developed a new CRISPR genome-editing approach by combining two of the most important proteins in molecular biology – CRISPR-Cas9 and a reverse transcriptase – into a single machine. The system, called “prime editing,” is capable of directly editing human cells in a precise, efficient, and highly versatile fashion. The approach…

Photo

New transfection approach

Immunotherapy: The 'FedEx and UPS equivalent of DNA delivery'

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

Photo

Targeted treatment

New nanomedi­cine for efficient cancer chemo­ther­apy

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) have developed a new anti-cancer nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. This new nano-tool provides a new approach to use cell-based nanomedicines for efficient cancer chemotherapy. Exosomes contain various molecular…

Photo

Watson on the case

Personalised cancer care through AI

The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) is the first European university hospital to utilize IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help uncover therapeutic options for cancer patients. HUG will use the IBM Watson Health’s precision oncology offering, Watson for Genomics, an AI tool that enables oncologists to provide patients with more personalized, evidence-based cancer care. Using…

Photo

Methylation of microRNA

Is it cancer? New method could tell the difference

Levels of molecules associated with genetic function, such as microRNA, can be an important indicator of abnormal activity associated with cancer. However, little is known about how different molecules are altered in cancerous cells. Now, researchers from Japan have found a new way of distinguishing cancerous from non-cancerous tissues. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers…

Photo

Methods, quality assurance, commercial providers issues

Molecular testing takes a huge leap

In terms of success in revolutionary cancer treatment, molecular genetic examination procedures have developed immensely over recent years. They now range from conventional polymerase chain reactions (PCR) or fluorescence-in-situ hybridisation (FISH) to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) with analysis of the entire exome or genome (Whole-Exome, WES or Whole-Genome, WGS) and of the transcriptome…

Photo

Gene editing

Taking CRISPR one step further

Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously. The biotechnological method CRISPR-Cas offers a relatively quick and easy way to manipulate single genes in cells, meaning they can be precisely deleted, replaced or modified. Furthermore, in recent years,…

Photo

Personalised medicine

Why digital twins could be the ideal therapy testbed

Advanced computer models of diseases can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment. The goal is to develop the models to “digital twins” of individual patients. Those twins may help to computationally identify and try the best medication, before actually treating a patient. The models are the result of an international study, published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

Photo

Oncology

Killing the unkillable cancer cells

We all know someone affected by the battle against cancer. And we know that treatments can be quite efficient at shrinking the tumor but too often, they can’t kill all the cells, and so it may come back. With some aggressive types of cancer, the problem is so great that there is very little that can be done for the patients.

Photo

Spectrophotometry

1 measurement, 1000 different results

Of course every lab needs a spectrophotometer to measure its DNA, RNA or protein concentrations. In most cases, this is a small and easy-to-use instrument. Normally you pipette approximately 1 µl of your liquid onto a pedestal, close the lid to cover your drop of liquid and, after pressing the measuring button, you will know the concentration of your sample. Since the procedure is so simple and…

Photo

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS)

Researchers find way to generate stem cells more efficiently

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are among the most important tools in modern biomedical research, leading to new and promising possibilities in precision medicine. To create them requires transforming a cell of one type, such as skin, into something of a blank slate, so it has the potential to become virtually any other kind of cell in the body, useful for regenerative therapies for…

Photo

Making the invisible visible

New method opens unexplored realms for liquid biopsies

Advancing technology is allowing scientists increasingly to search for tiny signs of cancer and other health issues in samples of patients’ blood and urine. These “liquid biopsies” are less invasive than a traditional biopsy, and can provide information about what’s happening throughout the body instead of just at a single site. Now researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer…

Photo

Research

Promising new stroke therapy in development

Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a novel stroke therapy that, when tested in mice and dogs, has proven superior to the standard of care therapy now offered to patients suffering a stroke. Findings of the study are published online in Molecular Therapy. “We have shown that our drug, which is completely…

Photo

Gene editing

DNA “shredder”: a different kind of CRISPR

In the last six years, a tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has transformed genetic research, allowing scientists to snip and edit DNA strands at precise locations like a pair of tiny scissors. But sometimes, it takes more than scissors to do the job. Now, a collaborative international team has unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool that acts more like a shredder, able to wipe out long stretches of DNA in human…

Photo

Neurological complications

Enterovirus infections: The disease is rare and research scant

Neurological complications due to infections with (novel) enteroviruses are rarely the focus of medical research. Thus, an article published in the German medical journal Der Nervenarzt (published at the Medizinische Hochschule Hanover (MHH) – has created quite a stir. We spoke with one of the authors, Professor Martin Stangel, about current clinical practice in terms of enterovirus.…

Photo

Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the germs that make them sick. However, new research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that a chemical that is supposed to kill bacteria is actually making them stronger and more capable of surviving antibiotic treatment. The study, available online in…

Photo

Blood cell disorder

Promising results for new acute porphyria treatment

Acute porphyria is a group of uncommon diseases that can cause severe, potentially life-threatening attacks of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and paralysis. Liver transplantation is currently the only effective treatment available for the most seriously afflicted patients. A clinical trial conducted in collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now shows that a new drug…

Photo

Precision medicine

Europe looks to cells for a healthier future

How can we detect the first signs of disease as early as possible? Could closer investigation at the cellular level help to quickly prevent disease progression through appropriate treatment? The European Union is now investing a million euros over a one-year period to devise the plan for a fundamentally new approach to understanding the constant changes within cells and their relationships to one…

Photo

DMD & rhabdomyosarcoma

Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Muscle stem cells can drive cancer

People with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) can develop an otherwise-rare muscle cancer, called rhabdomyosarcoma, due to the muscle cells’ continuous work to rebuild the damaged tissue. However, little is known about how the cancer arises, hindering development of a treatment or test that could predict cancer risk. Now, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP)…

Photo

Diagnostics

Heat it and read it

You’re sweating and feverish and have no idea why. Fortunately, Sandia National Laboratories scientists have built a device that can pinpoint what’s wrong in less than an hour. Unlike most medical diagnostic devices which can perform only one type of test — either protein or nucleic acid tests — Sandia’s SpinDx can now perform both. This allows it to identify nearly any cause of…

Photo

Open source

Machine Learning tool could help choose cancer drugs

The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to…

Photo

Cancer management

The enormous potential of liquid biopsy

It is non-invasive, delivers a chance of early diagnosis, prognostic information and sequential monitoring, and, believes Professor Francesco Salvatore, the enormous potential of liquid biopsies has still to be reached. However, the positive results obtained so far have ‘opened the door to a promising new multi-faceted group of tumour markers, at present collectively designated “liquid…

Photo

It's all connected

Understanding the "wiring diagrams" of genes in complex tissues

How is the activity of all genes in cells of higher organisms interconnected? And how are the genetic "wiring diagrams" of the cells in complex tissues coordinated with each other? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the University of Heidelberg are now planning to investigate this in two model organisms, Drosophila and…

Photo

Dying neurons

Decoding the regulation of cell survival

An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on neuronal survival of a small non-coding RNA molecule, so-called miRNA, at the highest resolution to date.

Photo

Infections

Zika virus strips immune cells of their identity

Macrophages are immune cells that are supposed to protect the body from infection by viruses and bacteria. Yet Zika virus preferentially infects these cells. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have now unraveled how the virus shuts down the genes that make macrophages function as immune cells.

Photo

Therapy

Could these special antibodies lead to HIV vaccine?

Around one percent of people infected with HIV produce antibodies that block most strains of the virus. These broadly acting antibodies provide the key to developing an effective vaccine against HIV. Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now shown that the genome of the HI virus is a decisive factor in determining which antibodies are formed.

Photo

AACC Disruptive Technology Award

Developers take diagnostics to the patient

Over the last several years, technological advancements have enabled the development of tests that can be performed right where the patient is, whether that’s in a hospital room, primary care office, or community health center. This is a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery that will make it easier for patients to get accurate diagnoses and treatment, and could especially benefit patients in…

Photo

Heard at the EBCC11

Identifying circulating tumour cells with liquid biopsy

Liquid biopsies can increasingly help diagnose and monitor breast cancer, and tracking circulating tumour cells (CTC) in metastatic patients could prove effective in these applications and treatment planning. Efforts are currently underway to demonstrate CTC clinical use and much can be learned from completed studies in prostate cancer, speaker Michail Ignatiadis MD PhD highlighted in a dedicated…

Photo

Promising research

Could senescence be the key to stopping cancer?

Canadian researchers have found a promising way to stop tumour cells from multiplying. In disrupting the composition of ribosomes, the team from Université de Montréal (UdeM) discovered a direct molecular mechanism to stop cancer cells from proliferating, which is called senescence. Their results have been published in Nature Cell Biology. 
“Ribosomes are complex machines composed of both…

Photo

Groundbreaking technique

Noninvasive brain tumor biopsy on the horizon

Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test. Hong Chen, a biomedical engineer, and Eric C. Leuthardt, MD, a neurosurgeon, led a team of engineers, physicians and researchers who have developed a…

Photo

Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

Photo

Small molecule, huge effect

Progress toward a new flu treatment, thanks to a small tweak

This year’s unexpectedly aggressive flu season reminds everyone that although the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who contract the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. Researchers report that a tweak to a small-molecule drug shows promise for future production of new antiviral therapies that could help patients, regardless of the strain with which they are infected. The…

Photo

Gene editing

CRISPR-based technology DETECTR can detect viral DNA

A powerful genome editing tool can be deployed as an ace DNA detective, able to sniff out DNA snippets that signal viral infections, cancer, or even defective genes. This genetic detective, developed in the laboratory of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley, uses the genome-slicing system known as CRISPR. By combining the…

Photo

Discovery

'Selfish' gene may protect against heart disease

Scientists have identified a gene that may play a protective role in preventing heart disease. Their research revealed that the gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels. Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the UCLA-led study in mice found that MeXis controls the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out…

Photo

Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer. It's estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have had a hepatitis B virus infection in their lifetime, with about 250 million -- including 2 million Americans -- living with chronic infection. Although a vaccine exists, there…

Photo

Efferocytosis

Can stem cell exosome therapy reduce fatal heart disease in diabetes?

Macrophage cells routinely remove dead or dying cells to maintain the body homeostasis. Such removal becomes crucial after serious injury, especially the repair of dead heart muscle after a heart attack. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have preliminary data, with cultured cells or diabetic hearts, that diabetes impairs this removal of dead heart-muscle cells. They believe this…

Photo

Genome editing

CRISPR treatment may prevent hearing loss

Using molecular scissors wrapped in a greasy delivery package, researchers have disrupted a gene variant that leads to deafness in mice. A single treatment involving injection of a genome editing cocktail prevented progressive hearing loss in young animals that would have otherwise gone deaf, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator David Liu and colleagues report in the journal…

Photo

Innovative approach

New “Swiss Army Knife” nanovaccine to battle tumors

Scientists are using their increasing knowledge of the complex interaction between cancer and the immune system to engineer increasingly potent anti-cancer vaccines. Now researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a synergistic nanovaccine packing DNA and RNA sequences that modulate the immune response, along with anti-tumor antigens, into…

Photo

Possible vaccine in sight

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective treatments or drugs. However, an unexpected finding made by a team of University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers sheds light on the development of a new…

Photo

Protein quality control system

Cellular power outage

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases are deposits of aggregated proteins in the patient's cells that cause damage to cellular functions. Scientists report that, even in normal cells, aberrant aggregation-prone proteins are continually produced due to partial failure of the respiratory system. Unless they are removed by degradation, aggregates accumulate preferentially in the…

Photo

Structural insights

Cancer cells may streamline their genomes to proliferate more easily

Research from the Stowers Institute provides evidence suggesting that cancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily. The study, conducted in both human and mouse cells, shows that cancer genomes lose copies of repetitive sequences known as ribosomal DNA. While downsizing might enable these cells to replicate faster, it also seems to render them less able to…

Photo

CRISPR-Cpf1

Firefly gene illuminates ability to edit human genome

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have improved a state-of-the-art gene-editing technology to advance the system’s ability to target, cut and paste genes within human and animal cells—and broadening the ways the CRISPR-Cpf1 editing system may be used to study and fight human diseases.

Photo

Lab Study

A protein called PERK - Treating progressive supranuclear palsy

The brain disease “progressive supranuclear palsy” (PSP) is currently incurable and its symptoms can only be eased to a very limited degree. PSP impairs eye movements, locomotion, balance control, and speech. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered a molecular mechanism that may help in the search…

Photo

Neurodegenerative diseases

Brain cell ‘executioner’ identified

Despite their different triggers, the same molecular chain of events appears to be responsible for brain cell death from strokes, injuries and even such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have pinpointed the protein at the end of that chain of events, one that delivers the fatal strike by carving up a cell's DNA. The find, they say, potentially…

Photo

Therapy

Nanoparticle injections may be future of osteoarthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition that affects at least 27 million people in the United States, and at least 12 percent of osteoarthritis cases stem from earlier injuries. Over-the-counter painkillers, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, help reduce pain but do not stop unrelenting cartilage destruction. Consequently, pain related to the condition only gets worse.

Photo

Future changes

Laboratory medicine is an interdisciplinary subject

‘Lab medicine connects’ is the congress theme of the German Congress of Laboratory Medicine and reflects the fact that laboratory medicine is an interdisciplinary subject like no other and connects those who are involved in medicine across disciplines. It works almost imperceptibly in the background, hardly noticed by patients. European Hospital spoke with this year’s Congress President,…

Photo

Infection

Evidence of Zika virus found in tears

Researchers have found that Zika virus can live in eyes and have identified genetic material from the virus in tears, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The research, in mice, helps explain why some Zika patients develop eye disease, including a condition known as uveitis that can lead to permanent vision loss.

Photo

Infection

Siemens Zika test receives FDA emergency use authorization

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. (Siemens) an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its real-time PCR Zika Virus assay, the VERSANT® Zika RNA 1.0 Assay (kPCR) Kit. With respect to Zika in vitro diagnostic tests, FDA has been authorized to issue EUAs to allow for use of unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical…

Photo

Discovery

Potential genetic trigger of autoimmune disease

Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have uncovered a potential genetic trigger of systemic autoimmune disease. The study, the culmination of more than 10 years of research, discovered virus-like elements within the human genome linked to the development of two autoimmune diseases: lupus and Sjogren's syndrome.

Photo

Rio de Janiero

First description of 2015 Zika virus outbreak

Since the recent link to severe neurological defects in infants born to mothers infected during pregnancy, Zika virus (ZIKV) has become a public health and research priority. A study reports details from the 2015 Zika outbreak in Rio de Janeiro - the first with a high proportion of cases confirmed by molecular diagnosis - and proposes changes to the current diagnostic criteria for ZIKV disease.

Zika virus

ESCMID experts gather data to prepare for potential outbreaks

Experts at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) – an organization promoting research, risk assessment, knowledge sharing and best practices in the fight against infectious diseases – are developing tools to monitor the spread of the Zika virus and are conducting research to gather more solid data to better assess the risks associated with the…

Photo

Congratulation

Merck honored by R&D Magazine for innovation

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced it has received two prestigious R&D Magazine 100 awards – one for its lab water purification systems, and the other for a technology that allows researchers to investigate scientific questions they previously couldn’t address.

Photo

Epigenetic marks

Sperm carries information about dad's weight

Turns out dads are also eating for two. A study published in Cell Metabolism reveals that a man's weight affects the heritable information contained in sperm. The sperm cells of lean and obese men possess different epigenetic marks, notable at gene regions associated with the control of appetite. The comparisons, which included 13 lean men and 10 obese men, offer one biological explanation for…

Photo

“Jumping Gene” Mystery

Grabbing a parasite by the tail

Deep within your DNA, a tiny parasite lurks, waiting to pounce from its perch and land in the middle of an unsuspecting healthy gene. If it succeeds, it can make you sick. Like a jungle cat, this parasite sports a long tail. But until now, little was known about what role that tail plays in this dangerous jumping. Now, scientists report that without a tail, this parasitic gene can’t jump…

Photo

Genom

I looked into my genes and changed some habits

“These dates we have access to a lot of genetic information which had previously not been available to us. For the individual, this can provide options for action with regards to leading a healthier lifestyle or to try and prevent diseases,” knows Dr. Theodor Dingermann. The senior professor of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main has had his own genome decoded. In parts, the result…

Photo

Sex-linked disorders

X-Citing X Chromosome

A team of scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School shows that the genetic material in female (but not male) cells makes tiny amounts of a special genetic material called RNA to make one of the two X chromosomes silent. They call this RNA XistAR.

Photo

Mystery solved

Key Element of cellular organization found

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered evidence of a mechanism at the heart of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related degenerative diseases. The research highlights a possible new treatment strategy for the devastating disorders.

Photo

Genetics

Genetic interaction offers target for glaucoma therapy

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have elucidated a genetic interaction that may prove key to the development and progression of glaucoma, a blinding neurodegenerative disease that affects tens of millions of people worldwide and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness.

Photo

Novel DNA repair mechanism brings new horizons

A group of researchers, lead by Vasily M. Studitsky, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The article describing their discovery is published in AAAS' first open access online-only journal Science Advances.

Photo

Gene defects

Cancer brake failure leads to brain cancer

Tumor suppressor genes protect against cancer. Until now, scientists have had to perform complex experiments to detect whether or not a mutation or loss of this gene type does, in fact, cause cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now used a new gene technology method called CRISPR/Cas9 technology for this detection.

Photo

Molecular Genetics

How a Bacterial Cell Recognizes its Own DNA

It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system – in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system – from single-celled to human – the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between “foreign” and “self.” This is far from simple, as viruses, bacteria and all other living things…

Photo

HIV

Identification of a molecule that recognizes HIV in immune cells

In collaboration with colleagues from California and New York, researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified a cytosolic receptor which enables cells of the immune system to recognize HIV and to trigger an immune response. The findings of the researchers may be a useful tool for creating an effective endogenous immune response against HIV and helpful to boost vaccine responses.

Photo

Test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster

The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a team at University College London (UCL). This could help health service providers to better treat disease, control transmission of this infection, and monitor outbreaks.

Photo

Molecular diagnostics

Research in the field is booming thanks to newly arriving methods to identify gene sequences. Scientists are interested in a wide range of issues from disease-relevant variations of human genetic information to the detection of viral genetic material that supports therapies. Several highlights of current research were presented this spring at the 9th International Symposium on Molecular…

Photo

The IFCC WorldLab and EuromedLab Congress

‘Three years is a long time in the world of research. The amount of information on offer quickly grows quite enormously,’ says Professor Rudolf Tauber, joint head of this year’s WorldLab congress with Professor Harald Renz. Thus, one organisational challenge was to channel current trends and developments and present participants with an informative, comprehensive overview. How was this…

Photo

Eppendorf Centrifuge 5424 R wins red dot award

Eppendorf AG celebrates success in a leading global design competition which attracted 4,433 entries from 1,700 companies in over 60 nations. Centrifuge 5424 R, a premium 24-place microcentrifuge, has been honoured for design excellence in the life science and medicine category of ‘red dot award: product design 2011’.

Photo

The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Austrian Society for Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Chemistry

Different tests bring different results, and results of the same types of test vary from laboratory to laboratory. "In the case of test procedures for autoimmune diseases there are incredible discrepancies," confirmed Professor Manfred Herold, head of the Laboratory for Rheumatism at the University Clinic for Internal Medicine One, Innsbruck. The reason: "There are no standards for…

Photo

Eppendorf launches the first segmented PCR plate

Eppendorf AG offers the first two-component PCR plate designed to be easily divisible, saving material and money when running smaller-scale experiments. These twin.tec unskirted 96-well plates fit almost all available PCR instruments and can be snapped into four separate 24-well segments and the empty wells saved for future use.

Secret to Healing chronic wounds might lie in tiny pieces of silent RNA

Scientists have determined that chronic wounds might have trouble healing because of the actions of a tiny piece of a molecular structure in cells known as RNA. The Ohio State University researchers discovered in a new animal study that this RNA segment in wounds with limited blood flow lowers the production of a protein that is needed to encourage skin cells to grow and close over the sore.

Mapping heart diseases

Though heart disease is a major cause of disability and death, very little is understood about its genetic underpinnings. Recently, an international team of investigators at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and other organizations shed new light on the subject. Studying Drosophila…

Study unravels the hidden genomic complexity of the giant mimivirus

A study published online today in the journal Genome Research offers surprising new clues into the genomic complexity of the giant Mimivirus, the largest known virus in the world. Previous studies have shown that unlike most viruses, the Mimivirus has more genes than many bacteria and performs functions that normally occur only in cellular organisms. The results of the most recent study, led by a…

International Cancer Genome Project starts in Germany

Brain tumors are the primary cause of cancer mortality in children. Even if a cure is possible, young patients often suffer tremendously from the stressful treatment which can be harmful to the developing brain. Therefore, there is an urgent need for target-oriented, gentle treatment methods. The most important childhood brain tumors are medulloblastoma, which is diagnosed in approximately one…

Molekulare Bildgebung von Karzinomen

Chirurgen an der Charité haben in kolorektalem Tumorgewebe eine spezifische Anhäufung von Protoporphyrin-IX (PpIX), einem rot-fluoreszierenden Vorläufermolekül des Häms beobachtet. Wir konnten zeigen, dass diese Anhäufung von PpIX darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass das Enzym, das PpIX normalerweise in Häm überführt, die sogenannte…

Photo

Simpler tests for gastrointestinal cancers

Colorectal cancer occurs in approximately one in every 17 people during their lifetime and is the second leading cause of cancer death in Europe. Two new blood tests could aid in the early identification of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. The tests will make GI cancer detection simpler, cost-effective, and more acceptable to patients than current methods, the researchers say.

Photo

New assay to identify acute HIV infections

A new HIV antigen-antibody combination assay, currently available in Europe, can be useful for high-volume screening to identify individuals with acute HIV infection, who would be missed by traditional HIV antibody tests, according to research presented by Johns Hopkins University, Abbott and others at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

Photo

Revolutionary invention

When Leo Baekeland invented the world's first true man-made plastic in 1907, his diary entry stated that he believed that "this invention will prove important in the future." This was definitely an understatement, since man-made plastics have revolutionised life for us all, especially in the field of drug discovery with major advances in PCR and QPCR techniques undertaken using plastic…

Genes that controll ES-cell fate identified

Scientists have identified about two dozen genes that control embryonic stem cell fate. The genes may either prod or restrain stem cells from drifting into a kind of limbo, they suspect. The limbo lies between the embryonic stage and fully differentiated, or specialized, cells, such as bone, muscle or fat.

Photo

How small RNA molecules impact biomedical research

The discovery of small RNA molecules and their relevance for gene regulation has dramatically changed our understanding of many essential cellular processes — and provides the opportunity to develop new ways for treating various diseases. By selectively inhibiting gene expression and thereby “silencing” genes involved in pathogenesis, the RNA molecules constitute a unique tool to treat…

Photo

An essential tool for detection of respiratory illnesses

By performing just a single test healthcare personnel is now able to simultaneously detect eighteen of the most prevalent respiratory infections in patients. The Seeplex 18-plex Respiratory Test is a highly economical method for molecular diagnostics of respiratory infections. It achieves results rapidly at minimal costs per test.

Photo

Test identifies patients who benefit from targeted cancer drugs

USA - A new laboratory test - EGFRx, developed by the Weisenthal Cancer Group* - has accurately identified patients who would benefit from treatment with the molecularly-targeted anti-cancer therapies gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca) and erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech), according to clinical data published at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).