Solving a medical mystery

Cause of rare type of dwarfism discovered

Scientists have uncovered the cause of Saul-Wilson syndrome: A single, spontaneous gene change alters protein packaging in the cell’s Golgi complex, causing the disease.

Dying neurons

Decoding the regulation of cell survival

An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on…

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…

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. Oelsner, MD, MPH, and coauthors report a link between albuminuria, the amount of the protein albumin in urine, and COPD. The researchers conducted their study by pooling information from 31,877 participants (average age: 60 years) from six cohort studies funded mainly by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Myelodysplastic syndrome

Genetic testing helps predict disease recurrence

A DNA-based analysis of blood cells soon after a stem cell transplant can predict likelihood of disease recurrence in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a group of cancerous disorders…

Research

Non-small cell lung cancer: women live longer than men

Women diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) live longer than their male counterparts, according to results of a SWOG study presented by Loyola Medicine researcher Kathy Albain, MD, at…

Research

Growing a human esophagus in the lab

Scientists working to bioengineer the entire human gastrointestinal system in a laboratory now report using pluripotent stem cells to grow human esophageal organoids.

mini viral RNA

Understanding the deadly nature of pandemic influenza

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford have discovered a new molecule that plays a key role in the immune response that is triggered by influenza infections.

Science

Why are some human genes more popular with researchers than others?

Historical bias is a key reason why biomedical researchers continue to study the same 10 percent of all human genes while ignoring many genes known to play roles in disease, according to a study led…

Dickdarmkrebs

The microbiota in the intestines fuels tumour growth

Cell stress in combination with an altered microbiota in the colon drives tumour growth. Previously, it was assumed that this combination only contributes to inflammatory intestinal diseases.

Oncology

Discovering cancer cell mutations with optimized technologies

Cancer cells often have mutations in their DNA that can give scientists clues about how the cancer started or which treatment may be most effective. Finding these mutations can be difficult, but a…

Research

First evidence that soot from polluted air is reaching placenta

Evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, has been found in placentas for the first time, in new research presented at the European Respiratory Society…

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…

Hope against arthritis

Growing cartilage – how does it work?

Anyone with arthritis can appreciate how useful it would be if scientists could grow cartilage in the lab. To this end, Keck School of Medicine of USC scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of…

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…

Non-compliance

Half of European clinical trials do not report results

Half of clinical trials on the EU register have not reported results, despite rules requiring results to be posted within 12 months of completion, finds a study published by The BMJ. Findings show…

Study

Liver disease drug could help restore cells damaged by Alzheimer's

A drug which has been used to treat liver disease for decades could help to restore cells damaged by Alzheimer's, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found. The pioneering study…

Research

Link between obesity, the brain, and genetics

Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to new research.…

From science fiction to reality

Researchers 3D print prototype for bionic eye

A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have, for the first time, fully 3D printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery marks a significant step toward…

Cardiology

Do our hearts beat digital or analog?

Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) have found evidence that may disrupt conventional understanding about how electrical activity travels in the heart — a discovery…

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…

Boxers or briefs?

Why getting rid of tighty-whities is good for your fertility

Researchers have discovered a good reason to not wear tight-fitting underwear – beyond the obvious aspect of fashion: According to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, men…

Mysterious blackout

What happens when we lose consciousness during anaesthesia?

The first successful surgery under anaesthesia occurred in the 1840s. Since then—more than 170 years later—people have been developing theories about what might be going on in the brain while a…

Study

1 in 2 women set to develop dementia, Parkinson's disease, or stroke

One in two women and one in three men will likely be diagnosed with dementia, Parkinson's disease, or stroke in their lifetime, estimate Dutch researchers in an observational study

Infections

Zika virus strips immune cells of their identity

Macrophages are immune cells that are supposed to protect the body from infection by viruses and bacteria. Yet Zika virus preferentially infects these cells. Researchers at University of California…

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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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Cardiology congress

ESC 2018: At the heart of research

When delegates from around 150 countries converge on Munich for ESC Congress 2018 they will no doubt reflect on what they themselves eat. Yes, nutrition is up for debate, questioning, for example, whether weight loss therapies can also prevent heart attacks and strokes. Results from the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial of 12,000 overweight individuals with established cardiovascular disease or diabetes…

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Morbus Charcot-Marie-Tooth

CMT: Unlikely ally against deadly neuropathy

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common hereditary neuropathy and affects more than two million people worldwide. In Germany, at least 30.000 people suffer from CMT which belongs to the class of rare disease. In a close collaboration, researchers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine and the University Medical Center of Göttingen now hope to use lecithin, a harmless…

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Sodium consumption

Daily salt intake: How much is too much for our heart?

New research shows that for the vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase health risks except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt. Fewer than five per cent of individuals in developed countries exceed that level. The large, international study also shows that even for those individuals there is good news. However, the…

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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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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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Hazardous hormones & the heart

How being transgender affects cardiac health

Transgender individuals may be at higher risk for myocardial infarction and death due to cardiovascular disease, according to several studies. This increased risk may be due to the hormone therapy that transgender patients take for masculinization or feminization. A review authored by Michael S. Irwig, MD, associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine…

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Dementia

Drinking will put your brain at risk (but then again, abstinence might, too)

People who abstain from alcohol or consume more than 14 units a week during middle age (midlife) are at increased risk of developing dementia, finds a study in The BMJ today. However, the underlying mechanisms are likely to be different in the two groups. As people live longer, the number living with dementia is expected to triple by 2050. So understanding the impact of alcohol consumption on…

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Switching sides

How cancer cells 'brainwash' their foes

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

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Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

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

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Resistance-building

‘Why not take a risk?’ belief boosts antibiotic overuse

Antibiotics are mostly prescribed for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), yet most of these infections are viral. A new study shows that inappropriate antibiotics prescriptions are widespread, contributing dangerously helping antibiotic-resistant organisms to grow. Overuse could be due to attitudes among patients and clinicians, current George Washington University research suggests.

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High blood pressure

Millions more: New guidelines could drastically raise hypertension numbers

Adopting new guidelines for high blood pressure (hypertension) would dramatically increase the number of people labeled as having the condition and being recommended for drug treatment, finds a study published by The BMJ today. The findings show that, if the guidelines were introduced in the US and China, more than half of those aged 45-75 years in both countries would be considered hypertensive.

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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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Research

Unravelling the mystery of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Another piece in the puzzle that is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has been solved by a University of Queensland researcher in a step towards developing treatments for a disease that affects about one in every five Australians. PhD student Laurence Britton has discovered a pivotal mechanism by which iron is able to make the liver more vulnerable to the injury and metabolic dysfunction that…

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