Research

When scientific curiosity paves the way for improved healthcare: Read more about promising studies and trials that lead to more effective drugs, procedures as well as medical guidelines.

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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,…

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells…

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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…

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Building a risk profile

Audiologists seek genetic link to tinnitus

Tinnitus, more commonly known as ringing in the ears, is a serious audiological and neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million Americans. Noise and music exposure are the predominant environmental risk factors for tinnitus. There is no known cure, and there are no FDA-approved medications developed specifically to treat it. The fact is, tinnitus is very common but not well understood. A better understanding of its causes could eventually improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world. That’s why a team of researchers, led by Ishan Bhatt, NAU assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, recently launched a three-year study investigating whether genes influence tinnitus perception. Funded through a National Institutes of Health grant of $455,982, the…

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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…

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Finding the connection

Can air pollution lead to psychosis in teens?

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, provides a…

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Neurodegeneration

Study sheds new light on microglia

Inside the body, disease and injury can leave behind quite the mess — a scattering of cellular debris, like bits of broken glass, rubber and steel left behind in a car accident. Inside the central…

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AAA

New cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm uncovered

Researchers have discovered that a family of lipids (fats) contribute to the development of a serious aortic disease, by driving clotting in the blood vessel wall. The findings could lead to the…

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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…

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Thrombocytes

Blocking platelets could prevent fatty liver disease and liver cancer

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is among the most common chronic hepatic disorders in Western industrial countries and the rate is also rapidly rising in newly industrialized countries. Experts…

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Endocrinology

Predicting the outcome for newborns with congenital hyperinsulinism

Babies born with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) are at risk of suffering from permanent brain damage and life-long disability. Yet some will go on to suffer more severely than others as a result of…

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Hormone administration

Contraceptive jewelry could be the future of family planning

Family planning for women might one day be as simple as putting on an earring. A report published recently in the Journal of Controlled Release describes a technique for administering contraceptive…

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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…

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Mitochondria mystery solved

Researchers uncover key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment

Why do cancer cells react differently to treatments? Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to…

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Hormones

Stress accelerates breast cancer metastasis

It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking…

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Men in danger

High testosterone could put your heart at risk

Having a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels could play a role in the development of major heart problems in men, such as blood clots and heart failure, finds a study published by The…

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Healthy heart

How the 'blue' in blueberries can lower blood pressure

A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating blueberries can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure.…

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Seeing red

Will nanotechnology give us infrared vision?

Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared light as well as visible light, reports a study published in the journal Cell. A single injection of nanoparticles in the…

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Heart disease

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes death risk

Cancel the cheese omelet. There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how…

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Research

Promising new stroke therapy in development

Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a novel stroke therapy that, when tested in mice and dogs, has proven…

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Microscopy in the body

The next generation of endoscopy technology

Biotechnologists, physicists, and medical researchers at FAU have developed technology for microscopic imaging in living organisms. A miniaturised multi-photon microscope, which could be used in an…

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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.…

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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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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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Tumor-associated macrophages

Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes

Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments. The study, which has been published in the journal Cancer Cell, also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types. Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting…

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Cancer research

Black nanoparticles slow tumor growth

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

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Mineral menace

Multiple Sclerosis: Do zinc and iron play a role?

Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it. But little was known about whether zinc, iron and other minerals play a role in the development of the disease. A new study shows no link between dietary intake of several minerals and whether people later develop MS. The study is…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Microbiome

Examining the "forgotten organ"

Shahid Umar, PhD, researcher with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has dedicated two decades of his scientific exploration to better grasp the connection between colon cancer and the human microbiome. Called the “forgotten organ,” the microbiome comprises trillions and trillions of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, in our body.

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Disrupted heartbeat

Why a blow to the chest can kill (or save) you

It is still a mystery why a blow to the chest can kill people by inducing cardiac arrest yet save others that are in cardiac arrest. We may be one step closer to an answer, however, thanks to a device developed by researchers of the University of Bern and the EPFL that can replicate the experience in the laboratory. A hefty blow to the chest can have entirely opposite outcomes. While, for…

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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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Decreasing false positives

Improving diagnosis of colorectal cancer

Current faecal blood tests for colorectal cancer have a sixty percent false positive rate. New funding from Cancer Research UK is helping scientists at Cardiff University to find better, safer tests. Inaccuracy of initial tests for colorectal cancer are putting patients at unnecessary risk, highlighting vital need for the development of precise and non-invasive testing. A grant of over £400,000…

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Network analysis

AI identifies and predicts development of cancer symptom clusters

Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy could soon benefit from a new AI that is able to identify and predict the development of different combinations of symptoms – helping to alleviate much of the distress caused by their occurrence and severity. In the first study of its kind, published by Nature Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of California…

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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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The science of sleep

How our brain works against night owls

‘Night owls’ – those who go to bed and get up later – have fundamental differences in their brain function compared to ‘morning larks’ , which mean they could be disadvantaged by the constraints of a normal working day. Research led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Campinas, in Brazil, found that…

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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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Pediatric resuscitation

Blindfolded training could help doctors save young lives

In a simulation training study, pediatric team leaders who wore a blindfold improved their leadership skills ratings by 11% over the course of 3 resuscitation scenarios, versus 5% for non-blindfolded leaders. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, the findings demonstrate a promising tool for improving training and outcomes in pediatric resuscitation. “Our study suggests that blindfolding the…

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Oral contraceptives

Can birth control pills keep you from recognising emotions?

The pill could be blurring your social judgement ‒ but perhaps not enough so you'd notice. By challenging women to identify complex emotional expressions like pride or contempt, rather than basic ones like happiness or fear, scientists have revealed subtle changes in emotion recognition associated with oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, their study found…

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A healthy nap

How sleep strengthens the immune system

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

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Healthy ageing

Killing zombie cells to save our heart

Scientists at Newcastle University believe it may be possible to reverse the damage in the heart caused by ageing. New research, which has been published in the journal EMBO, could suggest a new way of preventing heart failure in older patients. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it should, most commonly when the heart muscle has been damaged –…

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