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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Multimillion research grant

One step closer to the artificial womb

The realization of an artificial womb has come one step closer, thanks to a new €2.9 million grant from the EU program Horizon 2020 for researchers in Eindhoven. The goal of the artificial womb is…

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Chronobiology

Sleep and synaptic rhythms

Chronobiologists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, show in two articles how critical the sleep-wake cycle is for protein and phosphorylation dynamics in synapses to ultimately…

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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…

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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 mechanism for cartilage repair that appears to be more robust in ankle joints and less so in hips. “We believe that an understanding of this ‘salamander-like’ regenerative capacity in humans, and the critically missing components of this regulatory circuit, could provide the foundation for new approaches to repair joint tissues and possibly whole human limbs,” said senior author Virginia Byers Kraus, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the…

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Adaptation to oxygen availability

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for…

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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.…

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New transfection approach

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

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as…

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When painkillers won't help

A new approach to pancreas pain treatment

One of the worst symptoms associated with inflammation or cancer of the pancreas is severe chronic pain. Pancreatic pain is difficult to treat, because many painkillers prove ineffective in…

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Respiratory failure and sepsis

Cheap, quick test identifies major risks for pneumonia patients

Spanish researchers in Valencia have identified specific fragments of genetic material that play a role in the development of respiratory failure and sepsis in pneumonia patients. Presenting the…

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Interneurons

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

In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread…

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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…

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Food study

Red and processed meat: not so bad for our health, but...

Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat as they do now. A major study led by researchers at McMaster and Dalhousie universities has found cutting back has little impact on health. A…

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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…

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Hospital microbes

Green tea could reduce antibiotic resistance

Scientists at the University of Surrey have discovered that a natural antioxidant commonly found in green tea can help eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria...

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Cancer

Researchers develop tumour growth roadmap

Researchers at Leipzig University and Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) have discovered that tumour growth and tissue invasion by cancer cells can be predicted based on the ontogenetic distance…

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Nature vs. nurture

Oh! Are our emotional vocalisations learned or innate?

Are emotional expressions shaped by innate specialised mechanisms that guide learning, or do they develop exclusively from learning? In a classic ‘nature versus nurture’ study, social psychology…

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Brewing up brain benefits

Drinking tea improves brain health

A recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine revealed that regular tea…

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Chemo side effects

Breakthrough in cancer hair loss treatment discovered

Scientists have determined a new way to protect the hair follicle from chemotherapy in an effort to prevent hair loss as a result of cancer treatments. Researchers based at The University of…

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Stopping the seizures

Epilepsy surgery: the earlier the better, study shows

A person with drug resistant epilepsy who gets an early surgical intervention has a better chance of becoming seizure free. This is shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis in which Sahlgrenska…

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Dangerous fever

Febrile convulsions: an early indicator for epilepsy in children?

Children who suffer repeated febrile convulsions have an increased risk of developing epilepsy and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression later in life. This is shown by a…

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Danger in the womb

Xenoestrogens in the womb: a burden for babies

Early childhood life in the womb is particularly sensitive to the effects of environmental pollutants. A team from Empa and the University of Vienna has now for the first time been able to show how a…

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Male infertility

Chlamydia discovered in testicular tissue

The potential impact of undiagnosed sexually transmitted chlamydia infection on men’s fertility has been highlighted in an Australian-led study, which for the first time found chlamydia in the…

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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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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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Tissue construct

A 'swift' way to 3D-print organs

Twenty people die every day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., and while more than 30,000 patients now receive transplants annually, another 113,000 are currently on organ waitlists. Many people see artificially grown human organs as the Holy Grail for resolving the organ shortage, and advances in 3D printing have led to a boom in using that technique to build living tissue constructs…

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

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

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Macular degeneration as a biomarker

Eye scan shows diseases at an early stage

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

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Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

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

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Mini sunlight reactor

Producing meds with 'artificial leaf' technology

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

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The XX factor

XX chromosomes put women's hearts at risk

New research at the University of Kentucky has confirmed that the presence of XX sex chromosomes increases the amount of fat circulating in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the arteries and ultimately a higher risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The research was published in Nature Communications. The leading cause of death in women is coronary artery disease (CAD), but women…

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Psychological treatment

New PTSD meds take advantage of body's own cannabinoids

A medication that boosts the body’s own cannabis-like substances, endocannabinoids, shows promise to help the brain un-learn fear memories when these are no longer meaningful. This according to an early-stage, experimental study on healthy volunteers at Linköping University. The new findings give hope that a new treatment can be developed for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. “We have…

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Methylation of microRNA

Is it cancer? New method could tell the difference

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

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Nanotechnology

Tiny diamonds in the brain

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

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Cardiovascular disease

Why exercise is even more beneficial for CVD patients

A study of nearly half a million people has found for the first time that those with heart or blood vessel problems benefit more from having a physically active lifestyle than do healthy people without cardiovascular disease (CVD). Increased physical activity reduced the risk of dying during a six-year follow-up period for people with and without CVD, but the researchers found the greatest…

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Sexual orientation & DNA

A single 'gay gene'? Doesn't exist, says science

Genes alone cannot be used to determine an individual’s sexual orientation. A study published in the journal Science found only five out of hundreds of thousands genetic variants occurred somewhat more often in people who had had same-sex partners. This suggests human sexuality is influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, according to the researchers. The study is based…

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Vascular PSP survey

Giving patients a say in vascular conditions research

A new survey will give patients, carers and members of the public the opportunity to have their say in what they think is important for future research for vascular conditions. The Vascular Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) survey, developed in partnership with the James Lind Alliance aims to identify unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of vascular conditions from…

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Biosensors

Using smartphones to detect norovirus

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

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Draft guidance

FDA: Include male breast cancer patients in trials

In its latest draft guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages inclusion of males in breast cancer clinical trials. Historically, males either have not been included in clinical trials for drugs to treat breast cancer or inclusion of males in those trials has been very limited; when finalized, the draft guidance will provide clarity for industry regarding clinical…

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Let it grow

3D printed templates for bone implants made of salt

With the help of a 3D printed salt template, ETH researchers from ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing magnesium scaffolds with structured porosity that are suitable for bioresorbable bone implants. For the treatment of complex bone fractures or even missing bone parts, surgeons typically deploy metal implants. In this context, an attractive alternative to the traditional materials like…

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Fast Food study

More burger joints, more heart attacks

Areas with a higher number of fast food restaurants have more heart attacks, according to research presented at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). The study also found that for every additional fast food outlet, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year. Study author Tarunpreet Saluja of the University of…

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Call for more research

Microplastics – a health hazard?

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for a further assessment of microplastics in the environment and their potential impacts on human health, following the release of an analysis of current research related to microplastics in drinking-water. The Organization also calls for a reduction in plastic pollution to benefit the environment and reduce human exposure. “We urgently need to know…

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Food supplementation

Can 'fortified' flour fight vitamin D deficiency?

Adding vitamin D to wheat flour would prevent 10 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency in England and Wales over the next 90 years, say researchers at the University of Birmingham. The researchers say overhauling existing public health policy to introduce the mandatory fortification of vitamin D in wheat flour would not only be cost saving but would significantly reduce the burden on the NHS…

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Global warming

Climate change increases heart attack risk

Heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is the number one cause of death worldwide. A study published in the European Heart Journal by scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and colleagues from a range of other Bavarian institutions shows that the risk of suffering a heat-induced heart attack has increased significantly in recent years. During the same period of time, no comparable changes in…

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Cancer research

Regina Beets-Tan boards 'Horizon Europe'

Professor Regina Beets-Tan has been appointed to the mission board of the EU research mission on cancer, part of the European Commission’s research initiative known as Horizon Europe. She has been selected to serve on the 15-member board for the cancer mission, tasked with shaping their mission and further defining what research receives funding within the cancer mission’s mandate, beginning…

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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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