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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Hydrogel wound covering

New material to protect against antibiotic resistant bacteria

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria,…

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Resistence

Higher doses of antibiotic may strenghten certain bacteria

Using higher doses of antibiotics in a bid to tackle the growing problem of drug resistance may end up strengthening certain bacteria, according to research that highlights a previously unthought-of…

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SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

When a cell is infected, SARS-CoV-2 not only causes the host cell to produce new virus particles. The virus also suppresses host cell defence mechanisms. The virus protein nsP3 plays a central role…

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Inner ear reseach

Hearing loss: newfound gene gives insights into the cochlea

A gene called GAS2 plays a key role in normal hearing, and its absence causes severe hearing loss, according to a study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of…

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Challenges of an aging society

Dementia and gun ownership: an issue that needs regulation

In Sweden, there are over 2 million legally owned firearms. At the same time, up to 150,000 people live with a diagnosis of dementia. In an aging society such as Sweden, legislators will face…

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Post-traumatic stress disorder

Is PTSD on the rise - or just overdiagnosed?

Some clinicians are concerned that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis has risen throughout Western society since the late 1980s. Is this correct? And if so, has the true incidence of…

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Post-hospitalisation

New study reveals impact of 'Long Covid'

Recovery duration, co-morbidities, mortality, risk groups: A large study across multiple UK centres reports in detail on prospectively assessed outcomes of Covid-19, the so called 'Long Covid'. We spoke with two of the study's co-investigators about why so many patients are still affected after a coronavirus infection. Led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (a partnership between Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University), the research also found that 20% of participants had a new disability, while cognitive impairment was also a predominant symptom in some patients.

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Understanding myelination

Multiple sclerosis: Mini '3D brains' to speed up research

Tiny 3D models that mimic vital aspects of the human nervous system have been developed in a step that could accelerate drug research for neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The…

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Medication testing

'Airway-on-a-chip' to find new Covid-19 drugs

A collaboration spanning four research labs and hundreds of miles has used the organ-on-a-chip (Organ Chip) technology from the Wyss institute at Harvard Univesity to identify the antimalarial drug…

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Sex differences in medication

A drug that could help men help cope with fear (but might make things worse for women)

A research team from the Institut de Neurociències at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) has showed that inhibition through a drug of the Tac2 neuronal circuit, involved in the…

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Neuro-monitoring

Thin-film electrodes reveal key insight into human brain activity

Thin-film electrodes developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been used in human patients at the University of California, San Francisco, generating never-before-seen…

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A new tool to combat superbugs

Defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria with 'molecular tweezers'

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a looming super threat – heralding a time when our drugs will no longer be effective against prevalent infections. Hospitals are already coping with…

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Biomimetic scaffold

4D printing could enable vascularization, bone tissue regeneration, spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is frequently performed to restore spinal stability in patients with spinal diseases, such as spinal stenosis, vertebral fractures, progressive deformities, and instability. In the past…

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Oncology meets history

Medieval cancer rates much higher than previously thought

CT scanning used to uncover remnants of malignancy hidden inside medieval bones provides new insight into cancer prevalence in a pre-industrial world. The first study to use x-rays and CT scans to detect evidence of cancer among the skeletal remains of a pre-industrial population suggests that between 9-14% of adults in medieval Britain had the disease at the time of their death. This puts cancer…

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Vision for vision

Reversing blindness: Award for cone optogenetics gene therapy

The Foundation Fighting Blindness has granted 600,000 US$ to help Hendrik Scholl as principal investigator define a novel way of reversing blindness. Hendrik Scholl is Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, and Head of the University Hospital’s Eye Clinic in Basel, Switzerland.

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Battling bacteria

Stress test finds cracks in the armor of harmful hospital bugs

Research has identified critical factors that enable dangerous bacteria to spread disease by surviving on surfaces in hospitals and kitchens. The study into the mechanisms which enable the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to survive on surfaces, could lead to new ways of targeting harmful bacteria. To survive outside their host, pathogenic bacteria must withstand various…

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Regeneration research

Scientists uncover how our skin repairs itself

University of Manchester scientists have cast new light on how our skin repairs itself, bringing the possibility of regeneration of the organ a step closer. The study team, funded by the Medical Research Council and Helmut Horten Foundation, showed the activation of specific parts of the DNA leading to better division of human skin cells. The study is published in Nucleic Acid Research.

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Bioprinting breakthrough

3D printed mini pancreas to help fight diabetes

First you see it as a transparent shape on a computer screen – a small electronic replica of the human pancreas. Then just 30 seconds later the tissue is printed out on a bioprinter, blood vessels and all, from a sample of human stem cells. This amazing feat is possible thanks to new technology created at EPFL’s Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices (LAPD) and further developed by…

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Building a coronavirus factory

How SARS-CoV-2 reprograms human cells to their own benefit

Coronavirus researchers under Prof. Rolf Hilgenfeld of the University of Lübeck and Dr. Albrecht von Brunn of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich discovered how SARS viruses enhance the production of viral proteins in infected cells, so that many new copies of the virus can be generated. Other coronaviruses apart from SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 do not use this mechanism, thereby providing a…

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Stopping the spread

Research sheds new light on pancreatic cancer metastasis

With an overall survival rate of 9% for those diagnosed, pancreatic cancer remains exceedingly difficult to treat. However, the patient's primary tumor typically isn't what leads to death - it is the cancer's ability to evade detection and metastasize to other organs. A team of researchers at the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma has published a new study in the journal…

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Helminths

Worm infestation in the gut can lower viral defenses

Infection with parasitic intestinal worms (helminths) can apparently cause sexually transmitted viral in-fections to be much more severe elsewhere in the body. This is shown by a study led by the Universities of Cape Town and Bonn. According to the study, helminth-infected mice developed significantly more severe symptoms after infection with a genital herpes viruses (Herpes Simplex Virus). The…

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Lipid research

Solving the sub-zero challenge of Covid-19 vaccines

New research by University of Texas at Dallas scientists could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain Covid-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage. In a study published online in Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline…

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The stronger sex after all

Why women may be better equipped to fight Covid-19

When it comes to Covid-19, women seem to be the stronger sex, suffering severe disease at about half the rate as men, but the reason for this has been elusive. Now a chance experiment by an ophthalmology researcher at Duke Health has led to an insight: Women have more of a certain type of immune cell that fights infections in mucosal tissue, and these immune cells amass in the lungs, poised to…

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From foe to friend?

Some Alzheimer’s plaques may be protective, not destructive

One of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. Most therapies designed to treat AD target these plaques, but they’ve largely failed in clinical trials. New research by scientists at the Salk Institute upends conventional views of the origin of one prevalent type of plaque, indicating a reason why treatments have been…

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M.O. of Darobactin unveiled

Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry

An increasing number of bacterial pathogens are resistant to antibiotics. And the most dangerous pathogens share a common feature: a double membrane that is difficult to penetrate. Even when antibiotic agents are able to break into this shell, the bacteria just pump them right out again. But a recently discovered compound called Darobactin manages to circumvent these protective measures and kill…

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CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

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Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in iron-deficient conditions by utilizing rubredoxin B, a protein from a rubredoxin family that play an important role in adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The new study is part of an…

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Mitochondria research

Colorectal cancer: Mutations in overlooked DNA could have huge impact on survival

DNA errors in the cell’s energy ‘factories’ increases the chances of survival for people with bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, according to a new study. Studying how DNA errors (mutations) can drive cancer development, as well as help it adapt and evolve, has been a key focus of cancer research. But much of that focus has been on DNA found in the cell’s nucleus. Experts say…

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Léopold Griffuel Award

Childhood cancer research: Award for Stefan Pfister

Stefan Pfister, a director of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), a department head at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and a pediatric oncologist at University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD), has received the Léopold Griffuel Award from Fondation ARC, the French cancer research foundation. The prize, worth EUR 150,000 in Basic Research category, is one of the highest…

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Here comes the tooth fairy

New drug shows promise for regenerating lost teeth

A new study by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may offer hope for adults who have lost their teeth. The team reports that an antibody for one gene - uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1 - can stimulate tooth growth in mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition. The paper was published in Science Advances. Although the normal adult mouth has…

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Prognosis

Better heart failure outcomes through biomarker-based treatment

In a recent study by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, findings indicate that among patients with heart failure, obesity is associated with a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization or death due to cardiac causes. However, achieving biomarker-based treatment goals in heart failure improves the prognosis for patients irrespective of their obesity status.

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Study hints at increased risk

Many Covid-19 patients return to hospital within 140 days

People discharged from hospital after Covid-19 appear to have increased risks of diseases across multiple organs and nearly a third are readmitted to hospital in the following months, according to a new study co-led by researchers at University College London. The study, published in The BMJ, looked at nearly 50,000 people who were discharged from hospital by August last year and compared them to…

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Proof of concept

Surveillance system tracks Covid infection hotspots in hospital

A University of Manchester team has applied new techniques to detect and track the transmission of Covid-19 in hospital. The proof of concept system combines the movement and interaction of staff and patients with genomic sequencing of the virus, helping to signpost how best to improve patient pathways, staff movement and reduce risk. They identified hotspots within hospitals where patients and…

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