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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Rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance

How P. aeruginosa becomes resistant during CF treatment

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens pose one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide. In the near future, harmless bacterial infections may no longer be treatable and may again become the most…

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Nanoswarm

Tiny transporters deliver treatment to stroke patients

Swarms of nanoparticles which are 15,000 times smaller than a pinhead may be able to deliver vital drugs to the brain, offering new hope to patients in the early stages of a stroke. The research,…

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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…

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New research

Cancer patients at higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke

More than one in ten cancer patients do not die from their cancer but from heart and blood vessel problems instead, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. For some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiation oncologist, and Dr Kathleen Sturgeon, an assistant professor in public health sciences, both at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Cancer Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, and colleagues compared the US general population with over 3.2 million US patients who had been diagnosed with cancer between 1973 and 2012.

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Medical robotics competition

Early detection of bowel cancer with a magnetic capsule

Five talented robotics specialists were selected by an international jury for the finals of the Kuka innovation competition from among 30 applications from all over the world. For the first time, the…

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Multiple sclerosis and the psyche

Depression speeds up appearance of MS symptoms

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who also have depression are more likely to suffer debilitating symptoms early than people with MS who are not depressed, according to a study at Karolinska…

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Hope for new skin grafts

3D printed living skin complete with blood vessels

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant…

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Backup from BARDA

Sepsis early detection algorithm receives development funding

Beckman Coulter, Inc. announced that it has initially been awarded a contract of $1.25 million, with potential to be awarded an additional $6.5 million if all contract options are exercised, from the…

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Promising preclinical study results

Epilepsy: Gene therapy shows long-term suppression of seizures

Teams of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Medical University of Innsbruck have developed a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. It…

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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…

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Non-invasive testing

Laser sensor to analyse blood without needles

A photonics tech company from Vilnius are on their path to solve the 50-year-old task of making non-invasive blood analysis possible. With the help of a unique broadband laser-based sensor, 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…

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Symbiosis study

Tracking down the microbiome

All living creatures – from the simplest animal and plant organisms right up to the human body – are colonised by numerous microorganisms. They are thus in a functional relationship with these…

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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…

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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:…

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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…

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Monitoring bioresorbable magnesium

New insights on the corrosion of metal implants

Researchers in Zurich have recently been able to monitor the corrosion of bioresorbable magnesium alloys at the nanoscale over a time scale of a few seconds to many hours. This is an important step…

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Major global study reveals

Colorectal, pancreatic cancer rates up 10% in last 30 years

The results of a major study across 195 countries, presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, indicate that global death rates for pancreatic cancer and incidence rates for colorectal cancer both…

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Inherited neuromuscular disease HSP

Genetic cause for hereditary spastic paraplegia identified

Scientists at St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the USA, Tunisia and Iran have identified a new gene associated with the neuromuscular disorder,…

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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…

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Endoprothesis treatment

"Smart" implant coatings to nip infections in the bud

A material that is particularly toxic when bacteria are present in its environment? Physicists from the University of Augsburg, together with colleagues from Hamburg and Munich, have developed just…

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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.…

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

3D model of human liver tissue for better NAFLD diagnosis

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common chronic liver disorder in developed countries. Histological analysis of liver tissue is the only widely accepted test for diagnosing and distinguishing different stages of NAFLD. However, this technique provides only two-dimensional images of the liver tissue in low resolution and overlooks potentially important 3D structural…

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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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Diabetic feet prevention

Smart insole detects signs of foot ulcer

Stevens Institute of Technology has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Bonbouton, giving the company the right to use and further develop a graphene sensing system that detects early signs of foot ulcers before they form, so diabetic patients can access preventative healthcare and manage their health.

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A local government committed to growth

Northern Ireland’s scientific presence

‘Northern Ireland (NI) is a prime location for Life & Health Sciences businesses, thanks to a unique combination of talented people, world-class research and strong links between industry, academia and clinicians, in the commercialisation of innovative research,’ as explained by the organisers of the Northern Ireland exhibits in Hall 16 Stand K11-1. ‘The region has a strong reputation…

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Biological aging

Wearables link insufficient sleep to cardiovascular disease risk

Getting a good night’s sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies. Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease…

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"Umbrella" trial

Urine test detects acute kidney transplant rejection

Early non-invasive detection of kidney rejection after transplantation was the central aim of a collaboration between Prof. Dr. Bernhard Banas, Chairman of Nephrology at the University Hospital Regensburg (UKR) and the medical diagnostics company, numares. The results of their joint clinical trial “UMBRELLA” were just published in EBioMedicine and presented at the American Society of…

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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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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

Measles infections are not harmless – they can cause disease courses that may be of fatal outcome. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in co-operation with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have now found out that measles viruses erase part of the immunological memory over several years. Affected persons are thus more susceptible to infections with other pathogens beyond…

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CYLD cutaneous syndrome

Breakthrough in understanding CCS skin disease

For the first time, scientists at Newcastle University have identified changes in the DNA of the tumour cells in those with CYLD cutaneous syndrome (CCS) that may help them grow. A study published in Nature Communications suggest that the tumour cells gain a ‘survival advantage’ when the changes occur – an important step in understanding ways to develop treatments. CCS is a hereditary…

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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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Rehabilitation

Hope for patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states

Non-invasive brain stimulation is to be trialed for the first time alongside advanced brain imaging techniques in patients who are minimally conscious or in a vegetative state. The study builds on promising results from the Centre for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham which suggested that non-invasive brain stimulation can improve the success of rehabilitation for non-responsive…

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Influential genes

Our microbiome is shaped by genetic differences in the immune system

Genetic differences in the immune system shape the collections of bacteria that colonize the digestive system, according to new research by scientists at the University of Chicago. In carefully controlled experiments using germ-free mice populated with microbes from conventionally raised mice, the researchers showed that while the makeup of the microbial input largely determined the resulting…

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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 comprehensive register-based study from Aarhus University. The risk of febrile convulsions increases with the child’s fever, and approximately four per cent of Danish children suffer from febrile…

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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 pollutant from contaminated food – the environmental estrogen zearalenone – spreads in the womb and is metabolized into harmful metabolites. Xenoestrogens are absorbed through the environment,…

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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 testicular tissue biopsies of infertile men whose infertility had no identified cause. The researchers from Queensland University of Technology also found antibodies specific to the bacteria responsible,…

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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…

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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 to increase the chances of survival for extremely premature babies outside the body. Just one year ago, the artificial womb was presented as a first design during the Dutch Design Week. This grant…

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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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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 their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. Animals need oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood 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. 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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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 radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

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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 pancreatic patients. In a recent study, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) discovered the cause of this phenomenon for the first time: a particular neuroenzyme in the body is present in the…

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