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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1 in 5

Sepsis death toll twice as high as assumed

Twice as many people as previously believed are dying of sepsis worldwide, according to an analysis published in The Lancet and announced at the Critical Care Reviews annual meeting in Belfast. Among…

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Research award shortlist

Soft cardio-robot and 'Google Maps' of the heart face Big Beat Challenge

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced its shortlist of four research projects competing for a single £30 million award. The charity says it is one of many radical new approaches needed to…

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Obesity, heart disease, diabetes

Are NCD not so "non-communicable" after all?

Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or certain lung diseases are among the most common non-natural causes of death today and account for about 70 percent of deaths worldwide. They are…

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SARS-like virus from China

What we know about the new corona virus

Nine people have died and more than 400 have been sickened by the new corona virus spreading in China. A few cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S., and on Wednesday, the World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on the outbreak. How worried about a new pandemic should we be? Virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, gives his perspective. "The corona virus has existed in animals and humans for quite some time. It usually results in symptoms resembling a common cold and is in most cases harmless. However, we have seen that some variants of the corona virus, such as SARS and MERS, can cause very serious illnesses", he says.

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Liquid hope

Probiotic drinks vs antibiotic resistance?

A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key…

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Look out!

Eye movement test confirms brain-ageing effects

University of Liverpool researchers have used a newly developed eye movement test to improve the understanding of how parts of the brain work. Healthy, older adults are widely reported to experience…

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Tumour Matrisome Index (TMI)

Big data breakthrough in cancer diagnosis

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has discovered a new personalised tool to detect cancer, predict patient survivability and how well a cancer patient would…

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Sex-specific genes

Heart valve defect: female and male hearts react differently

When the heart valve between the aorta and the left ventricle is narrowed, i.e. aortic valve stenosis is present, different genes are active in men than in women. Scientists of the German Centre for…

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Genome and genes decoded

One step closer to Indian cobra antivenom

Scientists from India and the USA, along with a team of international collaborators from academia and industry report the sequencing and assembly of a high-quality genome of the highly venomous,…

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Finding treatment for Parkinson's disease

Synthetic neurons could take brain research to the next level

The body can recover from many things, but the damage caused by Parkinson’s disease isn’t one of them. No cure exists for Parkinson’s, which 1 million people in the U.S. are expected to be…

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Next generation diagnostics

Using AI to detect and grade prostate cancer

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a method based on artificial intelligence for histopathological diagnosis and grading of prostate cancer. The AI-system has the potential to solve…

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New nutrition study

Childhood obesity: a surprisingly complex topic

The World Health Organization has estimated more than 340 million children and adolescents ages 5-19 are overweight or obese, and the epidemic has been linked to more deaths worldwide than those…

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Chasing the causes of cancer

Mapping cancer-related proteins in unprecedented detail

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have gained new understandings of two key complexes of cancer-related proteins by producing the most detailed ever maps of the structures they…

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More power

New lithium batteries to supercharge tomorrow

Researchers from Australia are on the brink of commercialising the world’s most efficient lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery, which could outperform current market leaders by more than four times, and…

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Bacterial battle

Designing drugs that cure Clostridium difficile

A newly published paper details a research breakthrough that provides a promising starting point for scientists to create drugs that can cure Clostridium difficile (C. diff) — a virulent health…

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Biomarker for personalised treatment

Non-invasive technique to assess brain tumours in children

Ground-breaking research by the University of Birmingham has discovered a new technique to assess the aggressiveness of childhood brain tumours. Funded by Children with Cancer UK, Action Medical…

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Higher intake, lower risk

Could magnesium save women from fatal heart disease?

A new prospective study based on data from the Women's Health Initiative found a potential inverse association between dietary magnesium and fatal coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. The…

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Molecular map

Striatum: where our brain makes decisions

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have come one step closer toward understanding how the part of our brain that is central for decision-making and the development of addiction is organized on a…

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The need for speed (and luxury cars)

Study reveals physician's car preferences

Psychiatrists are most likely to be fined for extreme speeding, while cardiologists are most likely to drive luxury cars, according to a US study of physician driving behaviors in the Christmas issue…

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Decision support

AI can predict septic shock

Researchers at Linköping University (LiU) have developed an algorithm that can identify patients at a higher risk of septic shock, a life-threatening condition that is difficult for doctors to…

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Preventive potential

Why eating yoghurt may stave off breast cancer

One of the causes of breast cancer may be inflammation triggered by harmful bacteria say researchers. Scientists say their idea – as yet unproven – is supported by the available evidence, which…

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Air pollution with a bang

The health impact of festival fireworks

Fireworks associated with festival celebrations such as Australia Day, China’s Lunar New Year and Fourth of July, in the USA, may have a significant impact on the health of vulnerable people, a new…

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Donor organ assessment

New quality feature to predict kidney transplant failure

New research indicates that subtle structural features of donated kidneys from living donors may predict the risk of kidney transplant failure in recipients. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of JASN, may help clinicians as they evaluate the quality of organs at the time of transplantation. The quality of donated kidneys obtained from living donors is often inferred from their age,…

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Functional extracellular mitochondria

Surprising discovery of a new blood component

Does the blood we thought to know so well contain elements that had been undetectable until now? The answer is yes, according to a team of researchers. The scientistts from Inserm, Université de Montpellier and the Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM) working at the Montpellier Cancer Research Institute (IRCM), have revealed the presence of whole functional mitochondria in the blood circulation.…

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Gastric squamous-columnar junction cancer

The role of stem cells in deadly gastric SCJ cancer

A study led by scientists from Cornell University provides important new insights into a common and deadly type of gastric cancer. Incidence of this cancer, called gastric squamous-columnar junction (SCJ) cancer, also known as gastroesophageal cancer, rose 2.5 times in the United States between the 1970s and 2000s, while cases of all gastric cancers have decreased by more than 80% since the…

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Detailed map of immune cells

The Human Blood Atlas: a mighty new tool to fight deadly diseases

A first-ever map of the human body’s immune cells has been created by scientists at SciLifeLab, providing medical research with a detailed description of the proteins in human blood. The open-access database offers medical researchers an unprecedented resource in the search for treatments for diseases. Published in the journal Science, the Blood Atlas resource is the latest database to be…

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Armed antibodies

Tough against cancer, gentle to the immune system

Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) at Tübingen University Hospital have managed to attach immunostimulatory cytokines to cancer-specific antibodies for the first time in such a way that they activate the immune response against cancer without causing a dangerous overreaction by the immune system. The research team has now been granted…

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Subdermal quantum tattoo

Nano-patch stores medical information under the skin

Every year, a lack of vaccination leads to about 1.5 million preventable deaths, primarily in developing nations. One factor that makes vaccination campaigns in those nations more difficult is that there is little infrastructure for storing medical records, so there’s often no easy way to determine who needs a particular vaccine. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)…

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Multiple myeloma therapy

Finding a formula for blood cancer vaccine

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a way to move precision immunotherapy forward by using genomics to inform immunotherapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in December. This is the first study to experimentally determine which…

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Chronobiology in colour

Will blue light ruin your sleep? Not necessarily

Contrary to common belief, blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought – according to University of Manchester scientists. According to the team, using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial to our health. Twilight is both dimmer and bluer than daylight, they say, and the body clock uses both of those…

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A closer look at blood lipids

Lipidomics and machine learning predict diabetes risk

Using lipidomics, a technique that measures the composition of blood lipids at a molecular level, and machine learning, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a blood lipid profile that improves the possibility to assess, several years in advance, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The blood lipid profile can also be linked to a certain diet and degree of physical activity.…

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Polycystic ovary syndrome

Better treatment for women with PCOS

A major £2.4 million research project is underway at the University of Birmingham aimed at improving treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS affects at least ten percent of all women and causes irregular periods and difficulties trying to conceive. Most women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones, known as androgens, in their blood which can also cause unwanted body…

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Machine learning for the mind

Astrophysics and AI team up for early dementia diagnosis

Crucial early diagnosis of dementia in general practice could improve thanks to a computer model designed in a collaboration between Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and astrophysicists at the University of Sussex. Currently, only two-thirds of people with dementia in the UK receive a formal diagnosis, and many receive it late in the disease process, meaning that a large number are…

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CVD and stroke risk

How work stress and low income sap your heart

Low educational levels predict an increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease and stroke according to the first nationwide study of the link between education and risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, is also the first nationwide study to look at the extent to which low income and work stress plays a role in the association…

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Acoustofluidics

Saliva test to detect mouth and throat cancer earlier and easier

Unfortunately, cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes the use of acoustofluidics, a new non-invasive method that analyzes saliva for the presence of human papilloma virus…

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Single cell analysis & machine learning

scPred: Finding the ‘fingerprint’ of human cells

Researchers say a new method to analyse data from individual human cells could be a step-change for diagnosing some of the most devastating diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease. By combining single cell analysis techniques with machine learning algorithms, a team led by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has developed a method to ‘fingerprint’ human cells.…

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Determining protein structures

3Dseq: New technique to solve biomedical puzzles

“Proteins are the workers in the cell, and it's important to know their shape,” says Chris Sander, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s cBio Center in the Department of Data Sciences. Sander and his colleagues have now demonstrated a powerful “experimental evolution” method to discover details of protein shape and function, and the method may find uses across a very broad spectrum of…

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Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This research was conducted by the team of Benoît Chassaing, Inserm researcher at Institut Cochin (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Paris), whose initial findings have been…

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Grant for AI and genomic analysis

AI help for better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second cause of cancer-related death in men. Currently, its diagnosis occurs via imaging and must be confirmed by biopsy. Simona Turco from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) wants to improve prostate cancer diagnosis by using machine learning algorithms to localize tumors and thereby replace entirely the necessity for biopsies. Besides, by combining this with…

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Cesarean consequences

C-section increases obesity risk? False alarm, says new study

Women who have C-sections are no more likely to have children who develop obesity than women who give birth naturally, according to a large study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal PLOS Medicine. The findings contradict several smaller studies that did find an association between C-section deliveries and offspring obesity but did not consider the numerous…

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Blood thinning 2.0

Developing next generation anticoagulants

A University of Leeds spin-out company has secured £3.14m to develop a next generation drug that aims to prevent blood clots forming, without the risk of bleeding present in currently available drugs. Currently, anticoagulants have a relatively narrow margin between beneficial effects and undesirable bleeding, so new approaches are in demand. These could allow more patients that have a higher…

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Sweet infection control

Manuka honey ‘sandwich’ could be the key to fighting infections

Layering minute amounts of Manuka honey between layers of surgical mesh acts as a natural antibiotic that could prevent infection following an operation, new research has shown. Meshes are used to help promote soft tissue healing inside the body following surgery and are common in operations such as hernia repair. However, they carry with them an increased risk of infection as the bacteria are…

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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 Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPI-BPC) have investigated the molecular makeup of these protein deposits finding structural…

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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 such an "smart" coating. In the future, it could help prevent complications in the healing of endoprostheses. The coating also offers further advantages: It is extremely wear-resistant and…

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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. Preventative medicine programmes such as the UK National Health Service’s Health Check and Healthier You programmes are aimed at improving our health and reducing our risk of developing diseases. While…

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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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