Search for: "molecules" - 1000 articles found

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Tools for the lab

Speeding up diagnostics to detect antibiotic resistance

Infectious disease diagnostics are notoriously slow. The gold standard for laboratory diagnosis of bacterial and fungal infection involves growing the pathogen from a clinical specimen – an overnight event, or even longer. The healthcare focus is on improving the use of antibiotics for better patient outcomes and reducing the environmental pressures that drive antibiotic resistance. To impact…

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8th Digital Pathology and AI Congress

London digital pathology conference returns to in-person format

More than 50 leading digital pathology experts have been lined up for a major conference in London in December looking at all aspects of the field. Speakers will explore latest developments, new trends, challenges, and innovation, as well as the effects of Covid-19 on pathology practice, during the 8th Digital Pathology and AI Congress on December 1 and 2. Artificial intelligence will feature…

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Altered bacterial function

Accumulation of drugs in the gut may reduce their effectiveness

Common medications can accumulate in gut bacteria, a new study has found, altering bacterial function and potentially reducing the medications’ effectiveness. These interactions - seen for many drugs including those used to treat depression, diabetes, and asthma - could help researchers to better understand how drug effectiveness and side-effects differ between individuals. The study is…

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Biological image analysis

Machine learning accelerates super-resolution microscopy

Scientists use super-resolution microscopy to study previously undiscovered cellular worlds, revealing nanometer-scale details inside cells. This method revolutionized light microscopy and earned its inventors the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In an international collaboration, AI researchers from Tübingen have now developed an algorithm that significantly accelerates this technology.

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Understanding oncogenesis

How normal cells turn into liver cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Helsinki could show for the first time that normal human fibroblast cells can be converted to specific cancer cells using only factors that are commonly detected in actual human patients. Previous studies have achieved this only by using powerful viral factors that are not common in human cancers. Since many human cancer types still lack specific diagnostic…

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Molecular targeting for better results

Emerging novel tracers for cardiovascular imaging

Molecular imaging, guided by novel tracers, is emerging as an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in cardiovascular medicine. Delegates at ICNC-CT, the online International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, also heard that cardiology can learn from fields such as oncology and neurology that have already made important advances in this area. Professor Frank Bengel, who is…

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SPECT/CT, MPI and more

The value of hybrid imaging in the cardiac arena

Combining imaging modalities is helping to achieve better diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes for heart patients. The topic, discussed in detail by experts at the ICNC-CT online International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, examined hybrid/fusion imaging as the standard in cardiovascular imaging, and its value in clinical practice. Professor Terrence Ruddy spoke about the role of…

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Cardiovascular disease prevention

Why a good night's sleep can save your heart

In a new study, researchers at Lund University and Uppsala University have seen a clear connection between how long a person sleeps and a number of biomarkers linked to cardiometabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “With greater knowledge of the actual mechanisms of disease development, the possibilities for a more specific and targeted treatment increase”, says…

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Cardiology & AI

Machine learning to predict sudden cardiac death

Could machine learning (ML) help to predict sudden cardiac death (SCD)? According to Dr Sanjiv Narayan, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, California, many exciting studies are using ML to predict sudden death in ways not previously possible. ‘Complex data, such as MRI geometry, very large electronic health records or continuous data streams from wearables, are difficult to probe…

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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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Omics in cancer care

Personalizing laboratory medicine

To avoid adverse reactions, personalised laboratory medicine can help to predict a patient’s drug response. Investigations based on DNA and other omics technologies – e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics – along with microarray technologies, is making a particularly valuable contribution to cancer care, in which personalised approaches are becoming possible through…

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Early detection & prevention

Blood-based micro-RNAs indicate colorectal cancer risk

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

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Infection research

Understanding lung damage in Covid-19 patients

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

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Tumor environment

When cancer cells turn acidic to survive

For the first time, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have shown how cancer cells reprogram themselves to produce lactic acid and to tolerate the acidic environment that exists around tumors. The finding could lead to a whole new direction for treating cancer. The breakthrough is the result of more than 13 years of work. The next step in research could…

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Aβ oligomers role in dementia

Alzheimer's: finding the cause of toxic clumps

Small aggregates of proteins known as Aβ oligomers are suspected as the main cause for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is not yet clear where and under what conditions these toxic aggregates form. Researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and Forschungszentrum Jülich, together with partners from the University and University Hospital Cologne, have now found…

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Potential for pan-variant therapies

SARS-CoV-2 might have a 'sugar coated' weak spot

Researchers identify two sugar-binding proteins that impede the viral entry of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. The team, spearheaded by researchers at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – may have found the “Achilles’ heel” of the virus, with potential for pan-variant therapeutic interventions. The findings are now published in the EMBO…

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Promising material

Organ transplantation: polymer coating reduces rejection rate

Researchers have found a way to reduce organ rejection following a transplant by using a special polymer to coat blood vessels on the organ to be transplanted. The polymer, developed by Prof. Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu and his team at the Centre for Blood Research and Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia, substantially diminished rejection of transplants in mice when…

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Cell delivery vehicles

Bio-inspired nanocontainers could enter cells and release their medical cargo

Nanocontainers can transport substances into cells where they can then take effect. This is the method used in, for example, the mRNA vaccines currently being employed against Covid-19 as well as certain cancer drugs. In research, similar transporters can also be used to deliver labelled substances into cells in order to study basic cellular functions. To take advantage of their full potential,…

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Genome editing

Using CRISPR to speed up Covid-19 testing

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

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Antisense therapy update

Huntington's disease: setback for study of promising agent

Roche announced the decision to discontinue dosing in the Phase III GENERATION HD1 study of tominersen (previously IONIS-HTTRx and RG6042) in manifest Huntington’s disease (HD). The decision was based on the results of a pre-planned review of the data from the Phase III study conducted by an unblinded Independent Data Monitoring Committee (iDMC). The iDMC made its recommendation based on the…

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Identificación de mutaciones tumorales

El aprendizaje automático impulsa la medicina personalizada del cáncer

El laboratorio de Genómica Biomédica del IRB Barcelona (Institute for Research in Biomedicine) ha desarrollado un método computacional que identifica las mutaciones causantes del cáncer para cada tipo de tumor. Este y otros desarrollos del mismo laboratorio buscan acelerar la investigación oncológica y ofrecer herramientas para que los oncólogos puedan elegir el mejor tratamiento para cada…

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Tool to identify tumour mutations

Machine learning fuels personalised cancer medicine

The Biomedical Genomics laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona has developed a computational tool that identifies cancer driver mutations for each tumour type. This and other developments produced by the same lab seek to accelerate cancer research and provide tools to help oncologists choose the best treatment for each patient. The study has been published in the…

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Coronavirus research

Contagious cash? The role of banknotes and coins in Covid-19 infections

How long do coronaviruses remain infectious on banknotes and coins? Is it possible to become infected through contact with cash? Experts at the European Central Bank, in collaboration with the Department of Medical and Molecular Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, wanted to clarify this question. The researchers led by Professor Eike Steinmann and Dr. Daniel Todt developed a method specifically…

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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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Hydrogel framework

Synthetic tissue with growing blood vessels developed

Using lab-created tissue to heal or replace damaged organs is one of the great visions for the future of medicine. Synthetic materials could be suitable as scaffolding for tissue because, unlike natural tissues, they remain stable in the organism long enough for the body to form new natural structures. A fundamental requirement for functional tissue is that blood vessels must be able to grow in…

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Automated whole-body reperfusion

New technique to increase survival after cardiac arrest

Researchers at the Medical Faculty of the University of Freiburg have developed an improved therapeutic approach to resuscitate people after cardiac arrest - often without neurological complications. Around 50,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest in Germany every year. When occurring outside a hospital, the chances of survival are only ten percent. Survivors often suffer from severe permanent…

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Angiogenesis

Magnetic stimulation boosts blood vessel formation

Magnetic fields can be used to stimulate blood vessel growth, according to a new study. The findings, published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials by researchers at the Técnico Lisboa and NOVA School of Science and Technology in Portugal, could lead to new treatments for cancers and help regenerate tissues that have lost their blood supply.

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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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Genetic alterations

Same mutation, different cancers: researchers explore connections

Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the University Medical Center Göttingen have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in…

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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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Oncology

Pancreatic cancer - current challenges and future direction

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in the world, and one of the most difficult to treat. In 2020, an estimated 495,000 individuals worldwide were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and an estimated 466,000 died, according to statistics from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Most patients with advanced disease die within a year of…

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AMR insights platform

Antibiotic resistance: a global problem in urgent need of solutions

Antibiotics have been at the heart of modern healthcare since the 1950s. They are prescribed prior to an operation to minimise the risk of infection after the operation. Or antibiotics are prescribed to fight an infection. This practice, which might seem straightforward at first glance, has proven to cause a number of problems itself: Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly clear…

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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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RAS protein mutation

New treatment approach targets cancer 'Death Star'

A new way to target a mutant protein which can cause the deadliest of cancers in humans has been uncovered by scientists at Leeds. The mutated form of the RAS protein has been referred to as the “Death Star” because of its ability to resist treatments and is found in 96% of pancreatic cancers and 54% of colorectal cancers. RAS is a protein important for health but in its mutated form it can…

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Support for T cells

Improving immune response against severe viral infections

Researchers have identified a way to improve the immune response in the face of severe viral infections. It is widely known that severe viral infections and cancer cause impairments to the immune system, including to T cells, a process called immune ‘exhaustion’. Overcoming immune exhaustion is a major goal for the development of new therapies for cancer or severe viral infections.

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Sample-to-answer workflow

Partnership for Covid-19 test solution

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

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Pediatric oncology cooperation

A royal visit for children with cancer

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, after whom the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht is named, along with several representatives of the center, the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), signed a memorandum on strategic cooperation in the field of pediatric oncology in Europe at…

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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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Personalised medicine

'Body-on-a-chip' technology boosts drug development

Integrating laboratory functions on a microchip circuit is helping improve the cost-effectiveness of drug development. So-called ‘lab-on-a-chip’ or ‘human-on-a-chip’ technology can highlight which treatments may, or may not, work before advancing along the clinical trial process. It can also have benefits for chronic and rare diseases, as well as helping shape personalised medicine.…

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Customer Reference

And still it scans! 15 years of experience with Hamamatsu Photonics NanoZoomer

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Peter Riegman from Erasmus University. Dr. Riegman is a Molecular Biologist and head of the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank. As an early adopter of digital pathology, Dr. Riegman purchased his first Hamamatsu Photonics whole slide scanner in 2005. It was a NanoZoomer HT, one of Hamamatsu’s very first production units, and it is still in daily use at…

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AI-assisted analysis

Prediciting viral infections with microscopy & deep learning

When viruses infect cells, changes in the cell nucleus occur, and these can be observed through fluorescence microscopy. Using fluoresence images from live cells, researchers at the University of Zurich have trained an artificial neural network to reliably recognize cells that are infected by adenoviruses or herpes viruses. The procedure also identifies severe acute infections at an early stage.

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Handheld rapid testing

New tech to diagnose infections in minutes - without a lab

The idea of visiting the doctor’s office with symptoms of an illness and leaving with a scientifically confirmed diagnosis is much closer to reality because of new technology developed by researchers at McMaster University. Engineering, biochemistry and medical researchers from across campus have combined their skills to create a hand-held rapid test for bacterial infections that can produce…

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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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Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Novel radiotracer shows promise to predict AAA rupture

A new positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer can detect abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and potentially predict when they will rupture, according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2021 Annual Meeting. Targeting a novel biomarker associated with AAA, the radiotracer is effective both in diagnosis and in providing information to assist in the…

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Unexpected find

Anti-tapeworm drug shows promise against Covid-19

Researchers from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University of Bonn have examined the way in which SARS-CoV-2 reprograms the metabolism of the host cell in order to gain an overall advantage. According to their report in Nature Communications, the researchers were able to identify four substances which inhibit SARS-CoV-2…

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Corona and the brain

PET imaging measures cognitive impairment in Covid-19 patients

The effects of Covid-19 on the brain can be accurately measured with positron emission tomography (PET), according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2021 Annual Meeting. In the study, newly diagnosed Covid-19 patients, who required inpatient treatment and underwent PET brain scans, were found to have deficits in neuronal function and…

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Severe effects

How COVID-19 wreaks havoc on human lungs

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have published the first detailed atomic-level model of the SARS-CoV-2 "envelope" protein bound to a human protein essential for maintaining the lining of the lungs.

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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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Molecular research

How retroviruses become infectious

Understanding every step in the life cycle of a virus is crucial for identifying potential targets for treatment. Now, scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria were able to show how a virus from the retrovirus family – the same family as HIV – protects its genetic information and becomes infectious. Furthermore, they show an unexpected flexibility of the virus. This…

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Neuroscience

A deep dive into the brain

Researchers from ETH Zurich and University of Zurich have developed a new microscopy technique that lights up the brain with high resolution imagery. This allows neuroscientists to study brain functions and ailments more closely and non-​invasively.

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„Swarm Learning“

AI with swarm intelligence to analyse medical data

Communities benefit from sharing knowledge and experience among their members. Following a similar principle - called “swarm learning” - an international research team has trained artificial intelligence algorithms to detect blood cancer, lung diseases and Covid-19 in data stored in a decentralized fashion. This approach has advantage over conventional methods since it inherently provides…

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Targeted drug delivery

'Soft X‑ray' method opens up ways for smart nano-medicine

Before the huge potential of tiny nanocarriers for highly targeted drug delivery and environmental clean-up can be realized, scientists first need to be able to see them. Currently researchers have to rely on attaching fluorescent dyes or heavy metals to label parts of organic nanocarrier structures for investigation, often changing them in the process. A new technique using chemically-sensitive…

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A new tool to combat superbugs

Defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria with 'molecular tweezers'

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a looming super threat – heralding a time when our drugs will no longer be effective against prevalent infections. Hospitals are already coping with treatment-resistant bacterial infections. Cognizant of the threat and thinking outside the box, BGU scientists and German and American colleagues have developed a pair of 'molecular tweezers' to destroy the biofilm…

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Inner ear reseach

Hearing loss: newfound gene gives insights into the cochlea

A gene called GAS2 plays a key role in normal hearing, and its absence causes severe hearing loss, according to a study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers, whose findings are published online in Developmental Cell, discovered that the protein encoded by GAS2 is crucial for maintaining the structural stiffness of support cells…

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Innovation in intervention

The promise and reality about AI for interventional oncology

Is artificial intelligence (AI) technology ready to be utilized as a clinical tool by interventional oncologists? Not yet, but when it is, AI technology’s clinical impact may be as profound as advanced imaging is today. This is the consensus of two leading researchers developing AI for interventional oncology use, who presented back-to-back scientific sessions at ECIO 2021 on both the promise…

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dPCR and HSAFM

Low-cost technique for missed genetic mutations

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

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Aggressive brain tumour

Glioblastoma can be tricked into 'repairing' itself

Scientists at the University College London (UCL) have made a ‘surprising’ discovery that glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, mimics normal brain repair in white matter, which leads to the tumour becoming less malignant. In the study on mice, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Nature Communications, researchers used these novel findings to identify drugs which could be used,…

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Labs processing 2,000 to 5,000 tests a day

Workflow automation solutions for mid-volume laboratories

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter announced the European launch of the DxA 5000 Fit, a workflow-automation solution designed to fit into medium-sized labs that run fewer than 5,000 tests a day. The clinical laboratory has gone through trial by fire in 2020, where total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with ~55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests. Despite vaccines, many industry…

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Sex differences in medication

A drug that could help men help cope with fear (but might make things worse for women)

A research team from the Institut de Neurociències at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) has showed that inhibition through a drug of the Tac2 neuronal circuit, involved in the formation of the memory of fear, has opposite effects on the ability to remember aversive events in mice according to sex: it is reduced in male mice and increased in female mice.

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Vision for vision

Reversing blindness: Award for cone optogenetics gene therapy

The Foundation Fighting Blindness has granted 600,000 US$ to help Hendrik Scholl as principal investigator define a novel way of reversing blindness. Hendrik Scholl is Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, and Head of the University Hospital’s Eye Clinic in Basel, Switzerland.

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Battling bacteria

Stress test finds cracks in the armor of harmful hospital bugs

Research has identified critical factors that enable dangerous bacteria to spread disease by surviving on surfaces in hospitals and kitchens. The study into the mechanisms which enable the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to survive on surfaces, could lead to new ways of targeting harmful bacteria. To survive outside their host, pathogenic bacteria must withstand various…

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Regeneration research

Scientists uncover how our skin repairs itself

University of Manchester scientists have cast new light on how our skin repairs itself, bringing the possibility of regeneration of the organ a step closer. The study team, funded by the Medical Research Council and Helmut Horten Foundation, showed the activation of specific parts of the DNA leading to better division of human skin cells. The study is published in Nucleic Acid Research.

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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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Building a coronavirus factory

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

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

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Helminths

Worm infestation in the gut can lower viral defenses

Infection with parasitic intestinal worms (helminths) can apparently cause sexually transmitted viral in-fections to be much more severe elsewhere in the body. This is shown by a study led by the Universities of Cape Town and Bonn. According to the study, helminth-infected mice developed significantly more severe symptoms after infection with a genital herpes viruses (Herpes Simplex Virus). The…

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Lipid research

Solving the sub-zero challenge of Covid-19 vaccines

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

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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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Cancer research

'Gene ferry' improves immune therapies

Genetically enhancing a patient's immune cells by adding therapeutic genes to them outside the body is regarded as a promising new treatment approach in oncology. However, the production of these therapeutic cells using viruses is not only expensive but time-consuming. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an innovative non-viral vector that can efficiently…

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CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

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

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Amplification /Detection

Quidel – Solana - molecular testing platform

Dimensions: 150 × 240 × 240 mm (h × w × d)Weight: 4 kgPower consumption:Bordetella pertussis, C. difficile, Group A Strep,Group B Strep, HSV 1+2 / VZV, Influenza A+B,RSV + hMPV, Strep A+C / G, Trichomonas,SARS-CoV-2* *New test in developmentHighlights:A simplified molecular testing platform with a small footprint, is making molecular diagnostics faster and…

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Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in iron-deficient conditions by utilizing rubredoxin B, a protein from a rubredoxin family that play an important role in adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

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Reparative hydrogel

Fixing traumatic head injury with 'brain glue'

At a cost of $38 billion a year, an estimated 5.3 million people are living with a permanent disability related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The physical, mental and financial toll of a TBI can be enormous, but new research from the University of Georgia provides promise. In a new study, researchers at…

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Bioengineering

Producing transplantable livers in the laboratory

Researchers at the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center (HUG-CELL), hosted by the University of São Paulo’s Institute of Biosciences (IB-USP) in Brazil, have developed a technique to reconstruct and produce livers in the laboratory. The proof-of-concept study was conducted with rat livers. In the next stage of their research, the scientists will adapt the technique for the production of…

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Léopold Griffuel Award

Childhood cancer research: Award for Stefan Pfister

Stefan Pfister, a director of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), a department head at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and a pediatric oncologist at University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD), has received the Léopold Griffuel Award from Fondation ARC, the French cancer research foundation. The prize, worth EUR 150,000 in Basic Research category, is one of the highest…

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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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Innovative protein analysis

Cooking an egg in an X-ray beam

A team of scientists has been using the X-ray source PETRA III at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) to analyse the structural changes that take place in an egg when you cook it. The work reveals how the proteins in the white of a chicken egg unfold and cross-link with each other to form a solid structure when heated. Their innovative method can be of interest to the food industry as well as…

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Digital pathology

AI delivers cervical cancer screening to rural areas of Kenya

Experts from Sweden, Finland and Kenya are using digital microscopy combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver a rapid and effective cervical screening service to rural locations in Kenya. The project sees AI and digital diagnostics bridge the gap between low-resource settings and the availability of centralised AI-enhanced expertise and pathology services, located in larger cities in…

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Mass spectrometry analysis

Skin swabs can detect Covid-19

Skin swab samples analysed using mass spectrometry could be used to detect Covid-19 in patients, according to research conducted at the University of Surrey in the UK. Current Covid-19 testing is via a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which involves taking a swab of the back of the throat and inside the nose, but the team from Surrey - working with Frimley NHS Trust and the Universities of…

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Uprooting cancer

New hydrogel 'reprograms' cancer cells back to cancer stem cells

An innovative hydrogel – called a double network (DN) gel – can rapidly reprogram differentiated cancer cells into cancer stem cells, researchers at Hokkaido University and the National Cancer Center Research Institute have reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The hydrogel can be used to help develop new cancer therapies and personalized medicines targeting cancer stem cells.

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Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

A new approach for treating bile duct cancer

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) develops within the liver. With one to two cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, ICC is one of the rare diseases overall, but it is the second most common liver cancer. The aggressive bile duct tumour remains clinically inconspicuous for a long time, so that it is often only detected late. Because the tumour also only responds to chemotherapy to a limited…

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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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Malignant brain tumor

Successful test for mutation-specific vaccine against diffuse gliomas

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated proteins. For the first time, physicians and cancer researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim have now carried out a clinical trial to test a mutation-specific vaccine against malignant brain tumors.…

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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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Acidity analysis

Harnessing AI to identify cancer cells

Healthy and cancer cells can look similar under a microscope. One way of differentiating them is by examining the level of acidity, or pH level, inside the cells. Tapping on this distinguishing characteristic, a research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a technique that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine whether a single cell is healthy or cancerous…

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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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Degenerative disease diagnostics

Parkinson's: Scientists develop ‘game-changing’ skin swab test

It is possible to identify Parkinson’s Disease based on compounds found on the surface of skin, according to new research. The findings offer hope that a pioneering new test could be developed to diagnose the degenerative condition through a simple and painless skin swab. Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed a technique which works by analysing compounds found in sebum -…

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Singlet contrast imaging

Hyperpolarized MRI enables real-time view on metabolic processes

Hyperpolarized MRI is a recent development and its research and application potential has yet to be fully explored. Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) have now unveiled a new technique for observing metabolic processes in the body. Their singlet-contrast MRI method employs easily-produced parahydrogen to track biochemical processes in…

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Nanoparticle-based contrast agent SAIO

New MRI contrast agent to improve upon gadolinium-based products

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used to identify the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels. Contrast agents improve the visibility of the structures and offer more accurate information of vascular conditions such as vascular blockage and stenosis. Commonly used gadolinium-based contrast agents must be administered in chelated forms due to the gadolinium ions' high toxicity and pose…

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Laboratory management

Covid-19: Overcoming unprecedented challenges

During a pandemic, the demands for laboratory testing challenge routines in an efficiently run clinical laboratory. Gold standard procedures may need modification, or to be discarded, and the more nimble, resilient and receptive a lab is to change, the better off it could be. Senior managers at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah, a large clinical reference laboratory that offers over 3,000…

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Analysing molecular composition

Infrared light is key in novel blood test

A new study carried out by a team of laser physicists, molecular biologists and physicians based at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics has confirmed the temporal stability of the molecular composition of blood in a population of healthy individuals. The data provide a basis for a new method of monitoring the constituents of blood and detecting alterations that reveal…

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Breast cancer diagnostics

New system to make AI diagnosis explainable

Researchers at TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin as well as the University of Oslo have developed a new tissue-section analysis system for diagnosing breast cancer based on artificial intelligence (AI). Two further developments make this system unique: For the first time, morphological, molecular and histological data are integrated in a single analysis. Secondly, the system…

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Potential for rapid, accurate glycan sequencing

Enormous boost for sequencing key molecules

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

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Survivin research

Switching off the 'survival protein' for cancer cells

It is called the "survival protein" because it plays a central role in the growth of cancer cells: survivin influences two important processes in the body's cells at the same time – cell death and cell division. Chemists and biologists at the Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have now succeeded in developing a precise molecule that can bind the protein’s surface at a defined site…

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A BOLD-100 approach

Novel metallodrug shows promise in tumour treatment

BOLD-100/KP1339 is a ruthenium-based anticancer agent that has been co-developed at the University of Vienna and which has shown promising results in clinical trials in cancer patients. However, the mode of action of this metal compound has not yet been fully elucidated. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have now been able to demonstrate that BOLD-100…

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Tiny changes, huge effects

Finding causes of disease with induced pluripotent stem cells

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

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Imaging tumour metabolism

Hyperpolarised MRI boosts cancer diagnosis

Tumour metabolism can be imaged with MRI as a technique to help determine cancer aggressiveness and response to therapy. The work by a UK-based group, on probing cancer metabolism non-invasively with clinical hyperpolarised carbon-13 MRI, can detect metabolic changes in the tumour. As metabolic changes occur much earlier than change in tumour size, this could have implications for quicker…

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Earlier, better insights

New developments in whole-body MRI for prostate cancer

Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) can detect prostate cancer and inform about treatment response and disease progression earlier and better than other imaging modalities. A Belgian expert will delve into the latest and future developments of the technique for prostate cancer and distant metastases imaging in a dedicated session at ECR. WB‐MRI and nuclear medicine -…

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Coronavirus research

Promising SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors discovered

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

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Cancer vaccine research

Tackling tumors with two types of virus

An international research group led by the University of Basel has developed a promising strategy for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Using two different viruses as vehicles, they administered specific tumor components in experiments on mice with cancer in order to stimulate their immune system to attack the tumor. The approach is now being tested in clinical studies.

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Images and patient data combined

Integrated radiomics improves clinical outcomes

Harnessing the power of radiomics, and adopting an integrated approach to combine imaging and patient data could lead to better clinical cancer outcomes. The move has opened the door for clinicians to explore a non-invasive approach to identify the heterogeneity of a tumour and more accurately target regions for biopsy. During a presentation at ECR 2021 in March, Professor Evis Sala will…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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Wako β-glucan test

Better detection and diagnosis of fungal infections

Beta-glucan tests are proving to be pivotal in the better detection and diagnosis of fungal infections. As a robust complimentary test for traditional testing techniques and biomarkers, it is helping clinicians deliver rapid results and offering greater reassurance in more accurately identifying such infections. β-glucan testing, which is an in vitro diagnostic test, is regularly used at…

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Inactivation of Coronavirus & Co. via electrochemistry

Antiviral mask offers protection at the push of a button

Researchers at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences are working with the Swiss company Osmotex AG to develop a self-disinfecting mask that inactivates viruses at the push of a button. The prototype of this mask made of electrochemical textiles shows an antiviral effect of over 99 percent. Further applications such as sterilizable seat covers are being examined.

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Brain cancer research

New approach could stop glioblastoma growth

Inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth, paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, from growing. Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto (U of T), showed that chemically inhibiting the enzyme PRMT5 can…

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Spotting viral differences

Finding a better way to search for Covid-19 drugs

Is there a better approach to Covid drug research? Research from the University of Kent, Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, and the Philipps-University in Marburg has provided crucial insights into the biological composition of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19, revealing vital clues for the discovery of antiviral drugs. Researchers compared SARS-CoV-2 and the closely related virus SARS-CoV,…

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53,831 genomes analysed

Rare diseases: huge dataset brings new insights

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. The early analysis, part of a large-scale program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines one of the largest and most diverse data sets of high-quality whole…

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Advancing diagnostic accuracy

PSMA PET/CT in prostate cancer evaluation

Hybrid PET/CT imaging can fully play to its strengths and steer treatment towards more effective procedures for diagnosing prostate cancer. The examination of the specific antigen PSMA with hybrid PET imaging enables treatment monitoring with significantly higher diagnostic accuracy than conventional imaging and therefore, Professor Clemens Cyran believes, will soon become the standard diagnostic…

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Rescuing brain cell activity

Alzheimer's: Promising avenue to restore cognitive function

A team of neuroscientists has identified a potential means to address the loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer’s disease by targeting protein synthesis in mice. Their findings, reported in the journal Science Signaling, reveal that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation.

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Microbiome research

'Organs-on-a-chip' system sheds light on interactions between gut and brain

In many ways, our brain and our digestive tract are deeply connected. Feeling nervous may lead to physical pain in the stomach, while hunger signals from the gut make us feel irritable. Recent studies have even suggested that the bacteria living in our gut can influence some neurological diseases. Modeling these complex interactions in animals such as mice is difficult to do, because their…

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Promising agents

The effect of vitamins, steroids and potential antivirals on SARS-CoV-2

Evidence is emerging that vitamin D – and possibly vitamins K and A – might help combat Covid-19. A new study from the University of Bristol published in the journal of the German Chemical Society Angewandte Chemie has shown how they – and other antiviral drugs – might work. The research indicates that these dietary supplements and compounds could bind to the viral spike protein and so…

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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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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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Protein anchors

Key molecule in cancer spread and epilepsy discovered

Certain anchor proteins inhibit a key metabolic driver that plays an important role in cancer and developmental brain disorders. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Innsbruck, together with a Europe-wide research network, discovered this molecular mechanism, which could open up new opportunities for personalized therapies for cancer and neuronal diseases.

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Lymphocytosis research

Tracing the onset of leukaemia

B-cell lymphocytosis, a condition in which individuals have increased levels of particular white blood cells, in some cases leads to blood cancer. As an international team of researchers now shows in samples from patients, both diseases exhibit similar epigenetic signatures that are forming very early during the course of the disease. Chronic leukemias often start insidiously. White blood cells…

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Valid for breast as well as blood cancers

Surprising benefits discovered in new cancer treatment

One more piece of the puzzle has fallen into place behind a new drug whose anti-cancer potential was developed at the University of Alberta and is set to begin human trials this year, thanks to newly published research. “The results provide more justification and rationale for starting the clinical trial in May,” said first author John Mackey, professor and director of oncology clinical…

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Mapping the 'family tree' of cancer

Metastasis monitoring: CRISPR tool catches cancer 'in the act'

When cancer is confined to one spot in the body, doctors can often treat it with surgery or other therapies. Much of the mortality associated with cancer, however, is due to its tendency to metastasize, sending out seeds of itself that may take root throughout the body. The exact moment of metastasis is fleeting, lost in the millions of divisions that take place in a tumor. “These events are…

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Revealing the mechanisms

Unlocking ‘the shape of water’ to fight antibiotic resistance

New high-resolution structures of the bacterial ribosome determined by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago show that a single water molecule may be the cause — and possible solution — of antibiotic resistance. The findings of the new study are published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Pathogenic germs become resistant to antibiotics when they develop the ability to…

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Neuroimaging research

Using mass spectrometry to diagnose brain diseases

To quickly and correctly diagnose diseases, medical professionals depend on identifying what biochemicals are present in tissue sections, where the biomolecules are, and at what concentrations. Mass spectrometry imaging—which can identify multiple biochemicals in a single experiment—is a promising technique to achieve this. However, the stability of biomolecular sampling needs improvement to…

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Genome study reveals

Blood group affects composition of intestinal microbiome

For several years, scientists worldwide have been investigating the extent to which microorganisms living in and on the human body influence central life processes and thus health and disease. Today they assume that there is a connection between the totality of the microbial colonization in the human body, called the microbiome, and the development of diseases. Chronic inflammatory bowel disease…

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At atomic accuracy

Glulisine research could improve diabetes treatment

For the first time, scientists have come up with a precise atomic level explanation for why glulisine - a commonly used medication to treat diabetes - is faster acting than insulin. The findings, published in Scientific Reports, could have benefits for diabetes patients in ensuring that a more improved insulin can be developed for future treatment. The study was carried out by experts from the…

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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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Osteoarthritis research

New treatment target could halt knee cartilage degeneration

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but a group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the disease’s effects. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Building on that finding, they were able to show that…

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RNA editing

New mechanism of cancer formation discovered

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

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RadClip

AI tool for MRI could transform prostate cancer surgery, treatment

Researchers at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve University have preliminarily validated an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to predict how likely the disease is to recur following surgical treatment for prostate cancer. The tool, called RadClip, uses AI algorithms to examine a variety of data, from MRI scans to molecular…

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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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AI use in clinical diagnosis

Deep learning tool predicts tumour expression from whole slide images

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

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Machine learning advances diagnostics and prognostics

Computerized image analysis can predict cancer outcomes

The advent of digital pathology is offering a unique opportunity to develop computerized image analysis methods to diagnose disease and predict outcomes for cancer patients from histopathology tissue sections. Such advances can help predict risk of recurrence, disease aggressiveness and long-term survival, according to a leading expert in the field, Professor Anant Madabhushi from Case Western…

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Variant COH.20G/501Y

New Coronavirus strain discovered

Scientists at The Ohio State University have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States. The College of Medicine researchers also report the evolution of another U.S. strain that acquired three other gene mutations not previously…

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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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Intensive care

Protecting lungs from ventilation-induced injury

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

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The role of the MLL4 gene

New insights on the Kabuki syndrome

Scientists have known for years that mutations in the MLL4 gene can cause Kabuki syndrome, a rare developmental disorder. How exactly this happens remeained a mystery for long. Now, a new study illuminates new details. The research suggests that MLL4 controls the production of neurons that secrete growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Mice without…

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Glioma detection

Breakthrough liquid biopsy test to detect mutations in brain tumours

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston have developed a novel blood test using an enhanced form of liquid biopsy capable of detecting the most common types of genetic mutations that occur in glioma brain tumors. The test is easy to use, inexpensive, produces results rapidly, and can be performed in most clinical laboratories. The researchers believe that the blood test has…

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Disease development, risk, complications

Researchers identify prediabetes subtypes

All prediabetes is not the same: in people in the preliminary stages of type 2 diabetes, there are six clearly distinguishable subtypes, which differ in the development of the disease, diabetes risk, and the development of secondary diseases. This is shown in a study by the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Tübingen,…

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Crossing the blood-brain barrier

Nanoparticle drug-delivery system to treat brain disorders

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

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Promising drug combination

Stroke: new prescription strategy shows great potential

Research conducted at the Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence at the Louisiana State University (LSU) reports that a combination of an LSU Health-patented drug and selected DHA derivatives is more effective in protecting brain cells and increasing recovery after stroke than a single drug. The findings are published in Brain Circulation.

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Tackling colon cancer

Researchers find 'Achilles’ heel' of cancer stem cells

Colon cancer stem cells have one weak spot: the enzyme Mll1. An MDC team led by Walter Birchmeier has now shown in Nature Communications that blocking this protein prevents the development of new tumors in the body. Since colonoscopies were introduced in Germany for early cancer detection, the number of diagnoses of advanced cancer every year has decreased, as precancerous lesions can now be…

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Stepstone for new treatments

Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis

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

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Altering the intestinal microbiome

How nanoplastics threaten human health

A recent review study concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models can be applied to humans. The study, which was led by the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), the spanish Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre…

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SARS-CoV-2 vs the proteome

Researchers explore coronavirus interactions with cells

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

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Preventing endoscope contamination

Ways to enhance hygiene in endoscopy

Stringent endoscope cleaning between procedures is vital. However, with so many steps in the process – plus high demand for rapid turnaround of endoscopes – contamination and biofilm build-up are still being reported. Endoscope hygiene and cleaning protocols were central to an online event organised by Pentax Medical, with important contributions from leading specialists. The event examined…

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Natural variation impacts virus-relevant proteins

How SARS-CoV-2 benefits from helpers within the human body

Like all viruses, the novel coronavirus is dependent on help from the human host cell. Proteins are the functional units of the cell and enable the virus to enter the host cell or help the virus to replicate. Scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), along with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, have…

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Childhood cancer

Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German…

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Brain rejuvenation

Drug reverses age-related mental decline within days

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss,…

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Clinical decision support

AI deep learning of PET/CT images to support NSCLC treatment

A software tool to predict the most effective therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) developed by applying deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) to positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images has been developed by researchers at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. The tool is designed to provide a noninvasive, accurate method to…

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Delicious research

Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?

Increased consumption of flavanols – a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables – can increase your mental agility, according to new research. A team at the University of Birmingham has found that people given a cocoa drink containing high levels of flavanols were able to complete certain cognitive tasks more efficiently than when drinking a non-flavanol enriched-drink.

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New mechanism of action

A small-molecule degrades a cancer-promoting

"Molecular glue degraders" are a new class of cancer drugs, which "glue" cancer growth-promoting proteins directly to the molecular machinery of a cell's disposal system, leading to the subsequent degradation of the cancer-driving proteins and anti-tumor activity. Scientists from Heidelberg and USA have now deciphered another mechanism whereby a small molecule can degrade a…

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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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Virology

Digital epidemiology in the Covid-19 war

Digital epidemiology is on the frontline in the Covid-19 war, with innovative techniques used to observe and monitor this viral spread across populations. Its increasingly important role was outlined to a virtual session at Medica 2020 by theoretical biologist Professor Dirk Brockmann. In a keynote presentation ‘Perspective of digital epidemiology – opportunities, promises and challenges’,…

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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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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV-3”

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

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Success in Düsseldorf

virtual.Medica receives international resonance

For the first time in the history of MEDICA, the world-leading medical trade fair, and the industry’s number one platform for the suppliers of the medical technology industry, COMPAMED, held from 16 to 19 November 2020, took place entirely online due to the pandemic - but still won over their audiences due to their high degree of international resonance in this format too, as virtual.MEDICA and…

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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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AI assistance for colonoscopy

Ensuring Patient Safety in Endoscopy

Patient safety in endoscopy must be approached from a holistic perspective, through solutions which increase detection rates of abnormalities, increase confidence in the safety of the reprocessing outcome, and control the risk of infection and cross-contamination. With these important benefits in mind, manufacturers should be continuously working to innovate products to establish solutions that…

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Addressing a broad range of research applications

Mass spectrometry advances

Since the Covid-19 epidemic took hold, the public has expected ‘unprecedented progress from the scientific community,’ observed Dan Shine, senior vice president and president of the analytical instruments division of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ‘A deeper analysis of proteins is critical to understanding disease, including novel viruses. New instruments, software and workflows can power…

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New gargle test

Mass spectrometry to improve Covid testing

A UK biotech laboratory has used mass spectrometry in a new approach to coronavirus testing. MAP Sciences developed a gargle test, which collects samples from the back of the throat, and avoids the unpleasant sensation of the current PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests. From there, the sample is tested for coronavirus using mass spectrometry (MS) with high levels of accuracy.

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Clinical lab equipment

Why do Mass Spectrometers need to be Medical Devices?

Clinical biochemistry laboratories face many daily challenges, including managing high sample workloads, managing clinician requests for novel tests, and generating and reporting out results in a timely fashion. Irrespective of the methodology employed, high quality and reproducible results are imperative since patient diagnosis and treatment plans are based largely on lab results. For this…

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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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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Detecting coronavirus infections

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

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

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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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Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – Axima iDplus Performance

Dimensions: 700 × 1,920 × 850 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 375 kg, excluding data systemHighlights:iDplus Performance – application-centric solutions:Rapid microbial identification for research useIdentifies and classifies strains based on phenotype characteristicsSuperSpectra reduce the incidence of false positives and ensure robustness and reproducibilityOpen system…

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Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – Axima iDplus Confidence

Dimensions: 700 × 1,920 × 850 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 330 kg, excluding data systemHighlights:iDplus Confidence – Sensitivity and Flexibility:Rapid microbial identification for research useIdentifies and classifies strains based on phenotype characteristicsSuperSpectra reduce the incidence of false positives and ensure robustness and reproducibilityOpen system allows…

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Infectious Disease

Siemens Healthineers – Fast Track Diagnostics Real-time PCR assays

Highlights:Siemens Healthineers enables precision medicine, with molecular testing solutions for the detection of major infectious diseases; monitoring of treatment efficacy; and selection of individualized treatment options. Our one-step syndromic real-time PCR products* simultaneously detect viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, allowing molecular laboratories to lower cost and drive…

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Extraction

Promega – Maxwell RSC 48 Instrument

Dimensions: 530 × 510 × 220 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 31 kgSample throughput: Up to 48 samples / 22 minutesAssays: Whole blood, plasma, tissue (fresh, frozen or FFPE), cells, stool, buffy coat, swabs, serum, food, ... Highlights:Automated Nucleic Acid Purification of 1 to 48 Sample· High-quality nucleic acid purification with minimal steps and little hands-on…

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Amplification

Orion Diagnostica Oy – Orion GenRead

Assays: C difficile, campylobacterHighlights:Orion GenRead system is a small benchtop system for molecular pathogen detection, based on proprietary technology SIBA (Strand Invasion Based Amplification).Flexibility with 1 – 12 samples in one runFast test results are available in less than one hourReady to use kits contain all needed reagentsBi-directional HIS / LIS connectivityPortable and…

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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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Unique awareness campaign

Crafting quilts to fight pancreatic cancer

Chemistry researchers at the University of Strathclyde are aiming to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer – with the use of specially-made quilts. Fellow cancer researchers across the UK are being asked to send diagrams illustrating their work. These will then be used as the patterns for quilts made by skilled crafters. After the project is concluded, the Strathclyde researchers hope to be able…

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At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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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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Revealing innovation potential of new antibiotics

Using proteomic profiling to accelerate drug development

The fight against bacterial infections, especially those caused by resistant pathogens, is in full swing with the search for new antibiotic agents. The aim is to identify substances that attack the pathogens in a truly novel way. The team at the Center for Systems-Based Antibiotic Research (Cesar) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has described in two publications how assess if a new antibiotic…

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Review highlight need

Lung cancer screening: experts appeal for wide implementation of LDCT

A new review, conducted by Professor John Field from the University of Liverpool and Professor Matthijs Oudkerk, University of Groningen, provides an authoritative insight into the current status of lung cancer screening. Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer. The number of deaths in 2017 in the UK was 3,300, making lung cancer the commonest cause of cancer death in the UK for both…

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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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Exploring new principles for therapeutic agents

New class of inhibitors to protect against neurodegeneration

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) to a completely new principle for…

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Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

It is only 120 millionths of a millimetre in size but can bring entire countries to a standstill: the Corona virus. Even if it were to disappear one day, viral infections will still be among the most frequent and difficult-to-treat diseases in humans. Even decades of research have only produced a few standardized vaccines and strategies for treatment to combat just a small number of viruses. Nor…

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"Enhance that"

New algorithm sharpens focus of cryo-electron microscopes

Scientists have developed a tool that improves the resolution and accuracy of powerful microscopes that are used to reveal insights into biology and medicine. In a study published in Nature Methods, a multi-institutional team led by Tom Terwilliger from the New Mexico Consortium and including researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) demonstrates how a new computer…

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For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

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

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

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Reduced complications, death

COVID-19: The benefits of vitamin D

Adequate levels of vitamin D reduces complications and deaths among COVID-19 patients, reveals new research performed at the Boston University School of Medicine. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status), had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including…

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Hardware and software solutions

Integrated OR and hygiene belong together

According to the German Federal Ministry of Health, 400,000 to 600,000 patients are diagnosed with hospital-acquired infections every year. The treatment of these nosocomial diseases is complex. Hygiene is a must, especially in the operating room. The IT environment should be designed accordingly.

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Gels for drug delivery systems

'Soft' 3D printing could jump-start creation of tiny medical devices

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D-printing gels and other soft materials. Published in a new paper, it has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision. Because many gels are compatible with living cells, the new method could jump-start the production of soft tiny medical devices such as…

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Digitising healthcare

Virtual assistants and digital twins advance personalised medicine

Siri and Alexa are leading the way: the virtual assistants meet many daily needs. Soon, similarly programmed software and a ‘digital patient twin’, will be launched into the medical world – both IT applications based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The virtual medical assistant and digital patient twin are two key aspects of a research project ‘Models for Personalised Medicine’.…

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Promising approach for eye diseases

Functional human retinas created in a dish

Scientists have generated accurate replications of human retinas in culture that can be used to pinpoint the specific types of cells affected by genetic eye diseases. The culmination of a six-year effort, this achievement will accelerate progress in developing new therapies and was reported in Cell by a team led by Botond Roska at the Institute for Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB)…

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Tissue analysis

Infrared spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool

New techniques of infrared-based technology are showing strong potential for cost-effective tissue analysis. Peter Gardner, Professor of Analytical and Biomedical Spectroscopy at the University of Manchester, outlined how hyperspectral imaging coupled with sophisticated computer algorithms can identify and grade cancerous tissue, as well as offer an indication of prognosis. The technique, he…

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Need for modernisation

Digital pathology: Luxury or necessity?

The anatomical pathologist faces a crisis. Public and private labs suffer increasing caseloads, whilst pathologist numbers diminish for various reasons, including greater cancer prevalence associated with aging populations as well as improved cancer screening programs. Precision medicine typically involves more genetic testing and extensive use of immunohistochemistry to classify cancer and…

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Taking control

How the coronavirus hijacks cells

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

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Non-pulmonary aspects

The cardiovascular impact of Covid-19

The increased Covid-19 risk to cardiac patients was discussed during an online presentation at ECR 2020. Focusing on the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in Covid-19 patients, Dr Karl-Friedrich Kreitner, Professor of Radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, discussed hypotheses which can explain cardiac…

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Blood poisoning

Exploring the importance and challenges of early sepsis diagnosis

On the occasion of this year's World Sepsis Day, we spoke with Elena Sukhacheva, Ph.D., director of medical and scientific affairs at Beckman Coulter, about the status quo and outlook on sepsis diagnostics. With the severity of sepsis symptoms, it’s easy to comprehend why it is invaluable to diagnose this disease properly and in a timely manner. Dr Sukhacheva takes an in-depth look at…

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Coronavirus

“Hotspots” of a corona infection in the human body

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analysed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues.

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Prototype

Portable point-of-care for Covid-19 tests

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

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Corona demographics

Why Covid-19 registries for cancer patients are so important

Due to compromised immune systems cancer patients are at higher risk of contracting infections. How does cancer impact on patients who also contract Covid-19? To collect this data, four cancer registries, one in the EU, one in the UK, two in the USA, have been established. The first large, multi-institution study of the impact of Covid-19 was conducted in Wuhan, China, and presented at the…

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Neuro-oncology

Challenges in brain tumour segmentation

Neuroradiologist Dr Sofie Van Cauter described the challenges to brain tumour image segmentation during the European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics (EuSoMII) annual meeting in Valencia. She also outlined how, when clinically validated, AI could help tackle such problems. The WHO classification of brain tumours has come a long way since first introduced in 1979. The 2016 classification was…

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Electrostatic interactions

New research exposes weak spot in SARS-CoV-2

Northwestern University researchers have uncovered a new vulnerability in the novel coronavirus’ infamous spike protein — illuminating a relatively simple, potential treatment pathway. The spike protein contains the virus’ binding site, which adheres to host cells and enables the virus to enter and infect the body. Using nanometer-level simulations, the researchers discovered a positively…

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Researchers use supercomputer

New insights into hepatitis B

Researchers at the University of Delaware, using supercomputing resources and collaborating with scientists at Indiana University, have gained new understanding of the virus that causes hepatitis B and the "spiky ball" that encloses the virus's genetic blueprint.

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Wearable watcher

Personalised treatment through smartwatch medication tracking

Engineers in the US have demonstrated that drug levels inside the body can be tracked in real time using a custom smartwatch that analyzes the chemicals found in sweat. This wearable technology could be incorporated into a more personalized approach to medicine — where an ideal drug and dosages can be tailored to an individual. The engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)…

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Coronavirus research

Boosting the immune system: a potential treatment strategy for COVID-19?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives around the world, much research has focused on the immune system’s role in patients who become seriously ill. A popular theory has it that the immune system gets so revved up fighting the virus that, after several days, it produces a so-called cytokine storm that results in potentially fatal organ damage, particularly to the lungs.

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Fossilised findings

Study shows: Even dinosaurs had cancer

A collaboration led by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and McMaster University has led to the discovery and diagnosis of an aggressive malignant bone cancer — an osteosarcoma — for the first time ever in a dinosaur. Examples of malignant cancers are very rare in the fossil record. The paper was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology. The cancerous bone in question is the fibula (lower…

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Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

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

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Temporal pressure

"Micropores": A new way to deliver drugs through the skin

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have showed that applying “temporal pressure” to the skin of mice can create a new way to deliver drugs. In a paper published in Science Advances, the researchers showed that bringing together two magnets so that they pinch and apply pressure to a fold of…

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G-quadruplexes

Quadruple DNA structures in breast cancer found

Four stranded DNA structures – known as G-quadruplexes – have been shown to play a role in certain types of breast cancer for the first time, providing a potential new target for personalised medicine, say scientists at the University of Cambridge. In 1953, Cambridge researchers Francis Crick and James Watson co-authored a study published in the journal Nature which showed that DNA in our…

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Future of contrast agents

Gadolinium in MRI is here to stay (at least for a while)

Manganese and iron oxide contrast agents can replace gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) in a number of MRI examinations, but gadolinium remains a strong candidate when properly indicated, especially with AI-driven dose reduction and advances to increase relaxivity, a French expert explained at ECR 2020. GBCA have been MRI companions for many years. In France, 30% of all MR examinations are…

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Cell invasion

Filopodia: The long 'fingers' of highly invasive lung cancer

Tiny finger-like projections called filopodia drive invasive behavior in a rare subset of lung cancer cells, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have found. Adam Marcus’ lab has developed innovative techniques for separating “leaders” and “followers,” subpopulations of tumor cells that cooperate during the process of metastasis. The lab’s new analysis of what…

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Combined against corona

COVID-19: promising drug combination opens up new therapeutic avenues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding a treatment to effectively fight the disease remains a major research challenge. Researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIRI) have developed a unique strategy for selection, evaluation and repositioning of drugs already on the market to assess their…

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the Pennsylvania State University, found that in rats and human cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels — known as vascular remodeling — that reduce blood flow and increase pressure.…

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Neurology research

Calcium channel subunits play a major role in autistic disorders

The ability of the human brain to process and store information is determined to a large extent by the connectivity between nerve cells. Chemical synapses are very important in this context as they constitute the interface for the transmission of information between individual nerve cells. Abnormalities in the formation of synapses cause many neurological disorders such as autism. Neurobiologists…

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Nanoparticles

Luminescent substance allows accurate viewing of body parts

Researchers have designed a fluid that works like a luminous ink to obtain very sharp images of damaged tissues, organs and cartilages in diagnostic tests. This new compound, still in the laboratory phase, reduces adverse effects on the human body because it allows lower amounts to be injected and the dose to be targeted only at the affected area.

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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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Self-sanitising surfaces

First long-lasting surface treatment to kill coronavirus launched

Chemical binding company Affix Labs has created the first long-lasting surface treatment proven to kill COVID-19. Si-Quat combines a safe and well-established disinfectant and a proprietary chemical binding technique, so that the active ingredient can kill viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Testing at Portugal’s Biochemistry Institute at the University of Lisbon proves that Si-Quat effectively…

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Immune system sabotage

SARS-CoV-2 induces shutdown of protein synthesis

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

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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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The difficulty? Unpredictability in the entire process

Immunotherapy for lung cancer patients

Better outcomes, more favourable prognoses – oncologists and their lung cancer patients didn’t dare to dream about it. Finally, there might be hope. The so-called checkpoint inhibitors (immunotherapy drug) have been used successfully, albeit not for every patient. They are a double-edged sword, with risks as well as opportunities, as explained by Professor Cornelia Schäfer-Prokop.

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More than the sum of their parts

The benefits offered by hybrid imaging

Former ESR President Katrine Riklund will explore the clinical applications of hybrid imaging in a virtual session for the European Congress of Radiology 2020. She will discuss a number of common indications of hybrid imaging in areas of oncological diagnosis, the indications and limitations of hybrid imaging in common diseases, and the added value of hybrid imaging. “The major benefit of…

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FDG-PET imaging of the brain

The nuclear medicine approach to Alzheimer’s

Nuclear Medicine techniques have an important role in the clinical diagnosis of patients with cognitive impairment. And such techniques are not only valuable in a clinical setting but also in research, according one of the leading experts in the field, Javier Arbizu, who is Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Navarra, Spain.

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Goodbye to grayscale

Dual Energy CT – seeing x-rays with colors

Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most important imaging options for the diagnostics of patients. For a long time, in clinical routine CT technology mostly showed the Hounsfield Units (HU) that are indicated in the grayscale. However, the Dual Energy CT (DECT) enables colored X-ray images, therefore significantly improving examination methods. “We can also do material separation and get a…

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Neurodegeneration research

Developing a rapid drug-testing platform for Alzheimer’s

A gene has been discovered that can naturally suppress the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in human brain cells, in research led by Queen Mary University of London. The scientists have also developed a new rapid drug-screening system for treatments that could potentially delay or prevent the disease. The main challenge in testing Alzheimer’s drugs in clinical trials is that participants need to…

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Blood testing for astronauts

Health in space: a mini-lab for zero gravity

Nanoelectronics and digital technologies R&D and innovation hub Imec recently received NASA funding to test a new technology in a gravity-free environment. Eventually, this will enable astronauts to perform blood tests to monitor their health. We discussed the project and technology with Nicolas Vergauwe, CEO of miDiagnostics, the Leuven firm that developed the diagnostic device, and Susana B…

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Ophthalmology

Nanoparticles for gene therapy cure eye diseases

Johns Hopkins scientists report the successful use of nanoparticles to deliver gene therapy for blinding eye disease. A uniquely engineered large molecule allows researchers to compact large bundles of therapeutic DNA to be delivered into the cells of the eye.

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Oncology

How cancer spreads in blood

A new study sheds light on proteins in particles called extracellular vesicles, which are released by tumor cells into the bloodstream and promote the spread of cancer. The findings suggest how a blood test involving these vesicles might be used to diagnose cancer in the future, avoiding the need for invasive surgical biopsies.

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Anti-inflammation

Can special coatings reduce complications after implant surgery?

New coatings on implants could help make them more compatible. Researchers at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method of applying anti-inflammatory substances to implants in order to inhibit undesirable inflammatory reactions in the body. Their study was recently published in the "International Journal of Molecular Sciences".

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Immune system overreaction

Sepsis can cause long-term damage in the brain

Infections can trigger a particularly strong immune reaction of the body (termed sepsis). In such a sepsis the immune system reacts so strongly that not only the pathogens but also tissues and organs are damaged. In a study with mice, researchers from the Technische Universität Braunschweig were able to show that sepsis can have long-term effects on the brain and learning behaviour even after…

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Light or severe progression

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

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

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Coronavirus and gender

Why COVID-19 hits men harder than women

When infected by the new coronavirus, women may mount a more potent adaptive immune response than do men, a new study suggests. By comparison, the male immune response appears to progress less effectively, fostering inflammation that’s harmful to the body. This study is the first to delve into sex differences in how the immune system defends itself against the virus SARS-CoV-2. It could help…

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Smart surface

Artificial skin heals wounds and makes robots sweat

Imagine a dressing that releases antibiotics on demand and absorbs excessive wound exudate at the same time. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) hope to achieve just that, by developing a smart coating that actively releases and absorbs multiple fluids, triggered by a radio signal. This material is not only beneficial for the healthcare industry, it is also very promising in…

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Lesion segregation

Explaining the extreme complexity of mutations in tumor genomes

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have been studying the evolution of tumors following chemical damage. They discovered that the DNA lesions caused by the chemical are not eliminated immediately, but are passed on unrepaired over several rounds of cell division. This "lesion segregation" can drive unexpectedly…

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Immune system

Tuberculosis vaccine also makes less susceptible to other infections

A tuberculosis vaccine developed 100 years ago also makes vaccinated persons less susceptible to other infections. While this effect has been recognized for a long time, it is not known what causes it. Together with colleagues from Australia and Denmark, researchers from Radboud university medical center the universities of Nijmegen and Bonn have now presented a possible answer to this question.

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Neurodegeneration

Alzheimer research: Noise-inducing neurons shut down memories

Neurons that are responsible for new experiences interfere with the signals of neurons that contain memories and thereby disturb the recall of memories – at least in mice. The research group of Martin Fuhrmann of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) reports this phenomenon in the scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience“. The results of this study potentially shed new…

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New mechanism discovered

UPR: Stress raises cancer cells' chemo resistance

Resistance of cancer cells against therapeutic agents is a major cause of treatment failure, especially in recurrent diseases. An international team around the biochemists Robert Ahrends from the University of Vienna and Jan Medenbach from the University of Regensburg identified a novel mechanism of chemoresistance which has now been published in "Nature Communications". It is driven by…

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Viral on­co­logy

Kaposi Sarcoma: Answers to a longstanding enigma

The oncogenic herpesvirus (HHV8 or KSHV) causes a cancer known as Kaposi’s Sarcoma. An international team of scientists led by the University of Helsinki has discovered key factors that control the genome maintenance and replication of a virus responsible for lymphatic vascular cancer. Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer among Aids patients and it is often seen in sub Saharan and…

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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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Sample analysis

Next-generation analytical lab software strengthens data exploration

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

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Predictive proteins

Biomarkers in COVID-19 patients could predict how ill they become

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified 27 protein biomarkers that could be used to predict whether a patient with COVID-19 is likely to become severely ill with the disease. People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, respond differently. Some do not develop any symptoms, some need to be hospitalised and, for…

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Cancer research

Lymph node analysis to hunt down metastases

What makes tumor cells turn murderous? The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is investigating the mechanisms of metastasis formation – and searching for approaches for new treatments in the fight against cancer. Among other things, the research team at Fraunhofer ITEM has developed a method that enables them to analyze entire lymph nodes.

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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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Microbiome study

Do microscope eyepieces pose an infection risk?

Light microscope for viewing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are commonly found in scientific laboratories. A research team from Furtwangen University, the University of Tübingen and Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, Aalen, examined more closely their role as potential vectors of infectious pathogens. „Very little was known about this until now," explains the head of the…

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Sex bias

Is pain research turning a blind eye on women?

Females process pain differently, but search for pain medication still based on hypotheses drawn from work in males, a study from Canada finds. It is increasingly clear that male and female humans and rodents process pain in different ways. And that there are important differences in the underlying mechanisms involved at genetic, molecular, cellular, and physiological levels. Despite this fact,…

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Increased usability and precision

New X-ray contrast agent enhances vascular imaging

Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent which is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This reduces the number of animals required in research experiments. Various diseases in humans and animals – such as tumors, strokes or chronic kidney disease – damage the blood vessels.…

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Two-way magnetic resonance tuning

New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Chemical probes that produce a signal on MRI can be used to…

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Synapse 3D visualization tool

Improving diagnostic management of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

The novel Coronavirus infection (severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2), which has led to the spread of COVID-19 around the world, has upset normal workflow in hospitals. The increased workload and stress, due to the necessity of implementing safe and separate diagnostic pathways, and the need to constantly monitor the development of the disease after its onset, continues to have a…

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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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Canine vs. coronavirus

Trained dogs can detect COVID-19 with their nose

The extremely sensitive olfactory sense of dogs might prove to become a groundbreaking new tool in the fight against the COVID-19. Trained medical scent detection dogs have previously worked with identifying different types of cancers. Researchers at the veterinary and human medicine faculties at the University of Helsinki have now joined forces to identify COVID-19 infected individuals using…

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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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Changes in cells caused by coronavirus

Potential targets for COVID-19 therapy discovered

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

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Dynamic measurement of glucose in brain

New MRI technique for early detection of Alzheimer's

A research team co-led by a scientist at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has discovered a new, non-invasive way to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, helping patients get the necessary treatments around 10 years before any symptoms appear. In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University in the US, Dr Kannie Chan Wai-yan, Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering…

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Cell division

Researchers find protein that helps cancer cells to survive

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

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Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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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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Lab medicine in the Netherlands

Digital pathology: From over-promising to a reality check

Almost five years ago, the plan to implement a wide-ranging digital pathology approach across the Netherlands began to take shape. As more labs across the country acquire digital pathology capability, with steps to create a strong and accessible image repository and a national image exchange platform, one of the project leaders, Professor Katrien Grünberg, offered an update and spoke of some…

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Pediatric cancer imaging

DW MRI measures tumor chemotherapy response with less radiation

Whole body diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW MRI) may aid in the assessment of cancer treatment response in children and youth at much lower levels of radiation than current approaches, suggests a small study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The results appear in Radiology. Researchers compared DW MRI, which measures the density of tumors by tracking the movement of…

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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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Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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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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Reducing side effects

Nanohybrid vehicles to deliver drugs into the human body

Researchers in The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a nanohybrid vehicle that can be used to optimally deliver drugs into the human body. The research was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Leading the study are Mahesh Narayan, Ph.D., professor, and Sreeprasad Sreenivasan, Ph.D., assistant professor, both from the…

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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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Seeking an ideal lab life

New and old challenges in laboratory medicine

The Central Laboratory at the Medical University Hanover, Germany, is prepared to handle virtually any clinical chemistry task, from a routine test to the most complex analysis. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and thanks to a high degree of automation, the team can process more than 3,000 specimens, mostly blood and urine, in a single day. Professor Ralf Lichtinghagen, European…

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COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

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

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Amyloid beta regulation

CRISPR helps identify potential Alzheimer's-related protein

Experts at the University of Tokyo have identified a new protein in the pathway that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used the “molecular scissors” of CRISPR/Cas9 to search for new genes related to the neurodegenerative disease. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unknown, but one of the most well- supported theories focuses on a protein called amyloid beta.…

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Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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Coronavirus treatment

Promising trial drug blocks early stages of COVID-19

An international team led by University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Dr. Josef Penninger has found a trial drug that effectively blocks the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect its hosts. The findings, published in Cell, hold promise as a treatment capable of stopping early infection of the novel coronavirus that, as of April 2, has affected more than 981,000 people and claimed the…

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Breath analysis to aid diagnoses

Breathomics: far more than hot air

In diagnostics, it sometimes makes sense to follow your nose. During the Labmed Forum at Medica 2019, Dr Beniam Ghebremedhin and Dr Simona Cristescu discussed the diagnostic potential of breathomics – the analysis of a patient’s exhaled air for disease indicators.

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Medulloblastoma

New insights into deadly brain tumours in children

The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumors affecting children – are hereditary. A genetic defect that occurs in 15 percent of these children plays a key role by destabilizing the production and breakdown of proteins. The researchers suspect that protein metabolism defects could be a previously underestimated cause of other types of cancer.

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Acetone sensors

3D printing sensors for diabetes breath tests

The production of highly sensitive sensors is a complex process: it requires many different steps and the almost dust-free environment of special cleanrooms. A research team from Materials Science at Kiel University (CAU) and from Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University of Moldova has now developed a procedure to produce extremely sensitive and energy-efficient sensors using 3D…

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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 diagnostics

Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 test

French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BioFire COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The test detects SARS-CoV-2 in approximately 45 minutes from a…

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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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Cause for colorectal carcinoma

Loss of protein can drive intestinal cancer

An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development – independent of bacterial-driven inflammation. These findings have implications for the use of MCL1 inhibitors, currently…

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Enhancing cancer imaging

New contrast agent for early diagnosis of brain metastases

A group of researchers led by Leif Schröder from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) have found a way to detect metastases in certain types of cancer in the brain at an early stage, using only minimal amounts of contrast agent. To this end, the team uses a synthetic molecule that helps to detect the formation of new blood vessels, producing much more sophisticated…

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RT-PCR for COVID-19

First of 3 diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus available

Biotechnology company bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, is announcing the forthcoming launch of 3 different tests to address the COVID-19 epidemic and to meet the different needs of physicians and health authorities in the fight against this emerging infectious disease. bioMérieux has finalized the development of the SARS-CoV-2 R-Gene test. This real-time PCR test…

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Pandemic prevention

German lab developed coronavirus detection method

Investigators at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Germany have developed a molecular assay for detecting the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (previously 2019-nCoV) on the automated Panther Fusion system by Hologic. The preclinical assay is described online in the Journal of Clinical Virology. “Rapid diagnosis is critical to combatting the spread of pandemics, and the Panther Fusion system is well…

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Altered chromosomes

Breast cancer: targeted therapy can lead to treatment resistance

If chromosomes are unevenly distributed or otherwise altered during cell division, this normally damages the daughter cells and impairs their viability. Not in cancer cells, however, in which chromosome instability can actually confer a growth advantage under certain circumstances. Moreover, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now demonstrated in mice, changes in the…

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Finding new treatment options

Cancer cachexia: Help against muscle loss

Cancer cachexia often occurs in cancer patients in an advanced state. This metabolic wasting syndrome leads to severely reduced muscle mass and fat tissue, which cannot be reversed by nutritional support. Furthermore, muscle regeneration is affected during cancer cachexia due to impaired muscle stem cell function. A problem that also occurs often in the aging process. Cancer cachexia is…

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Releasing the brakes on Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Potential new methods for DMD therapies

Researchers identified a group of small molecules that may open the door to developing new therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an as-yet-uncured disease that results in devastating muscle weakening and loss. The molecules tested by the team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania eased repression of a specific gene, utrophin, in mouse muscle cells,…

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Blood test & AI power

Early brain tumour detection – within minutes

A simple blood test coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) analysis could help spot the signs of a brain tumour sooner in patients. Brain tumour diagnosis is difficult: patients often see their family doctor (GP) several times before referral for a scan. However, research presented at the 2019 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Glasgow last November suggests the…

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On the way to diagnostic mainstream

Liquid biopsy to advance cancer diagnosis

Liquid biopsy offers a new dimension to detection and stratification of cancer – yet the technique also faces hurdles and challenges in becoming a mainstream diagnostic approach that will help facilitate more personalised treatments. A critical challenge lies in identifying the extremely low concentrations of the bio-analytes of CTC (circulating tumour cells), ctDNA (circulating tumour DNA) and…

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Zooming in

Breast cancer map reveals how mutations shape the tumour landscape

Scientists have created one of the most detailed maps of breast cancer ever achieved, revealing how genetic changes shape the physical tumour landscape. An international team of scientists, brought together by a £20 million Grand Challenge award from Cancer Research UK, has developed intricate maps of breast tumour samples, with a resolution smaller than a single cell. These maps show how the…

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Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

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

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Novel immune checkpoint discovered

Targeting the cancer microenvironment

Researchers discover a novel checkpoint in immune cells with the potential to treat the cancer cell microenvironment. The recognition of bacterial infections or foreign substances is mediated and controlled by the human immune system. This innate and adaptive immune system comprises the most important metabolic and cellulare processes to fight against infections and other diseases. Paradoxically,…

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Updating treatments

Sugar and fat can make cancer cells harder to kill

In their quest to find new and better methods to make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment, Karin Lindkvist and her research group at Lund University in Sweden are looking into the world of molecules, using the X-rays at the MAX IV laboratory. The researchers believe that limiting the cells' access to sugar will make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Many of the cancer treatments…

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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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Blood coagulation

Treating hemophilia with gene therapy

Within the framework of an international study, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital have started treating patients with hemophilia with gene therapy, something that began in January this year. The hope is that the new treatment will significantly simplify everyday life for those with severe hemophilia. Hemophilia is a genetic disease where the body does not produce one of the clotting…

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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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Carbon-13 hyperpolarised imaging

Using magnetised molecules to monitor breast cancer

A new type of scan that involves magnetising molecules allows doctors to see in real-time which regions of a breast tumour are active, according to research at the University of Cambridge. The research was now published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is the first time researchers have demonstrated that this scanning technique, called carbon-13 hyperpolarised imaging, can…

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One-size-fits-all-approach

New T-cell could make ‘universal’ cancer therapy possible

Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a new type of killer T-cell that offers hope of a “one-size-fits-all” cancer therapy. T-cell therapies for cancer - where immune cells are removed, modified and returned to the patient’s blood to seek and destroy cancer cells - are the latest paradigm in cancer treatments. The most widely-used therapy, known as CAR-T, is personalised to each…

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Liquid hope

Probiotic drinks vs antibiotic resistance?

A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance. The team is now seeking funding for a clinical trial for the drink which has potential to work against many resistant bacteria commonly…

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Outsmarting the immune system

'Super-human’ red blood cells for precise drug delivery

A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The modified red blood cells are designed to circulate in the body for several weeks at a time, seeking out specific targets including…

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Sex-specific genes

Heart valve defect: female and male hearts react differently

When the heart valve between the aorta and the left ventricle is narrowed, i.e. aortic valve stenosis is present, different genes are active in men than in women. Scientists of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered this for the first time. Future research can be planned more precisely according to these results and could…

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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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Endoscopy support

AI assisted polyp detector receives CE mark

Pentax Medical, a division of the Hoya Group, announced that it has cleared CE mark for Discovery, an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted polyp detector designed to support endoscopists in finding potential polyps during a colorectal examination. Discovery is the outcome of a close cooperation between Pentax Medical research center located in Augsburg, Germany, and expert clinical…

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Finding the frequency

Ultrasound selectively damages cancer cells (with the right settings)

Doctors have used focused ultrasound to destroy tumors in the body without invasive surgery for some time. However, the therapeutic ultrasound used in clinics today indiscriminately damages cancer and healthy cells alike. Most forms of ultrasound-based therapies either use high-intensity beams to heat and destroy cells or special contrast agents that are injected prior to ultrasound, which can…

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Chasing the causes of cancer

Mapping cancer-related proteins in unprecedented detail

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have gained new understandings of two key complexes of cancer-related proteins by producing the most detailed ever maps of the structures they form when they come together. The study reveals that the two protein complexes come together in cells in a series of steps that change how their individual component proteins are arranged together. It…

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PET precision brain imaging

‘Tau’ protein far more predictive for Alzheimer's damage than amyloid

Brain imaging of pathological tau-protein “tangles” reliably predicts the location of future brain atrophy in Alzheimer’s patients a year or more in advance, according to a new study by scientists at the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. In contrast, the location of amyloid “plaques,” which have been the focus of Alzheimer’s research and drug development for decades, was found…

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Molecular map

Striatum: where our brain makes decisions

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

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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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TMAs in digital pathology

Infusing tissue micro­arrays with new, 'digital' life

The advent of digital pathology is helping to address some of the challenges surrounding tissue microarrays as they are integrated into the digital workflow, in some ways giving them ‘a new lease of life’, according to Professor Inti Zlobec, who spoke at the Digital Pathology and AI Congress in London last December. As Head of the Translational Research Unit at the Institute of Pathology,…

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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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A closer look at blood lipids

Lipidomics and machine learning predict diabetes risk

Using lipidomics, a technique that measures the composition of blood lipids at a molecular level, and machine learning, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a blood lipid profile that improves the possibility to assess, several years in advance, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The blood lipid profile can also be linked to a certain diet and degree of physical activity.…

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The future has begun

Cancer care 2035: multi-disciplinarity is key

An enthralling insight into the care that could be offered to cancer patients of the future was presented by cancer imaging expert Professor Regina Beets-Tan during her a keynote presentation at the recent British Institute of Radiology congress. In the session ‘Oncologic imaging: Future perspectives’, the professor outlined what a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of the future – a team in…

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Acoustofluidics

Saliva test to detect mouth and throat cancer earlier and easier

Unfortunately, cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes the use of acoustofluidics, a new non-invasive method that analyzes saliva for the presence of human papilloma virus…

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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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Determining protein structures

3Dseq: New technique to solve biomedical puzzles

“Proteins are the workers in the cell, and it's important to know their shape,” says Chris Sander, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s cBio Center in the Department of Data Sciences. Sander and his colleagues have now demonstrated a powerful “experimental evolution” method to discover details of protein shape and function, and the method may find uses across a very broad spectrum of…

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Molecular diversity

New insights into abnormal proteins in Parkinson’s disease and MSA

Parkinson’s and multisystem atrophy (MSA) – both of them neurodegenerative diseases – are associated with the accumulation of alpha-synuclein proteins in the brain. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPI-BPC) have investigated the molecular makeup of these protein deposits finding structural…

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Radiology + data + AI = ?

Today and future radiomics

Radiomics is one of the most exciting topics in radiology. It involves data and artificial intelligence (AI) but very few people know or understand the details. In her lecture ‘How does Radiomics work?’, presented at the German Radiology Congress in Leipzig, Professor Ulrike Attenberger outlined how radiomics will advance radiology but also the obstacles faced along the way.

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

3D model of human liver tissue for better NAFLD diagnosis

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common chronic liver disorder in developed countries. Histological analysis of liver tissue is the only widely accepted test for diagnosing and distinguishing different stages of NAFLD. However, this technique provides only two-dimensional images of the liver tissue in low resolution and overlooks potentially important 3D structural…

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Disarming MRSA

Potent antimicrobial to fight staph infections

Research led by scientists from McMaster University has yielded a potent antimicrobial that works against the toughest infectious disease strains. The find could be the beginning of developing new therapeutics to combat drug-resistant infections. The discovery is important as it is directly related to the development of Staphylococcus aureus diseases, known popularly as staph infections, which…

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Mammacarcinoma screening

Breast cancer: Simply monitoring might be best

Breast cancer screening is a well-designed and scientifically proven, evidence-based procedure, but has pitfalls such as under-detection and over-diagnosis. Surgery or radiotherapy may have serious consequences on health and must therefore be administered in carefully selected patients.

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New insights into brain diseases

Inflammatory processes drive Alzheimer's progression

Inflammation drives the progression of neurodegenerative brain diseases and plays a major role in the accumulation of tau proteins within neurons. An international research team led by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn comes to this conclusion in the journal “Nature”. The findings are based on the analyses of human brain tissue and further lab…

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Healthcare 2.0 by NVIDIA

Deploying AI in healthcare

With the right tools, physicians could transform the lives of patients and scientists. For Kimberly Powell, Vice President of Healthcare at NVIDIA, artificial intelligence is such a tool, and could meet the increasing demand for personalised medicine and next-generation clinics. ‘AI is the biggest technological breakthrough of our lifetime.’

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Smart patch

ELSAH: A wearable to determine biomarkers

The EU four-year project ELSAH, which began at the dawn of 2019, aims to design a wearable to enable continuous determination of biomarker concentrations. Project coordinator Dr Joerg Schotter, Molecular Diagnostics, Centre for Health & Bioresources, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, explains the project’s objectives and potential applications for the planned wearable.

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NICO Myriad NOVUS resection tool

Xenon lighting for neurosurgery

NICO Corporation, a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is releasing its new Myriad Novus resection tool. The FDA cleared product combines xenon illumination with NICO’s proven Myriad neural tissue removal technology. Xenon lights reproduce the visible spectrum of daylight much better than most other bulbs – although LED contenders are now available – and so are often the optimal choice…

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Nanoswarm

Tiny transporters deliver treatment to stroke patients

Swarms of nanoparticles which are 15,000 times smaller than a pinhead may be able to deliver vital drugs to the brain, offering new hope to patients in the early stages of a stroke. The research, carried out at The University of Manchester, shows that tiny vesicles called liposomes, just 100 nanometres in diameter can translocate through the damaged blood brain barrier following stroke. And that…

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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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Report by the British Institute of Radiology

AI is the future of imaging

Medical and professional leaders in radiology overwhelmingly believe artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most positive development for their sector and their professions in the coming decade, according to a report by the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) published today.

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Chronic inflammations

GATA-3: 'Switching off' allergies and asthma

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

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Growing brain tumours in a petri dish

3D organoids for glioblastoma patients

Research that might lead to new treatment options and longer survival for patients with glioblastoma – a malignant and particularly invasive type of brain tumour – is ongoing at ZHT, the Centre for Brain Tumours, and the Wilhelm Sander Neuro-oncology Treatment Unit at University Hospital Regensburg, which form one of the largest and most modern facilities for brain tumour treatment in…

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Promising preclinical study results

Epilepsy: Gene therapy shows long-term suppression of seizures

Teams of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Medical University of Innsbruck have developed a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. It represents a gene therapy capable of suppressing seizures at their site of origin on demand. Having been shown to be effective in an animal model, the new method will now be optimized for clinical use.…

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Interactive CVD risk calculator

KardioKompassi: Individualised cardiac disease prevention with genomic data

With KardioKompassi, researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed an interactive web tool that aims to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease. The application for patients and doctors uses traditional health information combined with genome information, including 49,000 DNA variations associated with the disease. Using this data, the risk calculator evaluates the risk of cardiac…

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Non-invasive testing

Laser sensor to analyse blood without needles

A photonics tech company from Vilnius are on their path to solve the 50-year-old task of making non-invasive blood analysis possible. With the help of a unique broadband laser-based sensor, the scientists and engineers at Brolis Sensor Technology are able to remotely sense concentration level of main critical blood constituents such as lactate, glucose, urea, ketones or ethanol without drawing…

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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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Fighting resistant bacteria

Novel class of antibiotics brings new options

Many life-threatening bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. Swiss researchers co-headed by the University of Zurich have now discovered a new class of antibiotics with a unique spectrum of activity and mechanism of action. By disrupting outer membrane synthesis, the antibiotics effectively kill Gram-negative bacteria. According to the World Health Organization…

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CRISPR 2.0

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

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

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Metabolic mystery solved

Why fatty livers are more susceptible to cancer

Fatty liver disease is contributing to an increase in liver cancer and basic scientists at The University of Texas Health Science at Houston (UTHealth) have new insight as to why. In the journal Cancer Research, the investigators report that in mouse models, excess fat impairs the ability of a tumor-suppressing protein named HNF4α to do its job. “This study provides potential mechanisms for…

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Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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Targeted therapy for pancreatic carcinoma

Hitting cancer with 'homing' radioactive molecules

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer‑related deaths worldwide. Patients with pancreatic cancer often receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which are not always effective and can have toxic side effects. In a collaborative research between Osaka University and the University of Heidelberg, researchers are exploring a new method of treatment that brings powerful yet…

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Regeneration vs. osteoarthritis

Regrow cartilage in joints? Science says you can

Contrary to popular belief, cartilage in human joints can repair itself through a process similar to that used by creatures such as salamanders and zebrafish to regenerate limbs, researchers at Duke Health found. This process could be harnessed as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Publishing in the journal Science Advances, the researchers identified a new mechanism for cartilage repair.

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Cognitive chemical manufacturing

‘Lab-bot’ could revolutionise hunt for cancer drugs

A robot-controlled laboratory where decisions are made by artificial intelligence will change the way new drugs are discovered, says a leading researcher. The engineer leading a project to develop a prototype "lab-bot" says it will reduce the time it takes to identify and synthesise molecules for new medicines – a process that can take years as scientists refine the shape and property…

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TOM-1 for the brain

This brain protein could put the brakes on Alzheimer’s

Biologists from the University of California, Irvine have made a major finding on combating inflammation linked to Alzheimer's disease. The School of Biological Sciences researchers’ discovery about the role of a protein called TOM-1 heralds a shift toward examining the molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s processes. Their study appears online in Proceedings of the National Academy of…

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ClpX-ClpP protein complex

Weak spot in pathogens could be key in new antibiotics

Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combatting bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of “ammunition” because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. A research team has now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to development of innovative antibiotics which target the degradation process of defective proteins…

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Respiratory failure and sepsis

Cheap, quick test identifies major risks for pneumonia patients

Spanish researchers in Valencia have identified specific fragments of genetic material that play a role in the development of respiratory failure and sepsis in pneumonia patients. Presenting the research at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, Dr Francisco Sanz said the findings could enable doctors to test quickly for these biological markers when a patient is admitted to…

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Interneurons

Epilepsy: When the function of "brake cells" is disrupted

In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread from the point of origin across large parts of the brain. A current study by the University of Bonn, in which researchers from Lisbon were also involved, points in this direction. The results are…

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COA vs outside intervention

How bacteria defend against CRISPR-Cas

For the first time ever, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have mapped how bacterial cells trigger their defence against outside attacks. This could affect how diseases are fought in the future. With the aid of highly advanced microscopes and synchrotron sources, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained seminal insight into how bacteria function as defence mechanisms…

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Cardiology

AI identifies genes linked to heart failure

The Queen Mary University of London team applied an artificial intelligence (AI) technique to analyse the heart MRI images of 17,000 healthy UK Biobank volunteers. They found that genetic factors accounted for 22-39 per cent of variation in the size and function of the heart’s left ventricle, the organ’s main pumping chamber. Enlargement and reduced pumping function of the left ventricle can…

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Chemo side effects

Breakthrough in cancer hair loss treatment discovered

Scientists have determined a new way to protect the hair follicle from chemotherapy in an effort to prevent hair loss as a result of cancer treatments. Researchers based at The University of Manchester have discovered a new strategy for how to protect hair follicles from chemotherapy, which could lead to new treatments that prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss – arguably one of the most…

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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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Cancer of unknown primary

CUP: in search for the smoking gun

Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) can send radiologists on a frustrating scavenger hunt: metastases were detected but the primary cancer is nowhere to be seen. Professor Alwin Krämer, Head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Haematology/Oncology at University Hospital Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center, explains strategies for dealing with CUP.

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CRISPR-Cas vs MDC1A

Undoing the damage of muscle dystrophy

A new technology has brought researchers one step closer to a future cure for Congenital Muscular Dystrophy type1A, a devastating muscle disease that affects children. The new findings are based on research by Kinga Gawlik at Lund University, Department of Experimental Medical Science, and were recently published in Nature. Congenital Muscular Dystrophy type1A, MDC1A, a progressive genetic…

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t-MALDI-2

Dual-beam laser mass spectrometry gives unique insights

Cells are the basic building blocks of life – and, as such, they have been the object of intense study since the invention of the optical microscope in the 17th century. The development of mass spectrometry (MS) methods – those which define the chemical composition of cells – represented a further milestone for research in the field of cell biology. In the latest issue of the journal Nature…

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

Parasitic worm infections can reduce the susceptibility of immune cells to HIV infection, according to new University of Liverpool research. Some species of parasitic worm, such as the water-borne Schistosoma mansoni, have developed strategies to evade, skew and dampen human immune responses. This includes being able to alter the response of a type of immune system cell called a CD4+ T cell,…

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Macular degeneration as a biomarker

Eye scan shows diseases at an early stage

More and more people aged 50 and over are suffering from age-related vision disorders. According to the World Health Organization, in four out of five cases they could be avoided if they were diagnosed at an early stage. A European team of scientists, including the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, has now researched a new method that will enable doctors to better…

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Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the resistance genes spread primarily when antibiotics are used, a rationale backed up by Darwin's theory: only in cases where antibiotics are actually being used does a resistant…

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Mini sunlight reactor

Producing meds with 'artificial leaf' technology

Being able to produce medicines cheaply and everywhere, with sunlight as an energy source. This reality is closer than ever now that chemists from Eindhoven University of Technology are presenting a "mini-reactor" that, similar to leaves in nature, absorbs sunlight and drives chemical reactions. As an ultimate demonstration, they succeeded in having the reactor actually produce two…

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Feasibility study

Liquid biopsy to complement early breast cancer screening

Investigators from the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga [(IBIMA)-CIMES-UMA, Malaga Spain] and collaborators have published the first pilot study to examine the use of a non-invasive liquid biopsy in early diagnosis of breast cancer. This study was unique in that the ctDNA analyses was performed before any invasive diagnostic procedure or treatment. To achieve their goal, the researchers…

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Methylation of microRNA

Is it cancer? New method could tell the difference

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

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Nanotechnology

Tiny diamonds in the brain

The recording of images of the human brain and its therapy in neurodegenerative diseases is still a major challenge in current medical research. The blood-brain barrier, a filter system of the body between the blood system and the central nervous system, constrains the supply of drugs or contrast media that would allow therapy and image acquisition.

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Highlights from the 30th TCT Meeting

Advancing transcatheter cardiovascular therapies

A remarkable number of studies and innovations were presented at the 30th anniversary of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in San Diego, California. TCT 2019 will take place in San Francisco, CA between 25-29-Sep-2019. On the clinical side, the long-expected results from COAPT trial studying MitraClip device in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation and heart failure…

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PRIMAGE project

Aiming AI at lethal paediatric tumours

La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain, is coordinating EU-funded program PRIMAGE, which uses precision information from medical imaging to advance knowledge of the most lethal paediatric tumours, by establishing their prognosis and expected treatment response using radiomics, imaging biomarkers and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Methods, quality assurance, commercial providers issues

Molecular testing takes a huge leap

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

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Genetic mutations

'Invade and evade': Deciphering pancreatic cancer’s tactics

Two known gene mutations induce pathways that enhance pancreatic cancer’s ability to invade tissues and evade the immune system. Researchers report the molecular details of this process providing insights into druggable targets for immunotherapies. Mutations in the genes KRAS and TP53 are closely linked to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, by far the most common type of pancreatic cancer.…

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Upgrade your knowledge

Symposium: AI in medical imaging

In a symposium on September 9, 2019, the School for Translational Medicine and Biomedical Entrepreneurship (sitem-insel School) in Bern, Switzerland, provides an overview about current trends in artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging. From 8.30 to 17.00, participants in sitem-insel, Freiburgstraße, Bern will learn about the principles of AI as well as innovative applications in the…

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Stem cell regeneration

Drug accelerates recovery after chemo, radiation

A drug developed by US physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem cells after exposure to radiation. If the results can be replicated in humans, the compound could help people recover quicker from chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplants. The study, published in Nature Communications, also sheds light on the basic biology behind blood…

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Alternative ways

Plan B for cholesterol transport

Kiel biochemistry research team proves the existence of a previously unknown alternative cholesterol transport mechanism inside cells. Cholesterol is a vital cell building block in humans and animals, and an integral part of the so-called cell membrane. This boundary layer separates the interior of the cell from the neighbouring cells and the surrounding environment. By means of certain proteins,…

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Gene editing

Taking CRISPR one step further

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

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Watching the change

Predicting cancer risk with computational electrodynamics

Researchers from Northwestern University are using Argonne supercomputers to advance the development of an optical microscopy technique that can predict and quantify cancer risks at extremely early stages. The basic principle driving Allen Taflove’s computational electrodynamics research — which bears the potential to transform how we diagnose, and possibly treat, various forms of cancer —…

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Multiscale integrative cross-disciplinary imaging

Linking pathology and radiology workflows

Pathologic-radiologic correlation is already utilised in various settings as a tool to assess the interpretive performance of imaging studies and identify radiologic features corresponding to histologic findings. However, correlative assessment is currently limited mainly to the fields of research and quality assurance, and is generally not a routine element of the radiologist or pathologist…

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Neurology

Key proteins for the repair of nerve fibers

Neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) shut down their ability to grow when they no longer need it; this is commonly accepted knowledge. This occurs normally after they have found their target cells and established synapses. However, recent findings show that old nerve cells have the potential to regrow and to repair damage similar to young neurons. The underlying mechanisms for this…

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Therapy-resistant cells

Von Hippel-Lindau: How to kill hereditary cancer

Researchers identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau hereditary cancer. In a recent publication in PNAS, the research group identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) hereditary cancer.

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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

The lab-on-a-chip SERS platform

Analytically sensitive and specific detection of pharmaceuticals or metabolites in bodily fluids, as well as fast and reliable detection of human pathogens, are major challenges for instrument-based analytics in medical diagnostics. Over the past few years the combination of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and microfluidic devices (Lab-on-a-Chip) has emerged as a perfectly suited…

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Seeking the right questions

Developing algorithms to assist routine pathology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is destined for a significant role in assessing histology data but the key to developing the necessary algorithms lies in data quality – rather than the quantity, according to Professor Jens Rittscher. He also warns that we are some distance from seeing AI replacing human pathologists in this scenario, primarily because presently the risks of automated…

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Personalized medicine

Exploring the potential of High-Content Screening

The key challenges and opportunities surrounding High-Content Screening have been outlined in a presentation to leading scientists and technologists at a major lab conference. Speaking at the recent SLASEurope 2019 event in Barcelona, Professor Matthias Nees from the Institute of Biomedicine in the Department of Biology at the University of Turku, Finland, outlined the potential of High-Content…

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Innovations for the clinic

Thermo Fisher Scientific showcases clinical lab equipment at AACC 2019

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is showcasing its latest instruments, assays and software for improving speed, accuracy and usability across clinical and research labs during the 71st American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Laboratory Exposition (AACC 2019). Thermo Fisher is exhibiting in booth 2110 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif., August…

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Fixed DNA Molecule Array

World’s fastest DNA testing method created

A group of scientists from Vilnius University have developed the world’s fastest DNA testing method, reducing DNA testing costs by 90%. It identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins to determine a genetic condition or eliminate the chance of the formation or passing on of a gene-based disorder amongst humans and animals. At present, the sole method of genetic testing is the DNA…

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Hidden chemistry

This flower might hold the key to killing cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that it’s possible to produce a compound with anti-cancer properties directly from feverfew – a common flowering garden plant. The team was able to extract the compound from the flowers and modify it so it could be used to kill chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells in the laboratory. Feverfew is grown in many UK gardens, and also…

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Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry

Hydration sensor could improve dialysis

For patients with kidney failure who need dialysis, removing fluid at the correct rate and stopping at the right time is critical. This typically requires guessing how much water to remove and carefully monitoring the patient for sudden drops in blood pressure. Currently there is no reliable, easy way to measure hydration levels in these patients, who number around half a million in the United…

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Drug delivery, microsurgery

Microbots show promise in tumor treatment

Targeting medical treatment to an ailing body part is a practice as old as medicine itself. A Band-Aid is placed on a skinned knee. Drops go into itchy eyes. A broken arm goes into a cast. But often what ails us is inside the body and is not so easy to reach. In such cases, a treatment like surgery or chemotherapy might be called for. A pair of researchers in Caltech's Division of Engineering and…

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Not just the climate changes

Global warming might be behind the rise of Candida auris

Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris. According to a new study published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change.

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Dysbiosis treatment

New prebiotics: benefits without downsides?

Prebiotics are currently a preferred treatment for certain metabolic disorders, as they can restore the balance of dysfunctional gut microbiota, and improve the body’s metabolism. However, these substances have to be used at high doses, which can result in patients experiencing bloating and flatulence. A research group led by Matteo Serino, Inserm researcher at the Digestive Health Research…

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Microbiology & hygiene

HAIs are one problem – MDROs another

In view of the increase of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health. MDROs have become a major problem particularly in hospitals. Professor Dr Georg Häcker, President of the German Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) and Director of the Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene at…

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Why do we get sick?

Mechanism behind development of viral infections uncovered

A team of researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre’s Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre (ViREMiCS) found that immune cells undergoing stress and an altered metabolism are the reasons why some individuals become sick from viral infections while others do not, when exposed to the same virus. The findings, published in medical journal Nature Medicine, have…

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Cellular interactions

Repairing aged tissue by messing with the neighbors

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered how regenerative capacity of intestinal epithelium declines when we age. Targeting of an enzyme that inhibits stem cell maintaining signaling rejuvenates the regenerative potential of an aged intestine. This finding may open ways to alleviate age-related gastrointestinal problems, reduce side-effects of cancer treatments, and reduce…

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Osteoporosis

Will increased protein intake save your bones? Not likely

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey investigated if protein intake can impact bone health of adults and children. Examining 127 previous studies published over a 40 year period, which scrutinised the link between protein and bone density, bone mineral content and relative risk of osteoporotic fractures,…

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Rapid, reliable microbe identification

The Bologna Workflow System

Many countries across the world are challenged with a rising number of incidences of multi-drug resistant (MDR) organisms infecting the population, and for several years, a clear pattern of increased resistance has emerged in southern and eastern European countries. For example, in countries such as Italy, a reduced number of therapeutic options remain available for highly pathogenic infections,…

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Oncology

Response to gene-targeted drugs depends on cancer type

Cancers with the same genetic weaknesses respond differently to targeted drugs depending on the tumour type of the patient, new research reveals. The study is set to prompt changes in thinking around precision medicine—because it shows that the genetics of a patient's cancer may not always be enough to tell whether it will respond to a treatment. The researchers are already starting to design…

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From generic to personalised, from empirical to evidence-based medicine

Hopes for hybrid imaging lie in AI

During a European Society of Hybrid, Molecular and Translational Imaging (ESHI) session at ECR 2019, three speakers discussed the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in hybrid imaging. While AI and machine learning is supporting clinicians using hybrid techniques such as PET/CT, MR/PET, or ultrasound and CT, challenges remain in ‘training the machines’ to add value to radiologists’ and…

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Digital twin

Collaboration of the future: and AI makes three

In view of the advent of personalised medicine and holistic therapy many experts predict the end of healthcare as we know it. However, in many places it is ‘healthcare business as usual’. In our interview, Dr Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers, explains where he sees radiology bridging the gap between symptom-centred treatment today and the systemic…

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New blood test

Reducing unnecessary ovarian cancer surgery

The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer. A novel blood test developed by researchers at Uppsala University and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now offers the possibility of more precise diagnostics without the need for surgery. This could lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery and to earlier detection and treatment for…

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Prostate cancer data

Mapping the inflammatory landscape

Image analysis of prostate cancer is a challenging area for clinicians. The disease shows a low mutation burden compared to melanoma and stomach cancer, for example, making morpho-molecular correlation more difficult, and there is often very low inflammation. With the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes in prostate cancer currently unclear – and with the advent of new approaches to prostate…

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Photonics

Rapid tissue analysis: Laser light detects tumors

Cancer - this diagnosis affects almost every second German at some point in his life. It is the second most frequent cause of death in Germany. But the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the greater are the chances of surviving it. A team of researchers from Jena present a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light at the leading trade fair…

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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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In future pregnancies

Identifying the risk of recurrence of developmental disorder

Having a child with a developmental disorder can cause parents to worry about the outcome of further pregnancies. In cases where the genetic mutation causing the disorder is not present in either parent it is assumed to be a one-off event with a very small chance of recurrence. But in some families, the risk of having another affected child is as high as 50%. Identifying such high-risk families…

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Oncology

Killing the unkillable cancer cells

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

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Intervention in fat metabolism

Improved diabetes in spite of obesity

Eating too much fat and sugar makes you overweight and unhealthy – even young children know that. But why is that, and is there anything we can do about it? In a study published in the journal Cell, Prof. Jens Brüning's research group at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne has shown how altering fat metabolism in the liver can make obese mice thinner, despite eating an…

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Bioprinting

Producing tissue and organs through lithography

The production of artificial organs is a hot research topic. In the near future, artificial organs will compensate for the lack of organ donations and replace animal experiments. Although there are already promising experiments with 3D printers that use a „bio-ink“ containing living cells, a functional organ has never been created in this way. A European consortium coordinated by Dr Elena…

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Blood cancer

Mapping bone-marrow microenvironment sheds fresh light on leukaemia

Stem cells are surrounded and protected by the stem-cell niche – the microenvironment – of the tissue in which they are found. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have mapped the stem-cell niche in the bone marrow of mice and studied how it is influenced by developing leukemia. Their results, which are published in the journal Cell, show that the bone-marrow microenvironment is more complex…

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Survival specialists

Systems biology of antibiotics

Bacteria have fascinating properties. They adapt excellently to their respective environment, and they existed long before humans. Their toughness has led to the fact that bacteria have successfully spread all over the world for three billion years – even in places where humans could not survive, for example in the hottest springs and in the coldest places on earth. However, they were only…

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Common DNA structure

Nano-signature discovery could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

A quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis. The test has been developed by University of Queensland researchers Dr Abu Sina, Dr Laura Carrascosa and Professor Matt Trau, who have discovered a unique DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all cancers. Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable…

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Up in smoke

Early exposure to nicotine predisposes brain to addiction

Neonatal exposure to nicotine alters the reward circuity in the brains of newborn mice, increasing their preference for the drug in later adulthood, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in a study published in Biological Psychiatry. A UC San Diego School of Medicine team of scientists, headed by senior author Davide Dulcis, PhD, associate professor in the…

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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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Hematology

Early sepsis indicator helps identifying patients at risk

The critical element of testing for sepsis lies not so much in the location but in the timing and rapidity of results, according to Professor Jeannine T. Holden from Beckman Coulter Early identification enables treatment protocols to be delivered more quickly, offering better patient outcomes. Those most at risk, suggests Holden, are not patients within the intensive care unit – who are already…

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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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Fake pills

'Decoy' antibiotics dupe bacteria’s defences

Imperial medical students have helped to devise a new type of ‘decoy’ drug to tackle infections that are resistant to antibiotics. In lab tests on bacterial cultures, the new drug successfully killed a strain of drug-resistant bacteria. It works by delivering two antibiotics, one of which is effectively hidden. When the bacteria fight against the first ‘decoy’ antibiotic, this action…

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Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry

LC-MS: Calling for easy-to-use platforms

Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an established powerful tool in routine clinical use and clinical research. However, to further capitalise on its benefits, instrument and consumables vendors should continue to improve accessibility and ease-of-use, according to Dr Debadeep Bhattacharyya, senior marketing manager for clinical and forensic at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Remarkable…

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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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New study

Ribosome inhibition may hold the key to multi-stage cancer treatment

Nearly 90% of all cancer patient deaths are due to metastasis. A study from Uppsala University shows that a process that allows the cells to metastasise is aided by the synthesis of new ribosomes, the cell components in which proteins are produced. The results open the possibility for new treatment strategies for advanced cancers. The study is published in Nature Communications. As tumours…

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Induced pluripotent stem (iPS)

Researchers find way to generate stem cells more efficiently

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

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ctDNA vs. HGSOC

Taking 'molecular snapshots' of ovarian cancer

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer. The HGSOC tumors consist of several heterogeneous cell populations with a large number of mutations. This genetic variability makes it difficult to find drugs that would kill all the cancer cells, and to which the cells would not become resistant during treatment. Over half of the patients…

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Survival of the fittest

How bacteria can adapt to resist antibiotic treatment

In a joint collaboration, researchers from Denmark and Switzerland have shown that bacteria produce a specific stress molecule, divide more slowly, and thus save energy when they are exposed to antibiotics. The new knowledge is expected to form the basis for development of a new type of antibiotics. All free-living organisms are under constant pressure to survive. Darwin dubbed this…

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Personalized treatment

Genome analytics become affordable for daily hospital use

Today, on the occasion of the international DNA day, imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and its partners revealed their Genome Analytics Platform (GAP) platform, a unique platform that can perform a full genome analysis of 48 samples in only 48 hours and at an acceptable cost. The platform paves the way to genome sequencing as a daily…

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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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Post-analytical interpretive tools

Towards a clearer view of complex lab results

Interpretation of complex profiles of laboratory results can be significantly improved via multivariate pattern recognition software. A multivariate pattern recognition software, developed by a team led by Dr Piero Rinaldo at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA, aims to integrate results to diagnose a particular condition in a single score, in an objective evidence-based way that is open to worldwide…

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Mass spectrometry in patient care

LC-MS/MS: Why qualitatively high-value analysis is cheaper in the end

In the past, we repeatedly focused our attention on developments in the clinical application of mass spectrometry-based methods in patient care. Various aspects became significant. Today, the use of Liquid Chromatography Triple Quad Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) can be considered today’s standard, although classically applied immunoassays continue to be…

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Digital pathology & AI

Unleashing the power of digital pathology for precision medicine

Digital pathology, combined with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is one of the most promising fields for the delivery of precision medicine. In the first keynote address for the 5th Digital Pathology & AI Congress (Europe) held in London last December, Professor of Pathology, Marilyn Bui, focused on how digital pathology is impacting on precision medicine. During her address,…

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Targeted treatment

Cancer: Blood sample to help select the right early phase clinical trials

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood. The researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charity, AstraZeneca and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), demonstrated in their feasibility study that a blood test can be carried out…

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Research

Promising new stroke therapy in development

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

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Two years earlier

Breast cancer: blood test could detecting relapse earlier

Research has revealed that a new blood test is able to detect disease relapse up to two years earlier than imaging in patients with early-stage breast cancer. The research, carried out by the University of Leicester and Imperial College London and funded by Cancer Research UK, showed that the blood test was able to detect 89 per cent of all relapses, on average 8.9 months quicker than imaging.

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Encyclopaedia

'Fingerprint database' helps to identify new cancer culprits

Scientists from King's and Cambridge have developed a catalogue of DNA mutation ‘fingerprints’ that could help doctors pinpoint the environmental culprit responsible for a patient’s tumour – including showing some of the fingerprints left in lung tumours by specific chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Our DNA, the human genome, comprises of a string of molecules known as nucleotides. These…

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Microscopy in the body

The next generation of endoscopy technology

Biotechnologists, physicists, and medical researchers at FAU have developed technology for microscopic imaging in living organisms. A miniaturised multi-photon microscope, which could be used in an endoscope in future, excites the body’s own molecules to illuminate and enables cells and tissue structures to be imaged without the use of synthetic contrast agents. The findings have now been…

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Biotechnology

First ever 3D printed heart from a patient’s own cells

In a major medical breakthrough, Tel Aviv University researchers have "printed" the world's first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient's own cells and biological materials. Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine — a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology — have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels. "This…

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A new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Programming a hunter/killer toxin

When the first antibiotics were discovered in the early 20th century, the rate of death from infectious diseases fell dramatically. But the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria as a result of antibiotic misuse is raising fears that by 2050, these same diseases will once again become the leading cause of death worldwide. In a bid to boost the arsenal available to tackle this threat,…

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Genetics

Sequencing methods – unfold the full potential for hospitals

Gene sequencing has been progressing in leaps and bounds over the past few years. The process of determining the order of nucleotides in DNA has become faster and more precise. Moreover, today both microbial DNA and host DNA can be identified in the blood sample of an infected patient, isolated and sequenced. “We are facing a technological revolution, but we still struggle with actually…

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Carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae

Detecting drug-resistant CPE quickly is still a challenge

Early detection and confirmation of carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are essential when choosing the appropriate antimicrobial therapy and to implement infection control measures. Here, a leading Spanish microbiologist reviews an arsenal of tools currently available to clinicians. Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics in enterobacteriaceae (EBc) is due to one or more of these…

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Blood transfusions

Donor organs become immunologically invisible

The safety of blood transfusions is questioned again and again by the mass media. Sometimes ‘bad’ blood causes infections; sometimes a transfusion leads to cancer years later. The fact is that transfer blood is subjected to the highest safety standards – there are very clear statutory regulations. Nonetheless, there will be shortages of ‘life’s fluid’ because, given increasing…

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Preventing toxic plaques

Key step forward in tackling neurodegenerative diseases

A protein complex has been shown to play a key role in preventing the build-up of toxic plaques in the brain linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. An international team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Stanford (USA) and Konstanz (Germany) have discovered that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) helps to prevent the…

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Gene editing

DNA “shredder”: a different kind of CRISPR

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

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Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature…

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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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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of remission-resistance-relapse is particularly true for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease in which early success is often countered by eventual disease progression. To wit: The one-year relative survival rate…

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Cancer research

Black nanoparticles slow tumor growth

Melanin protects our skin from the sun’s damaging rays by absorbing light energy and converting it to heat. This could make it a very effective tool in tumor diagnosis and treatment, as demonstrated by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München. The scientists managed to create melanin-loaded cell membrane derived nanoparticles, which improved tumor…

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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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Unique detection

'Super smeller' could lead to parkinson skin swab test

A study has identified chemicals in the skin responsible for a unique scent in people with Parkinson’s disease. The chemicals can be detected in an oily substance secreted from the skin called sebum, the researchers found. The findings suggest Parkinson’s disease could one day be diagnosed from skin swabs, potentially leading to new tests. There are no tests for Parkinson’s disease at…

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Colon cancer

Revolution and evolution in oncology

Dr Georg Ralle, General Secretary of the association ‘Network against Colon Cancer’ since 2012 as well as moderator of the symposium ‘The New Measurement of Oncology’, hosted by the National Centre for Tumour Diseases Heidelberg (NCT), clearly voices his dissatisfaction with the German ‘wait it out mentality’. He sharply criticised the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and here also…

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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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Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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Too old

Imaging equipment: installed base needs to be replaced

Despite COCIR raising the alarm as early as 2014, the age of the installed base of medical imaging equipment in Europe continues to increase. To draw attention to this worrying trend, COCIR is presenting new data on the current situation in four modalities of medical imaging, graphically demonstrating the extent of the issue. These were launched tday at the European Congress of Radiology 2019 in…

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Predicting the truth from hybrid imaging

Holomics: a trendy but complex topic

‘Is it possible to know whether a treatment will work before even starting it – in other words, to predict the truth? That’s the great promise of holomics, a concept that everyone has been involved in without even noticing,’ said leading French physicist Irène Buvat, from the In Vivo Molecular Imaging French lab, who is set to focus on this subject at ECR 2019. ‘The truth,’ said…

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PET/MRI, PET/RF & more

Disruptive innovations in molecular imaging

Molecular imaging is an exciting field for scientists who are willing to explore and innovate, prominent Spanish physicist José María Benlloch pointed out when he reviewed some of the most impacting and recent innovations in his portfolio during a meeting in Valencia. ‘Our mission is to develop innovative sensitive and harmless medical imaging instruments for early detection of diseases and…

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

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

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Biosensor

New rapid test for sepsis could save thousands of lives

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have developed an innovative, low cost test for earlier diagnosis of sepsis which could save thousands of lives. The simple system for sensitive real-time measurement of the life threatening condition is much quicker than existing hospital tests, which can take up to 72 hours to process. Using a microelectrode, a biosensor device is used to detect if…

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X-ray crystallography

Seeing the unseeable life inside a virus

Researchers at Cardiff University have used x-ray crystallography and computer simulation to get a closer look at how viruses bind cells and cause infection. The new insight could help in the development of drugs and therapies for infections and further advance the exploitation of viruses for medical treatments. The first author of the study, Alex Baker from Cardiff University’s School of…

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Imaging agent

PET/CT tracer offers better diagnosis of acute venous thromboembolism

A first-in-human study reports that the novel positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) tracer 18F-GP1 showed excellent image quality and a high detection rate for the diagnosis of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE). Well-tolerated in patients, 18F-GP1 PET/CT also identified blood clots in distal veins of the leg below the knee, where conventional imaging has limitations.

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Machine learning tool

AI can predict survival of ovarian cancer patients

Researchers have created a new machine learning software that can forecast the survival rates and response to treatments of patients with ovarian cancer. The artificial intelligence software, created by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne, has been able to predict the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer more accurately than current methods. It can also…

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A healthy nap

How sleep strengthens the immune system

Getting enough sleep is vital to supporting our immune system in fighting off pathogens – this much is common knowledge. But what we don't know is how exactly sleep affects certain immune functions. Scientists at the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck have now discovered a new mechanism by which sleep supports the immune system. The team led by Dr. Luciana Besedovsky and Dr. Stoyan Dimitrov…

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Preserving your eyesight

7 ways to prevent macular degeneration

Doctors aren’t sure what causes age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects millions of people in the United States. Also called AMD, it is known for causing blurred central vision due to damage to the macula — a small area at the back of the eye. Currently, there is no cure. But there are known risk factors that eye care professionals often use to help determine a patient’s…

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Cardiology & calcium

First look at the ‘molecular switch’ that makes our heart beat

Oxford University Radcliffe Department of Medicine researchers have developed a new method that uses a protein originally found in marine corals to visualise the flow of calcium that makes the heart beat. In a paper published in the journal Circulation Research, they used this technique to uncover the effects of genetic errors that contribute to a heart condition that is the leading killer of…

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Blood cell disorder

Promising results for new acute porphyria treatment

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

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Therapeutic progress

Cancer: riding the wave of innovation

In haematology and medical oncology, there is always something new. However, the increasing stratification of cancer therapies presents an enormous challenge for clinical research. Tumour cells – those altered genetically by mutation and thus ought to be recognised by the immune system and destroyed – manage to apply diverse molecular tricks to avoid attack by the immune system. Thus, they…

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Time for a revolution?

About the end of medicine, as we know it

Currently many researchers and experts assume that the next great socio-economic revolution will include a completely new definition of health and how we define illnesses and therapies. “Our health system today can no longer be sustained in its existing form. It has become too expensive and too ineffective,” Professor Harald Schmidt, head of the Department of Pharmacology and Personalised…

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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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Multiple sclerosis

Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients

A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska…

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Hot helper

Can oolong tea prevent breast cancer?

In a recent study published in the journal Anticancer Research, Saint Louis University scientists, together with a visiting scientist from Fujian Medical University in China, have discovered evidence that oolong tea can lead to DNA damage of breast cancer cells and inhibit the growth and progression of tumors in the lab, potentially offering a non-toxic strategy to prevent breast cancer. The…

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Omega-3

Asthma control: How effective is fish oil really?

Fish oil does not appear to improve asthma control in adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma who are overweight or obese, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. In “Fish Oil Supplementation in Overweight/Obese Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma: A Randomized Trial,” Jason E. Lang, MD, MPH, and co-authors report that four grams…

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Cellular recycling

Can autophagy stop cancer before it starts?

Just as plastic tips protect the ends of shoelaces and keep them from fraying when we tie them, molecular tips called telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes and keep them from fusing when cells continually divide and duplicate their DNA. But while losing the plastic tips may lead to messy laces, telomere loss may lead to cancer. Salk Institute scientists studying the relationship of telomeres…

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Precancerous lesions

Lung cancer: early detection with molecular profiling

Before lung cancer develops, precancerous lesions are found in the airway, but only half of these will actually become lung cancer, while others will disappear or remain benign without becoming harmful. Under the microscope, the lesions look the same, making it difficult to know which lesions to treat. In this study, published in Nature Medicine, researchers have for the first time, discovered…

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Drug research

Opioids: no effect without side effect

Through genetic changes to the opioid receptor in mice, pharmacologists at Jena University Hospital have succeeded in almost completely suppressing the development of opioid tolerance. The pain-relieving effect actually improved and continued even when the drug was administered for longer periods. However, adverse effects such as respiratory depression and constipation, as well as withdrawal…

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Precision medicine

Europe looks to cells for a healthier future

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

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DMD & rhabdomyosarcoma

Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Muscle stem cells can drive cancer

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

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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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Mengla filovirus

Researchers discover Ebola-related virus carried by bats

Researchers from Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School, in collaboration with scientists in China, have identified and characterised a new genus of filovirus from a Rousettus bat in China. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Microbiology. Bat-borne viruses around the world pose a threat to human and animal health. Filoviruses, especially Ebola virus and Marburg virus, are…

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Choline

Essential nutrient holds promise against Alzheimer’s

In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Institute explore a safe and simple treatment for one of the most devastating and perplexing afflictions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Lead authors Ramon Velazquez and Salvatore Oddo, along with their colleagues in the Arizona State University (ASU)-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC), investigate the effects of choline, an important…

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Oncology

COMPASS: The guide to new therapies for children with cancer

Through a targeted combination of molecular and microscopy-based techniques, researchers aim to identify new treatment approaches for children with cancer. The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) coordinates the project, which is funded by the European consortium ERA PerMed with 1.5 million euros and involves scientific institutions from France, the Netherlands, Finland and Hungary in…

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Immuno-oncological biomarkers

Seeking to augment the value of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes

Measuring tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is gaining importance in immunotherapy, but other variables must also be considered to boost prognosis and prediction accuracy, a leading pathologist argued at EBCC 11 last March in Barcelona. When it comes to prognosis and prediction for immunotherapy, a potentially new variable is emerging – TILs – white blood cells that have left the blood…

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Between man and molecule

The hunt for genetic risk factors

Professor Christoph M Friedrich researches the interface between man and molecule. Born in Westphalia, Germany, the professor for biomedical computer science at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences recently took up an additional role at the Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometrics and Epidemiology (IMIBE) in Essen University Hospital. In 2013, the cooperation between the two institutions…

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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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Machine learning

Training a computer to classify breast cancer tumors

Using technology similar to the type that powers facial and speech recognition on a smartphone, researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have trained a computer to analyze breast cancer images and then classify the tumors with high accuracy. In a study published in the journal NPJ Breast Cancer, researchers reported they used a form of artificial…

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Promising predictions

Will MRI be able to predict dementia?

One day, MRI brain scans may help predict whether older people will develop dementia, new research suggests. In a small study, MRI brain scans predicted with 89 percent accuracy who would go on to develop dementia within three years, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California San Francisco. The findings, presented at the…

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Deadly DNA

Suicide: Is it in our genes?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 44,000 people in the country every year, similar to the number of deaths caused by the opioid epidemic. Previous studies show that suicide tracks in families independent of the effects from a shared environment. Researchers at the University of Utah Health are using resources unique to the state to identify…

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Real walkaway automation

The all-in-one molecular laboratory system

The lab-in-the-box design of LabTurbo SP-qPCR All-in-one system offers true automation for the molecular laboratory, the manufacturer reports, adding that this ‘delivers testing confidence and laboratory efficiency. LabTurbo fully automates the complete workflow of molecular diagnostic laboratories. The sample-to-result procedure includes: automatic sample transfer from primary tubes, DNA/RNA…

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Antibiotic stewardship

Screening with multiplexed kits

Antibiotic stewardship is becoming a critical concern in hospitals as antibiotic resistance spreads globally and some organisms become resistant to antibiotics of last resort. Molecular diagnostics can play a role in antibiotic stewardship programs by providing timely and accurate advice to clinicians on which antibiotics to use, Professor Keith Stanley advises. "Antibiotic resistance in the…

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Interdisciplinary

Exploring the human microbiome

During the International Forum for Laboratory Medicine, one seminar focused on infectious diseases. Professor André Gessner, from the Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Department at Regensburg University, lectured on ‘The human microbiome, an explosive ‘climate’ topic,’ he explained.

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Infections

No chance for bacteria on implants

Hip and dental implant operations are routine. But not entirely risk-free. They may result in infection that is difficult to control with oral or intravenous antibiotics. In such cases, the implant will probably need to be replaced. Fraunhofer researchers can now apply a precisely matched drug directly to the replacement implant while significantly increasing the effectiveness of the antibiotic…

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Gene editing

The future of CRISPR in plastic and reconstructive surgery

The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a "transformative leap" in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine. That includes plastic surgery, with potential advances ranging from prevention of craniofacial malformations, to therapeutic skin grafts, to new types of rejection-free transplants, according to a paper in the November issue of Plastic…

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Advanced materials

Nanocarriers open up to cancer

Nanosystems that deliver anticancer drugs or imaging materials to tumours are showing significant progress, particularly those that respond to tumour-related stimuli, according to a review published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. However, further research is still required to make sure these delivery systems are stable, non-toxic and biodegradable. Nanocarriers…

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Cancer management

The enormous potential of liquid biopsy

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

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It's all connected

Understanding the "wiring diagrams" of genes in complex tissues

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

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Glioblastoma

Building a better model for brain tumours

A research team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham is launching a study to find a better model for glioblastoma, a particularly devastating type of brain tumour, to help determine the most appropriate treatment modality. The $3.6 million, five-year U01 grant award is funded by the National Cancer Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. The UAB team will join four other…

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Cardiovascular care

Manipulating atoms and molecules with nanomedicine

Nanomedicine is set to play an increasingly important role in the future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the importance of nanomedicine was enhanced by four experts who spoke at the British Cardiovascular Society conference held in June. The technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres and especially the manipulation of…

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Cause and effect

Diabetes and heart failure: discovering the connection

Men with diabetes are 2.4 times more likely than non-diabetics to suffer heart failure and women are five times more likely. But why? A new Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study reveals how, on a cellular level, diabetes can cause heart failure. The findings could lead to medications to treat and perhaps prevent heart failure in diabetes patients, researchers said. In a…

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Dying neurons

Decoding the regulation of cell survival

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

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Painful protein

Understanding Bechterew's disease

Autoimmune diseases like Bechterew’s disease direct our immune systems agains our own bodies. Now, researchers at Jacobs University Bremen have come one step closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms of the disease also known as ankylosing spondylitis. It is characterized by long-term painful inflammation of the joints and deformation of the spine. One suspected cause is a particular…

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Market report

Digital pathology: when technology and medicine unite

When two powerful products are combined, the outcome often becomes much more effective. One such proof is the digital pathology, where technology coupled with medicine. The introduction of technology has completely transformed the face of medical diagnosis, providing new hope to many sufferers. It has become essential to identify the cause of diseases to prevent them in the early stages to avoid…

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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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Infections

Zika virus strips immune cells of their identity

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

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Oncology

Discovering cancer cell mutations with optimized technologies

Cancer cells often have mutations in their DNA that can give scientists clues about how the cancer started or which treatment may be most effective. Finding these mutations can be difficult, but a new method may offer more complete, comprehensive results. A team of researchers has developed a new framework that can combine three existing methods of finding these large mutations - or structural…

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Hope against arthritis

Growing cartilage – how does it work?

Anyone with arthritis can appreciate how useful it would be if scientists could grow cartilage in the lab. To this end, Keck School of Medicine of USC scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, collaborated with colleagues at several institutions to provide new insights into how gene activity drives the development of cartilage. Their findings appear in Nature…

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Research

Zika virus proteins inhibit brain development

In healthy individuals, the Zika virus causes flu-like symptoms. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the unborn child can suffer from severe brain abnormalities as a result of mechanisms that have not yet been explained. A study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPI-B) shows that Zika virus proteins bind to cellular proteins that are…

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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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Precision CV medicine

New biomarkers for cardiovascular disease

A range of new biomarkers and diagnostics for precision cardiovascular medicine were outlined in a session at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference held recently in Manchester. Speakers from King’s British Heart Foundation Centre looked at how mass spectrometry allows clinicians to measure large numbers of proteins simultaneously, discussed a new biomarker for cardiac ischaemia…

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Neurology

New potential biotherapy against Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered that a modified version of an important immune cell protein could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease. The study reveals that soluble versions of a protein called TLR5 can reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease model mice and prevent the toxic peptide that forms these plaques from killing neurons.

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Weak heart

The many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy

A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England –…

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Heard at the British Cardiovascular Society conference

The role of nanomedicine in CV diagnosis

Nanomedicine will play an increasingly important role in future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, a subject explored in detail by four expert speakers at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester in June. The conference heard that the technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual…

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Promising research

First steps towards a new, targeted lung cancer treatment

Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a subtype of lung cancer which could lead to a new way to tackle the disease, according to research published in Nature Communications. They found lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) cells contained high amounts of a protein called BCL11A. The study showed that manipulating the gene responsible for the protein stopped the development of LUSC in…

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Brain tumors

Researchers find missing immune cells that could fight glioblastoma

Glioblastoma brain tumors can have an unusual effect on the body's immune system, often causing a dramatic drop in the number of circulating T-cells that help drive the body's defenses. Where the T-cells go has been unclear, even as immunotherapies are increasingly employed to stimulate the body's natural ability to fight invasive tumors. Now researchers have tracked the missing T-cells in…

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Personalised drug treatment

AI approach to help myeloma patients

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform that could potentially change the way drug combinations are being designed, hence enabling doctors to determine the most effective drug combination for a patient quickly. Applying the platform towards drug resistant multiple myeloma, a type of…

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Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis

Taking a pill can effectively treat brutal lung disease

Researchers Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report that they figured out why air sacs in the lungs clog up with a thick substance called surfactant in a brutal disease called Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP), and they show taking cholesterol-busting pills called statins can effectively treat the disease.

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Mysterious illness

Potential diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Imperial College London, with international collaborators, have determined that Kawasaki disease (KD) can be accurately diagnosed on the basis of the pattern of host gene expression in whole blood. The finding could lead to a diagnostic blood test to distinguish KD from other infectious and inflammatory…

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AACC Disruptive Technology Award

Developers take diagnostics to the patient

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

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Neural development

Why our brains fold the way they do

Everyone knows what our brains look like – but why is it folded up like that? Looking at other species reveals much less folding or even none at all. Scientists in Dresden, Germany, have now taken a closer look at the ridges and grooves of human brains. They discovered what causes our brains to fold – and what happens when the folding process goes wrong.

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Switching sides

How cancer cells 'brainwash' their foes

It doesn’t often happen that army generals switch sides in the middle of a war, but when cancer is attacking, it may cause even a gene that acts as the body’s master defender to change allegiance. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that this gene’s betrayal can occur in more ways than previously appreciated – and might even return the renegade cells to their…

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Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

Austrian researchers have accomplished an astounding feat: They created organoids that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

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Acute myeloid leukaemia

Researchers draw AML ‘family trees’ in patients treated with enasidenib

For the first time, a team of international researchers have mapped the family trees of cancer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) to understand how this blood cancer responds to a new drug, enasidenib. The work also explains what happens when a patient stops responding to the treatment, providing important clues about how to combine enasidenib with other anti-cancer drugs to produce…

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Single nucleotide polymorphism

Biosensor chip detects genetic mutation with higher sensitivity

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and…

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Brain cancer

Typical mutation in cancer cells stifles immune response

The exchange of a single amino acid building block in a metabolic enzyme can lead to cancer. In addition, it can impair the immune system. It thus blocks the body’s immune response in the battle against the mutant molecule and also impedes immunotherapy against brain cancer. This finding opens new insights into cancer development and progression and it also suggests that rethinking antitumor…

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Heard at the 14th ECDP in Helsinki

Digital pathology: Sometimes AI can outperform experts

Machine learning is adding a new dimension to pathology and already outperforming experts during some tasks, according to several speakers at the 14th European Congress on Digital Pathology (ECDP) who revealed up-to-date developments. However, whilst AI is set to herald a new future for digital pathology, Johan Lundin, associated professor for biomedical informatics and research director at the…

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Heard at the EBCC11

Identifying circulating tumour cells with liquid biopsy

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

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Gaining ground

MRI advances approach the realm of precision medicine

MRI has developed rapidly over the past decade in Poland, where clinicians are combining MRI with PET and CT to highlight tumour growth or regression and perfusion. ‘The fact that MRI offers new software and programmes means we can diagnose pathologies more precisely and make a diagnosis faster than a few years ago,’ explained Poland’s national advisor on radiology and diagnostic imaging…

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Neurology

A new therapy for common cause of dementia?

Scientists have uncovered a potential approach to treat one of the commonest causes of dementia and stroke in older people. Studies with rats found the treatment can reverse changes in blood vessels in the brain associated with the condition, called cerebral small vessel disease.

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Health IT

Computer algorithm maps cancer resistance to drugs

New methods of studying the evolution of treatment resistance in head and neck cancer are being developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The scientists wanted to examine how cancers acquire resistance to treatment over time and whether those changes could be modeled computationally to determine patient-specific timelines of resistance.

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Promising research

Could senescence be the key to stopping cancer?

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

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Combined power

LC-MS research and routine use

LC/MS, i.e. the combination of liquid chromatography (LC) with mass spectrometry (MS) – an analytical method developed primarily for environmental analysis and live science – remains a keen topic in the medical laboratory. In recent European Hospital issues, we have outlined various reasons why this procedure is in increasingly popular in the medical lab. Here we continue with an interview…

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Live long and prosper

Key molecule of aging discovered

Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against…

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Sepsis treatment

Bedside testing can prevent antibiotic-induced hearing loss in new-borns

More than a million neonatal deaths worldwide each year are estimated to be due to sepsis. In the UK there are approximately 90,000 admissions to neonatal intensive care units per year. Nearly all these patients receive antibiotic therapy during their hospital stay, but babies with a specific genetic change can suffer irreversible hearing loss as a result. Now, in a collaboration between…

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When the phosphate decides...

Defense against viruses or autoimmune disorder?

The first defense line of the body against virus infections is composed of so-called restriction factors. SAMHD1, one of such restriction factors, does not only play a role in the defense against viruses but also in the development of autoimmune disorders and cancer. The question of which effect SAMHD1 exertsin the cell is decided by addition or removal of phosphate groups.

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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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High-throughput system

Speeding up flow cytometry to discover new drugs

A new SLAS Discovery original research article available now for free ahead-of-print, researchers from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) highlights a diversity of approaches that their automated high-throughput flow cytometry has enabled for phenotypic drug discovery. Flow cytometry is a very powerful tool that has been used for decades and allows for…

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Infections

Tuberculosis: new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise worldwide. This is becoming a problem for infectious diseases like tuberculosis as there are only a few active substances available to combat such diseases. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now found a way to increase the efficacy of a common tuberculosis agent while, at the same time, reducing resistance to it. 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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Terror protection

Promising vaccines against anthrax, plague and tularemia

Anthrax, plague and tularemia are three potent agents terrorists would be likely to use in an attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each is highly and quickly lethal to humans. But there are no licensed vaccines for tularemia and plague, and although there is an anthrax vaccine, it requires a burdensome immunization schedule and has severe side effects. Now, a…

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Assisting algorithms

Big data advances rare disease diagnosis and cancer therapy

Two major projects feeding on big data and based in Spain have recently come under the spotlight: Mendelian, a tool to expedite rare diseases diagnosis, and Harmony, an EU platform that aims to improve targeted therapy in haematological cancer. Rare diseases affect as many as 6% of the Spanish population. Although this percentage is high, these conditions are individually rare, which complicates…

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Groundbreaking technique

Noninvasive brain tumor biopsy on the horizon

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

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Music for life

Massive Attack to last forever – in DNA form

The digital audio of an entire music album is to be stored in the form of genetic information for the first time, using technology developed at ETH Zurich. Coded in DNA molecules and poured into tiny glass beads, an album by Massive Attack will be preserved – practically for eternity. The British band Massive Attack are considered pioneers of trip hop, an atmospheric style of electronic music…

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Gender differences

Migraines: Why women suffer more frequently

Of the more than 38 million Americans who experience migraine headaches, 28 million are women. Compared to men, women also experience more frequent and severe migraines and don’t respond as well to drug treatments. Findings from a new study conducted in rats reveal that females may be more susceptible to migraines and less responsive to treatment because of the way fluctuations in the hormone…

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Hygiene and microbiology meeting

No all clear for nosocomial infections

Experts at the 70th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, held in Bochum, exchanged information on newly discovered resistances. ‘Specifically, resistance against a class of antibiotics that has, so far, always been viewed as a reserve appears to be developing more intensively than previously assumed,’ explained Professor Sören Gatermann, congress president and…

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Innovation

Siemens Healthineers debuts new thermocycler and AI-powered interpretation software

At the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2018), Fast Track Diagnostics, a Siemens Healthineers company, launches a new molecular thermocycler, the Fast Track cycler, and the complementary new FastFinder software. The Fast Track cycler is a compact platform that enables laboratories of all sizes to implement molecular testing with simplicity and speed…

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Innovation

A real time saver at the highest level of molecular diagnostics – the eazyplex® platform!

This platform enables you to perform high class molecular diagnostics at an unbelievable speed. All assay run times are as short as 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the sample material. The lyophilised reactions are shippable and storable at room temperature and ready to use, with a shelf life of 18 month. Due to the robustness of the polymerase you don’t need any DNA extraction. The…

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New report

Advanced development of primary pancreatic organoid tumor models for high-throughput phenotypic drug screening

A multidisciplinary team of scientists share recent advancements in innovative in-vitro cancer biology methods for screening drug-like molecules in cancer tissue relevant models in a new report published online ahead-of-print at SLAS Discovery. Entitled Advanced Development of Primary Pancreatic Organoid Tumor Models for High-Throughput Phenotypic Drug Screening, the report can be accessed for…

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Matrix-forming proteins

Experimental targeted therapy might prevent heart failure

Scientists used an experimental targeted molecular therapy to block a matrix-forming protein in heart cells damaged by heart attack, reducing levels of scarred muscle tissue and saving mouse models from heart failure. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in the journal Circulation testing a manufactured peptide called pUR4 to block the fibronectin protein in human…

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Immunological memory

Our brains 'remember' inflammation and diseases

Inflammatory reactions can change the brain’s immune cells in the long term – meaning that these cells have an ‘immunological memory’. This memory may influence the progression of neurological disorders that occur later in life, and is therefore a previously unknown factor that could influence the severity of these diseases. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases…

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Odilorhabdin

A new class of antibiotics to combat drug resistance

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, are part of an international team reporting on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics. The antibiotic, first identified by Nosopharm, is unique and promising on two fronts: its unconventional source and its distinct way of killing bacteria, both of which suggest the compound…

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Medical fair

Welcome to the 79th CMEF Spring Show! Register Now to Save CNY 100!

China International Medicinal Equipment Fair (CMEF), launched in 1979, is held twice annually – spring and autumn. After over 39 years of continuous innovation and self-improvement, CMEF has become the largest fair of medical devices, related products and services in the Asia-Pacific region. The fair widely covers 15,000 products such as medical imaging, IVD equipment and reagent, medical…

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Long-term caffeine

There's a catch to your daily coffee intake, study finds

A study coordinated by the Institute of Neuroscience of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Inc-UAB) and in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden provides evidence that a long-term consumption of caffeine has negative effects for Alzheimer’s disease, worsening the neuropsychiatric symptoms appearing in the majority of those affected by the disorder. The research was…

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Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s

The role of misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease may have more in common than their effects on the functions of the brain and spinal cord. And finding that common thread could lead to a treatment that could work for all three. A recent study by David Smith, associate professor of biochemistry in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, suggests that at the heart of all three…

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Innovative test

Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infectious disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. Women of all ages are at risk for BV and its complications, which include a greater susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes simplex virus and HIV. If left undetected and untreated, BV can increase a woman's risk of upper genital tract infections such as pelvic…

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DNA research

Stroke: largest-ever genetic study provides new insight

An international research group, including scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, studying 520,000 people from around the world has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect stroke risk. The results show that stroke shares genetic influences with other vascular conditions, especially blood pressure, but also…

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Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

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

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Small molecule, huge effect

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

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

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DNA repair

Proteins: Sentinels of the Genome

Throughout life, DNA is constantly being damaged by environmental and intrinsic factors and must be promptly repaired to prevent mutations, genomic instability, and cancer. Different types of damages are repaired by numerous proteins organized into damage-specific pathways. The proteins from different pathways must be spatially and temporally coordinated in order to efficiently repair complex DNA…

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Joint disease

Nanotechnology detects molecular biomarker for osteoarthritis

For the first time, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have been able to measure a specific molecule indicative of osteoarthritis and a number of other inflammatory diseases using a newly developed technology. This preclinical study used a solid-state nanopore sensor as a tool for the analysis of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring molecule that is involved in tissue…

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Screening tumor samples

A molecular map of childhood cancers

Researchers led by Professor Stefan Pfister from the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) have been able to draw an extremely detailed molecular map of childhood cancers. In close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), they screened almost 1,000 tumor samples from 24 cancer types for…

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PET-scan

Imaging agent helps predicting lung cancer therapy success

With the help of a new radioactive tracer, doctors can predict with more than 80 percent accuracy how well a widely-used lung cancer drug will combat tumors, according to researchers at Stanford. The researchers developed a PET scan-compatible imaging agent engineered to seek out a specific mutation found in nonsmall cell lung cancer (which accounts for about 80 percent of lung cancers), bind to…

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DNA analysis

Magnetic biosensor array simplifies cancer detection

In standard settings, the analysis of each DNA modification requires a carefully optimised assay that runs under specific conditions. This increases cost and labour and is a severe limitation to throughput. Now, however, researchers at Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark have come up with a new method that will enable doctors to make a more precise diagnosis, prognosis and…

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Award

DZNE researcher receives world’s top Brain Prize

Together with three other neuroscientists Professor Christian Haass, speaker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Munich site and Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, receives the world’s most valuable prize for brain research. The 2018 Brain Prize, awarded by the Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark, is worth one million Euros. Awarded annually, it…

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Predictive biomarkers

Immunotherapy follow-up with MRI: the search is on

Immunotherapy is taking center stage in imaging, but patient follow-up with CT is no cookie and may fall short in the peripheral limbs, brain and bone marrow. MRI offers specific benefits in these situations, and, combined with PET, it may bring even more results. Research must be carried out on quantitative techniques and tracers developed to fully exploit that potential, Prof. Dow-Mu Koh…

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When proteins go bad

Data detectives uncover new suspect in Alzheimer's

The mass pursuit of a conspicuous suspect in Alzheimer’s disease may have encumbered research success for decades. Now, a new data analysis that has untangled evidence amassed in years of Alzheimer’s studies encourages researchers to refocus their investigations. Heaps of plaque formed from amyloid-beta that accumulate in afflicted brains are what stick out under the microscope in tissue…

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Advanced techniques

Breast cancer: how imaging technology will help avoid unnecessary biopsies

Enhancing the diagnosis of breast cancer is the stated goal of a research team at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The scientists have combined an advanced method of diffusion-weighted MR imaging with intelligent image analysis methods to detect malignant changes in tissues. This method may help avoid many control biopsies following suspicious findings from mammography…

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Mitosis' structure

Understanding the inside of cancer cells

Cell division is an intricately choreographed ballet of proteins and molecules that divide the cell. During mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) assemble the spindle fibers that separate the copying chromosomes of DNA. While scientists are familiar with MTOCs’ existence and the role they play in cell division, their actual physical structure remains poorly understood. Shruthi…

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Gene editing

CRISPR-based technology DETECTR can detect viral DNA

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

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Discovery

'Selfish' gene may protect against heart disease

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

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HER2 breast cancer

‘Soft’ chemotherapy plus targeted treatment spell new hope for elderly patients

Avoidance of side-effects of chemotherapy is particularly important in the elderly, but finding the balance between reduced toxicity and maximum effectiveness is not always easy. A trial carried out by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, published in The Lancet Oncology, shows that, in older patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer (an aggressive breast…

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No more joint replacement?

Small molecule could make a big difference for arthritis patients

Will there come a time when a patient with arthritis can forgo joint replacement surgery in favor of a shot? Keck School of Medicine of USC scientist Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, has reason to be optimistic. In a new publication in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, Evseenko’s team describes the promise of a new molecule aptly named “Regulator of Cartilage Growth and Differentiation,” or RCGD…

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New approach

Starving liver cancer

Scientists at the University of Delaware and the University of Illinois at Chicago have found a new way to kill liver cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth. First, they silence a key cellular enzyme, and then they add a powerful drug. They describe their methods in a new paper published in Nature Communications. This research could accelerate the development of new treatments for liver cancer,…

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Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

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

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In wine, there’s health

Low levels of alcohol might actually be good for your brain

While a couple of glasses of wine can help clear the mind after a busy day, new research shows that it may actually help clean the mind as well. The new study, which appears in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that low levels of alcohol consumption tamp down inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. “Prolonged intake of…

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AEC syndrome

Cause of severe genetic disease identified

Mutations in the p63 protein lead to a number of disorders, but none is as severe as the AEC syndrome. Scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt in collaboration with a research group from the University of Naples Federico II have now discovered that this syndrome resembles diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS more closely than it does other p63-based syndromes. Their results,…

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In sheep's clothing

Research examines a different culprit behind Alzheimer's disease

What if one of the prime suspects behind Alzheimer’s disease was a case of mistaken identity? Amyloid plaques, sticky buildup that accumulates in and around neurons in the brain, have long been believed to be an indicator of neurodegenerative disease. Most clinical drug trials for Alzheimer’s disease treatment have failed, presumably because they target these plaques. But according to Raymond…

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New presidency

Siemens Healthineers names Deepak Nath head of laboratory diagnostics

Siemens Healthineers has appointed Dr. Deepak Nath as President of Laboratory Diagnostics effective February 1. Nath succeeds Franz Walt, who served from 2014-2017, and led the business during its launch of the Atellica Solution. Nath will continue the endeavor to transform care delivery in the laboratory by growing the business, leveraging his extensive operational experience in healthcare. He…

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Old technique & new technology

Optoacoustics: the sound of cells

For centuries, hands, eyes and ears were the physicians’ most important instruments when it came to detecting and diagnosing disease. Today, one of the traditional techniques, percussion, is being revived, supported by state-of-the-art technology and dressed in a new name: optoacoustics. In one of the most exciting visionary ideas in modern healthcare short laser pulses (optics) are transmitted…

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Regulatory B cells

Researchers identify new marker for autoimmune disorders

The immune system is a complex and precisely regulated system. Various activating and inhibiting signals ensure that the immune cells combat pathogenic agents without eliciting a potentially harmful response to its own structures and cells. However, if those two forces are imbalanced, the immune cells may attack and damage cells and tissue of the body itself, which will result in the development…

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CancerSEEK

Single blood test screens for 8 cancer types

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test is aimed at…

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Primary ciliary dyskinesia

Molecular roots of genetic lung disease identified

Respiratory infections peak during the winter months, and most people recover within a few weeks. But for those with a rare genetic lung disease, the sniffling, coughing and congestion never end. The tiny hairlike structures called cilia that normally sweep mucus through the airways don’t work properly in people with what’s known as primary ciliary dyskinesia. When the cilia don’t brush…

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Discovery

‘Hijacker’ drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome “hijacks” DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights may help scientists develop more effective therapies, including precision medicines. The research involved investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital;…

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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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Pressure monitoring

This biodegradable sensor disappears after its job is done

Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body. The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small, flexible sensor is…

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Neurogenesis

These genetic ‘switches’ determine our brain development

UCLA researchers have developed the first map of gene regulation in human neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells turn into brain cells and the cerebral cortex expands in size. The scientists identified factors that govern the growth of our brains and, in some cases, set the stage for several brain disorders that appear later in life. The human brain differs from that of mice and…

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Disease detection

Siemens Healthineers acquires Fast Track Diagnostics

Siemens Healthineers confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of Fast Track Diagnostics (FTD). The closing of the deal occurred on December 19, 2017, expanding the Siemens Healthineers molecular diagnostics portfolio and underscoring the company’s commitment to this designated growth area. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. FTD’s broad range of CE-marked infectious disease…

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Risk for pregnancy

How Zika infection drives fetal demise

A powerful antiviral protein may act as a checkpoint for keeping or ending a pregnancy. When exposed to Zika virus before birth, mouse fetuses with the protein commit cell suicide, while fetuses without it continued to develop. The result, published in Science Immunology, suggests that the protein, a receptor involved in immune cell signaling, plays a role in spontaneous abortions and other human…

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Milestone

Researcher grow hairy skin in a dish

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have successfully developed a method to grow hairy skin from mouse pluripotent stem cells - a discovery that could lead to new approaches to model disease and new therapies for the treatment of skin disorders and cancers.

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Nomen est omen?

Sleeping sickness – more than just a sleeping disorder

Sleeping sickness could use a more encompassing moniker. An international study from the O’Donnell Brain Institute shows one of Africa’s most lethal diseases is actually a circadian rhythm disorder caused by the acceleration of biological clocks controlling a range of vital functions besides sleep. By understanding which clock genes are affected by the parasitic disease, scientists hope the…

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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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Antiviral design

CAR-T gene therapy could provide long-term HIV protection

Through gene therapy, researchers engineered blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, or HSPCs) to carry chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes to make cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. These engineered cells not only destroyed the infected cells, they persisted for more than two years, suggesting the potential to create long-term immunity from the virus…

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Gene expression

Potential path to repair MS-damaged nerves

Gene expression in specific cells and in specific regions can provide a more precise, neuroprotective approach than traditional treatments for neurological diseases. For multiple sclerosis, specifically, increasing cholesterol synthesis gene expression in astrocytes of the spinal cord can be a pathway to repair nerves that affect walking.

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Patterns in blood serum

New marker detects fatal breast cancer earlier

A new marker that could be used to diagnose fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods has been identified in a study led by UCL. The study found that changes detected in a part of DNA which the researches named EFC#93 could suggest early signs of deadly breast cancer. Importantly, these abnormal patterns are present in blood serum before the cancer becomes detectable in the…

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Genome editing

CRISPR treatment may prevent hearing loss

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

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Wound care

European launch of handheld imaging technology

Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology business, announces the European launch of MolecuLight i:X, the easy to use, handheld imaging device that instantly measures wound surface area and visualises the presence and distribution of potentially harmful bacteria in wounds. Currently wound assessments are made with the naked eye which can lack the accuracy required to most effectively…

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Research

Experimental drug interferes with Alzheimer’s mechanisms

The chemical compound “anle138b” eases cognitive deficits and normalizes gene expression in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, the drug seems to close harmful openings in the membrane of nerve cells. An international collaboration reports these findings in the journal “EMBO Molecular Medicine”. The scientists suggest that anle138b should be validated in clinical trials…

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Duchenne

Researchers create skeletal muscle from stem cells

Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new strategy to efficiently isolate, mature and transplant skeletal muscle cells created from human pluripotent stem cells, which can produce all cell types of the body. The findings are a major step towards developing a stem cell replacement therapy for muscle diseases including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which…

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Improved workflow

UK uptake increases in digital pathology

Professor Jo Martin, the newly-appointed President of the Royal College of Pathologists in the United Kingdom, believes the National Health Service (NHS) is on the brink of embracing digital pathology more widely. A number of UK laboratories, he explained, are adopting digital pathology in histopathology – in line with some labs in Sweden and Holland, where it has become routine – and the…

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Enzyme discovery

Epigenetic agitator of pancreatic cancer cells identified

Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells’ chromatin. The study, which will be published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that targeting this enzyme could make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to existing therapies that currently have only limited effect…

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Diabetes research

Novel transcriptomic signature of type 2 diabetic islets identified

Type 2 diabetes, which affects >0.5 billion people worldwide, results from the inability of beta cells in the pancreatic islets to provide the body with enough insulin to maintain blood glucose levels within the range for a healthy life. A collaborative study led by Prof. Michele Solimena at the Technische Universität in Dresden as well as the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Dr. Anke M Schulte at…

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A double-edged sword

Killing cancer cells can also drive tumor growth

Cancer therapies including radiation and chemotherapy seek to treat the disease by killing tumor cells. Now a team including researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have shown that the dead and dying cancer cells generated by chemotherapy and targeted cancer therapy paradoxically trigger inflammation that promotes aggressive tumor growth. In a study published today in the…

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LIMA project

Agena Bioscience’s liquid biopsy technology awarded Horizon 2020 grant

Agena Bioscience, a global provider of molecular genetic solutions, announced it has been selected to participate as an innovative technology provider in the ‘Liquid biopsies and IMAging for improved cancer care’ (LIMA) project. The LIMA project has been awarded a EUR 6.3 million Horizon 2020 European Union research grant to develop an integrated approach for personalized cancer treatment.…

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Innovative approach

New “Swiss Army Knife” nanovaccine to battle tumors

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

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Combined techniques

Raising the bar higher in CRC imaging

Combining molecular information and high contrast resolution may well improve current performance in colorectal cancer (CRC) cases, according to Vicky Goh, who presented the latest results on PET/MRI during the last European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in Madrid PET/MRI brings the best of both modalities together: high contrast to noise and high spatial resolution combined with…

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Early detection

From detection to treatment response

Imaging is increasingly useful in detecting colorectal cancer (CRC) liver metastases and evaluating how these lesions respond to treatment. Dr Daniele Regge reviewed all the latest advances during last September’s Madrid meeting of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO)

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Meyenburg Award

A high distinction for a pioneer in liquid biopsy

Nitzan Rosenfeld from Cancer Research UK in Cambridge is being honored with the 2017 Meyenburg Award, which carries a €50,000 monetary prize. He receives the award for his excellent work on the detection of tumor DNA in the blood. Rosenfeld has made seminal contributions to advancing a method for detecting cancer DNA in the blood to applicability in cancer medicine. The Meyenburg-Award will be…

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Digital Pathology

Deep learning and AI progress

Early adoption of image analytical tools and artificial intelligence (AI) are crucial if health systems across Europe are to see the full potential of digital pathology, according to leading expert Professor Johan Lundin, Research Director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki. Although European institutions increasingly embrace digital pathology, he…

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Microtechnologies and automated systems

How emerging tech can help identify bacteria and antibiotic susceptibility

An SLAS Technology review article by Yiyan Li, Xing Yang and Weian Zhao of University of California, Irvine highlights and synthesizes representative emerging micro- and nanotechnologies, as well as automated systems for bacterial identification (ID) and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST), including both phenotypic and molecular methods and those at the point-of-care (POC) setting. Also…

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Study

Secrets of Ebola uncovered - in the heart of a devastating outbreak

In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified signatures of Ebola virus disease that may aid in future treatment efforts. Conducting a sweeping analysis of everything from enzymes to lipids to immune-system-associated molecules,…

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Direct from whole blood samples

LiDia demonstrates rapid and sensitive BSI identification

DNAe, the inventor of semiconductor-based genomic analysis technologies, and the developer of a new, game-changing test for bloodstream infections that can lead to sepsis announced new data on its test for bloodstream infections, LiDia BSI. The data demonstrates the ability of the LiDia BSI closed cartridge-based test to rapidly identify low levels of bacterial and fungal pathogens and resistance…

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Possible vaccine in sight

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

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

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Gene editing

CRISPR system embeds images in DNA

A research team in the United States has developed a revolutionary technique that has encoded an image and short film in living cells. Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) used CRISPR gene editing to encode the image and film in DNA, using this as a medium to store information and produce a code that relates to the individual…

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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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Neurotransmissions

Nanosensors uncloak the mysteries of brain chemistry

Nanosensors are incredible information-gathering tools for myriad applications, including molecular targets such as the brain. Neurotransmitter molecules govern brain function through chemistry found deep within the brain, so University of California, Berkeley researchers are developing nanosensors to gain a better understanding of exactly how this all plays out. During the AVS 64th…

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The AßC of diabetes

Smart artificial beta cells could lead to new diabetes treatment

Treating type 1 diabetes and some cases of type 2 diabetes has long required painful and frequent insulin injections or a mechanical insulin pump for insulin infusion. But researchers from the University of North Carolina and NC State have now developed what could be a much more patient-friendly option: artificial cells that automatically release insulin into the bloodstream when glucose levels…

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Protein quality control system

Cellular power outage

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

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Regeneration

Immune cells help rebuild damaged nerves

Immune cells are normally associated with fighting infection but in a new study, scientists have discovered how they also help the nervous system clear debris, making way for nerve regeneration after injury. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine showed certain immune cells—neutrophils—can clean up nerve debris,…

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Russian biotechnology

Biocad prepares to enter the European market

The Russian biotechnology company Biocad plans to enter the European market with oncological and autoimmune medicines. So far, there are seven molecules in the European portfolio of Biocad. The biosimilar products could be used in treatment of melanoma, breast, stomach, kidney and lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.

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Abbreviated MRI

Seeking a view through the dense breast

Despite rigorous quality assurance of breast cancer screening programs, ‘both, over- and under-diagnosis of breast cancer is a challenge,’ says leading radiologist Christiane K Kuhl, from the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, at the University of Aachen, Germany. ‘Mammography is a good screening test – but has its limitations especially, but not only, in women with…

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Cell activity

Individual receptors caught at work

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are among the "hottest” targets for the therapy of diseases such as hypertension, asthma or Parkinson's. These receptors are the site of action of many hormones and neurotransmitters and allow them to regulate the activity of our cells. How and where this happens has long been the subject of numerous hypotheses. An international team of scientists from…

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Research project

Can new molecular imaging technology guide prostate cancer surgery?

The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) announced that it has received funding from the Dutch Cancer Society to test whether a novel molecular imaging technology can guide prostate cancer surgery. The project will evaluate the imaging technology’s ability to detect prostate cancer during surgery, with the aim of performing more accurate removal of cancerous tissue. Prostate cancer is the most…

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Study

Relaxing proteins may prevent dysfunction and disease

For many years, we thought that all proteins must fold into complicated shapes to fulfill their functions, looking like thousands of sets of custom-tailored locks and keys. But over the past two decades, scientists have begun to realize other proteins—including those involved in many essential cellular functions—remain fully or partially unfolded for parts of their lives. Out of this…

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Intraoperative molecular imaging

Tumor dye makes cancerous lymph nodes glow during surgery

Surgeons at Penn Medicine are using a fluorescent dye that makes cancerous cells glow in hopes of identifying suspicious lymph nodes during head and neck cancer procedures. Led by Jason G. Newman, MD, FACS, an associate professor of Otorhinolaryngology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the study is the first in the world to look at the effectiveness of…

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Brain disease

Risks – and benefits – of the Alzheimer’s gene

Scientists drilling down to the molecular roots of Alzheimer’s disease have encountered a good news/bad news scenario. A major player is a gene called TREM2, mutations of which can substantially raise a person’s risk of the disease. The bad news is that in the early stages of the disease, high-risk TREM2 variants can hobble the immune system’s ability to protect the brain from amyloid beta,…

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Research network

40% of women with breast cancer live in Asia

The Breast International Group (BIG), an international not-for-profit organisation that represents the largest global network of academic research groups dedicated to finding cures for breast cancer, is welcoming three new members in East Asia: the Breast Disease Professional Committee of CMEA (BDPCC), China; the Korean Cancer Study Group (KCSG), South Korea; and the Thai Society of Clinical…

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Cell signals

Wound healing: more complex than you think

In a sharp and pointy world, wound healing is a critical and marvelous process. Despite a tremendous amount of scientific study, many outstanding mysteries still surround the way in which cells in living tissue respond to and repair physical damage. One prominent mystery is exactly how wound-healing is triggered: A better understanding of this process is essential for developing new and improved…

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Cardiac injury

Could this be the way to mend a broken heart?

Early research results suggest scientists might be on to a way to preserve heart function after heart attacks or for people with inherited heart defects called congenital cardiomyopathies. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in Nature Communications that after simulating heart injury in laboratory mouse models, they stopped or slowed cardiac fibrosis, organ…

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Recommendations

First European advice on deep vein thrombosis

The first comprehensive European advice on deep vein thrombosis is published in the current issue of European Heart Journal. The recommendations were produced by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Aorta and Peripheral Vascular Diseases and Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation and Right Ventricular Function.

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Handheld mass spectrometer

This pen may be mightier than cancer

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds—more than 150 times as fast as existing technology.

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Oncology

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

As cancer grows, it evolves. Individual cells become more aggressive and break away to flow through the body and spread to distant areas. What if there were a way to find those early aggressors? How are they different from the rest of the cells? And more importantly: Is there a way to stop them before they spread?

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Going digital

Time to speed up adoption of digital pathology

Early adoption of image analytical tools and artificial intelligence are crucial if health systems across Europe are to see the full potential of digital pathology, according to a leading expert. While a growing number of European institutions are beginning to embrace digital pathology, Professor Johan Lundin remains concerned about the slow pace of progress. He acknowledges that more…

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DNA fragments

Using barcodes to trace blood cell development

There are various concepts about how blood cells develop. However, they are based almost exclusively on experiments that solely reflect snapshots. In a publication in Nature, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg now present a novel technique that captures the process in a dynamic way.

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Sugar molecules

Sweet help for cancer detection

Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1. This could help to recognize tumors at an early stage and to combat them in a targeted manner.

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Mutated DNA in blood

Liquid biopsy detects tumour changes in real time

New findings from a scientific collaboration between the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the National Centre for Tumour Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg suggest liquid biopsy as a promising tool to monitor lung cancer patient tumours early. Scientists associated liquid biopsy readouts with clinical data and could track tumour responses to cancer drugs in real-time.

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Molecular mechanisms

The key to growing new arteries

Arteriogenesis is a critical event – not only during development but also in adult life. Many Cardiovascular life-threatening events could be overcome by inducing the formation of new arteries. A team of scientists led by Ralf Adams from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine has developed a genetic approach in mice to uncover molecular mechanisms of arterial growth.

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'Mito-riboscins'

Scientists stumble across new method of making antibiotics

Cancer researchers in the UK may have stumbled across a solution to reverse antibiotic drug resistance and stop infections like MRSA. Experts warn we are decades behind in the race against superbugs having already exploited naturally occurring antibiotics, with the creation of new ones requiring time, money and ingenuity. But a team of scientists at the University of Salford say they may have…

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Biomarker validation

Plodding toward a pancreatic cancer screening test

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of malignancies, with a 5-year survival rate after late diagnosis of only about 5%. The majority of patients—about 80%—receive their diagnosis too late for surgery. The disease spreads quickly and resists chemotherapy. In short, there is an urgent need for diagnostic tools to identify this cancer in its earliest stages.

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Oncotype

Updated breast cancer guidelines reinforce genomic testing

Genomic Health announced that the 15th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference Expert Panel endorsed the use of genomic tests in early-stage breast cancer and recognised the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test for its prognostic ability as well as its value in guiding treatment decisions on adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with early-stage, endocrine sensitive, invasive breast…

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It's dangerous to go alone

Why social isolation can bring a greater risk of illness

Social isolation has been linked to a wide range of health problems, as well as a shorter lifespan in humans and other animals. In fact, during a U.S. Senate hearing on aging issues this spring, a representative for the Gerontological Society of America urged lawmakers to support programs that help older adults stay connected to their communities, stating that social isolation is a “silent…

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Understanding procedures

Researchers create ‘Rosetta Stone’ to decode immune recognition

Scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed an algorithm that functions like a Rosetta Stone to help decipher how the immune system recognizes and binds antigens. The research should aid development of more personalized cancer immunotherapy and advance diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

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CRISPR-Cpf1

Firefly gene illuminates ability to edit human genome

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

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Harmonising practices

IFCC structure heralds a new era for lab medicine

A new drive to increase the clinical effectiveness of laboratory medicine and take the discipline into a new era is being launched. Coupled with steps to harmonise laboratory medicine services across Europe, a move to make lab medicine more clinically effective is being spearheaded by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). The latest position were…

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Hybrid imaging

Siemens Healthineers debuts Symbia Intevo Bold SPECT/CT

At the 2017 annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), June 10-14 at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center, Siemens Healthineers debuts Symbia Intevo Bold, a system that combines the company’s proven single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) technologies with new, high-performance CT capabilities to enable a wide range of clinical applications.

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Strategic cooperation

SpeeDx and Cepheid announce partnership on European distribution

SpeeDx Pty, Ltd. announced an agreement with Cepheid for distribution of its PlexPCRTM and ResistancePlusTM molecular diagnostic products in key markets throughout Europe. The agreement, covering Germany, France, Italy, and the UK, will increase coverage for the market-leading ResistancePlus MG test, the first CE-IVD test for Mycoplasma genitalium to combine detection with testing for…

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Cancer development

Tumor induction from a distance

Current view is that cancer development is initiated from cells that acquire initial DNA mutations. These in turn provoke additional defects, and ultimately the affected cells begin to proliferate in an uncontrolled manner to develop primary tumors. These can later spread and create metastases, or secondary tumors, in other parts of the body. However, according to a study by researchers at the…

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Animal testing

Scientists identify protein linked to chronic heart failure

Researchers in Japan have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure. The study, “Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 exacerbates chronic cardiac dysfunction” suggests that inhibiting this protein could help treat a disease that affects more than 20 million people worldwide.

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Light microscopy

An image is worth a thousand words

Light microscopy today offers a wealth of techniques that provide fascinating insights into life on subcellular level. “In light microscopy these days there are so many new techniques that each of us can only handle a subset of them,” says Christian Tischer, scientific officer in der Advanced Light Microscopy Facility of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany,…

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Biomarkers

Aiming for the earliest diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

For almost three quarters of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in Europe it is too late for curative treatment because the disease is often only diagnosed at a very advanced stage. Interviewed Professor Guido Gerken MD, Director of the Department for Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University Hospital Essen, about improved and timelier diagnostic capabilities that have already been…

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E-learning

Continuous education in healthcare is key

CEOs are getting increasingly concerned about the availability of key skills. While other key concerns such as over-regulation are mainly external factors that can’t be influenced, the availability of key skills can be proactively addressed. With the online learning experience PEPconnect from Siemens Healthineers, clinical institutions can offer each staff member continuous training. What’s…

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Ophthalmology

Potential predictor of glaucoma damage identified

Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, most often is diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Over time, elevated pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. Unfortunately, there’s no way to accurately predict which patients might lose vision most rapidly. Now, studying mice, rats and fluid removed from the eyes of patients with glaucoma, researchers at…

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Microdevices

A miniscule robot could assist in minimally invasive surgeries

A tiny robot that gets into the human body through the simple medical injection and, passing healthy organs, finds and treats directly the goal – a non-operable tumor… Doesn’t it sound at least like science-fiction? To make it real, a growing number of researchers are now working towards this direction with the prospect of transforming many aspects of healthcare and bioengineering in the…

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Infection control

Global warming: Science can only react to emerging diseases

The ‘Transmission, Prevention, and Reporting of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ program for the International Conference IMED 2016 in Vienna, this November, reflected events in the field of emerging diseases that have occurred over the last two years. Therefore, key congress topics included the Zika virus, the effects of global warming and the unusually high number of hospital-acquired…

Laboratory

Partnership for molecular diagnostic test

SpeeDx Pty. Ltd., a developer of innovative molecular diagnostic solutions, has signed an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. The announcement was made at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID) in Vienna to submit its ResistancePlus MG Test for the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium to the US Food & Drug…

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e-learning

Boost your learning experience with PEPconnect

The healthcare industry is a competitive environment and clinical institutions have to deliver an ever higher quality of care. Keeping up with trainings and certifications is thus of utmost importance. The online learning platform PEPconnect from Siemens Healthineers enables caregivers to conveniently access continuous education and performance support anytime and anywhere. At the same time, it…

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Infections

Start of advanced genetic antibiotic resistance testing

Curetis, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced that the Company has established Ares Genetics GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Curetis GmbH. Ares Genetics builds on GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility Database and associated assets recently acquired for Siemens. The Company will use GEAR to investigate the genetic foundations of antibiotic…