Search for: "antibody" - 399 articles found

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Immunoassays

Lifotronic SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Detection Kit

Highlights:Neutralization Antibody Detection KitIgG / IgM Antibody Detection KitIgG/IgM test for the auxiliary diagnosis of COVID-19Neutralization Ab test for monitoring vaccine efficacy and determining immunity levelsCost-effective solution for large-scale testingQuick result: test can be finished in 10 minOperator-friendlyRoom temperature transportation and storage

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Immunoassays

Maglumi SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody (CLIA)

Highlights:Addressing the urgent need of assessing immunity during the COVID-19 pandemicAn important tool of the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy assessmentEvaluating immunity in individuals and community to provide immunity “certification” for returning to societyCost-effective and large-scale solution for neutralizing antibody testHighly sensitive and specific detection of neutralizing…

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Immunoassays

Snibe - Maglumi SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD IgG II (CLIA)

Highlights:New generation, wider range, better assessmentThe fully automated quantitative serology test to detect IgG antibodies against S-RBDBroad linear range from 0.375-1000 AU/mLAssist in the diagnosis of the COVID-19Assess the immune response to the COVID-19 after the natural infection and vaccinationLow sample volume of 10 μLDiverse package specifications (50, and 100 tests per kit) to…

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Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – nSMOL Antibody BA Kit

Assays: 100Highlights:nSMOL is a proprietary, innovative technique from ­Shimadzu, enabling selective proteolysis of the Fab region of monoclonal antibodies.The nSMOL Antibody BA Kit is a ready-to-use reagent kit for collecting monoclonal antibodies from blood or other biological samples using immunoglobulin collection resin, and then performing selective proteolysis of the Fab region of…

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Immunoassays

Beckman Coulter – SARS-CoV-2 Assays

Highlights: The Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG (1st IS) assay and the Access SARS-CoV-2 IgM assay detect antibodies to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein which may be important to identify an immune response.Adding SARS-CoV-2 IgG (1st IS) and / or IgM testing to assess COVID-19 patients provides greater clinical clarity for patient assessment. Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG (1st IS)…

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New EU regulation

Lab tests: Watch out! Conflict ahead

In May 2022 a shortage of several lab tests may come as many manufacturers struggle to comply with EU regulation requirements covering in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDR, Regulation (EU) 2017/746). Even modified tests and laboratory-developed tests will present a problem for hospitals and labs as explained by Dr Thomas Streichert.

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Coronavirus inhibition

Highly potent antibody against SARS-CoV-2 discovered

Scientists at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have discovered a highly potent monoclonal antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and is effective at neutralizing all variants of concern identified to date, including the delta variant. Their findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

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Cancer research

How to break through a tumor's protective shield

The immune system protects the body from cancer. To protect healthy body cells from its own immune system, they have developed a protective shield: the protein CD47 is a so called "don’t eat me" signal, which tells the immune cells to stand back. Tumor cells exploit this CD47-based protection strategy for evading the immune system, by increasing presentation of CD47 on their cell…

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Rare liver disease

New test improves diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic liver inflammation that is triggered by an immunological malfunction. In this case, the immune system falsely recognises the patient's own liver cells as "foreign to the body". The symptoms of this rare liver disease are unspecific, and the exact cause is not yet known. If left untreated, AIH can lead to abnormal scarring (fibrosis) of the liver,…

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Immune response study

Is a "natural" Covid-19 infection better than vaccination? It's complicated

Hope for a future without fear of Covid-19 comes down to circulating antibodies and memory B cells. Unlike circulating antibodies, which peak soon after vaccination or infection only to fade a few months later, memory B cells can stick around to prevent severe disease for decades. And they evolve over time, learning to produce successively more potent “memory antibodies” that are better at…

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Immunological memory

How our lungs 'remember' a Covid-19 infection

After infection with SARS-CoV-2, where does the immune system store the memory to provide long-term protection against reinfection? Though numerous studies have examined blood to track immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, a new study of Covid survivors shows that the memory of the infection is primarily stored in T and B cells within the lung and the lymph nodes surrounding the lung.

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Tumor growth stopped in mice

Antidepressants show promise in cancer growth inhibition

Classic antidepressants could help improve modern cancer treatments. They slowed the growth of pancreatic and colon cancers in mice, and when combined with immunotherapy, they even stopped the cancer growth long-term. In some cases the tumors disappeared completely, researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) have found. Their findings will now be tested in…

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Patient response testing

New method predicts which cancer therapies work (and which don't)

A new technology that can study which therapies will work on patients with solid cancerous tumours has been developed by scientists at University College London (UCL). Researchers say the tool, which can rapidly test tumorous tissue against different treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, could be used by clinicians to pinpoint the best therapy for a particular patient.

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Respiratory research

Covid-19 infection does not affect lung function in kids, young adults

Covid-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to new research presented at the ‘virtual’ European Respiratory Society International Congress. In the first study to investigate the impact of Covid-19 infection on lung function, researchers led by Dr Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that even…

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Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

Scientists have grown beating heart cells to attempt to identify drugs to prevent Covid-19-related heart damage. Concerns over the extent of cardiac damage among Covid patients emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and there are also suggestions that the impact on cardiomyocytes could contribute to the symptoms of long Covid. To explore these issues, a research team at the University of…

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Precision oncology

Personalized health and genomics: Minimizing collateral damage

A solid diagnosis has always been the first step on any patient’s journey to health. However, diagnostic categories are necessarily oversimplifications. In the last decades, medical professionals and scientists have begun to uncover the true variability in patients’ physiological and biochemical make-up that is the principal cause for individual variations in the way diseases present…

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Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia

Rare blood clotting in brain after Covid-19 vaccination: study gives new insights

A new study of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 vaccination provides a clearer guide for clinicians trying to diagnose and treat patients. The research, led by University College London (UCL) and UCL Health and published in The Lancet, is the most detailed account of the characteristics of CVT, when it is caused by the novel condition vaccine-induced immune…

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Coronavirus protein and antibody detection

Bioluminescence lights up traces of Covid-19 in the blood

Home test kits to check for Covid-19 spike proteins and anti-Covid-19 antibodies are fast and simple to use but lack the sensitivity and accuracy of laboratory tests. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology with Utrecht University have developed a new type of sensor that combines the sensitivity and accuracy of current laboratory-based measurements with the speed and low-cost of…

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Immune response determined

How Covid-19 vaccines prepare our immune system for the virus

In view of the continuing high numbers of infections, vaccination offers important protection against severe Covid-19 disease. Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine – University of Freiburg have now been able to determine in detail at what time point initial immune protection is established after vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine and how the reactions of the various components of the…

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Search for signatures

‘Long Covid’ biomarkers in blood could lead to diagnostic test

Markers in our blood – ‘fingerprints’ of infection – could help identify individuals who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, several months after infection even if the individual had only mild symptoms or showed no symptoms at all, say Cambridge researchers. The team has received funding from the National Institute for Health Research to develop a test…

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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…

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Early detection of coronavirus presence

Covid-19 wastewater testing: new quantification kit launched

Life science research and clinical diagnostics company Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of its PREvalence ddPCR SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Quantification Kit, a tool to detect the virus that causes Covid-19 in a community’s wastewater. "With wastewater testing becoming more widely adopted, this assay provides the ability for a community to determine if the virus is present days to…

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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.

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Long Covid research

Covid-19 symptoms persist in half of young adults 6 months after

A new paper on long-Covid describes persistent symptoms six months after acute Covid-19, even in young home isolated people. The study from the Bergen Covid-19 Research Group, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, followed infected patients during the first pandemic wave in Bergen. "The main novel finding is that more than fifty per cent of young adults up to 30 years old,…

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Corona and EBV

Long Covid symptoms likely caused by Epstein-Barr virus reactivation

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation resulting from the inflammatory response to coronavirus infection may be the cause of previously unexplained long Covid symptoms—such as fatigue, brain fog, and rashes—that occur in approximately 30% of patients after recovery from initial Covid-19 infection. The first evidence linking EBV reactivation to long Covid, as well as an analysis of long Covid…

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Good news

Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection

Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

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Corona in healthcare workers

Covid-19 and hospital staff: many infections, but few re-infections

A study of healthcare workers shows they were three times more likely to become infected during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the general population. Around one in five of workers who were infected were asymptomatic and unaware they had Covid-19. The study published in ERJ Open Research also shows that it was not only frontline staff who faced the higher risk, suggesting that there was…

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Coronavirus disease biomarkers

New Covid-19 testing method gives results within one second

The Covid-19 pandemic made it clear technological innovations were urgently needed to detect, treat, and prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A year and a half into this epidemic, waves of successive outbreaks and the dire need for new medical solutions — especially testing — continue to exist. In the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, researchers from the University of Florida and…

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Coronavirus research

'Covid-19 atlas' uncovers differing immune responses in asymptomatic versus severe cases

The largest study of its kind in the UK has identified differences in the immune response to Covid-19 between people with no symptoms, compared to those suffering a more serious reaction to the virus. The research by Newcastle University and collaborators within the Human Cell Atlas initiative found raised levels of specific immune cells in asymptomatic people. They also showed people with more…

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After vaccination

Covid-19: Clinicians uncover rare blood clotting syndrome

A team led by a clinical academic at University College London (UCL) has outlined the mechanism behind rare cases of blood clots and low platelets seen in patients who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights the importance of rapidly spotting this new syndrome, known as vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia…

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Spread of drug-resistance

WHO reports global shortage of innovative antibiotics

The world is still failing to develop desperately needed antibacterial treatments, despite growing awareness of the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. WHO reveals that none of the 43 antibiotics that are currently in clinical development sufficiently address the problem of drug resistance in the world’s most dangerous bacteria.…

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From foe to friend?

Some Alzheimer’s plaques may be protective, not destructive

One of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. Most therapies designed to treat AD target these plaques, but they’ve largely failed in clinical trials. New research by scientists at the Salk Institute upends conventional views of the origin of one prevalent type of plaque, indicating a reason why treatments have been…

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After overcoming a Corona infection

Covid-19: Study on long-term antibody protection

Does overcoming a SARS-CoV-2 infection protect against reinfection? The “Rhineland Study”, a population-based study conducted by DZNE in the Bonn area, is now providing new findings in this regard. Blood samples taken last year indicate that an important component of immunity – the levels of specific neutralizing antibodies against the coronavirus - had dropped in most of the study…

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Here comes the tooth fairy

New drug shows promise for regenerating lost teeth

A new study by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may offer hope for adults who have lost their teeth. The team reports that an antibody for one gene - uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1 - can stimulate tooth growth in mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition. The paper was published in Science Advances. Although the normal adult mouth has…

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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…

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Immune response in pregnant and lactating women

Mothers pass on Covid-19 protection to their babies after vaccination

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have found the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to be highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. They also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns…

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Gesundheit!

Why stress relief is also allergy relief

Increased allergic reactions may be tied to the corticotropin-releasing stress hormone (CRH), suggests a new study. These findings may help clarify the mechanism by which CRH induces proliferation of mast cells (MC) – agents involved in the development of allergies in the human nasal cavity.

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A much-needed update

New 'double antibody' delivers dual strike SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Switzerland developed a second-generation ‘double antibody’ that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy. Antibody-based immunotherapy was already shown to be effective against Covid-19 but faces two main obstacles: it needs to work…

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SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

Covid-19 immunity may last from days to decades

Scientists from Singapore found that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wane at different rates, lasting for mere days in some individuals, while remaining present in others for decades. The study, published in The Lancet Microbe, shows that the severity of the infection could be a deciding factor in having longer-lasting antibodies. Individuals with low levels of neutralising antibodies may still be…

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BMMF research

Novel pathogens: a driver for colorectal cancer?

Do BMMFs, the novel infectious agents found in dairy products and bovine sera, play a role in the development of colorectal cancer? Scientists led by Harald zur Hausen detected the pathogens in colorectal cancer patients in close proximity to tumors. The researchers show that the BMMFs trigger local chronic inflammation, which can cause mutations via activated oxygen molecules and thus promote…

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Lessons learned from Covid-19

A 'blueprint' for preventing the next pandemic

Scientific and public health experts have been raising the alarm for decades, imploring public officials to prepare for the inevitability of a viral pandemic. Infectious epidemics seemingly as benign as "the flu" and as deadly as the Ebola virus provided ample warning, yet government officials seemed caught off guard and ill prepared for dealing with Covid-19.

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New microscopy approach

A smartphone-based test for Covid-19

Researchers at the University of Arizona are developing a Covid-19 testing method that uses a smartphone microscope to analyze saliva samples and deliver results in about 10 minutes. The research team, led by biomedical engineering professor Jeong-Yeol Yoon, aims to combine the speed of existing nasal swab antigen tests with the high accuracy of nasal swab PCR, or polymerase chain reaction,…

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Insulin inhibitory receptor

New promising target for diabetes treatment

Researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, the Technical University of Munich and the German Center for Diabetes have discovered a novel and druggable insulin inhibitory receptor, named inceptor. The blocking of inceptor function leads to an increased sensitisation of the insulin signaling pathway in pancreatic beta cells. This might allow protection and regeneration of beta cells for diabetes…

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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.

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Surgical endoscopy

Olympus to acquire Quest Photonic Devices

Olympus Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Quest Photonic Devices B.V. for up to EUR50 million including milestone payments to strengthen its surgical endoscopy capabilities. Quest offers advanced fluorescence imaging systems (FIS) for the medical field, enabling more surgical endoscopy capabilities, compared to conventional imaging technologies.

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Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

Blood draws are no fun. They hurt. Veins can burst, or even roll — like they’re trying to avoid the needle, too. Oftentimes, doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease: antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, or cytokines indicative of inflammation seen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and…

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Coronavirus infection response

SARS-CoV-2 IgG II antibody test launched in CE Mark countries

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter launched its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay quantitatively measures a patient’s level of antibodies in response to a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The ability to establish a quantitative baseline to evaluate an individual’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus allows…

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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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"Faces" of the disease

Covid-19: researchers identify at least 5 variants

According to current studies, the Covid-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings…

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Digital pathology

An exciting new era for tissue microarrays

A new generation of tissue microarrays are delivering more efficient and time-effective solutions to answering complex clinical and scientific questions. Sitting at the core of this new approach is digital pathology, allowing specific and targeted analysis of small areas of tissue.

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Applications of machine learning

Training AI to predict outcomes for cancer patients

Predicting cancer outcome could help with a clinical decision regarding a patient’s treatment. In his keynote speech during the online ‘7th Digital Pathology and AI Congress: Europe’, Johan Lundin, Research Director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki and Professor of Medical Technology at Karolinska Institute, discussed ‘Outcome and…

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'Nanobodies'

Small antibodies show promise against Covid-19

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the…

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Virion recreated

First computational model of entire SARS-CoV-2 virus

Researchers at the University of Chicago have created the first usable computational model of the entire virus responsible for Covid-19—and they are making this model widely available to help advance research during the pandemic. “If you can understand how a virus works, that’s the first step towards stopping it,” said Prof. Gregory Voth, whose team created the model published in…

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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.

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Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of Covid-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise,…

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Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay

Startup develops breakthrough IgG antibody test for Covid-19

ZTA Biotech, a Budapest-based biotech startup, has developed a Covid-19 antibody (IgG) test using the ELISA protocol. This new detection method represents a great step forward in determining if patients have had a coronavirus infection and if they might still have immunity to the disease. Early results have proven 100% in specificity after testing 280 samples, and 100% sensitivity by testing 260…

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Cancer research

Exploring the benefits of anticoagulants against brain metastases

Brain metastases can only develop if cancer cells first exit the fine blood vessels and enter into the brain tissue. To facilitate this step, cancer cells influence blood clotting, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have now been able to show in mice. The cancer cells actively promote the formation of clots, which helps them to arrest in the…

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Enhanced therapeutic delivery

Focused ultrasound shows promise for Alzheimer's treatment support

A recent preclinical study from scientists at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Canadian Blood Services and the University of Toronto has demonstrated that focused ultrasound improves the delivery of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), a blood product composed of antibodies from healthy donors, previously shown to have potential in treating a subgroup of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

The arsenal: Molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody testing

Germany’s lack of diagnostic ability led to significantly underestimation of its own as well as global Covid-19 infection levels during the first wave. Now, however, improved testing and diagnosis of the condition more realistically reveal nearer 20,000 new cases a day across the country, according to Professor Hendrik Streeck, one of the country’s leading virologists. Speaking at a virtual…

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High-sensitivity troponin I assay

Speeding up diagnosis of myocardial infarction

The new generation troponin I assay unveiled by Beckman Coulter is helping improve heart attack diagnosis. Delivering high sensitivity, and rapid result turnaround times, every element of the Access hsTnI assay has been redeveloped and updated, including the antibodies and the paramagnetic particles used. As specialists in developing and manufacturing products that simplify and automate complex…

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Intratumoral B cells

Another side to cancer immunotherapy?

Scientists report on their detailed look at B cells' presence inside tumors. B cells represent the other major arm of the adaptive immune system, besides T cells, and could offer opportunities for new treatments against some kinds of cancers.

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For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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Coronavirus assay receives CE Mark

Quantitative Covid-19 test to measure neutralizing antibodies

Siemens Healthineers announced its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test (sCOVG) has proven to measure neutralizing antibodies and has achieved CE Mark. The test is an enhanced version of the assay which became available globally this summer. It demonstrates the ability to detect neutralizing antibodies and reports quantitative results measuring the amount of neutralizing antibodies present in a patient's…

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MEDICA session

PCR tests excel during Covid-19 pandemic

In early 1990, at Analytica, in Munich, a young US-American researcher Kary B Mullis received the award for biochemical analytics for his 1983 invention: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a success topped in 1993 by the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Mullis’ work revolutionised DNA copying, a process which, before PCR, had taken weeks. Whilst initially PCR was used to create digital…

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In countries accepting CE Mark

Beckman Coulter launches SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibody test

Beckman Coulter announced the launch of its Access SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin M (IgM) assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new IgM antibody test demonstrated 99.9% specificity with 1,400 negative samples and 100% sensitivity at >18 days post symptom onset and post positive PCR. Beckman Coulter’s IgM assay is part of a full suite of testing solutions the company is developing to…

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False positive results

Accuracy of rapid covid test may be lower than previously suggested

The accuracy of a rapid finger-prick antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for covid-19 infection, may be considerably lower than previously suggested, finds a study published by The BMJ. The results suggest that if 10% of people given the test had previously been infected, around 1 in 5 positive test results would be incorrect (false positive results). These conclusions contrast…

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Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after wounding, leading to more effective skin healing. This new material, which quickly degrades once the wound has closed, demonstrates that activating an adaptive immune response can trigger regenerative wound healing, leaving behind stronger and…

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Quality aspects

Lab automation – economic aspects and Covid-19

The academic teaching Karlsruhe Hospital, at the University of Freiburg, is the largest hospital providing tertiary care in the Middle Upper Rhine Valley. Every year, 63,000 in-patients and 180,000 out-patients are treated in the 1,500-bed facility with 50 departments and 30 out-patient clinics. Inevitably, a hospital of this size has a central lab. We spoke with Dr Horst Mayer, managing senior…

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Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the vaccine candidate has been transferred to two companies for clinical development.

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Using virus particles in exhaled breath

New SARS-CoV-2 test to deliver results in under 5 minutes

Research and innovation hub Imec announced that it has started developing a groundbreaking SARS-CoV-2 test. Unlike current approaches (using blood, saliva, or a nasopharyngeal swab), the new test will identify SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in a person’s exhaled breath. The solution promises the accurate identification of a contagious case in less than five minutes.

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One mouse at a time

New approach to testing potential drugs for children’s cancers

A team of researchers in the US and Australia have developed a way of testing potential drugs for children’s cancers so as to take account of the wide genetic diversity of these diseases. In new research to be presented at the 32th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, Professor Peter Houghton, director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (San…

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Neuropilin-1 as a 'helper' for COVID-19

Coronavirus: Study finds further 'door opener' into the cell

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is known to infect cells via the receptor ACE2. An international research team under German-Finnish coordination has now identified neuropilin-1 as a factor that can facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells’ interior. Neuropilin-1 is localized in the respiratory and olfactory epithelia, which could be a strategically important localization to contribute to…

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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…

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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…

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Infection with Covid-19

The antiviral effect of innate immunity

Innate immunity is the fastest-acting component of the immune system, but so far little is known about its role during infection with SARS-CoV-2. A few hours after an infection, the body emits an alarm signal, interferon, enabling cells that have not yet been infected to produce antiviral proteins. This phenomenon occurs well before the production of neutralizing antibodies. Scientists from the…

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List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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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.

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Fending off the coronavirus

The role of T-cells in SARS-CoV-2 virus defense

Our immune system can efficiently fend off viral diseases. Two types of immune cells play an important role in this process: The T-cells, which firstly can directly destroy virus-infected cells and secondly enable the formation of efficient, virus-neutralizing antibodies by B-cells. These two cell types also play a crucial role in the immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whereas antibody…

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'Rush to publish'

Have research standards suffered during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a flood of potentially substandard research amid the rush to publish, with a string of papers retracted or under a cloud and a surge in submissions to pre-print servers where fewer quality checks are made, a leading ethicist has warned in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This has implications for patients, clinicians, and potentially government policy, says…

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Testing strategy re-evaluated

COVID-19 testing at random? Here's a better idea

As COVID-19 infections begin to rise again, a novel testing strategy proposed by researchers at the University of Oxford at the start of the pandemic has become urgent once again. The strategy aims to bring the virus’s reproduction number (‘R’) down to below 1, by concentrating testing resources on particular groups in the population that are most likely to spread the infection to others,…

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Basis for a passive vaccination

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination. In this process, they have also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially…

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Zika and chikungunya

Mosquito-borne viruses could cause stroke

A deadly combination of two mosquito-borne viruses may be a trigger for stroke, new research published in the The Lancet Neurology has found. University of Liverpool researchers and Brazilian collaborators have been investigating the link between neurological disease and infection with the viruses Zika and chikungunya. These viruses, which mostly circulate in the tropics, cause large outbreaks of…

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Cardiovascular risk

Cholesterol drug combination could benefit heart patients

A new study has suggested that more patients could benefit from combinations of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. While risk is reduced for many patients through taking statins, those at the highest risk of cardiovascular events may benefit from combinations of lipid-lowering therapies, according to the results of a European study of patients across 18…

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Research shows

Children are silent spreaders of COVID-19 virus

In the most comprehensive study of COVID-19 pediatric patients to date, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) researchers provide critical data showing that children play a larger role in the community spread of COVID-19 than previously thought. In a study of 192 children ages 0-22, 49 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and an additional 18…

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Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety…

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'ChAdOx1' delivers promising results

Breakthrough for coronavirus vaccine candidate

A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus. The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

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COVID-19

Scientists uncover SARSCoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

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SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19: why do patients immune response differ?

It remains one of the key questions of the current corona pandemic: Why do people infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience varying degrees of COVID-19, the disease which it triggers? Researchers, led by Professor Mascha Binder from University Hospital Halle (Saale), have investigated more than 14 million receptor sequences of B and T cells, i.e. immune cells, obtained from blood samples of COVID-19…

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Blocking coronavirus entry portals

Cell ‘membrane on a chip’ could speed up COVID-19 drug screening

Researchers have developed a human cell ‘membrane on a chip’ that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Cornell University and Stanford University, say their device could mimic any cell type - bacterial, human or even the…

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Coronavirus research

Immunity to COVID-19 is probably higher than tests have shown

New research from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that many people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 demonstrate so-called T-cell-mediated immunity to the new coronavirus, even if they have not tested positively for antibodies. According to the researchers, this means that public immunity is probably higher than antibody tests suggest. The article is freely…

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Review sheds doubt

Major flaws in evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests found

Major weaknesses exist in the evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests, finds a review of the latest research published by The BMJ. The evidence is particularly weak for point-of-care tests (performed directly with a patient, outside of a laboratory) and does not support their continued use, say the researchers. Serological tests to detect antibodies against COVID-19 could improve diagnosis and…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization

Beckman Coulter announced that its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Beckman Coulter has already shipped tests to more than 400 hospitals, clinics and diagnostics laboratories in the U.S., and has begun distribution of the new antibody test globally to countries that accept the FDA EUA and CE Mark. The…

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UK experts raise concerns

COVID-19 antibody tests: Not a game-changer after all?

A group of senior clinical academics and physicians are concerned about the rapid roll out of COVID-19 antibody testing in England and are publicly questioning how good the tests are - or even what they mean. In a letter to The BMJ, they argue that there is currently no valid clinical reason for large scale testing, test performance has not yet been adequately assessed, and testing risks…

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Reversing incurable cause for blindness

Macular degeneration: Gene therapy restores vision

Macular degeneration is one of the major reasons for visual impairment, round the globe, close to 200 million people are affected. It damages the photoreceptors in the retina, which lose their sensitivity to light. This can lead to impaired vision or even complete blindness. Scientists at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) together with colleagues from the German…

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Immunology

COVID-19 study reveals universally effective antibodies

The first round of results from an immunological study of 149 people who have recovered from COVID-19 show that although the amount of antibodies they generated varies widely, most individuals had generated at least some that were intrinsically capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibodies vary widely in their efficacy. While many may latch on to the virus, only some are truly…

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COVID-19 detection

New analyzer detects virus antibodies in 20 minutes

Researchers at Hokkaido University have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. If a suitable reagent is developed, this technology could be used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19.

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Robotic innovation

Micro robot rolls deep into the body

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell travelling through the circulatory system. It has the shape, the size and the moving capabilities of leukocytes and could perhaps be well on its way – in a rolling motion of course – to revolutionize the minimally invasive treatment of…

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Deadly mechanism uncovered

Inside COVID-19's 'cytokine storm'

Leading immunologists in Japan are proposing a possible molecular mechanism that causes massive release of proinflammatory cytokines, or a cytokine storm, leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. Their suggestions, published in the journal Immunity, are based on recent findings that explain how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells.

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Utilizing findings from cancer research

Understanding immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Why does every person react differently to an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? Why do some people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms of COVID-19, the disease which it causes? And why do some people become so severely ill that they require ventilators or even die? These questions are being investigated by Professor Mascha Binder, director of the Department of Internal Medicine IV at…

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Molecular electronics

Biosensor chips for infection surveillance and more

Roswell Biotechnologies, Inc., a manufacturer of molecular electronics sensor chips, and imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, announced a partnership to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips are the brains behind Roswell Technologies' new platform for DNA sequencing, to support precision medicine,…

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Cause for lack of immune defense against tumors discovered

Improving immunotherapy for cancer

Our immune system not only protects us against infection, but also against cancer. This powerful protection is based in particular on the activation of special cells of the immune system, CD8+ T cells. These cells recognize infected or cancer cells and kill them specifically. “The ability of the immune system and especially CD8+ T cells to eliminate cancer cells in tissues such as the lung, gut…

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A novel method

Precise delivery of of therapeutics into the body

A new way to deliver therapeutic proteins inside the body uses an acoustically sensitive carrier to encapsulate the proteins and ultrasound to image and guide the package to the exact location required, according to Penn State researchers.

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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

Any new coronavirus vaccine that works well and is safe will still have the daunting challenge of needing to be produced to scale in a very short amount of time. It will also have to be safely delivered into the hands of the most remote populations. The more complex and untested the vaccine approach, the more difficult it will be to both scale its production and deliver it around the world. By…

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. The study, published in Science, is the first to map a human antibody’s interaction with the new coronavirus at near-atomic-scale resolution. Although the antibody was…

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Green light for trial study

Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients: a promising approach

In a small clinical trial just granted approval, about 30 COVID-19 patients at Karolinska University Hospital may soon begin to receive blood plasma from people who have recovered from the disease. Sweden's Ethical Review Authority has approved the trial treatment, and its effectiveness will be evaluated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital.…

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IgM/IgG identification

Coronavirus antibody test in development

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Beckman Coulter announced that it is developing assays to identify IgM and IgG antibodies to the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The assays will be designed for use on any of its high-throughput Access family of immunoassay systems, including the Access 2 and DxI series installed globally. Research has shown that after infection with SARS-CoV-2, viral…

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Study offers new insights

Sepsis treatment: Destroying DNA to save the genome

Sepsis—the body's own immune response gone against it—is a major health problem worldwide. It is basically a "hyper" immune response by the body to infection or injury, and is characterized by hyperinflammation, immune system paralysis, cell death, liver and kidney failure, blood clots, and even hemorrhage. An estimated 30 million people suffer from sepsis every year, of which 20%…

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Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder and less infectious, while the later-emerging ‘L-type’, is more aggressive, spreads more quickly, and currently accounts for about 70 per cent of cases. Worldwide, medical researchers are exploring…

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Dutch experts discuss

On the implications of the coronavirus

The coronavirus last week reached the Netherlands and began to spread around the country. How has the Dutch population reacted? What is a useful frame of reference for this situation? And what are the legal guidelines for dealing with the outbreak? Four researchers from the University of Amsterdam – a clinical microbiologist, an anthropologist, a social scientist and a health lawyer – explain…

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After the denoidectomy

Using tonsils as an 'immune testbed'

Biomedical researchers in Munich have isolated immune cells from human tonsils obtained following routine surgery, and used them to analyze aspects of the immune response and test the effects of anti-inflammatory agents at the cellular level. Human tissues that have been surgically removed from patients are normally treated as waste, especially when they are derived from a ‘dispensable’ organ…

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"Immune escape"

Cancer camouflage: how our immune system is duped

T cells play a huge role in our immune system's fight against modified cells in the body that can develop into cancer. Phagocytes and B cells identify changes in these cells and activate the T cells, which then start a full-blown program of destruction. This functions well in many cases – unless the cancer cells mutate and develop a kind of camouflage that let them escape the immune system…

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New virus 2019-nCoV

Scientists grow Wuhan coronavirus in the lab

Scientists from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) from a patient sample, which will provide expert international laboratories with crucial information to help combat the virus. This is the first time the virus has been grown in cell culture outside of China. The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s…

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Personalized treatment

Could B cells turn the tide in sarcoma immunotherapy?

How can the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, these particularly resistant and aggressive forms of cancer, be improved and better personalized? An international team led by Wolf Hervé Fridman with researchers from Inserm, Sorbonne Université and Université de Paris at the Cordeliers Research Center, in collaboration with the French League against cancer and Institut Bergonié, has shown that…

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Genome and genes decoded

One step closer to Indian cobra antivenom

Scientists from India and the USA, along with a team of international collaborators from academia and industry report the sequencing and assembly of a high-quality genome of the highly venomous, medically important Indian cobra (Naja naja). Using a combination of cutting-edge genomic technologies, the authors have assembled the most contiguous genome of this iconic venomous snake. Venom is a…

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Gastric squamous-columnar junction cancer

The role of stem cells in deadly gastric SCJ cancer

A study led by scientists from Cornell University provides important new insights into a common and deadly type of gastric cancer. Incidence of this cancer, called gastric squamous-columnar junction (SCJ) cancer, also known as gastroesophageal cancer, rose 2.5 times in the United States between the 1970s and 2000s, while cases of all gastric cancers have decreased by more than 80% since the…

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Lab advances against doping

A powerful tool for sports drug testing

Due to the scientific and technical developments in recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering since the early 1980s, therapeutic proteins have emerged as one of the most important classes of new pharmaceuticals. Currently, more than 200 protein and peptide based drugs have gained approval by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many more are under preclinical or clinical…

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Armed antibodies

Tough against cancer, gentle to the immune system

Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) at Tübingen University Hospital have managed to attach immunostimulatory cytokines to cancer-specific antibodies for the first time in such a way that they activate the immune response against cancer without causing a dangerous overreaction by the immune system. The research team has now been granted…

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Exposing the enemy

New algorithm detects even the smallest cancer metastases

Teams at Helmholtz Zentrum München, LMU Munich and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a new algorithm that enables automated detection of metastases at the level of single disseminated cancer cells in whole mice. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. More than 90% of cancer patients die of distal metastases rather than as a direct result of the primary…

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Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This research was conducted by the team of Benoît Chassaing, Inserm researcher at Institut Cochin (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Paris), whose initial findings have been…

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Sprue POCT

Celiac disease: faster detection through new method

Researchers from the University of Helsinki developed a novel diagnostic method for the rapid on-site measurement of antibodies from patient samples. Now they have applied this new method for the diagnostics of celiac disease, with promising results. Point-of-care (POC) testing is a rapidly growing sector, bringing medical testing from central laboratories to where the patient is receiving care.…

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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,…

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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

Measles infections are not harmless – they can cause disease courses that may be of fatal outcome. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in co-operation with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have now found out that measles viruses erase part of the immunological memory over several years. Affected persons are thus more susceptible to infections with other pathogens beyond…

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Presented at the NCRI cancer conference

Simple blood test for early detection of breast cancer

Breast cancer could be detected up to five years before there are any clinical signs of it, using a blood test that identifies the body’s immune response to substances produced by tumour cells, according to new research presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference. Cancer cells produce proteins called antigens that trigger the body to make antibodies against them – autoantibodies. Researchers…

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Positive findings in PD-1 inhibitor immunotherapy

Hope increases for HIV cancer patients

Advances in antiretroviral therapy mean that today, people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can expect a healthy and long life. However, living with HIV does increase the risk of cancer. The reasons for this are multiple and include behavioural risk factors (smoking etc.) but many cancers can be attributed to the effects the virus has on the immune system, specifically its…

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Breakthrough against C. diff

New Clostridioides difficile vaccine on the horizon

Researchers at the University of Exeter first identified a gene in the 'hospital bug' Clostridioides difficile responsible for producing a protein that aids in binding the bacteria to the gut of its victims. In collaboration with researchers at Paris-SUD University, they then showed that mice vaccinated with this protein generated specific antibodies to the protein – and that C. diff that did…

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Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

Influenza viruses cause substantial health hazards and claim many lives worldwide each year. Vaccines can keep the virus in check, however, they only protect against influenza when they match the circulating strains – which vary every season. But now, a reasearch team may have found a way to generate a universal vaccine. Led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the…

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Male infertility

Chlamydia discovered in testicular tissue

The potential impact of undiagnosed sexually transmitted chlamydia infection on men’s fertility has been highlighted in an Australian-led study, which for the first time found chlamydia in the testicular tissue biopsies of infertile men whose infertility had no identified cause. The researchers from Queensland University of Technology also found antibodies specific to the bacteria responsible,…

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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…

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Immunoassay

The quantitative measurement of cardiac troponin I concentration

Pathfast hs-cTnI is a chemi-luminescent enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA) for the quantitative measurement of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentration in whole blood or plasma at the point-of-care (POC). Reagents are single use in all-in-one cartridges and up to six tests in parallel can be analysed,’ the manufacturer Mitsubishi reports. ‘Low concentrations of cTnI can be analysed by using high…

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Biosensors

Using smartphones to detect norovirus

A little bit of norovirus – the highly infectious microbe that causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year – goes a long way. Just 10 particles of the virus can cause illness in humans. A team of University of Arizona researchers has created a simple, portable and inexpensive method for detecting extremely low levels of norovirus. Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a…

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Dry Unitized Reagent Assays

Beckman Coulter presents online cost benefit tool at AACC 2019

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences launched the online DURA Innovations calculator tool, a powerful cost benefit analysis resource to accompany its latest Cost Benefit Calculator Handbook. The free online tool enables laboratories to quantify the value of converting to a standardized flow cytometry workflow using the company’s dry reagent technology. The new calculator enables customers using liquid…

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Subgroup detected

A new Diabetes classification?

The traditional classification of diabetes, mainly in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, has been challenged by studies from Scandinavia. In the current issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers from DDZ together with colleagues from DZD and University of Lund published a cluster analysis of diabetes allowing for phenotyping into subgroups, which extended the findings by showing that…

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Boosting our immune surveillance

Antibodies PD-1 and PD-L1: a quantum leap in cancer therapy

Immuno-oncology is a therapy in which the body’s immune system treats a tumour. Dr Eric Borges, from the Research and Development Centre at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH in Germany, explains why this is revolutionary. Unlike conventional cancer therapies, with immuno-oncology the tumour cell is not the direct target, it’s the patient’s immune system. The medication stimulates this to…

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MERS-CoV

Seeking answers to combat Middle East respiratory syndrome

With a case fatality rate of 35 percent, a Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection – also called camel flu – is a dangerous disease. About seven years ago, when the virus was first isolated, mortality was close to 100 percent since only severe infections that led to the patient being in intensive care were recorded. Today the environment of each victim is…

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Research

First use of vasoprotective antibody in cardiogenic shock

Scientists at the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) have started a study to find out whether a monoclonal antibody restoring vascular integrity is safe and has positive effects on organ functions of patients with cardiogenic shock. The multicenter trial is sponsored by the University of Hamburg, financially supported by the biopharmaceutical company Adrenomed AG, and led by Dr.…

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Nanotechnology

Targeting cancer cells with gold nanorods

Scientists at the University of Birmingham are working with a Canadian tech company to investigate whether gold nanorods can be used to target cancer cells in the human body. They have joined experts at Sona Nanotech Inc. to develop the next generation of nanorods for tissue imaging. The team will work with its Canadian partners - beginning by creating luminescent nanorods by transforming gold…

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To the core

Mass spec needs experienced operators

As mass spectrometry proves to be a more consistent and accurate tool in biochemical measures, with acknowledged advantages over immunoassays, its role in diagnostics has escalated. Headed by Professor Ruth Andrew, the pioneering Mass Spectrometry Core Facility at the University of Edinburgh, aims to offer researchers access to expert scientists and specialist resources to support clinical…

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Neurology

On-going malignant astrocytoma vaccine tests

A new vaccination for malignant astrocytoma brings such patients hope. However, research is still in its infancy. We spoke with Professor Michael Platten, Medical Director of the Neurological Clinic at Medical University Mannheim, about the present state of research and the serious opportunities this presents. During the interview, he also revealed how cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry…

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Flow cytometry lab

New ClearLLab IVD Reagents launched

Beckman Coulter is launching the ClearLLab 10C System for the clinical flow cytometry lab. The new system is the first 10-color IVD panel of immunophenotyping reagents cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both lymphoid and myeloid lineages. The four dry pre-mixed antibody tubes use the company’s DURA Innovations technology, eliminating the need to pipette antibodies, improving…

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Heroin, fentanyl, carfentanyl

Mass Spec detects illicit drugs

As a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe pain, fentanyl has shown clear medical benefits. However, in recent years, continuous abuse of fentanyl and its derived analogues substances has become a major public health issue – overdoses and deaths associated with illicitly-manufactured fentanyl rose dramatically.

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Dial 'M' for microfold cells

Identifying a key player in gut defense development

A joint team from Hokkaido University and Keio University has identified a gut protein essential for neonatal mice to fight infections, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The insight could help understand how infants develop their own intestinal immune systems after weaning. The gut is constantly exposed to potentially harmful bacteria that come with food and…

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Meeting of the generations

We need a Senior Laboratory

It’s undeniable: the bulk of our population is growing older. Yet, this demographic change has not altered laboratory medicine: the reference values for many analyses are still based on data of a younger cohort. Inevitably this could lead to serious errors in the interpretation of older patients’ test results.

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Thrombocytes

Blocking platelets could prevent fatty liver disease and liver cancer

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is among the most common chronic hepatic disorders in Western industrial countries and the rate is also rapidly rising in newly industrialized countries. Experts estimate that about 30 to 40 percent of the population worldwide develop this liver condition. In the United States, this disease is well on the way to becoming the most frequent indication for liver…

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Protein linked to cancer growth drives deadly lung disease IPF

A protein associated with cancer growth appears to drive the deadly lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to new research from Cedars-Sinai. The discovery, made in laboratory mice and human tissue samples, may have implications for treating the disease using existing anti-cancer therapies that inhibit the protein PD-L1. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic,…

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Alternative to statin treatment

Atherosclerosis: Antibodies stabilise plaque

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found that type IgG antibodies play an unexpected role in atherosclerosis. A study on mice shows that the antibodies stabilise the plaque that accumulates on the artery walls, which reduces the risk of it rupturing and causing a blood clot. It is hoped that the results, which are published in the journal Circulation, will eventually lead to improved…

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Organ transplantation

New insights into rejection of transplanted organs

The consequences of organ rejection in transplant patients can be devastating. Professor A. Vathsala, co-director of the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation at the National University Hospital (NUH) and professor of medicine, says that between 30 percent to 40 percent of kidney transplants are lost over time to rejection. She and Associate Professor Paul MacAry of the Department…

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Lab equipment

Horiba launches D-Dimer hematology reagent

Horiba Medical announces the availability of a D-Dimer reagent for their semi-automated Hemostasis instruments. The D-Dimer is a key measurement and the reference exclusion test for the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and may also be used for monitoring Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation. The new Yumizen D-Dimer reagent kit is available for Yumizen G hemostasis…

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AI, IT, data management

Digital attack on cancer

Several research groups at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are working on digitally combating cancer. The main goal is to combine and jointly evaluate existing information. With 500,000 new cancer cases every year in Germany alone, it is worthwhile comparing experiences with different diagnostic and treatment methods, thus allowing more patients to benefit from the most promising approaches. In…

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Getting personal(ised)

Pathology: Moving us towards precision medicine

The European Society of Pathology (ESP) holds its European Congress of Pathology (ECP) at different venues annually. This year, in Spain, 3,448 delegates from 87 countries attended. There, ESP president Dina Tiniakos spoke about the increasing role of pathology in precision medicine including challenges linked to digitisation. ‘Precision medicine is the centre-point for cancer management, but…

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ß-D Glucan

New test for early fungal infection detection

At the National Reference Centre for Invasive Fungal Infections (Hans-Knöll Institute Jena) and the Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology, Würzburg University, Professor Oliver Kurzai and team utilise the fast and user-friendly β-D-Glucan Test, supplied by Fujifilm Wako Chemicals Europe GmbH, to check immunocompromised patients for signs of life-threatening, invasive fungal infections.…

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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…

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Guselkumab vs Secukinumab

Psoriasis: New data point to improved treatment

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced results from the ECLIPSE study demonstrating that Tremfya® (guselkumab) was superior to Cosentyx® (secukinumab)* in treating adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for the primary endpoint assessed at week 48. Data from the multicentre, randomised, double-blind head-to-head Phase 3 study demonstrated that 84.5…

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Immune-boosting substance

This gel could help the body after cancer surgery

Many people who are diagnosed with cancer will undergo some type of surgery to treat their disease — almost 95 percent of people with early-diagnosed breast cancer will require surgery and it’s often the first line of treatment for people with brain tumors, for example. But despite improvements in surgical techniques over the past decade, the cancer often comes back after the procedure. Now,…

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Evolving technique

Flow cytometry rises to new challenges

Flow cytometry has proved an invaluable diagnostic tool for leukaemia and lymphoma for almost three decades. Now, however, this is evolving in applications to seek out residual disease in cases and in fusion with molecular testing to advance its diagnostic potential. However, although recognised as fast, flexible and accurate, flow cytometry suffers from a lack of standardisation, according to…

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Digital PET imaging

Digital Photon Counting improves diagnostic accuracy

Built as the first commercially available scanner to deliver truly digital PET, the Vereos PET/CT, from Philips, offers revolutionary Digital Photon Counting technology. The science behind this scanner evolution is ‘quite complicated’, agrees Piotr Maniawski, Director of Clinical Science Nuclear Medicine at Philips Healthcare, yet the improved performance is significant, particularly when…

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Nanoparticle therapy

Putting a target on breast cancer

The complex structure of breast tumours makes treatment a medical challenge. A promising, novel selenium-based breast cancer nanoparticle therapy by the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) together with other partners in the EU-project Neosetac could change that: It has proved to boost the active agent delivery and assure it's active only in the target tissue while also bringing…

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Tick-borne infection

New techniques detects Lyme disease weeks before current tests

Researchers have developed techniques to detect Lyme disease bacteria weeks sooner than current tests, allowing patients to start treatment earlier. The new techniques can detect an active infection with the Lyme bacteria faster than the three weeks it takes for the current indirect antibody-based tests, which have been a standard since 1994. Another advantage of the new tests is that a positive…

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Immunotherapy

Toward an “ultra-personalized” therapy for melanoma

With new immunotherapy treatments for melanoma, recovery rates have risen dramatically – in some cases to around 50%. But they could be much higher. A new study led by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science showed, in lab dishes and animal studies, that a highly personalized approach could help the immune cells improve their ability to recognize the cancer and kill it.

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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.

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Testing technology

Vitamin D testing: LC-MS outperforms immunoassays

In recent years, clinicians have increasingly focused on vitamin D deficiency. Studies show that previous reference values – particularly for Vitamin D3 – were most probably set too high. Liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) can help achieve more precise measurements of vitamin D levels than previously established immunoassay procedures, explains Dr Torsten Binscheck-Domass,…

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New function assessment

Measuring immune cell response within minutes

T cells fight pathogens and tumors: Researchers from the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck present a simple and fast method to rapidly assess their function. Due to its simplicity, reliability and versatility, it could be broadly implemented for basic research and in the clinical setting. Methods so far to test T-cell response were technically cumbersome and time-consuming and therefore only…

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Status quo and recent developments

What's new in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry?

European Hospital has recently focused on the development of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for use in analytical/medical diagnostics. Dr Stavros Kromidas, an expert in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and author of several specialist books, has published his latest book ‘The HPLC-MS Handbook for Practitioners’. We interviewed him about this and a new technique…

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Cross-species concerns

Could a new pig virus be a potential threat to humans?

A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health. Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the…

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A new approach

"Universal antibodies" disarm various pathogens

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been studying how the immune system succeeds in keeping pathogens in check. For the first time, the researchers have now discovered antibodies that are capable of disarming not only one specific bacterium but a whole variety of microorganisms at once. The newly discovered antibodies recognize a tiny sugar structure found on the surface…

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Research

Patient immune response could prevent heart failure

Patients’ own immune response has the potential to prevent the development and progression of heart failure, according to research presented at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The study found antibodies in the plasma and heart muscle of end-stage heart failure patients. “The role of the immune response in the development of heart…

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Wisdom tooth indeed

This electronic high-tech tooth could predict diseases

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the School of Engineering & Applied Science is redefining the notion of a wisdom tooth. The team is developing a smart-tooth technology that could someday be used to detect early signs of certain diseases in high-risk patients by analyzing saliva or gingival crevicular fluid.…

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Paradigm shift

Diabetes has 5 subtypes, not 2, study suggests

A completely new classification of diabetes which also predicts the risk of serious complications and provides treatment suggestions. The major difference from today’s classification is that type 2 diabetes actually consists of several subgroups, the results indicate. “This is the first step towards personalised treatment of diabetes”, says physician and diabetes expert Leif Groop.

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Clinical diagnostics

SCIEX launches high-performance mass spectrometry technology

SCIEX Diagnostics, the in vitro diagnostics division of SCIEX, a global leader in mass spectrometry in the life sciences industry, announced the launch of the Citrine Triple Quad MS/MS and Citrine QTRAP MS/MS systems for clinical diagnostics. The Citrine system is designed specifically to meet the unique needs of clinical labs that require maximum sensitivity, the highest throughput, a wide…

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Marine bioluminescence

Deep sea creatures light the way to develop cancer-fighting therapies

A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is looking to some deep sea dwellers to create a better way to develop cancer-fighting therapies. Harnessing the power of the enzymes that give these marine animals the ability to glow, the team created a test that makes it easy for researchers to see whether a therapy is having its intended effect — killing cancer cells. The results of…

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Ophthalmology

Researchers explore way to reverse diabetic blindness

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a cell signaling pathway in mice that triggers vision loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion – diseases characterized by the closure of blood vessels in the retina, leading to blindness. In experiments that suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the eye, researchers were able to re-establish normal blood…

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In development

A more accurate tool to track new HIV infections

Researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have led an effort to develop a more accurate way to gauge the incidence of HIV infections in large populations, which will improve research and prevention strategies worldwide. The new method more correctly identifies new vs. long-standing infections – an important distinction for determining where to target public health measures and research,…

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Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

For many of us, a flu shot is a fall routine. Roll up a sleeve, take a needle to the upper arm and hope this year’s vaccine matches whichever viruses circulate through the winter. The most common method to make that vaccine is now more than 70 years old. It requires growing viruses in special, pathogen-free chicken eggs. It’s not a quick and easy manufacturing process. And, at best, it…

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Infiltrating tumors

Immune cells predict therapy response in breast cancer

When immune cells invade the tumor, this is usually considered a good sign because the body's own immune system appears to be responding to the cancer. In the case of certain types of breast cancer immune cells, namely so-called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), these can determine survival rates and predict the usefulness of chemotherapy. This was shown by the largest meta study on TIL…

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Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses…

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Point-of-care testing

Advancing lateral flow immunoassays

‘Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIs) have evolved rapidly in the past 30 years, from the original crude and simple qualitative tests, to more complex multi-analyte and quantitative assays,’ reports BBI Solutions, a firm that has been raising the performance of lateral flow tests with the development of technologies for next generation diagnostics.

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Augmenting antibody services and assay development

Acquisition: BBI gains MBS

BBI Solutions (BBI), immunoassay developer and reagent supplier, acquired Maine Biotechnology Services Inc. (MBS) in July 2017, adding antibody development to the firm’s end to end assay development services. This also strengthens BBI’s reagents antibodies portfolio, providing a wide range of high quality biomarkers for infectious disease.

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Human papillomavirus

A vaccine against cervical cancer for poor countries

A novel vaccine against cancer-causing human papillomaviruses (HPV) is intended to help raise vaccination rates especially in developing countries. To this end, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg are developing a completely new vaccination concept based on a low-cost vaccine that protects from almost all known oncogenic HPV types. The project has now been…

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ABC4 III

Combined therapies increase adverse side effects

Patients with advanced breast cancer who are treated with a combination of drugs that target specific molecules important for cancer development and also the hormones that are driving it are at increased risk of suffering adverse side effects. In new research presented at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fourth International Consensus Conference (ABC 4), researchers have shown that combining targeted…

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Diagnosing Zika

Commercial blood test proves reliable

The Society for Virology (GfV) which promotes virology through the increase and exchange of research within German speaking countries, as well as via cooperation with other scientific societies, announced this year that a new test can unambiguously confirm the diagnosis of a Zika virus infection – leading to fast diagnosis and identification of an infection.

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Blood test alternative

Oral "Hep E" test could simplify detection tremendously

A saliva test developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health nearly matches the performance of a blood test widely used to assess recent or past hepatitis E virus infections, a new study reports. The findings could offer an easier, less expensive alternative to gathering data for studying and eventually treating the disease, which infects an estimated 20 million…

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Fast triage of chest pain patients

ADVIA Centaur High-Sensitivity Troponin I Assay

The ADVIA Centaur® High-Sensitivity Troponin I (TNIH) assay* is the latest addition to Siemens Healthineers’ comprehensive cardiac menu to assist clinicians with the diagnosis and treatment of chest pain patients. Designed to aid in diagnosing acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) through the quantitative measurement of cardiac troponin I in serum or plasma, high-sensitivity troponin plays a…

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Immunoassay

CLIA: Advancement and market dynamic

With the combination of the basic principle of radioimmunoassay, high sensitive chemiluminescence and high specific immunoassay, the year 1977 saw the emergence of a new technology-Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CLIA) which provided one of the best solutions for the quantification of specimens from a complex mixture with the non-radioactive nature, making it an advantage to replace RIA in…

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Deep Learning

Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development

Autonomous driving, automatic speech recognition, and the game Go: Deep Learning is generating more and more public awareness. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and their partners at ETH Zurich and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now used it to determine the development of hematopoietic stem cells in advance. In ‘Nature Methods’ they describe how their software…

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Cancer Care

Biosimilars Create New Opportunities

Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open.1 The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

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Blood poisoning

"Pulling" bacteria out of blood

Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection. This involves the blood of patients being mixed with magnetic iron particles, which bind the bacteria to them after which they are removed from the blood using magnets. The initial laboratory tests at Empa in St. Gallen have been successful, and seem promising.

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Positron emission tomography

New imaging method detects prostate cancer

An international group of researchers report success in mice of a method of using positron emission tomography (PET) scans to track, in real time, an antibody targeting a hormone receptor pathway specifically involved in prostate cancer.

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Lateral flow immunoassay

Up to 10-fold increase in assay sensitivity

BBI Solutions has launched Morffi, a novel conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity and improves the sensitivity of lateral flow immunoassaysThe technology, developed in-house by BBI Solutions scientists, improves the limit of detection of an assay, providing an increase in sensitivity of up to ten times and a faster time to result.

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Contrast enhancement

Sonic boom with bubbles

Illuminating blood vessels, opening the blood-brain barrier and delivering drugs. What will be the next big thing that tiny microbubbles can do?

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Diabetes

Friendly Fire in the Pancreas

n type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, and their colleagues at Technical University of Munich have now reported in the journal ‘PNAS’ about a mechanism used by the immune system to prepare for this attack. They were able to inhibit this process through targeted…

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Melanoma treatment

Dermatology develops an effective immunotherapy against solid cancer

Melanomas account among the eight most frequent deadly cancers in Europe and Northern America. Two major clinical criteria separate melanomas from most other cancers: the risk to die from a melanoma is a question of being less or more than 1 mm – and not a question of cm. About 95% of patients with melanomas ≤0.5 mm in thickness are clinically cured by early detection and appropriate melanoma…

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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,…

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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.

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Infection

Antibodies identified that thwart Zika virus

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified antibodies capable of protecting against Zika virus infection, a significant step toward developing a vaccine, better diagnostic tests and possibly new antibody-based therapies. The work, in mice, helps clarify recent research that also identified protective Zika antibodies but lacked important details on how the…

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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…

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MALDI Tissuetyper

The rapifleX is now available as TOF/TOF

The MALDI Tissuetyper is a system that records spatially resolved mass spectra directly from tissue. This allows the direct measurement of proteins, lipids and other molecular classes without the need for antibodies or molecular probes. This results in highly multiplexed datasets in which hundreds or thousands of compounds are measured simultaneously.

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Transplants

Cell-free DNA offers several advantages

As part of a national, joint research project in cooperation with Chronix Biomedical (San Jose, CA/USA/Göttingen/Germany), Professor Michael Oellerich MD is on new biomarkers in organ transplantation, aiming to develop personalised immunosuppression for patients. This also entails the development of molecular test procedures, among others for the early detection of rejection. The keyword here is…

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Drug delivery

Biotherapeutics strike cancer cell growth

Many drug treatments do not work due to their poor ability to reach their intended targets inside patients’ cells. To address this, researchers at Cardiff University’s Schools of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biosciences have designed a highly efficient method to improve the delivery of therapeutic molecules into diseased cells such as those in stomach cancer, breast cancer and…

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BRIM

Technology helps ID aggressive early breast cancer

When a woman is diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer, how aggressive should her treatment be? Will the non-invasive cancer become invasive? Or is it a slow-growing variety that will likely never be harmful? Researchers at the University of Michigan developed a new technology that can identify aggressive forms of ductal carcinoma in situ, or stage 0 breast cancer, from non-aggressive…

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Dividing T cells

Target for improving cancer immunotherapy

When an immune T cell divides into two daughter cells, the activity of an enzyme called mTORC1, which controls protein production, splits unevenly between the progeny, producing two cells with different properties. Such "asymmetric division," uncovered by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers using lab-grown cells and specially bred mice, could offer new ways to enhance cancer…

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Mutation

Prevention of genetic breast cancer within reach

An international team led by researchers at the Austrian Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore discovered that genetically determined breast cancer can be largely prevented by blocking a bone gene. An already approved drug could be quickly available and would then be the first breast cancer prevention drug.

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Active substance

Promising treatment prospects for invasive breast cancer

Scientists from the University of Zurich have been able to understand for the first time why many cancer cells adapt relatively quickly to the treatment with therapeutic antibodies in invasive forms of breast cancer. Instead of dying off, they are merely rendered inactive. The researchers have now developed an active substance that kills the cancer cells very effectively without harming healthy…

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Security

Go biometric or risk a botch up

Today most healthcare systems rely on text-based matching: A patient’s ID card or driver’s license is considered sufficient proof of identity. This “identification system” however puts patients at risk of death, improper treatment, insurance abuse and lawsuits the provider and hospital cannot defend. Dr Raymond D. Aller, Director of Informatics at the Director of Informatics for the…

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More light on cancer

The group of Russian and French researchers, with the participation of scientists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, has succeeded to synthesize nanoparticles of ultrapure silicon, which exhibited the property of efficient photoluminescence, i.e., secondary light emission after photoexcitation. These particles were able to easily penetrate into cancer cells and it allowed to use them as…

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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.

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Virus

The Zika mystery: scapegoat or villain?

From the beginning the accusation somehow beggared belief. A ‘mild’ virus was blamed for causing hideous malformations in babies’ heads. Brazil, a country suffering its worst recession since the 1930s, as well as political upheaval, became the focus of a worldwide healthcare scare.

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Oncology

Pancreatic cancer: Enzyme renders tumors resistant

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Stem Cell Institute HI-STEM in Heidelberg have discovered the reason why some pancreatic tumors are so resistant to treatment. They have found that these tumor cells produce larger quantities of an enzyme that usually occurs in the liver and degrades many drugs. If this enzyme is blocked, the cancer cells become sensitive towards…

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Antibodies

A ‘silver bullet’ for Ebola viruses?

There may be a “silver bullet” for Ebola. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB) reported that they have isolated human monoclonal antibodies from Ebola survivors which can neutralize multiple species of the virus.

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MERS

First reported autopsy of patient with MERS provides critical insights

Since 2012, at least 1,500 individuals have developed Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), resulting in more than 500 fatalities. Only now are results being reported of the first autopsy of a MERS patient, which was performed in 2014. Not only do these findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, provide unprecedented, clinically-relevant insights about how MERS progresses, they…

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Ebola: Guidelines for treating infected children

When the Ebola virus outbreak erupted in West Africa in 2014, children infected with the virus — particularly those under age 5 — faced overwhelming challenges. Not only was there a high death rate among young children infected with the disease, they often were isolated from their families, leaving them feeling distressed and without the intensive care they needed.

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Immunotherapy

The new frontier of cancer therapy

Healthcare, the world’s largest industry, is more than three times the size and value of the financial services sector, and is transforming faster than ever before, driving humanity to rethink the way we approach our health.

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High rating

Immunotherapy brings striking successes

Checkpoint inhibitors can achieve a lasting treatment response in around 20% of some kinds of advanced cancer cases. ‘Immunotherapies are given the highest possible rating on the Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), which assesses the actual clinical benefit of tumour treatments,’ emphasises Professor Christoph Zielinski MD, Head of the…

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'Self-Sabotage' prevents immune protection against Malaria

Australian scientists have for the first time revealed how malaria parasites cause an inflammatory reaction that sabotages our body's ability to protect itself against the disease. The discovery opens up the possibility of improving new or existing malaria vaccines by boosting key immune cells needed for long-lasting immunity. This could even include vaccines that have previously been ineffective…

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Surfing DNA

Enzyme catches a ride to fight infection

Scientists have shown for the first time that an enzyme crucial to keeping our immune system healthy “surfs” along the strands of DNA inside our cells. The researchers used extremely powerful microscopy to watch how the enzyme AID (activation-induced deoxycytidine deaminase) moves around and interacts with other molecules.

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Diagnostics with birefringence

Nothing could be simpler: a drop of blood is placed on a special carrier substance; after a wait of a few minutes, the slide is placed on a device that emits polarised light thanks to an inexpensive polarisation filter. It is covered with a lid containing a second polarisation filter, which blocks the light from all materials except crystalline or materials with directional properties.

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Toolkit

Microchip helps to visualize breast cancer proteins

A photograph may reveal how something looks, but direct observation can divulge how the objects behave. The difference can mean life or death, especially when it comes to fighting human disease. To help researchers examine exactly how human diseases work at the molecular level, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientist Deborah Kelly has developed a new set of tools to peer into the…

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

A unique molecule developed at Duke Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MacroGenics, Inc., is able to bind HIV-infected cells to the immune system’s killer T cells. It could become a key part of a shock-and-kill strategy being developed in the hope of one day clearing HIV infection.

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What is the cost of lung cancer in Germany?

With more than 50,000 newly diagnosed cases each year, lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Germany. As yet, however, very few statistics are available on the care situation of lung cancer sufferers and the associated costs. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have now analyzed comprehensive health insurance data in order to discover the cost of the disease and which…

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Therapy

First-ever possible treatments for MERS

As the South Korean epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continues unabated, researchers have raced to find treatments for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 400 people since it was first discovered three years ago in Saudi Arabia.

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Swiss Army Knife for Laboratories

Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

During the past 15 years, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has evolved into a vital technology used to perform routine tests in many clinical laboratories. Historically, LC-MS/MS had been used primarily by research, pharmaceutical, or commercial laboratories; however, advances in the technology, decreasing costs for basic systems, intelligible software, an increased…

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Workflow

Confidence in Hematology, Results with Beckman Coulter

Wallace Coulter, one of the founders of Beckman Coulter, was motivated by a belief that science should serve humanity. This was the inspiration behind the principle he invented that became the basis for all blood counting solutions. This same drive to keep the science of hematology moving forward is behind Beckman Coulter's new ©Automated Intelligent Morphology© (AIM), a multidimensional,…

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Figthing cancer

Triple treatment keeps cancer from coming back

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, responsible for some 1.59 million deaths a year. That figure is due, in part, to the fact that the cancer often returns after what, at first, seems to be successful treatment. And the recurring cancer is often resistant to the chemotherapy and other drugs that originally drove it into remission. According to new research by the Weizmann…

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Proteomics International Laboratories Ltd.

Predictive test for diagnosis of diabetic kidney disease

Life sciences company Proteomics International Laboratories (ASX: PIQ) is pleased to announce that it has produced and validated a predictive test for the diagnosis of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). The test, called PromarkerD, is the world's first proteomics-derived predictive (prognostic) test for the diagnosis of DKD, and represents a global breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of the…

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Personalised medicine

Computerised tailor-made retinopathy therapy

Nowadays the concept of personalised medicine is usually applied to oncology. However, there are other clinical disciplines in which therapies tailored to the individual patient are within reach, viz. ophthalmology. In the researchers’ limelight is intravitreal drug delivery since the outcomes of injections into the vitreous differ from patient to patient. Ophthalmologists in Vienna, Austria,…

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Fighting HIV with antibodies

30 years after HIV was discovered to be the cause of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS, and despite intensive research, no vaccine or cure has yet been found. An international team of scientists, in collaboration with the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the University Hospital of Cologne, has now tested a new generation of antibodies in humans for the first time. They…

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Liver

Stellate cells control regeneration and fibrosis

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Medical Faculty in Mannheim at Heidelberg University are searching for new approaches to prevent liver fibrosis. They have identified a surface molecule on special liver cells called stellate cells as a potential target for interfering with this process. When the researchers turned off the receptor, this led to reduced liver…

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Immune system

Outwitting cancermechanisms

The human immune system is usually very efficient in protecting the body against diseases by eliminating pathogens as well as infected, damaged or otherwise suspicious cells. However, it often fails because tumours have developed efficient strategies that hamper the system’s ability to detect and destroy the cancer cells. Report. Ludger Weß

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IVD Market

Santa’s bag full of cash

We are seeing great priority shifts in China’s funding for R&D and manufacturing expansion. Even the agency responsible for selecting the recipients has changed, Jie Ren reports from the Beijing-based market analysis consultancy Whitney Research Inc. Report: John Brosky

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Infection Control

POCT accelerates diagnosis of STDs

Trichomonias, with an estimated 187 million cases, and Chlamydia with around 100 million, are the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). There are approximately 36 million cases each of gonorrhoea and syphilis. HIV1/2 cases are around 34 million. Report: Cynthia Keen

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Medical Training

Diagnosing gastrointestinal infections

The human gut literally teems with microorganisms from at least 1,000 different species that are increasingly considered to be a valuable resource for the prediction, aetiology and prognosis of disease. Due to continual contact with the environment, primarily via food, the gut is susceptible to infection when a virus, parasite or bacterium enters and disrupts normal gut microbiota (or flora).

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Liquid biopsy

It sounds amazingly simple: a structured medical Seldinger guidewire is inserted via a peripheral venous catheter to ‘fish’ for circulating tumour cells (CTC) in the blood of cancer patients. Report: Bettina Döbereiner

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Breakthrough in hepatitis C research

Earlier this year a drug was launched that can cure hepatitis C without severe side effects in most patients. Whilst the treatment is fast, it is very expensive but does avoid liver cancer and thus makes liver transplants superfluous. This is only one of the many promising developments in hepatitis research that Dr Markus Cornberg of the Medical University Hanover will address at the Medica…

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Protein test instead of cystoscopy

A recent study from the Heidelberg-based company Sciomics, a spin-off from scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), has presented an advanced method to predict the recurrence of bladder cancer after surgery. The method, which can help avoid frequent cystoscopy examinations in a majority of patients, is based on an analysis of the protein composition of cancer tissue obtained…

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MERS-CoV: Global action needed?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently formed an international emergency committee to decide whether Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) should be ascribed Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) status, amid reports of a lack of information from the worst affected countries.

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New cancer research targets

‘We aim to develop an understanding of which novel research activities could bring benefits for patients,’ explained Professor Christof von Kalle, Director of the Department of Translational Oncology, NCT (German National Centre for Tumour Diseases) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), speaking on translational activities during the New Cancer Targets gathering in Heidelberg this…

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The 129th Congress of the German Society of Surgery

Meeting with EH editor Brigitte Dinkloh, Congress Secretary Professor Alexis Ulrich MD (left), Assistant Medical Director at the Clinic for General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery at the University of Heidelberg, outlined the scientific programme, discussed some impressive advances in surgical procedures, and explained why the gathering bears the slogan Surgery in Partnership.

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A new paradigm in early arthritis patients - proteomic biomarkers

Early arthritis is characterized by autoreactivity (reactivity against self-antigens) of T-B lymphocytes and by the synthesis of autoantibodies crucial for diagnosis (biomarkers). Detection of panels of autoantibodies increases the sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of arthritis. The variability in the performance of autoantibody assays may impact the predictive value. Confirmation of…

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Autoimmune disease risk

Silicone gel breast implants and connective tissue

Silicone breast implants are the most popular type of implant. The postulated relation between silicone breast implants and the risk of connective tissue and autoimmune diseases has generated intense medical and legal interest during the past decade. Considerable controversy has surrounded the long-term safety of silicone breast implants.

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Bringing contrast into play

Although many new features in US-guided interventions are being marketed, which are really necessary, which just nice-to-have? It’s a question to be faced by experts during the refresher course ‘Interventional ultrasound’ at WFUMB 2011. One of the most established ultrasound techniques in minimally invasive procedures is contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) – a tool that is safe, gentle…

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Siemens Fully Automated ADVIA Centaur Syphilis Assay Receives CE Marketing Approval

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics announced today that its ADVIA Centaur® Syphilis Assay1 for the detection of antibodies against Treponema pallidum, a bacterium known to cause the sexually-transmitted disease, syphilis, has been CE-marked. Now, laboratories outside the United States can equip themselves with a new testing tool for this serious condition and drive additional workflow and efficiency…

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Well organised against EHEC

In late May, a particularly aggressive and new strain of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) posed an enormous challenge for northern German hospitals. In Hamburg, the focus of the epidemic, more than 1,000 people fell ill, about 180 of them seriously, after getting into contact with the bacterium. Report: Meike Lerner

New biomarkers allow for better diagnosis in multiple sclerosis

Biomarkers – mainly defined as surrogates serving as indicators for specific biological states – play an ever-increasing role in neuroscience and especially in the management of multiple sclerosis, scientists reported today at the 21st Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Lisbon. In analyzing gene expression patterns, immunological changes and imaging abnormalities,…

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PET-MRI - The right system at the right time

Thinking of the future of imaging, inevitably PET-MRI springs to mind. The fascination of this novel hybrid technology is great, seeing how it combines the best from three imaging areas: anatomy, function and metabolism. The further development of functional procedures in oncology is raising particularly high expectations. However, how extensive the use of this potentiated image information will…

Early Detection Of Lung Cancer

The earlier cancers can be detected, the better the chances of a cure. Researchers are now working to develop a new diagnostics platform with which the illness can be diagnosed in its early stages, even during a visit to the general practitioner: protein biomarkers in exhaled air divulge the presence of pathological cells in the lung.

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Reading tissues

The trend towards personalised medicine implies the development of targeted cancer therapy. Tissue based examinations by pathologists play a key role in this trend. However, the relevance is still underestimated as pathologist Professor Manfred Dietel noted in his lecture at the European Forum on Oncology 2010 in Berlin, which explained what pathology already actually renders to targeted cancer…

Reading tissues

Pathologists enable targeted cancer therapy

The trend towards personalised medicine implies the development of targeted cancer therapy. Tissue based examinations by pathologists play a key role in this trend. However, the relevance is still underestimated as pathologist Professor Manfred Dietel noted in his lecture at the European Forum on Oncology 2010 in Berlin, which explained what pathology already actually renders to targeted cancer…

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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…

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Tailoring cancer treatment with biomarkers

New biomarkers play a key role in individualised tumour therapy. They are important indicators for pathological processes in the body and for the use of adequate cancer drugs. In our European Hospital interview Professor Celso A Reis, from the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP*) in Portugal, discussed the current state of clinical use of…

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Advanced melanoma

An increase in survival in metastatic melanoma – the cancer with the most rapidly increasing incidence across the EU – has been shown for the first time in a major international study by researchers from across Europe. The results showed that patients who received a novel monoclonal antibody called ipilimumab lived 34% longer than control patients given gp100 peptide vaccine.

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C. difficile - Molecular scientists design a very quick cheap test

A small team of researchers at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, in London, has developed a rapid, cheap and effective kit to test for the presence of Clostridium difficile. And, they report that the new kit costs as little as 50 pence to £1 per test and can deliver results in under an hour, compared to commercial kits that cost up to £25 and in some cases take significantly…

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Neurological diseases on the rise

„Diseases of the nervous system and the brain occur more frequently than cancer. According to recent calculations of health care costs, they represent a burden of 386 billion euros a year on European economies,“ says Prof. Gérard Said, newly elected president of the European Neurological Society (ENS) at the annual meeting in Berlin, Germany. „This is often greatly underestimated.“

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The European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE)

Since June 2009, the focus of research in the European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE) has been on finding biomarkers to aid cell transplantation. Funded with €11 million from the European Commission (EC), this major project that runs until 2013, involves 10 countries. Their work is coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) network,…

Blood test to predict rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers from University Hospital in Umea, Sweden, have identified several cytokines, cytokine-related factors, and chemokines that increase significantly prior to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease onset. These findings confirm those of earlier studies which suggest that the risk of developing RA can be predicted and disease progression may be prevented. Complete findings of this study are…

Papilloma virus infection

The latest analysis of a vaccine’s safety, efficacy and immunogenicity indicates that Cervarix, a human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine offers sustained protection for over six years against infection by viral types HPV-16 and HPV-18, most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

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The value and development of PCR tests

Whereas, in the past, the diagnoses of infectious diseases focused on antibody detection, more recently laboratories aim to identify the agent itself, using the invaluable PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. We asked Prof Beatus Ofenloch-Hähnle, head of Reagent and System Development Immunology, at Roche Professional Diagnostics, and Benjamin Lilienfeld, Global Product Manager for Infectious…

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40 years of MEDICA

When we organised the first Diagnostic Week in Karlsruhe, in 1969, no one could have known that this event would one day turn into the annual highlight in the world of medicine, reflected Dr Wolfgang Albath, laboratory medicine pioneer and one of the founding fathers of MEDICA the world`s largest medical trade show. Initially planned as a moving exhibition, the show has been based in…

New horizons in Nuclear Medicine therapy

Radionuclide therapy has been rapidly developing for the last 20 years, due to the availability of new carrier molecules and radionuclides. For some years the clinical efficacy has been modest with a low percentage of objective responses and no survival benefit because, most often, the patients had large tumor burden.

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Speeding up vaccine production

During the race to produce vaccines against evolving influenza viruses the slowness of their manufacture has turned producers more sharply towards cell culture technology. Using the traditional process, fertilised chicken eggs must first be inoculated with live flu virus, then the resulting egg-adapted virus must be purified and inactivated to produce trivalent inactivated virus (TIV), during…

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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).

Celiac test kits match multi-centre study demands

The results of the recent Multi-Centre Celiac Serology Study undertaken to define the optimal serological screening approach to Celiac Disease clearly showed that dual or combined isotype (IgA+IgG) transglutaminase screening can be advocated as a sensitive and specific alternative to endomysial antibody testing in the assessment of Celiac Disease.

On-the-spot multi-task lab-on-a-chip

A new lab-on-chip system, the ivD-platform, which quickly determines, on site, the contents and parameters of biological samples, such as blood or saliva, with the help of immunoassay or DNA analysis, was presented at Biotechnica this autumn.

21st Century lab automation

Laboratory automation of the 21st century demonstrates, every second, that in the 30 years since labs took their first tentative steps towards automation it has advanced by orders of magnitude - and moved far beyond the ambitions of its progenitors. Driven by the imperatives of greater efficiency, more precision and round-the-clock operation, ever more sophisticated forms of automation are now…

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Analytica 2008

With 121 high level lectures and 65 published posters, Analytica 2008 - organised by the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) and the German United Society of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL) - was again a notable bio-chemistry event.

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Raman spectroscopy improves molecular imaging

A team of Stanford University School of Medicine researchers has developed a new type of imaging system that can illuminate tumors in living subjects-getting pictures with a precision of nearly one-trillionth of a meter.

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HIV

By Tamar Jehuda-Cohen PhD, Biomedical Engineering Department, Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

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The SMARTube

SMARTube technology enables super-stimulation of lymphocytes, which leads to enhanced production of antibodies in vitro. This enables better and earlier detection of infections.

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At a glance

Where are the most high-tech start-ups? That`s an easy one: Silicon Valley. But who comes in a close second? Surprisingly: Israel. Further: Israel ranks Number 1 in terms of availability of scientists and engineers and Number 2 in quality of higher education. The result of this impressive track record is a wide range of successful enterprises and products, particularly related to the life…

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Development of potential Hepatitis C vaccine

The British Midlands' University of Nottingham discovered a possible vaccine for use in the treatment of Hepatits C. At the 161st. meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Edinburgh, UK, a paper titled “Human Antibodies to Hepatits C Virus – Potential for Vaccine Design” was presented.

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CD39 - a cellular marker for Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists from the italian Fondazione Santa Lucia in Rome and the german Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin recently discovered a correlation between the number of a subgroup of regulatory T-cells and Multiple Sclerosis, that perhaps may lead to new treatment options.

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Oncology

In recent years new imaging procedures have delivered many answers and solutions for oncological diagnostics and therapy. However, one question could not be answered: Is a tumour developing?

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State of the art technology for biomedical imaging

A convenient technology to quantify three-dimensional (3D) morphological features would have widespread applications in biomedical research. Now, researchers from Umea University in Sweden presented a new method for 3D imaging and quantification of biological preparations ten times larger than the limit for traditional confocal microscopes.

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Company Round-up

Siemens Medical Solutions strengthens its diagnostics devision, J&J wins stent patent appeal over Boston Scientific and Medtronic, Leica extends its product range and GE Healthcare cooperates with Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich as a reference center and strategic partner in developing cell-based assay modes.

Near-patient testing (NPT)

Near-patient testing (NPT) is any analytical process performed for, or by, a patient outside the traditional clinical laboratory. By Manole Cojocaru MD PhD, scientific consultant at ROMAR Medical-Laboratory Colentina, Bucharest

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Transplants

Birmingham, UK - Giving interleukin-2 receptor antibodies to patients after a kidney transplant can halve the risk of rejection, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (Interleukin-2 receptor monoclonal antibodies in renal transplantation: meta-analysis of randomised trials BMJ Volume 326, pp 789-91).