Neurology

Waves move across the human brain to support memory

Biomedical engineers at Columbia Engineering have discovered a new fundamental feature of brain oscillations: they actually move rhythmically across the brain, reflecting patterns of neuronal…

Research

Unique patient offers insights into the brain's quest to see

When light streams through her window in just the right way, Milena Canning will sometimes stoop to pick up a shiny coin she has noticed on the wooden floor of her Glasgow-area home. But her hand…

Research

Maps made of nerve cells

Dr. Thomas Hainmüller and Prof. Dr. Marlene Bartos of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Freiburg have established a new model to explain how the brain stores memories of tangible…

Gas embolotherapy

Blowing bubbles for cancer treatment

Recently, scientists have explored another version of embolization, called gas embolotherapy. During this process, the blood supply is cut off using acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV), which uses…

High levels, low levels

How caffeine may help diagnose Parkinson’s disease

Testing the level of caffeine in the blood may provide a simple way to aid the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal…

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Muscle cancer - or is it?

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital oncologists have discovered the cell type that gives rise to rhabdomyosarcoma, the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children. Previously, scientists…

Mirror neuron activity

This is where your brain makes up its mind about moral dilemmas

It is wartime. You and your fellow refugees are hiding from enemy soldiers, when a baby begins to cry. You cover her mouth to block the sound. If you remove your hand, her crying will draw the attention of the soldiers, who will kill everyone. If you smother the child, you’ll save yourself and the others. If you were in that situation, which was dramatized in the final episode of the ’70s and ’80s TV series “M.A.S.H.,” what would you do? The results of a new UCLA study suggest that scientists could make a good guess based on how the brain responds when people watch someone else experience pain. The study found that those responses predict whether people will be inclined to avoid causing harm to others when facing moral dilemmas.

Macrophages

How immune cells help early breast cancer spread

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that normal immune cells called macrophages, which reside in healthy breast tissue surrounding milk ducts, play a major role in helping early breast cancer…

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…

Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin…

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,…

Regeneration

Immune cells help rebuild damaged nerves

Immune cells are normally associated with fighting infection but in a new study, scientists have discovered how they also help the nervous system clear debris, making way for nerve regeneration after…

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…

Nationwide cohort study

Can an aspirin a day keep liver cancer away?

A new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases found that daily aspirin therapy was significantly associated with a reduced risk…

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…

Prenatal care

Fever itself in early pregnancy might cause birth defects

Duke researchers now have evidence to suggest the fever itself, not its root source, could interfere with the development of the heart and jaw during the first three to eight weeks of pregnancy.…

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Nutrition

Fermenting fish to reduce cholesterol

Compounds in a fermented fish paste used as a condiment in Indonesia efficiently inhibit an enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, reports a study published in the Pertanika journal Tropical…

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…

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…

Research discovery

New blood test may diagnose breast cancer

In a potential major breakthrough in breast cancer research, scientists at the Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute of…

Psychology

Stress makes it harder for us to sense new dangers

Being under stress diminishes our abilities to predict new dangers that we face, a team of psychology researchers finds. Its work runs counter to the conventional view that stress enhances our…

Study

Zika virus could be used to treat brain cancer

Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have revealed that the virus causes brain defects in unborn children. But researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of…

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…

Behaviour prediction

The psychology of taking risks

An anxious person will avoid risks whenever possible. This in itself is not exactly a surprise. However, researchers have found a way to visualize this process in the brain - with interesting…

Hand in hand

Why being left-handed matters for mental health treatment

Being left-handed apparently means a lot more than gripping things differently than most, researchers find. This sheds a new light on mental health treatment, because current therapies for the most…

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Faster diagnosis, reduced cost

The impact of whole genome sequencing on newborn babys in ICU

Early whole genome sequencing might bring hope for children who are born severely ill or who develop serious illness in the first few weeks of their life. Because these children are often difficult to diagnose, detection of diseases has considerable implications for their short and longer-term care. At the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) in Milan, Italy, the…

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Analyzing free-floating DNA

Blood test shows potential for early detection of lung cancer

A test that analyzes free-floating DNA in the blood may be able to detect early-stage lung cancer, a preliminary report from the ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study suggests. Lead study author Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “There is an unmet need globally for early-detection tests for lung cancer that can be easily implemented by health-care…

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New function assessment

Measuring immune cell response within minutes

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

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New research

Circulating tumor cells to help stage metastatic breast cancer

Menarini Silicon Biosystems announced that a new study has found that using circulating tumor cells (CTCs), a form of liquid biopsy, holds promise as a key tool for developing a staging system that can have a significant impact in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). In this study, the largest CTCs pooled analysis study to date, researchers determined that the CTC count could be used…

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Talent, magic, or a bit of both?

The science behind Michael Jackson’s dance moves

When was the last time you watched a Michael Jackson music video? If your answer is “never” or “not for quite a while,” you are really missing a treat. According to Rolling Stone, “No single artist … shaped, innovated or defined the medium of ‘music video’ more than Michael Jackson.” Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, MTV had only one format—music videos—and that genre…

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Study results

Triggers of acute heart failure vary globally

Triggers of acute heart failure vary globally, according to late breaking results from the REPORT-HF registry presented at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress. REPORT-HF is a global, prospective registry comparing regional differences in causes of acute heart failure, therapies, time to treatment, and outcomes. Professor Sean…

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Hematopoietic Stem Cells

What keeps our blood in balance

Blood is the juice of life, as while circulating through the body it delivers vital substances such as oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and blood loss in general impoverish the system. A special kind of cells in the bone marrow, called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is able to replenish the impoverished system by giving rise not only to red blood cells, but…

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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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Infections

Tuberculosis: new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

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

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High-proof posting

Social media usage linked to underage drinking

Social media often features celebrities drinking cocktails, boozy how-to posts, and party pictures. This is the environment American teens are immersed in every day, with 71 percent of teens using more than one social media site, spending an average of nine hours a day using media. Despite the popularity of social media and alcohol-filled posts, little is known about the influence social media…

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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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Mystic reptile

This green-blooded lizard could help fight malaria

Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard. The muscles, bones and tongues of these lizards appear bright, lime-green due to high levels of biliverdin, or a green bile pigment, which is toxic and causes jaundice. Surprisingly, these lizards…

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Up in smoke

Cannabis: It matters how young you start

What a difference a year or two can make: If you started smoking marijuana at the start of your teens, your risk of having a drug abuse problem by age 28 is 68 per cent, but if you started smoking between 15 and 17 your risk drops to 44 per cent, according to a new study by Université de Montréal researchers. All the more reason, they say, to educate kids early, in primary school, about the…

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Gait analysis

What your walk says about your health

The way you walk can reveal current and future health problems. New research from Halmstad University suggests the use of wearable sensors for analysing your movement. This can potentially result in early detection of for example Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and other neuro-physiological disorders. Many of our body systems, such as the cardio-vascular system and the…

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Arthoplasty

Can weight loss surgery improve knee replacement outcomes?

Could weight loss surgery before knee replacement improve outcomes or even eliminate the need for joint replacement in severely overweight patients? A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) aims to answer that question. Orthopedic surgeons often encourage obese patients considering knee replacement to try to lose weight before the procedure. The study, known as SWIFT (Surgical…

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"WAKE-UP"

Study provides new treatment option for stroke patients

In an international study, scientists of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have discovered a new therapeutic option for a large group of stroke patients. The main results of the European WAKE-UP trial were presented at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the same time, the trial results were published in the New England Journal of…

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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", a journal published by the…

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Life's a game

"Exergaming" may help prevent Alzheimer’s

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement with certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming, according to a new study. The results could encourage seniors, caregivers and health care providers to pursue or prescribe exergames (video games that also require physical exercise) in hopes of slowing the…

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Cross-species concerns

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

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

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A new approach

"Universal antibodies" disarm various pathogens

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

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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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ECCMID

Antibiotic combination against multidrug-resistant pathogens

Gram-negative pathogens are responsible for half of all healthcare-associated infections and their ability to resist traditional antibiotics makes them more dangerous for seriously ill patients in a healthcare setting. The need for new approaches to treat these pathogens is essential and there are a number of trials trying to find suitable answers. One of them is the RESTORE-IMI 1 pivotal Phase…

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Increasing prevalence

Oral antibiotics may raise risk of kidney stones - especially in kids

Pediatric researchers have found that children and adults treated with some oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones. This is the first time that these medicines have been linked to this condition. The strongest risks appeared at younger ages and among patients most recently exposed to antibiotics. “The overall prevalence of kidney stones has risen by 70…

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Terror protection

Promising vaccines against anthrax, plague and tularemia

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

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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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