Search for: "protein" - 1000 articles found

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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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Patient response testing

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

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

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Prevention of toxic DNA lesions

Promising mechanism to stop Huntington's progression

A new mechanism that stops the progression of Huntington’s disease in cells has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL), as part of their research groups at the UK Dementia Research Institute. Researchers say the breakthrough study, published in Cell Reports, could lead to much needed therapies for the rare genetic disease, which is…

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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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Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

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

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Brain cancer research

Researchers 3D-print entire active tumor

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have 3D-printed a first-of-its-kind glioblastoma tumor that mimics a living cancer malignancy, powering new methods to improve treatment and accelerate the development of new drugs for the most lethal type of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is notoriously fatal as it accounts for the majority of brain tumors and is highly aggressive. The average survival time of…

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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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Stockholm3 test to reduce MRI

New blood test to improve prostate cancer screening

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet recently reported that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could reduce overdiagnoses and thereby improve prostate cancer screening. Now, the same research group has published a study in The Lancet Oncology, which shows that the addition of a novel blood test, the Stockholm3 test, can reduce the number of MRIs performed by a third while further preventing the…

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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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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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Early diagnosis proteins

Study identifies 15 new biomarkers for pre­-dementia

A study by an international research group identified 15 novel biomarkers that are linked to late-onset dementias. These biomarkers are proteins, which predict cognitive decline and subsequent increased risk of dementia already 20 years before the disease onset. The proteins are related to immune system dysfunction, blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, vascular pathologies, and central insulin…

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Coronavirus protein and antibody detection

Bioluminescence lights up traces of Covid-19 in the blood

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

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Immune response determined

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

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

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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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MSI tumors

Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer shows promise

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have for the first time been able to delay the development of hereditary colorectal cancer with a protective vaccination. Mice with a hereditary predisposition to colorectal cancer survived significantly longer after vaccination than unvaccinated animals. Combining the vaccination with an anti-inflammatory drug…

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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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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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Leading cause for blindness

Breakthrough in research on age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries affecting seven million in total in Germany, from which 500,000 people are suffering from late stage disease, around half of whom are registered as visually impaired. There are two forms of AMD, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. There are currently no treatments available for the dry form of the disease…

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Tumour development research

New bladder cancer model could lead to better treatment

Uppsala University scientists have designed a new mouse model that facilitates study of factors contributing to the progression of human bladder cancer and of immune-system activation when the tumour is growing. Using this model, they have been able to study how proteins change before, while and after a tumour develops in the bladder wall. The study has now been published in the scientific…

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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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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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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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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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Promising protein "MARK4"

Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure

Switching off a heart muscle protein could provide a new way for drugs to combat heart failure in people who’ve had a heart attack, according to research led by the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Nature. There is an unmet need to find drugs that can successfully improve the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently after it’s been damaged following a heart attack.…

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Battle for the brain

New Alzheimer's treatment approach targets tau

A new idea for treating Alzheimer’s disease could eradicate the toxic proteins most closely linked to cognitive decline in the places where they do the most damage, a study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons suggests. The study was published online in Science Translational Medicine.

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Neuroscience

Potential new approach for epilepsy control

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have identified a potential new approach to better controlling epilepsy. Lin Mei, professor and chair of the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, who led the new study in mouse models, said the team found a new chemical reaction that could help control epileptic seizures.

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Coronavirus disease biomarkers

New Covid-19 testing method gives results within one second

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

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Coronavirus diagnostics

Rapid Covid-19 test delivers results within 4 minutes with 90 percent accuracy

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides Covid-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0 (Real-time Accurate Portable Impedimetric Detection prototype 1.0). Compared to existing methods for Covid-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and…

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Hydrogel wound covering

New material to protect against antibiotic resistant bacteria

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The new material offers great hope for combating a growing global problem.​ ​The World Health Organization describes antibiotic-resistant bacteria as one of…

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SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

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

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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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Headache

Chronic migraine: potential novel treatment discovered

By discovering a potential new cellular mechanism for migraines, researchers may have also found a new way to treat chronic migraine. Amynah Pradhan, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago, is the senior author of the study, whose goal was to identify a new mechanism of chronic migraine, and propose a cellular pathway for migraine therapies. The study, “Neuronal…

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Medication testing

'Airway-on-a-chip' to find new Covid-19 drugs

A collaboration spanning four research labs and hundreds of miles has used the organ-on-a-chip (Organ Chip) technology from the Wyss institute at Harvard Univesity to identify the antimalarial drug amodiaquine as a potent inhibitor of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The Organ Chip-based drug testing ecosystem established by the collaboration greatly streamlines the…

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Tau pathology in the brain

Defining the 4 subtypes of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the abnormal accumulation and spread of the tau protein in the brain. An international study can now show how tau spreads according to four distinct patterns that lead to different symptoms with different prognoses of the affected individuals. The study was published in Nature Medicine.

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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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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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More targeted treatment

AI could improve outcomes for bowel cancer patients

A test which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to measure proteins present in some patients with advanced bowel cancer could hold the key to more targeted treatment, according to new research. A team at the University of Leeds collaborated with researchers at Roche Diagnostics to develop the technique, which will help doctors and patients to decide on the best treatment options.

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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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Stopping the spread

Research sheds new light on pancreatic cancer metastasis

With an overall survival rate of 9% for those diagnosed, pancreatic cancer remains exceedingly difficult to treat. However, the patient's primary tumor typically isn't what leads to death - it is the cancer's ability to evade detection and metastasize to other organs. A team of researchers at the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma has published a new study in the journal…

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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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M.O. of Darobactin unveiled

Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry

An increasing number of bacterial pathogens are resistant to antibiotics. And the most dangerous pathogens share a common feature: a double membrane that is difficult to penetrate. Even when antibiotic agents are able to break into this shell, the bacteria just pump them right out again. But a recently discovered compound called Darobactin manages to circumvent these protective measures and kill…

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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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After overcoming a Corona infection

Covid-19: Study on long-term antibody protection

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

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Reverse genetics system

SARS-CoV-2: An easier and quicker way to analyse mutations

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have…

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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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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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Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

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

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Immunoassays

Genrui – PA120

Highlights:Trustable at its accuracy: PA120 is an auto specific protein analyzer with high efficiency and accuracy. Based on proven nephelometry, PA120 has great performance. Also, the large touch screen, one-press operation and multi-item combinations will offer you a fast and convenient testing experience.Currently following tests are available: HbA1c, FDP, D-Dimer, NGAL, RBP, ß2-MG,…

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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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SARS-CoV-2 detection and sequencing

'Nirvana': Fast, portable test diagnoses Covid-19, tracks variants

Clinicians using a new viral screening test can not only diagnose Covid-19 in a matter of minutes with a portable, pocket-sized machine, but can also simultaneously test for other viruses—like influenza—that might be mistaken for the coronavirus. At the same time, they can sequence the virus, providing valuable information on the spread of Covid-19 mutations and variants. The new test, dubbed…

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Biochemistry

Potential trigger of Crohn’s disease found

Potentially game-changing research led by McMaster University scientists may finally bring relief to millions of people worldwide living with Crohn’s disease. Investigator Brian Coombes said his team identified a strain of adherent-invasive E-coli (AIEC) that is strongly implicated in the condition and is often found in the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease. “If you examine the gut…

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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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Post-hospitalisation

New study reveals impact of 'Long Covid'

Recovery duration, co-morbidities, mortality, risk groups: A large study across multiple UK centres reports in detail on prospectively assessed outcomes of Covid-19, the so called 'Long Covid'. We spoke with two of the study's co-investigators about why so many patients are still affected after a coronavirus infection.

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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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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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Mass spectrometry

"Protein fingerprint" rapidly identifies Covid-19 biomarkers

Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Francis Crick Institute have developed a mass spectrometry-based technique capable of measuring samples containing thousands of proteins within just a few minutes. It is faster and cheaper than a conventional blood count. To demonstrate the technique’s potential, the researchers used blood plasma collected from Covid-19 patients.…

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Neurodegeneration research

Alzheimer's: Faster accumulation of tau protein in women's brains

Alzheimer’s disease seems to progress faster in women than in men. The protein tau accumulates at a higher rate in women, according to research from Lund University in Sweden. The study was recently published in Brain. Over 30 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, making it the most common form of dementia. Tau and beta-amyloid are two proteins known to aggregate and…

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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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Venous cannula system

New circulation implant to bridge the waiting time for donor heart

With the first-in-man implantation of the Berlin Heart Venous Cannula at the LMU University Hospital Munich, Germany, Berlin Heart offers patients with a failing Fontan circulation a unique chance to survive the waiting time for a donor heart. These patients are in a life-threatening condition: their health has deteriorated so much that they desperately need a new heart, but because of their poor…

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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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Airborne attack

Pollen increase Covid-19 risk

When airborne pollen levels are higher, increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates can be observed. These results were determined by a large-scale study conducted by an international team headed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Members of high-risk groups could protect themselves by watching pollen forecasts and wearing dust filter masks.

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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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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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Cardiology research

How hypertension leads to atherosclerosis

Research scientists at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have investigated the mechanisms by which hypertension leads to arterial damage and atherosclerosis. The results may facilitate the development of new therapies. Hypertension is a prevalent condition affecting approximately one third of all adults. It is also the leading global cause of morbidity and mortality. The condition…

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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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Peptide research

A 'fake handshake' to trick the coronavirus

Scientists have developed peptides that fit snugly into a groove on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that it would normally use to access a host cell. These protein fragments effectively trick the virus into “shaking hands” with a replica rather than with the actual protein on a cell’s surface that lets the virus in. revious research has determined that the novel coronavirus binds to a receptor…

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Experimental therapy

CRP apheresis: First successful treatment of Covid-19 patient

Apheresis, a procedure that separates removes particular blood constituents, has so far been primarily used with myocardial infarction patients. Now, however, it seems to be a promising approach for Covid-19 cases: the first patient successfully underwent so-called CRP apheresis. The treatment does not target the virus but can prevent potentially fatal consequences of the infection.

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at least a month after discharge, according to new findings published in the European Heart Journal. Damage includes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or…

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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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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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Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

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

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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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Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

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

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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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New regeneration method

Healing skeletal injuries with synthetic bone

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues in Dresden, Germany, have developed a way of combining a bone substitute and drugs to regenerate bone and heal severe fractures in the thigh or shin bone. The study, published in the research journal Science Advances, was conducted on rats, but the researchers think that the method in various combinations will soon be…

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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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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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Digital pathology

An exciting new era for tissue microarrays

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

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'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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Detection of traumatic brain injury (TBI)

First rapid handheld blood test for concussions receives FDA clearance

Abbott has received 510(k) clearance for the first rapid handheld traumatic brain injury (TBI) blood test, which will help clinicians assess individuals with suspected mild TBIs, including concussions. The test will run on Abbott's handheld i-STAT Alinity platform. Tests results are available within 15 minutes after plasma is placed in the test cartridge. TBIs, including concussions, are an…

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Lasts longer, causes more damage

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

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

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Virion recreated

First computational model of entire SARS-CoV-2 virus

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

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Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

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

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Influence of gut bacteria

How our gut microbiome affects Covid-19 severity

The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of Covid-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests research published online in the journal Gut. Imbalances in the make-up of the microbiome may also be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms, dubbed ‘long Covid’, the findings suggest. Covid-19…

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Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

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

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Cancer research

Exploring the benefits of anticoagulants against brain metastases

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

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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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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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Getting into shape

'Prehabilitation' to aid recovery after surgery for older patients

Older adults about to undergo elective surgery should undertake a sustained programme of targeted exercise beforehand to counteract the muscle-wasting effects of bedrest, new research suggests. A study published by researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences showed that short term ‘prehabilitation’ strength exercises, undertaken…

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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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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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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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Enhanced therapeutic delivery

Focused ultrasound shows promise for Alzheimer's treatment support

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

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Cardiac complications

Immunotherapy drugs can lead to higher risk of heart problems

A study of over a thousand cancer patients treated with immunotherapy drugs has found these patients are at greater risk of heart problems, including death from heart attack or stroke. The patients had either lung cancer or malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer), for which immune checkpoint inhibitors such as a programmed cell death-1 (PD1) inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated…

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Resistance pulse

New study reveals how melanoma cells survive targeted therapies

In recent years, targeted therapies have cemented their place as some of the most important tools in cancer treatment. These medicines are designed to block specific signals that tumor cells use to grow and spread, while at the same time leaving normal cells unharmed. Targeted therapies can significantly extend patients’ lives, but the benefits are often only temporary. Over time, many cancers…

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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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Coronavirus imaging

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

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

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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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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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Intratumoral B cells

Another side to cancer immunotherapy?

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

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Experts: The reliance on others must stop

Covid pandemic underlines need for change in EU blood acquisition

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) welcomes the European Commission’s publication of the Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) as a necessary step in the ongoing evaluation of the EU legislation on blood, tissues, and cells (BTC). Rightfully, the assessment underlines the need for timely action to decrease Europe’s reliance on third countries for plasma. The PPTA appeals to…

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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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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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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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Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

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

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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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Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Highlights:As the trend towards decreasing sample volumes continues, it is increasingly important to minimize potential interaction between the analyte and tube.Our low protein and new low DNA binding micro tubes are specifically designed to meet the requirements in protein and DNA analytics while maximizing recovery rates.

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Urinalysis

Siemens Healthineers – Atellica 1500 Automated Urinalysis System

Sample Throughput: 106 – 240 samples /hAssays:Bilirubin, Clarity, Color, Glucose, Ketone, Leukocyte esterase, Nitrite, Occult blood, pH, Protein, Specific gravity, Urobilinogen, ­Albumin, Albumin-to-creatinine ratio, ­Creatinine, Protein-to-creatinine ratioDimensions: 1,260 × 625 × 680 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 114 kgHighlights:Combining the Clinitek Novus…

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Urinalysis

Siemens Healthineers – Clinitek Status Connect System

Assays: Albumin, Bilirubin, Creatinine, Glucose, Ketone, Leukocytes, Nitrite, pH, Protein, ­Specific gravity, Urobilinogen, Albumin-to-creatinine, hCGDimensions: 171 × 185 × 272 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 2.3 kgHighlights:The Clinitek Status Connect System provides flexible connectivity solutions, data integration, and operational control to improve risk…

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Plasma Protein Testing

Siemens Healthineers – Atellica NEPH 630 System

Sample throughput:Effective: Approx. 65 tests / hdepending on the assay mixNominal: 100 tests / hAssays: More than 60 programmed assay protocolsWeight: Analyzer: 115 kgHighlights:The Atellica NEPH 630 System is a mid-volume dedicated nephelometric analyzer that simplifies lab operations in specialty protein testing.Innovative assays including free light chains (FLC), carbohydrate-deficient…

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Plasma Protein Testing

Siemens Healthineers – BN II System

Sample throughput:Effective: Approx. 130 tests / hdepending on the assay mixNominal: 225 tests / hAssays: More than 60 programmed assay protocolsWeight: Analyzer: 150 kgHighlights:The BN II System is an easy-to-use, reliable nephelometric analyzer that offers a broad range of protein assays.Connectivity options to Aptio Automation and FlexLab Automation solutionsFully automated assay processing:…

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Cancer research

New therapeutic approach against leukemia

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

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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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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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Infection with Covid-19

The antiviral effect of innate immunity

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

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New insights on the virus' ‘survivability’

How long does SARS-CoV-2 last on surfaces?

Researchers at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can survive for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes, glass – such as that found on mobile phone screens - and stainless steel.

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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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Using artificial lungs

How COVID-19 causes blood clots

Scientists at EPFL are using technology to better understand how coronavirus causes blood clots in some patients. They have developed a simplified model of a lung that lets them observe, for the first time, how the virus attacks the cells lining blood vessels.

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For breakthroughs against Hepatitis C

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

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

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Trajectory browser

New tool shows main highways of disease development

As people get older they often jump from disease to disease and carry the burden of more chronic diseases at once. But is there a system in the way diseases follow each other? Danish researchers have for the past six years developed a comprehensive tool, the Danish Disease Trajectory Browser, that utilizes 25 years of public health data from Danish patients to explore what they call the main…

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Fending off the coronavirus

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

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

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Cell coordination explored

Why wound-healing comes in waves

How do cells in our bodies ask for directions? Without any maps to guide them, they still know where to go to heal wounds and renew our bodies. Edouard Hannezo and his group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) together with Tsuyoshi Hirashima and his group at Kyoto University just published a new study in Nature Physics that shows how mechanical and chemical waves…

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Lipids, lysosomes, and autophagy

Researchers find the keys to preventing kidney injury

Human cells need to work like well-oiled machines to keep our bodies running as they should. Waste products such as misfolded proteins, damaged cellular components, and carbohydrates get in the way and must be quickly disposed of. Dealing with this cellular “trash” are spherical, membrane-bound organelles called lysosomes filled with a mixture of potent enzymes. In a process called autophagy,…

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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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Basis for a passive vaccination

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

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

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Overheard at AAIC 2020

Exciting Alzheimer's findings: ’flu vaccines and P-tau217

More than 32,000 people from over 160 countries registered for The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2020) in July. This largest and most influential international conference on dementia science had to be held virtually this year, when important highlights were aired. The ability to identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), or at early…

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Origins of the disease(s) explained

Parkinson's: not one, but two diseases?

Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinson's disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines. Which explains why patients with Parkinson’s describe widely differing symptoms, and points towards personalised medicine as the way forward for people with Parkinson's disease. This is the conclusion of a study which has just been published in the leading…

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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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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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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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Muscle dystrophy

Duchenne: "Crosstalk" between muscle and spleen

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common muscle disease in children and is passed on by X-linked recessive inheritance. Characteristic is a progressive muscular atrophy. The disease often results in death before the third decade of life. Researchers of the Universities of Maynooth (Ireland) and Bonn have found a connection between dystrophic muscles and the lymphatic system in mice…

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After coronavirus infection

Study reveals why people with COVID-19 may lose their sense of smell

Researchers studying tissue removed from patients noses during surgery believe they may have discovered the reason why so many people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell, even when they have no other symptoms. In their experiments they found extremely high levels of angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE-2) only in the area of the nose responsible for smelling. This Enzyme is thought to be the…

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Sterilising with VHP, EO or HPGP

Sterilisation study puts cleansing methods to the test

A new study from the USA highlights how low temperature sterilisation can jeopardise effective cleansing of medical tools and lead to transmission of dangerous bacteria to patients. Steam sterilisation was shown to be the most effective and robust sterilisation technology. However, the researchers, working at the University of North Carolina, also showed that vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP)…

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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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Surgical material research

Patching skull injuries with eggshells

A bioactive polymer-ceramic composite for fixing implants and restoring bone defects in the skull was developed by an international group of materials scientists from the Russian National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS Center for Composite Materials. An innovative composition of the material based on eggshell-derived bioceramic provides increased strength and biointegration of…

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Antibacterial cellulose

A wound dressing that kills bacteria

In order to combat bacterial wound infections, Empa researchers have developed cellulose membranes equipped with antimicrobial peptides. Initial results show: The skin-friendly membranes made of plant-based materials kill bacteria very efficiently. If germs invade a wound, they can trigger a long-lasting infection that may fail to heal or even spread throughout the body, leading to…

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Re-evaluation of the coronavirus disease

COVID-19: A tale of two conditions

The SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 may have been named prematurely. As more has become known about the infection, the severe disease does not appear to be a respiratory syndrome at all. Patients who only have a respiratory illness tend not to have a severe condition, while patients who develop a severe condition tend to have non-respiratory conditions, primarily thrombotic or hyper-immune…

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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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Imaging informatics meeting

SIIM 2020: Glancing back at 40 years and ahead to the future

40 years ago, anticipating the huge impact of computers in radiology, a group of visionaries formed the Radiology Information System Consortium (RISC). In 1989, RISC created the Society for Computer Applications (SCAR) to promote computer applications in digital imaging. Those organisations became the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). At SIIM 2020, a virtual meeting, experts…

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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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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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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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Triple-negative breast cancer

Target validation for drug development against aggressive breast cancer

At around 30.5 percent, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in countries of the industrialized world. The number of cases has doubled since the 1980s: about 69,000 times a year women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. As important receptors are missing here, treatment options and prognosis for such…

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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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Cross-presenting dendritic cells

How breast cancer sneaks past local immune defenses

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Associate Professor Mikala Egeblad and her colleagues describe a newly understood way by which breast cancer cells sabotage a key player in the body’s immune system. That key player provides local immune surveillance by activating killer T-cells, but if it cannot mature and do its job, breast cancer cells can escape detection from the immune system,…

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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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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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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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Blocking coronavirus entry portals

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

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

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Dracula debunked

The medical science behind ancient vampire myths

The vampire myth is likely related to a medical condition with symptoms that may explain many elements of centuries-old folklore. The concept of a vampire predates Bram Stoker’s tales of Count Dracula — probably by several centuries. But did vampires ever really exist? In 1819, 80 years before the publication of Dracula, John Polidori, an Anglo-Italian physician, published a novel called The…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

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

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

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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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Rebuttal

EDQM responses to concern on its Blood Guide

On May, 29th 2020, European Hospital published a press release from the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA). In that release, the PPTA expressed their concerns about the recommendations contained in the 20th version of Blood Guide of The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM). Read here the EDQM’s rebuttal letter to the PPTA.

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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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BTK inhibitor vs. respiratory distress

Off-label cancer drug shows promise against severe COVID-19

Early data from a clinical study suggest that blocking the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) protein provided clinical benefit to a small group of patients with severe COVID-19. Researchers observed that the off-label use of the cancer drug acalabrutinib, a BTK inhibitor that is approved to treat several blood cancers, was associated with reduced respiratory distress and a reduction in the overactive…

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Increased risk for severe infections

Up in smoke: Smoking increases SARS-CoV-2 receptors in the lung

New research suggests that cigarette smoke spurs the lungs to make more ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), the protein that the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 grabs and uses to enter human cells. The findings, reported in the journal Developmental Cell, may explain why smokers appear to be particularly vulnerable to severe infections. The analysis also indicates that the change is…

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Antithrombotic approach

A new way to detect blood clots

Biomedical engineering researchers at Texas A&M University designed a medical device that mimics blood vessels to design and monitor drugs for patients with clotting disorders. This approach could be especially beneficial for pediatric patients. Unlike what a biology textbook may show, blood vessels are not straight cylinders. They are tortuous, meaning they have complex curves, spirals and…

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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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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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Experts express concerns

EDQM Blood Guide could make Europe more dependent on US plasma

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is concerned about the recommendations contained in 20th version of Blood Guide of The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) which aims to harmonise standards and recommendations on blood collection, preparation, and the use of blood and blood components. This Guide, if applied, will have a negative impact on the availability…

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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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Hemolysis monitoring

Measuring blood damage in real-time

Scientists at the University of Delaware and Princeton University have developed a method to monitor blood damage in real-time. “Our goal was to find a method that could detect red blood cell damage without the need for lab sample testing,” said Tyler Van Buren, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with expertise in fluid dynamics. The researchers recently reported their technique…

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HNSCC diagnostics

Head and neck cancer: Novel prognostic biomarker could double survival

A recent study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) discovered a novel genetic biomarker which can predict the survival of head and neck cancer patients. There are over 0.7 million new head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cases globally each year. However, currently there is no clinical implementation of any genetic biomarker to…

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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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Coronavirus disease symptom

Exploring why COVID-19 makes people lose their sense of smell

Doctors have reported that partial or total loss of the sense of smell is often an early symptom of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in mice, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry are produced by cells of the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection.

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Nephritis as a marker

Kidney an early warning sign for severe COVID-19 cases

A course of action to early detect and treat severe courses of COVID-19 infections has been developed by an expert-team of the University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG). A simple urine test is intended to help medical professionals to recognize warning signs of future decompensation of COVID-19 infections earlier. With the help of a few parameters, the treatment of imminent complications can…

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Programmed cell death

Cellular mechanism protecting against cancer

Susanne Hellmuth and Olaf Stemmann from the Chair of Genetics at the University of Bayreuth have discovered a natural protective mechanism that leads to the programmed death of potentially diseased cells.

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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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Coronavirus analysis

AI-generated design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines published

NEC Corporation announced analysis results from efforts using AI prediction platforms to design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that can drive potent T-cell responses in the majority of the global population. This initiative by the scientific teams within the NEC Group to help combat outbreaks of COVID-19 and support international vaccine development efforts is led by NEC OncoImmunity (NOI) in…

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

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

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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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Depression medication

New research may lead to more effective antidepressants

Depression is a common psychiatric disorder and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Antidepressants are the first-line treatment for moderate to severe major depressive episodes. Despite their effectiveness, only 40% of patients respond to the first antidepressant they try. A recent paper in Nature Communication strongly suggests that a particular protein, GPR56, is involved in the…

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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

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

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Cutting the energy supply

Disrupting cellular pH balance blocks pancreatic cancer

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have found a new way to kill pancreatic cancer cells by disrupting their pH equilibrium. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, reports how depleting an ion transport protein lowers the pH to a point that compromises pancreatic cancer cell growth. Pancreatic cancer cells—like all cancer cells—have a constant need for energy to support their growth and…

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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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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

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

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New sensor tech

A more reliable way to early detect lung tumours

People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false positives, as it also picks up benign nodules in the lungs. Researchers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have now developed a new approach to early…

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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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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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Microbiological big data analysis

Building a 'Microbiome Search Engine'

Big data makes big promises when it comes to providing insights into human behavior and health. The problem is how to harness the information it provides in an efficient manner. An international team of researchers has proposed a microbiome search-based method, via Microbiome Search Engine (MSE), to analyze the wealth of available health data to detect and diagnose human diseases. They published…

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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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Susceptibility to future drugs

Exploiting the carelessness of cancer cells

Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumours? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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IGF-1

Breast cancer: Growth hormone identified as probable cause

A growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is likely to play a role in the development of breast cancer, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology. IGF-1 is already known to encourage the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Now, two analyses of information from several hundred thousand women enrolled in the UK Biobank study have…

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Surprising discovery

Fatty liver disease can also affect lean people

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mostly diagnosed in overweight and obese people. However, severe forms of NAFLD can also be detected in rare genetic diseases such as lipodystrophy or in patients with HIV, putting them at a high risk for developing liver failure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Norbert Stefan and colleagues have now detected a yet unknown cause of NAFLD in lean…

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After the denoidectomy

Using tonsils as an 'immune testbed'

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

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Intestinal distress

Celiac disease: 'Reprogramming' the immune system to tolerate gluten

Celiac disease affects 0.3-2.4% of people in most countries world-wide, and approx. 2% in Finland. Celiac patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, typically intestinal complaints, such as diarrhea, but are often symptom-free. Immunologist Tobias Freitag co-developed and tested nanoparticles containing gliadin for the immunomodulatory treatment of celiac disease in Professor Seppo Meri’s…

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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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Pilot clinical trial

China to test targeted therapy for COVID-19

A University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher is part of an international team working with a biotechnology company on a pilot clinical trial of a potential new treatment for patients with severe coronavirus infections in China. Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute and Canada 150 Chair in Functional Genetics, is working closely with Vienna-based Apeiron Biologics…

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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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Promising treatment target

"Partner-in-crime" of colorectal cancer discovered

A protein that helps colorectal cancer cells spread to other parts of the body could be an effective treatment target, researchers from Hokkaido University discovered. Colorectal cancer patients with an immune system-regulating protein called interleukin 6 (IL-6) are more likely to have recurring tumors that can also spread to the liver, according to research published in the journal Cancer…

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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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Triple-negative forms impeded

Scientists stop breast cancer cells from spreading in the lab

Biologists have discovered a way to stop cells from one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer spreading in the lab. The study points towards new avenues of research to combat the devastating disease. The results of the study of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer by the team from the Universities of Manchester, Glasgow and Sheffield and funded by Breast Cancer Now are published in Oncogene.…

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Contrast & new biomarker

Detecting early-stage cancer with targeted MRI

A new method to detect cancer in its early stages using a targeted MRI contrast agent that binds to proteins has been identified by a team of researchers led by Georgia State University Regents’ Professor Jenny Yang. In their study, published in the journal Science Advances, Yang and her colleagues at Georgia State and Emory University describe a newly identified biomarker for detection of…

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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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Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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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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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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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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Finding treatment for Parkinson's disease

Synthetic neurons could take brain research to the next level

The body can recover from many things, but the damage caused by Parkinson’s disease isn’t one of them. No cure exists for Parkinson’s, which 1 million people in the U.S. are expected to be living with by 2020. But an outright cure isn’t the primary objective of research by Chongli Yuan, a Purdue University chemical engineering professor and leader of Purdue’s section of a…

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Mass spec & proteomics

Tackling diabetes prevention from a different angle

A protein newly identified as important in type 1 diabetes can delay onset of the disease in diabetic mice, providing a new target for prevention and treatment in people, according to research led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Indiana University School of Medicine. Because type 1 diabetes is incurable and has serious lifelong health…

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Dementia diagnostics

Lack of sleep might throw off Alzheimer’s test

A preliminary study has found that when young, healthy men were deprived of just one night of sleep, they had higher levels of tau, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, in their blood than when they had a full, uninterrupted night of rest. The study is published in the January 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tau is a protein found in…

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Gastric squamous-columnar junction cancer

The role of stem cells in deadly gastric SCJ cancer

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

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Big data vs. neuroblastoma

Smart algorithm finds possible treatment for childhood cancer

Using a computer algorithm, scientists at Uppsala University have identified a promising new treatment for neuroblastoma. This form of cancer in children, which occurs in specialised nerve cells in the sympathetic nervous system, may be life-threatening. In the long term the discovery, described in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications, may result in a new form of…

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Significant improvement in cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation

Surgical robots must also be hygienic

Modern healthcare without hand hygiene? Inconceivable – particularly in the operating room (OR). But what happens when it is not the surgeon who handles the scalpel, but a robot? Robotic surgery, just like surgery performed by humans, always carries a risk of microbial transmission to the patient, says Professor Johannes K-M Knobloch of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). A specialist…

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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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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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Detailed map of immune cells

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

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

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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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Chronobiology in colour

Will blue light ruin your sleep? Not necessarily

Contrary to common belief, blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought – according to University of Manchester scientists. According to the team, using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial to our health. Twilight is both dimmer and bluer than daylight, they say, and the body clock uses both of those…

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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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Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

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

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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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Personalised prevention

‘Liquid health check’ could predict disease risk

Proteins in our blood could in future help provide a comprehensive ‘liquid health check’, assessing our health and predicting the likelihood that we will we will develop a range of diseases. Preventative medicine programmes such as the UK National Health Service’s Health Check and Healthier You programmes are aimed at improving our health and reducing our risk of developing diseases. While…

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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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Promising lab tests

Using photoacoustics for breast imaging

A new, portable breast imaging system under development in Buffalo has the potential to better identify breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. That is among the findings of a study published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. The study was led by University at Buffalo researchers in collaboration with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Windsong…

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Malignant infantile brain tumours

​Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development

Medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. A specific mTOR inhibitor has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier to both reach and attack the tumour at source. This has been demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University, in collaboration with US and UK colleagues, whose research has now been published in…

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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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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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Presented at the NCRI cancer conference

Simple blood test for early detection of breast cancer

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

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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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Positive findings in PD-1 inhibitor immunotherapy

Hope increases for HIV cancer patients

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

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Cancerous construction

Blocking the path of cancer ‘super-highways’

A key mechanism controlling tissue structure, which could help identify drugs that make it harder for cancer cells to spread, has been identified by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute. The two studies, published in Nature Materials and PLOS Computational Biology, explain the mechanism that causes changes in the structure of tissues. Using experimental and computational biology, the…

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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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Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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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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Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

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

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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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Tiny biomaterials

On the way to safer nanomedicine

Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should…

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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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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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A STAMP with high value

New tech makes biopsies less invasive, more informative

A team of researchers has developed a novel technology that could sensitively and accurately detect and classify cancer cells, as well as determine the disease aggressiveness from the least invasive biopsies. With this new technology called STAMP (Sequence-Topology Assembly for Multiplexed Profiling), comprehensive disease information can be obtained faster, at a much earlier stage of the…

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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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Bleeding disorder

Hemophilia: a lot more prevalent than thought

More than 1,125,000 men around the world have the inherited bleeding disorder of hemophilia, and 418,000 of those have a severe version of the mostly undiagnosed disease, says a new study led by McMaster researchers. This is three times what was previously known. Only 400,000 people globally were estimated to have the disorder which is caused by a defect in the F8 or F9 gene which encodes…

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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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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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In focus

Universal algorithm set to boost microscopes

Scientists from EPFL have developed an algorithm that can determine whether a super-resolution microscope is operating at maximum resolution based on a single image. The method is compatible with all types of microscopes and could one day be a standard feature of automated models.

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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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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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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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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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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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Collagen unter the microscope

Seeing the pattern beneath the skin

As the largest organ of the human body, our skin is astounding. It protects us from infection, endures radiation, senses temperature, and is flexible enough to withstand our everyday activities. What holds this all together is the protein we all know and love: collagen. In a paper published in Scientific Reports a team from Japan found for the first time that collagen in the skin is organized in…

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Biomedical engineering

Cornea restoration: Scientists develop physical biomarker

Our eyes – considered by many to be the windows to the soul – need constant care, and as we age, they sometimes also need significant repair. The panes of these windows – the corneas – are transparent tissues that have been the focus of some of the oldest and most common transplantation surgeries. Now thanks to researchers in Kyoto, some such transplants may become even safer. The team,…

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Bacterial virus

Machine learning detects inuviruses

A team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) developed an algorithm that a computer could use to conduct a similar type of search in microbial and metagenomic databases. In this case, the machine “learned” to identify a certain type of bacterial viruses or phages called inoviruses, which are filamentous viruses with small, single-stranded DNA…

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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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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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Ovarian and breast cancer

New insights into BRCA1 gene functions

Research led by the University of Birmingham has found important new ways that the BRCA1 gene functions which could help develop our understanding of the development of ovarian and breast cancers. The research, published in Nature, was led by experts at the University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology and Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and is part of a five-year…

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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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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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Clinical trials beginning

Possible preeclampsia treatment is on the way

For over 20 years, a team of researchers at Lund University has worked on developing a drug against preeclampsia – a serious disorder which annually affects around 9 million pregnant women worldwide and is one of the main causes of death in both mothers and unborn babies. Now the researchers have published a study in the journal Scientific Reports that opens up opportunities for further…

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Gene-editing

CRISPR baby mutation significantly increases mortality

A genetic mutation that a Chinese scientist attempted to create in twin babies born last year, ostensibly to help them fend off HIV infection, is also associated with a 21% increase in mortality in later life, according to an analysis by scientists from UC Berkeley. The researchers scanned more than 400,000 genomes and associated health records contained in a British database, UK Biobank, and…

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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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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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Spectrophotometry

1 measurement, 1000 different results

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

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Flow cytometry

Living cells – the essential biomarker

The team of the Heinz Nixdorf Chair of Biomedical Electronics at the Technical University of Munich focuses on innovative diagnostic tools to accelerate the development towards personalized medicine. Therapies tailored to the individual patient – this is the future not only of oncology but of many medical disciplines. “At this point, however,” concedes Professor Dr Oliver Hayden,…

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Lab equipment

Citrine MS/MS – your Medical Diagnostic mass spectrometer

In the modern diagnostic lab, analytical challenges demand increased sensitivity, speed, robustness and reliability of any diagnostic system, and mass spectrometry is no different. Designed and manufactured with industry-leading technologies, Citrine meets these challenges head on, giving you confidence in your results and the best possible service to your patients. Citrine MS/MS from SCIEX…

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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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Transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy

New treatments for rare disease ATTR-CM approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vyndaqel (tafamidis meglumine) and Vyndamax (tafamidis) capsules for the treatment of the heart disease (cardiomyopathy) caused by transthyretin mediated amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) in adults. These are the first FDA-approved treatments for ATTR-CM. Vyndaqel and Vyndamax have the same active moiety, tafamidis, but they are not substitutable on a…

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Dementia pathway

Is LATE the new Alzheimer’s?

A recently recognized brain disorder that mimics clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease has for the first time been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and other guidelines for advancing and catalyzing future research. Scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, described the newly-named pathway to dementia,…

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Aging research

Finding Nemo's secret of longevity

It is the Methusalem among fishkind: The colorful Clownfish lives longer than 20 years in the Aquarium. Researchers of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena, Germany, have investigated the genetics behind the longevity of Clownfish. By sequencing the genome and comparing the sequences with other species, they were able to…

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Acute myeloid leukaemia

AML's Achilles’ heel opens door for new treatments

New findings about a fatal form of blood cancer could aid the development of new drugs with significantly less harmful side effects than existing chemotherapy. The discovery could lead to novel treatments that efficiently eliminate blood cancer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), without harming healthy blood cells. Researchers have discovered how a protein in the body plays a key role in AML…

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Ten-year trial results

Radiotherapy reduces recurrence of early, hormone-driven breast cancer

Women with early, low risk, hormone-driven breast cancer are less likely to have a recurrence of their disease if they have radiotherapy after surgery, as well as anti-hormone treatment, according to results from a trial that has followed 869 women for ten years. New findings from the 8 A trial of the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group (ABCSG), presented at the ESTRO 38 conference,…

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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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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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Antimicrobial resistance

Apocalypse postponed: upcoming antibiotics bring hope

Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue, with 700,000 deaths per year and 10 million expected deaths by 2050, according to predictions. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy can help to save lives, and a long awaited cure for carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) will soon be released, according to eminent Spanish expert Jose Mensa Pueyo, speaking at a Madrid meeting in March. The past…

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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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NAFLD

Fatty liver disease: critical regulator discovered

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver and has become the most common liver disease worldwide. While NAFLD shows few or no symptoms at initial stages, it is a potentially serious disease which can progress to an inflammatory state called steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. Fatty liver disease can be managed by…

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CMT, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Study links key protein to Charcot-Marie-Tooth and other nerve diseases

A new study provides critical insight into a little-known, yet relatively common, inherited neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The findings point to a pathway to possible treatments for this disease and better understanding of other neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, that affect millions. The study focused on two related proteins, MFN2 and…

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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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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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Meeting of the generations

We need a Senior Laboratory

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

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Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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Spatial cognition and neurodegeneration

When the compass fails

Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Where are we right now? Our sense of spatial orientation gives us answers to these questions. We spoke with Professor Thomas Wolbers about the problems of diagnosing orientation disturbances and how the measurement of our sense of space could help in the fight against neuro-degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Protein linked to cancer growth drives deadly lung disease IPF

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

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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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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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Alarming results

Antibiotic resistance spreads faster than previously thought

By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred between bacteria. According to the study published in the journal ‘Microbiome’, those mechanisms are more varied than previously thought. “In…

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Under pressure

Breast tissue stiffening promotes cancer development

A study provides new insight into how the stiffening of breast tissue plays a role in breast cancer development. By examining how mammary cells respond in a stiffness-changing hydrogel, bioengineers at the University of California San Diego discovered that several pathways work together to promote the transformation of breast cells into cancer cells. The work could inspire new approaches to…

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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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Gene therapy instead of anitibiotics

New treatment for Chlamydia discovered

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new way to prevent and treat Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. The new treatment differs from the traditional antibiotic treatment as it is a type of gene therapy that is delivered via nanotechnology and is showing a 65 per cent success rate in preventing chlamydia infection on a single…

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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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Ornithine Transcarbamylase deficiency

OTC deficiency: First patient benefits from gene therapy trial

A patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) was the first person in the world to take part in a pioneering gene therapy trial for Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare disease that causes toxic levels of ammonia to build up in the blood. Simon Smith, 45, was diagnosed with OTC deficiency as a teenager. Although he defied medical expectations by living a full life in…

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Craving for alcohol

Heavy drinking may seriously mess up your DNA

Binge and heavy drinking may trigger a long-lasting genetic change, resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more,” said Distinguished Professor Dipak K. Sarkar, senior author of…

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Cancer stem-like cells

Important signaling pathway in breast cancer revealed

In breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women, tumors contain a small amount of so-called cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Being able to eliminate breast-cancer stem-like cells in a targeted way is essential for developing successful therapies — conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy followed by drug intake, do not target CSCs. A better understanding of the…

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Get some rest

Sleep deprivation accelerates Alzheimer’s brain damage

Poor sleep has long been linked with Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers have understood little about how sleep disruptions drive the disease. Now, studying mice and people, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the key Alzheimer’s protein tau. And, in follow-up studies in the mice, the research team has…

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Keeping a clear head

Alzheimer's: key to early prediction in the blood

Alzheimer's disease is often marked by a creeping progression: Years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest, the brain starts changing and neurons are slowly degraded. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) and the University Hospital Tübingen now show that a protein found in the blood can be used…

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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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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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Diagnostics

Heat it and read it

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

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Blood thinners

Experts' plea for anticoagulant dosage guidelines

Rutgers researchers have found a way to reduce bleeding in patients following bariatric surgery. The study, which appeared in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Disorders, was conducted by Luigi Brunetti and Leonid Kagan at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in collaboration with Ragui Sadek at Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of New Jersey. More than 30 percent of adults in the…

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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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From the heart

Finding the 'fingerprint' of cardiovascular disease

Forty-two percent of all deaths in the United States are related to cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to the Global Cardiovascular Drugs Market Forecast, by 2030 the number of deaths from CVD will rise to 23.6 million per year in the U.S. alone. Along with increased deaths, spending on drugs to treat CVD as well as related hospital stays, home health care and lost productivity will also…

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Chronic peripheral inflammation and schizophrenia

The network approach to mental illness research

As European health services are pressured to provide the best possible care for best possible value, some medical fields are now very much the poor relation; this is particularly true for mental health. Mental illnesses represent a great health burden and cause huge financial and societal pressure in terms of direct and indirect costs from repeated hospitalisation and treatment failures, while…

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New treatment options

Unlocking the secrets of cell communication

Portland State University (PSU) researchers have made a significant breakthrough by developing the 3-D structure of proteins from inside the eye lens that control how cells communicate with each other, which could open the door to treating diseases such as cataracts, stroke and cancer. The PSU research team, led by chemistry professor Steve Reichow, used a multimillion-dollar microscope and a…

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Immune-boosting substance

This gel could help the body after cancer surgery

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

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Evolving technique

Flow cytometry rises to new challenges

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

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Klotho

Could a ’longevity protein’ be the key to rejuvenating muscles?

One of the downsides to getting older is that skeletal muscle loses its ability to heal after injury. New research from the University of Pittsburgh implicates the so-called “longevity protein” Klotho, both as culprit and therapeutic target. The paper, published this week in Nature Communications, showed that, in young animals, Klotho expression soars after a muscle injury, whereas in old…

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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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Bacterial infection

Laser-activated silk sealants outperform sutures for tissue repair

Researchers have developed laser-activated nanomaterials that integrate with wounded tissues to form seals that are superior to sutures for containing body fluids and preventing bacterial infection. Tissue repair following injury or during surgery is conventionally performed with sutures and staples, which can cause tissue damage and complications, including infection. Glues and adhesives have…

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Blood pressure

How does the baroreceptor reflex work?

The baroreceptor reflex is a fascinating medical phenomenon. The reflex is controlled by specialized neurons that react in just a fraction of a second to keep blood pressure fairly consistent. For example, when you stand up, your blood pressure normally drops—rapidly. Yet you don't faint thanks to baroreceptors, which tell your heart rate to increase and push more blood to your brain. A new…

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Nanoparticle therapy

Putting a target on breast cancer

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

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Tick-borne infection

New techniques detects Lyme disease weeks before current tests

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

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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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Fertilisation

IVF: Why a single embryo sometimes leads to twins or triplets

It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman’s womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) to avoid a multiple pregnancy. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still become pregnant with twins or even triplets. Researchers have investigated one of the reasons why this happens.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD: Biomarker for kidney disease has unexpected benefits

A commonly used biomarker of kidney disease may also indicate lung problems, particularly COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In “Albuminuria, Lung Function Decline, and Risk of Incident COPD: the NHLBI Pooled Cohorts Study,” Elizabeth C.…

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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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Immunotherapy

Toward an “ultra-personalized” therapy for melanoma

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

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Therapy

Could these special antibodies lead to HIV vaccine?

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

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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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Hematology

Recommendations on venous blood sampling

Pre-analytics, in particular venous blood sampling has a major impact on the quality of laboratory diagnostic results. An estimated 75 percent of all "lab errors" are caused by errors during pre-analytics. Thus, the German Medical Association’s national guideline on laboratory diagnostics includes detailed guidance on pre-analytics, in particular venous blood sampling. In their…

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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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Mobile cMyC analysis

The future POCT heart attack test

Experts report that a new blood test to diagnose heart attacks could be carried out on a hand-held device in the not-too-distant future. The test, devised by a team at Kings College London, uses similar technology to the troponin test, but instead analyses cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyC). In research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, UK, this June,…

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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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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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Autophagy

Pathway Ebola virus uses to enter cells pinpointed

The new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus declared just last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have claimed more than 30 victims so far, highlighting the continued urgency to find a way to stop the pathogen from killing the people it infects. A new study is shedding light on the role of specific proteins that trigger a mechanism allowing Ebola virus to enter cells to…

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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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Gastroenterology

High-fat diet can cause pancreatic cancer – but there's hope

A high-fat diet may promote the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK), a digestive hormone. In addition, blocking CCK may help prevent the spread of pancreatic tumors to other areas of the body (metastases). The new findings are published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal…

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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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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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Post-hypothesis analysis

The mechanics of radiomics

Confirming or infirming hypotheses has long driven scientific research; however, this traditional and costly approach is giving way to data-driven initiatives, according to Prof. Laure Fournier, a leading radiologist at Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. “Usually we formulate the hypothesis first, then take an image and analyze it. We like that in France, it comes from Descartes. 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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Infections

Zika suppresses virus fighting cells

More than two years after reports of skyrocketing Zika rates surfaced worldwide, questions still loom about this complicated virus. Professor of Biological Science Hengli Tang and his postdoctoral researcher Jianshe Lang from the Florida State University take a deep dive into the differences between Zika and the Dengue virus.

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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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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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Oncology

Breaking through a tumor's defenses

Babraham Institute researchers have shown that some tumours use not one but two levels of protection against the immune system. Knocking out one level boosted the protective effects of the second and vice versa. The research demonstrates that a two-pronged approach targeting both cell types simultaneously may offer a promising route for the development of new cancer immunotherapies.

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Old as mice

When less is more: Gene switch for healthy aging found

Aging is a major risk factor for physical frailty and the development of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies have already shown that a calorie-restricted diet can significantly delay age-related conditions in several organisms like flies, worms, fish and mice, and that it even improves fitness at old age. But who…

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Not such a bad egg after all

Daily egg consumption may reduce cardiovascular disease

People who consume an egg a day could significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases compared with eating no eggs, suggests a study carried out in China, published in the journal Heart. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, including China, mostly due to ischaemic heart disease and stroke (including both haemorrhagic and ischaemic…

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Photoacoustics

New method shows 3D images of cancer cells in the body

Making tumour cells glow: Medical physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method that can generate detailed three-dimensional images of the body's interior. This can be used to more closely investigate the development of cancer cells in the body. The research group presents its findings in "Communication Physics".

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High throughput screening

Tumor-like spheres to help discover smarter cancer drugs

Cancer is a disease often driven by mutations in genes. As researchers learn more about these genes, and the proteins they code for, they are seeking smarter drugs to target them. The ultimate goal is to find ways to stop cancer cells from multiplying out of control, thereby blocking the growth and spread of tumors. Now researchers from The Scripps Research Institute are reporting an innovative…

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

The most dangerous lung disease you've never heard of

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of the most challenging and frustrating diseases that pulmonologists face. And despite affecting 1 out of 200 adults over the age of 65 in the United States, general awareness of IPF is low. “There’s a tremendous disconnect between the human impact of this disease and its recognition by the public. Few people have ever heard of it,” says Marc…

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Gender & genetics

Alzheimer's: study reveals sex differences

The APOE gene, the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, may play a more prominent role in disease development among women than men, according to new research from the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center. The research confirmed recent studies that carrying the APOE ε4 allele has a greater association with Alzheimer’s disease among women compared to men, and went one…

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Bone health

Osteoporosis defined: causes, symptoms and treatments

Weak, easily broken bones are an epidemic in the United States. They’re often tied to osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to degenerate over time. This makes them less flexible, more brittle, and easier to break. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 44 million Americans aged 50 and older either have or face the threat of developing osteoporosis due to low bone…

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Astrozytes

The brain’s “rising stars”: New options against Alzheimer’s?

A study by scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) points to a novel potential approach against Alzheimer’s disease. In studies in mice, the researchers were able to show that blocking a particular receptor located on astrocytes normalized brain function and improved memory performance. Astrocytes are star-shaped, non-neuronal cells involved in the regulation of…

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Heat therapy

Soaking in a hot tub has unexpected benefits, researchers find

According to new research, obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be able to improve their health outlook with a particularly enjoyable form of therapy: regular sessions in a hot tub. The research found that soaking in a hot tub several times per week for two months results in improved measures of cardiovascular health, beneficial changes in fat tissue and other improvements…

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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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Pediatrics

New risk staging for children with kidney disease

Experts in pediatric kidney disease have published a new staging system to help doctors better predict the length of time until a child with chronic kidney disease (CKD) will need to undergo a kidney transplant or start receiving dialysis. Although this type of prognostic guide exists for adults, this is the first such tool specific to children. “We designed a clinically useful, data-driven…

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Enigmatic enzyme

How bacteria recover from antibiotics exposure

Beta-lactam antibiotics, including penicillin, are one of the most widely used classes of antibiotics in the world. Though they’ve been in use since the 1940s, scientists still don’t fully understand what happens when this class of drugs encounters bacteria. Now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have elucidated how an enzyme helps bacteria rebound from damage inflicted by…

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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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Biomaterial research

These cellular insights could make our bones heal faster

Most of us don’t think about our teeth and bones until one aches or breaks. A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis looked deep within collagen fibers to see how the body forms new bone and teeth, seeking insights into faster bone healing and new biomaterials. Young-Shin Jun, professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering in the School of Engineering &…

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Tuberculosis

New blood test predicts TB onset up to two years in advance

A new blood test has been found to more accurately predict the development of tuberculosis up to two years before its onset in people living with someone with active TB, according to research published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal. Those living with someone with active TB are at highest risk for developing the…

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Smoking cessation

Common diabetes drug may also help with nicotine withdrawal

In a mouse study, a drug that has helped millions of people around the world manage their diabetes might also help people ready to kick their nicotine habits. In a report published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), investigators say metformin, an inexpensive drug commonly used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, appears to block…

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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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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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Anti-rejection medicine

Drugs used after organ transplant could protect against Alzheimer’s

A UT Southwestern study in mice provides new clues about how a class of anti-rejection drugs used after organ transplants may also slow the progression of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, a progressive form of dementia, affects an estimated 5 million people in the U.S. – a number expected to nearly triple by 2050. Although Alzheimer’s usually strikes after age 65, changes in…

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Betanin for the brain

'Beeting' Alzheimer's with vital vegetable compound

A compound in beets that gives the vegetable its distinctive red color could eventually help slow the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain, a process that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists say this discovery could lead to the development of drugs that could alleviate some of the long-term effects of the disease, the world’s leading cause of dementia. The…

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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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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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Cancer diagnostics

Progressing towards optical biopsy

Recognising malignant tissue remains a tricky task. While today, most patients undergo a biopsy, an invasive procedure where tissue is sampled, stained and assessed, researchers are exploring the potential of optical biopsy, the visual assessment of suspect tissue. The interest in optical biopsy ‘is indeed enormous,’ confirms Dr Thomas Bocklitz, physicist at Friedrich-Schiller University in…

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Advances in manufacturing

Easy printing of biosensors made of graphene

Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now…

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MRI vs. Alzheimer's

Seeking leaks in the blood-brain barrier

‘With our new MRI method, we can finally visualise tiny leaks in the blood-brain barrier. They shed light on the vascular contribution to dementia and may indicate Alzheimer’s disease. However, the MRI scan is only a tool to diagnose cerebrovascular damage. We have not yet found a cure for Alzheimer’s,’ confirms Walter H Backes, medical physicist and professor at Maastricht University…

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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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New test

Tears don't lie – they may even help diagnose Parkinson’s

Tears may hold clues to whether someone has Parkinson’s disease, according to a preliminary study released that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018. “We believe our research is the first to show that tears may be a reliable, inexpensive and noninvasive biological marker of Parkinson’s disease,” said study…

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Large study

Five novel genetic changes linked to pancreatic cancer risk

In what is believed to be the largest pancreatic cancer genome-wide association study to date, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute, and collaborators from over 80 other institutions worldwide discovered changes to five new regions in the human genome that may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. The new findings represent one more step toward…

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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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Pediatrics

Kawasaki disease: Gaining new insights into a mysterious illness

Texas Biomedical Research Institute and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio have joined forces to cure a mysterious condition called Kawasaki disease. The illness which affects young children is named after the Japanese doctor who first described it more than 50 years ago. However, researchers still do not know what causes the rashes, fever, and artery damage. Some type of infectious agent…

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Cognitive improvement

Researchers successfully reverse Alzheimer’s disease in mice

A team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby improving the animals’ cognitive function. The study, which will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, raises hopes that drugs targeting…

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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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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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Point-of-care testing

HORIBA Medical’s unique POC CRP analyser reducing unnecessary admissions

HORIBA UK Ltd, Medical announces that Thame and Marlow Community Hubs, within Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, have each recently installed HORIBA Medical’s latest point-of-care testing analyser, the Microsemi CRP. These new analysers are now streamlining existing diagnostic pathways in the community and helping to reduce local A&E admissions for frail patients. The Microsemi CRP is a…

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Microbubbles

Bracco Imaging to innovate ultrasound for new personalized gene therapy

Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leader in diagnostic imaging, announced that it has initiated new experimental activities in its R&D Center in Geneva, Switzerland, to explore a new application for gas-filled microbubbles in the development of personalized gene therapy for treatment of chronic dysfunctional diseases related to lipid metabolism. Microbubbles have already revolutionized medical…

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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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Efferocytosis

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

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

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Melanoma therapy

Why pregnancy could literally save your skin

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous pregnancy with better outcomes after a melanoma diagnosis. Now, a research team from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania says it may have…

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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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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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Experimental medicine

Loophole in chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment detected

A team of researchers in Italy and Austria has determined that a drug approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may be less effective in a particular subset of patients. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals that ibrutinib has a diminished capacity to delocalize and kill tumor cells expressing an adhesive protein called CD49d, but combining ibrutinib…

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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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Gene exchange

Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors

Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the released genetic material, which may also carry drug resistance genes, the…

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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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Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Viral infections kill millions of people worldwide every year, but currently available antiviral drugs are limited in that they mostly act against one or a small handful of related viruses. A few broad-spectrum drugs that prevent viral entry into healthy cells exist, but they usually need to be taken continuously to prevent infection, and resistance through viral mutation is a serious risk. Now,…

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Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

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

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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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Grim prognosis

Number of americans with Alzheimer’s will more than double by 2060

About 15 million Americans will have either Alzheimer’s dementia or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, up from approximately 6.08 million this year, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The findings highlight the need to develop measures that could slow the progression of the disease in people who have indications of neuropathological changes…

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More than the sum of its parts?

Combination strategy could hold promise for ovarian cancer

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers demonstrated that mice with ovarian cancer that received drugs to reactivate dormant genes along with other drugs that activate the immune system had a greater reduction of tumor burden and significantly longer survival than those that received any of the drugs alone. The study already spurred a clinical trial in ovarian cancer patients. The…

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Clinical value

Kidney disease diagnosis made easier through DNA sequencing

DNA sequencing could soon become part of the routine diagnostic workup for patients with chronic kidney disease, suggests a new study from Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers found that DNA sequencing could identify the genetic cause of the disease and influence treatment for many patients with chronic kidney disease.

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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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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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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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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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Clever peptides

Biomarker may predict early Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified a peptide that could lead to the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The discovery, published in Nature Communications, may also provide a means of homing drugs to diseased areas of the brain to treat AD, Parkinson’s disease, as well as glioblastoma, brain injuries and stroke. “Our goal was to…

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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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Cardiology, quick!

New blood test speeds up heart attack diagnosis

A new blood test to detect heart attacks has been developed by a team of researchers at King’s College, London, which could speed up diagnosis, according to results from pan-European trials. The test is quicker than the standard test, which combines an ECG with a blood test to measure the levels of troponin. Under current guidelines, suspected heart attack cases are tested for high blood…

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Deafness reversal

Inner ear stem cells may someday restore hearing

Want to restore hearing by injecting stem cells into the inner ear? Well, that can be a double-edged sword. Inner ear stem cells can be converted to auditory neurons that could reverse deafness, but the process can also make those cells divide too quickly, posing a cancer risk, according to a study led by Rutgers University–New Brunswick scientists. The encouraging news is that turning stem…

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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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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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Early diagnostics

Sixty-five new genetic risk markers for breast cancer discovered

Until now, familial breast cancer has only partly been linkable to genetic risk markers. In a worldwide joint effort, researchers have now identified further genetic variants that affect the risk for breast cancer. The study, which was conducted with participation of researchers from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital, has now been published in Nature.…

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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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Cancer research

Researchers release the brakes on the immune system

Many tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural “brakes” in the immune defense mechanism, which normally prevent an excessive immune response. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to take off one of these brakes. The study, which involved colleagues from Hamburg and Würzburg, could pave the way for more…

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Cancer research

Esophageal cancer “cell of origin” identified

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified cells in the upper digestive tract that can give rise to Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer. The discovery of this “cell of origin” promises to accelerate the development of more precise screening tools and therapies for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, the fastest growing form of…

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Laboratory operations

Atellica NEPH 630 System now available

Siemens Healthineers announced its Atellica NEPH 630 System is now available to laboratories. The Atellica NEPH 630 System is a low- to mid-volume nephelometric protein testing solution that simplifies laboratory operations by unifying instrument, assay, IT connectivity and remote service disciplines to deliver advancements in protein testing.

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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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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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Biology of Ageing

Road map to a longer life

In old age a variety of cellular processes decline and the risk to develop age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Diabetes increases dramatically. But does ageing affect all organs and tissues in the body in the same way? And should drugs that are developed to improve health in old age have the same effect on every organ? Now scientists from the Max Planck Institute for…

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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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Electrospinning

Renewing the promise of bioabsorbable implants

Electrospun materials bring a spark of hope to a cardiovascular landscape darkened by setbacks for reabsorbable stents. It was famously said that implanting a device in a person to cure a disease is to implant a new disease. Simply put, the human body will continually fight against foreign materials, leading to chronic inflammations or repeated interventions.

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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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Ocular microbiome

Bugs in your eyes? More helpful than you think

Resident microbes living on the eye are essential for immune responses that protect the eye from infection, new research shows. The study demonstrates the existence of a resident ocular microbiome that trains the developing immune system to fend off pathogens. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. "This is the first…

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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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Skin repair

Badly sunburned? Vitamin D can help

High doses of vitamin D taken one hour after sunburn significantly reduce skin redness, swelling, and inflammation, according to double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

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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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Structural insights

Cancer cells may streamline their genomes to proliferate more easily

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

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Time-lapse microscopy

Image correction software simplifies quantification of stem cells

Today, tracking the development of individual cells and spotting the associated factors under the microscope is nothing unusual. However, impairments like shadows or changes in the background complicate the interpretation of data. Now, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a software that corrects images to make hitherto hidden…

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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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DNA manipulation

Chaos in cancer cells: Mysterious gene transcripts after therapy

Drugs that are used in cancer therapy to erase epigenetic alterations in cancer cells simultaneously promote the production of countless mysterious gene transcripts, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now report in Nature Genetics. The substances activate hidden regulatory elements in DNA. The unusual gene activity has the potential to stimulate the immune system – a…

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Neuropathology

Detecting Alzheimer's disease before symptoms emerge

Long before symptoms of Alzheimer's disease become apparent to patients and their families, biological changes are occurring within the brain. Amyloid plaques, which are clusters of protein fragments, along with tangles of protein known as tau, form in the brain and grow in number, eventually getting in the way of the brain's ability to function. These biological changes can be detected early in…

Diabetes research

Healing burn wounds with cell therapy

An experimental treatment in mice allows the reprogramming of blood cells in order to promote the healing process of cutaneous wounds. This approach could prove to be beneficial in healing challenging wounds in diabetics and major-burn victims.

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Neuro-oncology

Study provides better understanding of how brain tumors ‘feed’

All cancer tumors have one thing in common – they must feed themselves to grow and spread, a difficult feat since they are usually in a tumor microenvironment with limited nutrients and oxygen. A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has revealed new details about how an enzyme called acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) allows brain tumors to grow despite their harsh…

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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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Rare disorder

New treatment for kidney failure patients

A novel treatment offers kidney failure and kidney transplant patients with a rare disorder new hope. The treatment allows targeted elimination of plasma cell clones producing abnormal proteins that deposits in the kidneys and leads to kidney failure, according to new research.

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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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Ophthalmology

New eye test detects earliest signs of glaucoma

A simple eye test could help solve the biggest global cause of irreversible blindness, glaucoma. In clinical trials, the pioneering diagnostic test - developed by researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the Western Eye Hospital - allowed doctors to see individual nerve cell death in the back of the eye.

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Going Viral

An unusual 'friend' to help fight ovarian cancer

In some cases, the Lassa virus starts with a fever and general weakness, moving toward headache, muscle pain, possible facial swelling, deafness, and worse. About 15 percent of patients hospitalized with severe cases die. Lassa fever is contagious, endemic in West Africa, and Dr. Anthony van den Pol thinks he can use it to cure ovarian cancer.

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Immunoassay

CLIA: Advancement and market dynamic

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

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Psychological consequences

Cortisol excess hits natural DNA process hard

High concentrations of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in the body affect important DNA processes and increase the risk of long-term psychological consequences. These relationships are evident in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy on patients with Cushing’s Syndrome, but the findings also open the door for new treatment strategies for other stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression…

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Blood flow control

"Switch" in brain’s capillary network monitors activity

All it takes is the flip of a protein “switch” within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function. New research has uncovered that capillaries have the capacity to both sense brain activity and generate an electrical vasodilatory signal to evoke blood flow and direct nutrients to nourish hard-working neurons.

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Infection Prevention

Trusted cable systems

Ever more imaging devices are characterised by very extensive movement sequences while simultaneously being compact. Both device manufacturers and suppliers must consider mounting dynamic requirements when developing their products and ensure their long-term system integrity.

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Deep Learning

Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development

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

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Lab Study

A protein called PERK - Treating progressive supranuclear palsy

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

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Infections

Viruses Overheard Talking to One Another

Viruses may be stealthy invaders, but a study at the Weizmann Institute of Science reveals a new, chatty side of some: for the first time, viruses have been found communicating with one another. This communication – short “posts” left for kin and descendants – helps the viruses reading them to decide how to proceed with the process of infection. The research was reported in Nature.

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Brain activity

Molecular pathway to improved memory discovered

Scientists from Rutgers University have discovered a molecular pathway that could help develop drug therapies to prevent dementia. It could also provide new insights into memory degradation in the elderly.

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Wound Management

Using fat to help wounds heal without scars

Doctors have found a way to manipulate wounds to heal as regenerated skin rather than scar tissue. The method involves transforming the most common type of cells found in wounds into fat cells – something that was previously thought to be impossible in humans. Researchers began this work at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, which led to a large-scale, multi-year…

PSP test

Most rapid sepsis point of care diagnostics

Abionic SA announced the receipt of CE Mark (Conformité Européenne) for two novel tests using its easy to use testing platform, abioSCOPE. The CE Mark allows Abionic to commercialize its tests for sepsis risk assessment and management (PSP Test) and iron deficiency throughout the European Union.

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Study

Molecular Roots of Alzheimer’s

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have detailed the structure of a molecule that has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Knowing the shape of the molecule — and how that shape may be disrupted by certain genetic mutations — can help in understanding how Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases develop and how to prevent and treat them.

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Artificial beta cells

New weapon against Diabetes

ETH Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers.

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Zincmolybdat

The sustainable pathogen killer

Professor Peter Guggenbichler is only too aware of infection prevention and control issues in hospitals. Prior to his retirement in 2013, from the Children’s Hospital at Erlangen University Hospital, in Germany, he led the Infectiology and Preventive Medicine Department, for 25 years. ‘After countless nights on the intensive care ward I realised that the staff does not adhere to infection…

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Diabetes

Friendly Fire in the Pancreas

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

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Diabetic biomarker test successfully verified

EKF Diagnostics announces that its newly introduced Glycated Serum Protein (GSP) LiquiColor® diabetic biomarker test has been verified for use on the Siemens Vista chemistry analyzer. In a scientific poster published by scientists at the Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, USA [1], it was demonstrated that EKF’s GSP assay enhances the versatility of the Vista system for the specialized…

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Altering the ‘flavor’ of humans could help fight Malaria

A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that a specialized area of the mosquito brain mixes tastes with smells to create unique and preferred flavors. The findings advance the possibility, they say, of identifying a substance that makes “human flavor” repulsive to the malaria-bearing species of the mosquitoes, so instead of feasting on us, they keep the disease to themselves,…

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Neurodegenerative diseases

Brain cell ‘executioner’ identified

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

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Artificial blood vessels can grow with the recipient

In a groundbreaking new study led by University of Minnesota biomedical engineers, artificial blood vessels bioengineered in the lab and implanted in young lambs are capable of growth within the recipient. If confirmed in humans, these new vessel grafts would prevent the need for repeated surgeries in some children with congenital heart defects.

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Microscopy

Watching molecular machines at work

When one cell divides into two - that is how all forms of life are propagated - the newly born daughter cells have to be equipped with everything they will need in their tiny lives. Most important of all is that they inherit a complete copy of the genetic information from their mother cell. If this is not the case because a wrong number of chromosomes – on which the genetic information is…

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Therapy

Nanoparticle injections may be future of osteoarthritis treatment

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

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For tissue engineering

Technique generates human neural stem cells

Tufts University researchers have discovered a new technique for generating rapidly-differentiating human neural stem cells for use in a variety of tissue engineering applications, including a three-dimensional model of the human brain, according to a paper published in Stem Cell Reports. The work could pave the way for experiments that engineer other innervated tissues, such as the skin and…

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Future changes

Laboratory medicine is an interdisciplinary subject

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

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Oncology

Nanovaccine could enhance cancer immunotherapy

NIBIB researchers have created a nanovaccine that could make a current approach to cancer immunotherapy more effective while also reducing side effects. The nanovaccine helps to efficiently deliver a unique DNA sequence to immune cells – a sequence derived from bacterial DNA and used to trigger an immune reaction. The nanovaccine also protects the DNA from being destroyed inside the body, where…

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Overcoming multidrug-resistant cancer with smart nanoparticles

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, resulting in minimal cell death and the expansion of drug-resistant tumors. To address the problem of resistance, researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed nanoparticles that…

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Paediatric

Leukaemia Blood Testing Has 'Massive Potential'

Researchers at The University of Manchester have unlocked the potential of a new test which could revolutionise the way doctors diagnose and monitor a common childhood Leukaemia. Dr Suzanne Johnson says that cancerous acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells produce and release special structures that can be traced in the blood. The discovery could have major implications on the diagnosis, monitoring,…

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Oncology

Loophole for cancer cells

Many cancers only become a mortal danger if they form metastases elsewhere in the body. Such secondary tumours are formed when individual cells break away from the main tumour and travel through the bloodstream to distant areas of the body. To do so, they have to pass through the walls of small blood vessels. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim and…

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Plasma: A technology to improve bone healing?

Cold plasma looks like the glow from the “Star Wars” blue light saber but this beam of energy, made of electrons that change polarity at micro-second or nanosecond speeds, could help bones heal faster, according to researcher from the Thomas Jefferson University.

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Low Oxygen, High Risk

How tumors adapt to become more aggressive

One of the many reasons tumors are so difficult to treat is that they are able to adapt whenever they are exposed to unfavorable conditions. Hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, is one example of a phenomenon that should weaken the tumor, but instead, the malignant cells are able to compensate and drive more aggressive disease behavior.

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Infection

Antibodies identified that thwart Zika virus

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

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Research

New Biomarker for cancer immunotherapy?

The Ligand PD-L1 is one of the most important targets for cancer immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. But not all tumors have sufficient quantities of PD-L1 ligands on their surface. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have now shown that different types of cancer possess different quantities of PD-L1-Gen copies. Genetic analysis of the PD-L1 gene may in the future help to…

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MALDI Tissuetyper

The rapifleX is now available as TOF/TOF

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

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Molecular troublemakers

How proteins prevent communication between bacteria

They may be slimy, but they are a perfect environment for microorganisms: biofilms. Protected against external influences, here bacteria can grow undisturbed, and trigger diseases. Scientists at Kiel University, in cooperation with colleagues at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg, are researching how it can be possible to prevent the formation of biofilms from the…

Study

Predict early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), New York State Psychiatric Institute, and NewYork-Presbyterian reported that an odor identification test may prove useful in predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Their two studies, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Toronto, Canada, suggest that the…

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Drug delivery

Biotherapeutics strike cancer cell growth

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

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E. Coli

The ideal transport vehicle for next-gen vaccines?

Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Researchers experimenting with harmless strains of E. coli — yes, the majority of E. coli are safe and important to healthy human digestion — are working toward that goal. They have developed an E. coli-based transport capsule designed to help next-generation…

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Dividing T cells

Target for improving cancer immunotherapy

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

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Virology

Tricks of ticking time bomb Hepatitis B virus

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes hepatitis B, an infectious disease that afflicts 230 million people worldwide, thereof 440 000 in Germany. Persistence of the virus in liver cells leads to progressive organ damage in the patient and contributes to a high risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer development. Providing a new paradigm to hepatitis B understanding, researchers at the German Cancer Research…

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Mutation

Prevention of genetic breast cancer within reach

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

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vitiligo

Natural killer cells have a memory

Researchers at the University of Bonn and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität of Munich have decoded a new mechanism of how the immune system can specifically attack pigmented cells of the skin. It was previously believed that natural killer cells did not have an immunological memory for the body's own tissues. However, the scientists have now showed that these immune cells can indeed…

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Active substance

Promising treatment prospects for invasive breast cancer

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

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25 Tesla

Switzerland winds up superconductivity

The unusual electronic properties of some superconducting materials permit lossless and dense electrical currents at very low temperatures, even in high magnetic fields. Conductors made of these materials are thus ideal for winding coils to generate very high magnetic fields, which are essential for a number of applications like magnetic medical imaging, MR spectroscopy for the analysis of…

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Infection control

Scientists gain ground against resistance

The mechanism by which drug-resistant bacteria maintain a defensive barrier has been identified by researchers at England’s University of East Anglia (UEA) and their findings could result in a new wave of drugs that can bring down those defensive walls rather than attack the bacteria – thus they may not develop drug-resistance at all.

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GLINT project

Using sugar to detect cancer: a game changer for cancer screening

Cancer accounts for 13 percent of all deaths worldwide and despite recent medical improvements remains one of the most deadly diseases in the world. Early detection, usually through advanced medical imaging, is crucial as it increases the chances of survival and the potential for full recovery. The EU-funded project GlucoCEST Imaging of Neoplastic Tumours (GLINT) will develop an innovative…

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New technology breakthrough in fighting viral diseases

As one of medicine’s largest challenges, viral infections often escape vaccines due to their natural ability to mutate rapidly and develop drug resistance easily. Many viruses, such as Zika, Ebola and dengue fever, have grown into major global health epidemics with great human and economic toll. IBM Research and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering, Nanotechnology (IBN) announced they have…

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Cardiology

Mechanism for pathogenesis of heart failure

A weak heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood around the body. In Germany, this condition is now the commonest reason for patients to be admitted to hospital. A research group from the Clinic for Internal Medicine III in the Faculty of Medicine at Kiel’s Christian Albrecht University (CAU) and Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital (Kiel Campus) has discovered a previously unknown…

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Genetic mutations

New neurodevelopmental syndrome identified

A multicenter research team led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has discovered a new neurodevelopmental syndrome and the genetic mutations that cause it. The discovery is an important step toward creating targeted therapies for individuals with this syndrome, which causes severe developmental delays, abnormal muscle tone, seizures, and eye complications.

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Cancers

Computer program uncovers hidden genomic alterations

Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene. Rather, tumors arise from the complex interplay between any number of mutually exclusive abnormal changes in the genome, the combinations of which can be unique to each individual patient. To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers at University of California San Diego School of…

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Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

An international research group with essential participation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has identified NLRX1, a cellular factor of the human cell that is indispensable to the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1). This factor plays a key role in attenuating the innate immune system towards HIV-1. Until now, the significance of NLRX1 for the replication of HIV-1 and the…

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Immune system

How can two types of immune cells arise from one?

The fates of immune cells can be decided at the initial division of a cell. Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered that the production of daughter cells with different roles in the immune system is driven by the lopsided distribution of the signaling protein c-Myc. Nudging c-Myc in one direction or the other could make vaccines more effective or advance…

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PET study

Functional interplay between two transporters at blood-brain barrier

A team of researchers at the MedUni Vienna has, in collaboration with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, developed two new PET tracers that allow the activity of drug transporters at the blood-brain barrier to be measured. The studywas able to demonstrate that people with a genetic polymorphism in a transporter gene have lower transporter activity at the blood-brain barrier, which can lead…

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Nanoscale devices

Revealing the fluctuations of flexible DNA in 3-D

An international team working at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached at either end to gold nanoparticles. The images detail the flexible structure of the DNA segments, which appear as nanoscale jump ropes.

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amyloid-β

Transmissibility of Alzheimer’s: No clinical symptoms

MedUni Vienna researchers have published the results of a clarifying research study on the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease. Although the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid-β, might be transmissible under very unusual circumstances, this does not go along with a transmission of the clinical manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease. The affected persons…

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bacterial enzyme

Possible approach to tackle infections from hospital germs

Microbiologists at the Universities of Münster and Nottingham, in England, have analysed an enzyme which might play an important role in the treatment of infections from the hospital germ pseudomonas aeruginosa. They have decoded the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme and revealed its function.

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MS

How do immune cells enter the cerebrospinal fluid?

A research team headed by scientists at the Institute of Neuroimmunology and the Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research (IMSF), University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG), has gained new insights into the immune function of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). They used real-time microscopy to film the lively trafficking of immune cells between the CSF and the nervous tissue. Here the meninges play the…

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Virus

The Zika mystery: scapegoat or villain?

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

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heat-shock

HSF1 – in case of emergency

When there is an accident or a house fire, we call the police or the fire services. A control room quickly coordinates emergency operations. The cells in our bodies also have helpers in a crisis; the heat-shock proteins. These are triggered in response to cellular stress, such as high temperature, UV radiation or cancer. Heat-shock proteins help other proteins maintain their functional structure…

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Drug delivery vehicles

Stealth effect of nanocarriers conferred more efficiently

By using drug delivery vehicles, so-called nanocarriers, pharmaceuticals reach the diseased area in the body. There they accelerate the healing process. But in order to prevent them from getting ingested by phagocytes, the surfaces of the nanocarriers are typically coated with the biocompatible synthetic polymer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center and…

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Oncology

Pancreatic cancer: Enzyme renders tumors resistant

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

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Diabetes

No more Insulin injections?

In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, eventually leaving patients without the ability to naturally control blood sugar. These patients must carefully monitor the amount of sugar in their blood, measuring it several times a day and then injecting themselves with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. However, precise control…

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Antibodies

A ‘silver bullet’ for Ebola viruses?

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

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Discovery

Blueprint of body's heat sensor

Touch a hot stove, and your fingers will recoil in pain because your skin carries tiny temperature sensors that detect heat and send a message to your brain saying, "Ouch! That's hot! Let go!" The pain is real and it serves a purpose, otherwise we'd suffer greater injury. But for many people with chronic pain, that signal keeps getting sent for months or years, even when there is no…

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Bacteria

3D images of megaenzymes may improve antibiotics

Taking clear pictures of megaenzymes isn’t easy. But it’s definitely worth it. These proteins play an active role in creating many common antibiotics. They are in constant motion, with sections that flip around acrobatically to carry out necessary tasks. Now, for the first time, McGill researchers have been able to take a series of 3D images of a large section from one of these…

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Biophysic

What happens when red blood cells "wriggle"

For the first time, and using physical methods, scientists have demonstrated how red blood cells move. They recognized that fast molecules in the vicinity make the cell membrane in the blood cells wriggle – but that the cells themselves also become active when they have enough reaction time.

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Cancer cells poised for growth when opportunity knocks

Researchers have identified a mechanism that allows cancer cells to respond and grow rapidly when levels of sugar in the blood rise. This may help to explain why people who develop conditions in which they have chronically high sugar levels in their blood, such as obesity, also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

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High rating

Immunotherapy brings striking successes

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

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Philips and Banyan Biomarkers

Partnership for handheld blood test to detect and evaluate concussions

Royal Philips and Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a multi-year joint development agreement to develop and commercialize a new handheld blood test to detect and evaluate mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) - also known as concussion - at the point of care. The new handheld test will be based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 system. The financial details of the…

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Neurodegenerative diseases

The case of the sticky protein

Proteins are like a body’s in-house Lego set. These large, complex molecules are made up of building blocks called amino acids. Most of the time, proteins fold correctly, but sometimes they can misfold. This misfolding causes the proteins to get sticky, and that can promote clumping, or aggregation, which is the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and…

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Gene variation promotes uncontrolled cell division

Mom’s eyes and dad’s tumor? Cancer is due to genetic defects, some of which can be hereditary. The gene variant rs351855, for example, occurs in one in two cancer patients. A team headed by Axel Ullrich from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried identified the gene variant a decade ago. Now, they succeeded for the first time in showing that the variation exposes an otherwise…

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Surfing DNA

Enzyme catches a ride to fight infection

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

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Epigenetic marks

Sperm carries information about dad's weight

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

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The molecular breakdance of seeing

The detection of light by pigments in the retina, called rhodopsin or visual purple, leads to our sense of vision. New experiments by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and the University of Toronto have revealed that the primary photochemical event of this process operates at the fundamental molecular speed limit.

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Treating colon cancer with vitamin A

A leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, colon cancer is famously resistant to treatment. There are many reasons for this, but one has to do with a group of persisting cancer cells in the colon that cause relapses. Conventional therapies against them are mostly ineffective. EPFL scientists have now identified a biological mechanism that can be exploited to counteract colon cancer relapses.

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Diagnostics with birefringence

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

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VenomKB

World's first therapeutic venom database

What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans.

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“Jumping Gene” Mystery

Grabbing a parasite by the tail

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

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Genome

Research could help in fight against infection and cancer

Researchers from Medicine, Chemistry and Biological Sciences in the University’s Institute for Life Science (IfLS) have been collaborating with Microsoft Research UK to investigate the function of the antigen-presenting protein MHC1. Their research, which started more than a decade ago and has been part-funded by Cancer Research UK, has explored the pliability of the protein and how its ability…

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Sugar-coated nanoworms not for breakfast in human immune system

Iron nanoparticles injected before magnetic resonance imaging can make tissues more visible and the same nanoparticles may allow doctors to precisely target tumors with new medicines. However, among the challenges to the practical use of nanoparticles in the human body is what scientists refer to as lack of “hemocompatibility” – nanoparticles tend to be attacked and cleared by the immune…

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State-of-the-art

First pictures of cells' DNA-copying machinery

The first-ever images of the protein complex that unwinds, splits, and copies double-stranded DNA reveal something rather different from the standard textbook view. The electron microscope images, created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory with partners from Stony Brook University and Rockefeller University, offer new insight into how this molecular…

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Eyes

New eye structures discovered

"It's not everyday that one newly discovers parts of the human body," says Roy S. Chuck, MD, PhD, Chairman Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

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Genom

I looked into my genes and changed some habits

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

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“JEDI” Technology

New understanding of how immune system works

When it comes to fending off disease and helping prevent people from falling ill, the body’s immune system – armed with T-cells that help eliminate cancer cells, virus-infected cells and more – is second to none. But exactly how the immune system works remains, in many ways, a mystery, as there are numerous cell types whose functions and interactions with our immune systems have not been…

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Sex-linked disorders

X-Citing X Chromosome

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

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Research

Drug engineered from bananas fights deadly viruses

A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. And the process used to create the virus-fighting form may help scientists develop even more drugs, by harnessing the “sugar code” that our cells use to communicate. That code gets hijacked by…

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Map

A social network of human proteins

Complex life is only possible because proteins bind to each other, forming higher-order structures and signal pathways. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich and at the MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden have now drawn a detailed map of human protein interactions. Using a novel mass spectrometric quantification method, the…

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Linac Coherent Light Source

A glimpse into live bacteria

A group of scientists in Sweden has taken an important step towards the goal of peering inside a working cell. They are among researchers around the globe who are seeking a method that enables the observation of proteins, lipids and DNA inside individual cells, as well as gaining a better understanding of how this intricate and interconnected system changes with time.

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MRSA

Breast cancer drug eats superbug

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen…

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Genes

Blame your health problems on your grandfather

If you have diabetes, or cancer or even heart problems, maybe you should blame it on your dad’s behaviour or environment. Or even your grandfather’s. That’s because, in recent years, scientists have shown that, before his offspring are even conceived, a father’s life experiences involving food, drugs, exposure to toxic products and even stress can affect the development and health not…

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Toolkit

Microchip helps to visualize breast cancer proteins

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

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Lung cancer

Immunotherapy superior to chemotherapy?

Researchers compared an immunotherapy and a chemotherapy drug in patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease continued to progress after first-line chemotherapy. They found that nivolumab improved overall survival and was generally well tolerated. The results are significant because options for patients whose lung cancer progresses after initial treatment are…

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Mystery solved

Key Element of cellular organization found

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

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Mutations

Cancer Genes open door to targeted treatments

In a discovery that could lead to more targeted and effective treatments for certain lung and prostate cancers, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified two new cancer-causing gene mutations – mutations that may be particularly susceptible to cancer-fighting drugs already approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One of the gene mutations also may…

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See trough bones

Uncover new details about blood-forming stem cells

A team of scientists at the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has become the first to use a tissue-clearing technique to localize a rare stem cell population, in the process cracking open a black box containing detailed information about where blood-forming stem cells are located and how they are maintained. The findings provide a significant advance toward understanding…

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

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

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Neurotransmitters

Coordinating traffic down the neuronal highway

An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS), has identified a protein that regulates the growth of neurons by transporting key metabolic enzymes to the tips of neural cells. Their findings open up new avenues for design of drugs for ataxia, a motor coordination disorder.

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Parenteral nutrition

Blocking light improves premature babies' survival rates

The survival rate of premature babies born between 26 to 31 weeks of gestation is improved by blocking light from reaching the intravenously-fed infused nutritious mixture they depend on for survival, researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and the University of Montreal have revealed in a new study.

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Microgravity

Keeping cells in good shape

People often talk about how important it is to stay in shape, something humans usually can accomplish with exercise and a healthy diet, and other habits. But chances are, few of us ever think about the shape of our individual cells.

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Cancer Treatments

The DNA damage response goes viral

Every organism—from a seedling to a president—must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered critical details of how a cell’s response system tells the difference between these two perpetual threats. The discovery…

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Systems medicine

IT is a resource just like water or energy

Systems medicine – the interdisciplinary field incorporating biochemical, physiological and environmental interactions in the study of human body systems as part of an integrated whole – draws heavily on the technological advances in information technology (IT). New ways to use data impact on healthcare and society, says Professor Dr Heyo Kroemer, Dean of the Medical School, Georg August…

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Network science

Discovering what causes diseases

Systems biology allows the mathematical visualisation through graphs and networks of complex body processes such as disease development. The aim is to improve understanding processes and triggers of diseases, so as to access and repair a damaged network. ‘We are still approaching this issue with a lot of naivety and underestimate the complexity of biological systems, and therefore of…

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DNA

Keeping the cellular production line on track

When our cells copy their DNA to grow and replicate, it’s vital the process runs smoothly. To get this right, cells use a complex “machine”, made from many hundreds of components. This machine is built afresh, moment by moment as it’s needed during the copying process. This assembly–de-assembly is vital to accurate and efficient copying.

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Research

Link between diabetes and bone health

Diabetes, which now affects almost 30 million Americans, can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations. A lesser-known but equally grave complication is the effect of diabetes on bone health.“Clinical trials have revealed a startling elevation in fracture risk in diabetic patients,” says Liyun Wang, associate…

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Fighting AIDS

Targeting HIV in semen to shut down AIDS

There may be two new ways to fight AIDS -- using a heat shock protein or a small molecule – to attack fibrils in semen associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the initial phases of infection, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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mTOR

Cells in limbo hold clues for tackling cancer and ageing

For some, TOR may bring to mind a Celtic mountain or perhaps an Internet privacy group. In the world of molecular biology it’s a cellular pathway that’s found in everything from yeast to mammals. mTOR (as it’s called in mammals) plays a central role in instructing the cell to grow and divide in response to nutrients. When it’s turned down, the cell shifts into a second, tidying mode,…

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Pathology

Unlocking imaging potential

Automated image analysis shows significant potential within histopathology to help identify novel and subtle prognostic features. UK expert Dr Peter Caie also believes such image analysis can turn aspects of histopathology from a traditionally semi-quantitative field into a fully quantifiable and standardised science. However, he also points out that challenges remain before the full potential is…

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Infectious diseases

Developing vaccines and nanotechnology

Vaccination remains one of the most efficient strategies against infectious diseases, often being the best protection against infections such as hepatitis B, or influenza. European Hospital reports on expert reviews of vaccines in the pipeline and the potential of nanomedicine given during the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) annual meeting in…

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Lab2Go

POC test detects myocardial infarction

Philips Minicare delivers rule-in/rule-out readings for heart attacks in 10 minutes. It takes a lot of hard work to make things easy. Biomedical experts at Royal Philips have spent more than 10 years developing a simple test for the emergency department that, in less than 10 minutes, may indicate whether a patient suffering chest pains is having a heart attack.

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Noroviruses

Lemon juice and human norovirus

Citric acid may prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans, scientists discovered from the German Cancer Research Center. Therefore, lemon juice could be a potentially safe and practical disinfectant against the most common pathogen of severe gastrointestinal infections.

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New Method

Detecting blood clots with a single scan

A blood clot is a dangerous health situation with the potential to trigger heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies. To treat a blood clot, doctors need to find its exact location. But current clinical techniques can only look at one part of the body at a time, slowing treatment and increasing the risk for complications. Now, researchers are reporting a method, tested in rats, that…

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Genetics

Big Data and the social character of genes

A new study at the University of Haifa has used “big data” analytical methods to reveal the “social character” of genes – a phenomenon in certain diseases whereby genes operate jointly rather than independently. “The problem is that the possible number of combinations of different genes is enormous, and it is almost impossible to examine them all effectively and reliably,” the…

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Retrograde amnesia

Researchers retrieve “lost” memories

Retrograde amnesia is the inability to recall established memories. In humans, amnesia is associated with traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological conditions. Whether memories lost to amnesia are completely erased or merely unable to be recalled remains an open question. Now, in a finding that casts new light on the nature of memory, researchers from the RIKEN-MIT…

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Endogenous retroviruses

Silence is golden …

An LMU team has uncovered a new role for the protein Atrx, which is involved in various aspects of gene expression. The new work shows that the protein is also involved in silencing endogenous retroviral genomes integrated in cellular DNA.

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EKF Diagnostics at AACC

First fully integrated chemistry system

EKF Diagnostics, the global in vitro diagnostics company, announced the international launch of the Altair™ 240 clinical chemistry analyzer at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta. This new bench-top platform represents EKF Diagnostics’ first fully integrated chemistry system designed for the global market. Also EKF…

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AACC News

New tests to diagnose and monitor diabetes

Researchers have successfully tested two new potential methods for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes in its standard and gestational forms. These findings, presented at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta, may lead to easier, timelier, and more affordable ways of identifying and treating this chronic disease.

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Swiss Army Knife for Laboratories

Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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