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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Early diagnosis proteins

Study identifies 15 new biomarkers for pre­-dementia

A study by an international research group identified 15 novel biomarkers that are linked to late-onset dementias. These biomarkers are proteins, which predict cognitive decline and subsequent…

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Tool to identify tumour mutations

Machine learning fuels personalised cancer medicine

The Biomedical Genomics laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona has developed a computational tool that identifies cancer driver mutations for each tumour type. This…

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Coronavirus research

Contagious cash? The role of banknotes and coins in Covid-19 infections

How long do coronaviruses remain infectious on banknotes and coins? Is it possible to become infected through contact with cash? Experts at the European Central Bank, in collaboration with the…

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Immune response determined

How Covid-19 vaccines prepare our immune system for the virus

In view of the continuing high numbers of infections, vaccination offers important protection against severe Covid-19 disease. Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine – University of Freiburg have…

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Hydrogel framework

Synthetic tissue with growing blood vessels developed

Using lab-created tissue to heal or replace damaged organs is one of the great visions for the future of medicine. Synthetic materials could be suitable as scaffolding for tissue because, unlike…

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MSI tumors

Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer shows promise

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have for the first time been able to delay the development of hereditary colorectal cancer with a protective…

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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.

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Usage for Covid-19 and beyond

'Microwaving' an ambulance could revolutionise surface disinfection

Microwave engineers, infectious disease specialists and polymer scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Strathclyde have teamed up to create a novel…

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Antisense therapy update

Huntington's disease: setback for study of promising agent

Roche announced the decision to discontinue dosing in the Phase III GENERATION HD1 study of tominersen (previously IONIS-HTTRx and RG6042) in manifest Huntington’s disease (HD). The decision was…

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Identificación de mutaciones tumorales

El aprendizaje automático impulsa la medicina personalizada del cáncer

El laboratorio de Genómica Biomédica del IRB Barcelona (Institute for Research in Biomedicine) ha desarrollado un método computacional que identifica las mutaciones causantes del cáncer para cada…

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Cardiology research

Dynamic heart model gives insight into cardiac disease progression

Efforts to understand cardiac disease progression and develop therapeutic tissues that can repair the human heart are just a few areas of focus for the Feinberg research group at Carnegie Mellon University. The group's latest dynamic model, created in partnership with collaborators in the Netherlands, mimics physiologic loads on engineering heart muscle tissues, yielding an unprecedented view of…

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NAFLD research

3D imaging reveals neural ‘vicious cycle’ in fatty liver disease

With the application of a novel 3D imaging technology, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered that one portion of the autonomic nervous system in the liver undergoes severe degeneration in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study, which is conducted in mice and human liver tissue, shows that the degeneration of nerves is correlated with the severity of liver pathology. The…

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Angiogenesis

Magnetic stimulation boosts blood vessel formation

Magnetic fields can be used to stimulate blood vessel growth, according to a new study. The findings, published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials by researchers at the Técnico Lisboa and NOVA School of Science and Technology in Portugal, could lead to new treatments for cancers and help regenerate tissues that have lost their blood supply.

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Cardiology research

Strong connection between heart health and pregnancy complications

A study of more than 18 million pregnancies has shown a strong and graded relationship between women’s heart health and pregnancy outcomes. The research is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The researchers examined the presence of four risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women prior to pregnancy: unhealthy…

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Genetic alterations

Same mutation, different cancers: researchers explore connections

Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the University Medical Center Göttingen have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in…

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Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method. The strategy has already been tested against hepatitis and adeno-associated viruses in cell…

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Leading cause for blindness

Breakthrough in research on age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries affecting seven million in total in Germany, from which 500,000 people are suffering from late stage disease, around half of whom are registered as visually impaired. There are two forms of AMD, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. There are currently no treatments available for the dry form of the disease…

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Cardiology and sports

Risk of heart rhythm problems may be more than doubled for athletes

Athletes appear to be almost two and half times more likely than non-athletes to experience irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), suggests new research. In addition, those athletes involved in mixed sports such as football, rugby or netball appear to have the highest risk when compared with athletes taking part in endurance sports such as Nordic skiing, orienteering or rowing.

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Self-powered implant

New device to speed up bone healing

Researchers know that electricity can help speed up bone healing, but “zapping” fractures has never really caught on, since it requires surgically implanting and removing electrodes powered by an external source. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have expanded on this principle and developed a device to speed up bone healing.

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Tumour development research

New bladder cancer model could lead to better treatment

Uppsala University scientists have designed a new mouse model that facilitates study of factors contributing to the progression of human bladder cancer and of immune-system activation when the tumour is growing. Using this model, they have been able to study how proteins change before, while and after a tumour develops in the bladder wall. The study has now been published in the scientific…

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Coronavirus and the sexes

Covid-19 clinical trials ignore gender differences

Although the coronavirus affects men and women differently, the vast majority of clinical trials do not mention sex/gender, a new analysis of 4,420 studies concludes. Ultimately, it can influence the treatment negatively. The meta analysis is published in Nature Communications. According to the new research, only 4 percent of 4,420 registered studies explicitly plan to address sex and gender in…

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RAS protein mutation

New treatment approach targets cancer 'Death Star'

A new way to target a mutant protein which can cause the deadliest of cancers in humans has been uncovered by scientists at Leeds. The mutated form of the RAS protein has been referred to as the “Death Star” because of its ability to resist treatments and is found in 96% of pancreatic cancers and 54% of colorectal cancers. RAS is a protein important for health but in its mutated form it can…

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Support for T cells

Improving immune response against severe viral infections

Researchers have identified a way to improve the immune response in the face of severe viral infections. It is widely known that severe viral infections and cancer cause impairments to the immune system, including to T cells, a process called immune ‘exhaustion’. Overcoming immune exhaustion is a major goal for the development of new therapies for cancer or severe viral infections.

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Preventive potential

Tell-tale signs of heightened stroke risk may appear up to 10 years earlier

The tell-tale signs of a person’s susceptibility to a stroke may appear up to 10 years before the event, suggests research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Stroke patients experienced much steeper declines in cognitive abilities and routine daily functioning, starting around a decade before their first stroke, than people who didn’t have a stroke,…

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A new kind of hearing aid

A 'contact lens' for the ear

Excessive noise, hearing loss, vascular constriction, old age – hearing difficulties can be caused by many factors. To help improve the quality of life of people with hearing impairment, Mannheim start-up Vibrosonic have developed a new hearing aid with an integrated loudspeaker that sits directly on the eardrum. This hearing contact lens is not an implant, and the sound quality it delivers…

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Promising research tool

World's first digital cancer cell model

Computer models have been standard tools in basic biomedical research for many years. However, around 70 years after the first publication of an ion current model of a nerve cell by Hodgkin & Huxley in 1952, researchers at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), in collaboration with the Medical University of Graz and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, have finally…

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Psychology of the pandemic

How gamification helps us cope with Covid-19

A pandemic is not a game. Yet, human response in dealing with Covid-19 resembles patterns known from games: people hoard resources, compare leaderboards and graphs, play certain social roles, establish a good-versus-evil narrative, and align themselves with prominent hero figures. The reasoning behind this is simple.

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Aerosol propagation study

Covid-19: is it safe to play the trumpet and other wind instruments?

Aerosol generated by playing woodwind and brass instruments is less than that produced when vocalising (speaking and singing) and is no different than a person breathing, new research has found. The findings could be crucial to developing a roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions in the performing arts, which have been significantly restricted since the start of the pandemic.

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Advanced care

This 'smart' wound dressing monitors the healing process with built-in sensors

Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed smart wound dressings with built-in nanosensors that glow to alert patients when a wound is not healing properly. The multifunctional, antimicrobial dressings feature fluorescent sensors that glow brightly under UV light if infection starts to set in and can be used to monitor healing progress.

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Transient implant

A pacemaker that dissolves when it's no longer needed

Researchers at Northwestern and George Washington (GW) universities have developed the first-ever transient pacemaker — a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that disappears after it’s no longer needed. The thin, flexible, lightweight device could be used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. All components…

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Virtual reality experiment

Using VR to promote Covid-19 vaccination

234 random passersby got the opportunity to try a new virtual reality game, when researchers from the University of Copenhagen visited Fælledparken to test the efficiency of VR technology within health information. During the event, the participants tried their strength against a new VR game that simulates the effect of herd immunity. The game is developed by researchers at the Virtual Learning…

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Digital patients, promising results

Are 'virtual' trials the future of research?

A study involving virtual rather than real patients was as effective in evaluating a medical device used  to treat brain aneurysms, according to new research. The findings are proof of concept for what are called in-silico trials, where instead of recruiting people to a real-life clinical trial, researchers build digital simulations of patient groups, loosely akin to the way virtual…

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Long Covid research

Covid-19 symptoms persist in half of young adults 6 months after

A new paper on long-Covid describes persistent symptoms six months after acute Covid-19, even in young home isolated people. The study from the Bergen Covid-19 Research Group, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, followed infected patients during the first pandemic wave in Bergen. "The main novel finding is that more than fifty per cent of young adults up to 30 years old,…

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