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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Ovarian and breast cancer

New insights into BRCA1 gene functions

Research led by the University of Birmingham has found important new ways that the BRCA1 gene functions which could help develop our understanding of the development of ovarian and breast cancers.…

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Nozzle-free electrospinning

Synthetic skin could aid wound healing

Engineers at the University of Edinburgh have devised a fabric dressing whose thickness and elasticity can be custom-matched to specific areas of the body. The material is able to be absorbed by the…

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Mental health

Does autism increase risk of suicidal behaviour?

The risk of suicide attempts and suicides among individuals with autism spectrum disorders is significantly higher than among the population in general. An especially high risk of suicidal behaviour…

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Diagnostic disorder

Psychiatric diagnosis ‘scientifically worthless’, says study

A new study has concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders. The study, published in Psychiatry Research and led by researchers from the University of Liverpool, involved a detailed analysis of five key chapters of the latest edition of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), on ‘schizophrenia’, ‘bipolar disorder’, ‘depressive disorders’, ‘anxiety disorders’ and ‘trauma-related disorders’. Diagnostic manuals such as the DSM were created to provide a common diagnostic language for mental health professionals and attempt to provide a definitive list of mental health problems, including their symptoms.

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Clinical trials beginning

Possible preeclampsia treatment is on the way

For over 20 years, a team of researchers at Lund University has worked on developing a drug against preeclampsia – a serious disorder which annually affects around 9 million pregnant women…

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Gastroenterology

Biliary tract cancer: Genetic imbalance could be the key

Patients with biliary tract cancer have altered genetic architecture in some immune system receptor systems. This has been shown by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in a new study…

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Human papillomavirus

HPV vaccination could dramatically reduce head and neck cancers

Vaccinating schoolboys against the potentially deadly human papillomavirus (HPV) could dramatically reduce head and neck cancers in men, according to research involving the University of Strathclyde.…

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Early detection

Lung cancer: Why screening is especially beneficial for women

Is computed tomography suitable for detecting lung cancer at a very early stage and thus still well treatable? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have investigated this with the LUSI…

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Research

'Uncanny Valley': Brain network evaluates robot likeability

Scientists have identified mechanisms in the human brain that could help explain the phenomenon of the 'Uncanny Valley' - the unsettling feeling we get from robots and virtual agents that are too…

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Double danger

MS patients at a greater risk of cancer, new study suggests

New results of a 65-year follow-up study of nearly 7,000 Norwegian patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suggest that patients may have a greater overall risk of developing cancer than the general…

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Study

Half of Ebola outbreaks go undetected

Half of Ebola outbreaks have gone undetected since the virus was discovered in 1976, scientists at the University of Cambridge estimate. The new findings come amid rising concern about Ebola in the…

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Research

Prostate cancer: Researchers find molecular switch to prolong survival

Wilmot Cancer Institute scientists believe they have figured out why a commonly used drug to treat late-stage prostate cancer often stops working after four or five months and appears to have a dual…

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In future pregnancies

Identifying the risk of recurrence of developmental disorder

Having a child with a developmental disorder can cause parents to worry about the outcome of further pregnancies. In cases where the genetic mutation causing the disorder is not present in either…

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Throat cancer

Antibodies against HPV16 can develop for decades

An international group of researchers has found that antibodies to the human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16) develop in the body between six to 40 years prior to a clinical diagnosis of throat…

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Microsatellites

Stomach and colorectal cancer: AI identifyies patients for immunotherapy

Changes in certain sections of the genetic material of cancer cells, so-called microsatellites, can provide an important indication of whether immunotherapy may be successful in a patient with…

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Gene-editing

CRISPR baby mutation significantly increases mortality

A genetic mutation that a Chinese scientist attempted to create in twin babies born last year, ostensibly to help them fend off HIV infection, is also associated with a 21% increase in mortality in…

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Heart and bones

Osteoarthritis linked to cardiovascular disease

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have investigated the link between osteoarthritis and mortality in an epidemiological study. It was shown that the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease…

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Why do we get sick?

Mechanism behind development of viral infections uncovered

A team of researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre’s Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre (ViREMiCS) found that immune cells undergoing stress and an altered…

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LSD & Psilocybin

Microdosing drugs – exploring risks and benefits

The practice of taking small, regular doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, or productivity lacks robust scientific evidence, say scientists. The process, called microdosing, has…

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Cellular interactions

Repairing aged tissue by messing with the neighbors

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered how regenerative capacity of intestinal epithelium declines when we age. Targeting of an enzyme that inhibits stem cell maintaining signaling rejuvenates the regenerative potential of an aged intestine. This finding may open ways to alleviate age-related gastrointestinal problems, reduce side-effects of cancer treatments, and reduce…

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Osteoporosis

Will increased protein intake save your bones? Not likely

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey investigated if protein intake can impact bone health of adults and children. Examining 127 previous studies published over a 40 year period, which scrutinised the link between protein and bone density, bone mineral content and relative risk of osteoporotic fractures,…

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Intervention in fat metabolism

Improved diabetes in spite of obesity

Eating too much fat and sugar makes you overweight and unhealthy – even young children know that. But why is that, and is there anything we can do about it? In a study published in the journal Cell, Prof. Jens Brüning's research group at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne has shown how altering fat metabolism in the liver can make obese mice thinner, despite eating an…

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Bioprinting

Producing tissue and organs through lithography

The production of artificial organs is a hot research topic. In the near future, artificial organs will compensate for the lack of organ donations and replace animal experiments. Although there are already promising experiments with 3D printers that use a „bio-ink“ containing living cells, a functional organ has never been created in this way. A European consortium coordinated by Dr Elena…

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Crohn’s disease

Adult-onset IBD linked to higher mortality

While the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) in adulthood is tied to a higher mortality, the actual number of deaths has been falling, a Swedish study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Gut reports. Now it is a case of ascertaining which of the newer treatments are the most efficacious, say the researchers. Using the Swedish National…

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Research

Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria

People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published in the journal General Psychiatry. Anxiety symptoms are common in people with mental diseases and a variety of physical disorders, especially in disorders that are related to stress.…

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Psychiatry

Leonardo da Vinci: pure genius or ADHD?

Professor Marco Catani suggests the best explanation for Leonardo da Vinci's inability to finish his works is that the great artist may have had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world’s most iconic art, but historical accounts of his work practices and behaviour show that he struggled to complete projects. Drawing on these accounts, Professor…

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Survival specialists

Systems biology of antibiotics

Bacteria have fascinating properties. They adapt excellently to their respective environment, and they existed long before humans. Their toughness has led to the fact that bacteria have successfully spread all over the world for three billion years – even in places where humans could not survive, for example in the hottest springs and in the coldest places on earth. However, they were only…

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Common DNA structure

Nano-signature discovery could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

A quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis. The test has been developed by University of Queensland researchers Dr Abu Sina, Dr Laura Carrascosa and Professor Matt Trau, who have discovered a unique DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all cancers. Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable…

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Up in smoke

Early exposure to nicotine predisposes brain to addiction

Neonatal exposure to nicotine alters the reward circuity in the brains of newborn mice, increasing their preference for the drug in later adulthood, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in a study published in Biological Psychiatry. A UC San Diego School of Medicine team of scientists, headed by senior author Davide Dulcis, PhD, associate professor in the…

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Research

First use of vasoprotective antibody in cardiogenic shock

Scientists at the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) have started a study to find out whether a monoclonal antibody restoring vascular integrity is safe and has positive effects on organ functions of patients with cardiogenic shock. The multicenter trial is sponsored by the University of Hamburg, financially supported by the biopharmaceutical company Adrenomed AG, and led by Dr.…

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New discovery

Cancer drugs promote stem cell properties of colorectal cancer

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Mannheim University Medical Center have now discovered that a certain group of cancer drugs (MEK Inhibitors) activates the cancer-promoting Wnt signalling pathway in colorectal cancer cells. This can lead to the accumulation of tumor cells with stem cell characteristics that are resistant to many…

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Growing danger

Bowel cancer rising among young adults in Europe

The rate of bowel cancer – also known as colorectal cancer or CRC – is rising among adults aged 20-49 in Europe, suggests new research. Rates rose most steeply among the youngest age group (20-29 years), and the authors warn that if the trend continues, screening guidelines may need to be reconsidered. Rates tend to be lower among people over 50, but the opposite is true among younger adults…

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Nanotechnology

Targeting cancer cells with gold nanorods

Scientists at the University of Birmingham are working with a Canadian tech company to investigate whether gold nanorods can be used to target cancer cells in the human body. They have joined experts at Sona Nanotech Inc. to develop the next generation of nanorods for tissue imaging. The team will work with its Canadian partners - beginning by creating luminescent nanorods by transforming gold…

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Improvement of cardiac care

Rapid myocardial infarction verification

The use of troponin assays to rule in or rule out myocardial infarction (MI) rapidly is critical on several levels. The quick result can reassure the patient that they have not had a heart attack and can return home safely; or, in the event of MI, the relevant treatment can start very soon. It also ensures that clinicians can make the right decision with confidence. Troponin levels have been the…

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Neurology

On-going malignant astrocytoma vaccine tests

A new vaccination for malignant astrocytoma brings such patients hope. However, research is still in its infancy. We spoke with Professor Michael Platten, Medical Director of the Neurological Clinic at Medical University Mannheim, about the present state of research and the serious opportunities this presents. During the interview, he also revealed how cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry…

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New study

Ribosome inhibition may hold the key to multi-stage cancer treatment

Nearly 90% of all cancer patient deaths are due to metastasis. A study from Uppsala University shows that a process that allows the cells to metastasise is aided by the synthesis of new ribosomes, the cell components in which proteins are produced. The results open the possibility for new treatment strategies for advanced cancers. The study is published in Nature Communications. As tumours…

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Bioprinting

3D printing of biological tissue

The future of medicine is biological – and scientists hope we will soon be using 3D-printed biologically functional tissue to replace irreparably damaged tissue in the body. A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB has been working with the University of Stuttgart for a number of years on a project to develop and optimize suitable…

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Dementia pathway

Is LATE the new Alzheimer’s?

A recently recognized brain disorder that mimics clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease has for the first time been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and other guidelines for advancing and catalyzing future research. Scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, described the newly-named pathway to dementia,…

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Aging research

Finding Nemo's secret of longevity

It is the Methusalem among fishkind: The colorful Clownfish lives longer than 20 years in the Aquarium. Researchers of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena, Germany, have investigated the genetics behind the longevity of Clownfish. By sequencing the genome and comparing the sequences with other species, they were able to…

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Survival of the fittest

How bacteria can adapt to resist antibiotic treatment

In a joint collaboration, researchers from Denmark and Switzerland have shown that bacteria produce a specific stress molecule, divide more slowly, and thus save energy when they are exposed to antibiotics. The new knowledge is expected to form the basis for development of a new type of antibiotics. All free-living organisms are under constant pressure to survive. Darwin dubbed this…

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Antisocial behaviour

How the brain of children with conduct disorder is different

Behavioural problems in young people with severe antisocial behaviour – known as conduct disorder – could be caused by differences in the brain’s wiring that link the brain’s emotional centres together, according to new research led by the University of Birmingham. Conduct disorder affects around 1 in 20 children and teenagers and is one of the most common reasons for referral to child…

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Research

Promising new stroke therapy in development

Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a novel stroke therapy that, when tested in mice and dogs, has proven superior to the standard of care therapy now offered to patients suffering a stroke. Findings of the study are published online in Molecular Therapy. “We have shown that our drug, which is completely…

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