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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Drug delivery research

Nanoparticles to help cross the blood-brain barrier

Treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s is a challenge because drugs have to be able to cross the blood–brain barrier. As a result, the doses administered must be high and only a…

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Gender equality in clinical trials

Women in Covid-19 research: a good start, but...

There has been a "positive shift" in inclusive gender practices in Covid-19 vaccine research, but there is still room for improvement, experts say. Women have been equally recruited and…

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Neurodegeneration

Scientists identify the cause of Alzheimer’s progression in the brain

For the first time, researchers have used human data to quantify the speed of different processes that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and found that it develops in a very different way than previously…

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Metastasis research

Study reveals risk of breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body

The risk of early breast cancer spreading to another part of the body ranges from 6% to 22%, according to the first results of a large and detailed global study of metastatic breast cancer presented…

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Team sports research

Coronavirus and soccer: study investigates transmission risk

A study by the Universities of Basel and Saarland shows that there is almost no risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus on the field. They suggest that blanket quarantine measures for opposing…

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Sharper than ever

High-res image of bacterial bumps gives clues to antibiotic resistance

The sharpest images ever of living bacteria have been recorded by researchers at University College London, revealing the complex architecture of the protective layer that surrounds many bacteria and…

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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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Diagnostic advance

New AI assisted device could soon replace traditional stethoscope

A stethoscope is one of a doctor's most important instruments, but there haven't been any fundamental improvements in the device itself since the 1960s. Now, researchers at Aalto University have…

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Relapse research

Multiple myeloma: Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, relapse almost always occurs after treatment. Initially, most patients respond well to therapy. However, as the disease progresses, resistant cancer…

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New AI reveals

What is in our cells?

Artificial intelligence-based technique reveals previously unknown cell components that may provide new clues to human development and disease.

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Blindness prevention

Blue is the clue for diabetic retinopathy risk

Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) demonstrate a thorough and non-invasive imaging technique to identify areas of the eye affected by diabetic retinopathy (DR), a progressive eye disease associated with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. The researchers have found that blue light can be used to probe the depths of the eye and uncover areas affected by DR.

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Prevention of triple-negative BRCA

Breast cancer vaccine: clinical trial started

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic have opened a novel study for a vaccine aimed at eventually preventing triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease. This phase I trial is designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the vaccine in patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer and to characterize and optimize the body’s immune response. The…

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Neurology

The 'thermostat' that prevents our brain from overheating

The mechanisms by which the body measures temperature and regulates its own body heat are vital, but still poorly understood. The discovery of the first heat sensor on nerve cells in the skin, for which the U.S. molecular biologist David Julius received this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine, was therefore pioneering. However, a very similar heat sensor, the protein TRPM2, is active not only in the…

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Resistance mechanism discovered

How staphylococci protect themselves against antibiotics

The skin bacterium Staphylococcus aureus often develops antibiotic resistance. It can then cause infections that are difficult to treat. Researchers at the University of Bonn have uncovered an ingenious way in which a certain strain of Staphylococcus aureus protects itself against the important antibiotic vancomycin. The results have now been published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum.

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Coronary microcirculation

New measurements improve diagnosis of ‘woman’s heart’

Researchers at the Catharina Heart and Vascular Center, together with Eindhoven University of Technology, have developed a new measurement method to analyze the smallest capillaries of the heart by measuring blood flow and resistance. The new method to assess coronary microcirculation allows cardiologists to make a clearer diagnosis. Until recently, the tests used for this purpose were not…

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Multiple biomarker detection

Smart bandage shows promise for chronic wound monitoring

A research team led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Biomedical Engineering and Institute for Health Innovation & Technology (iHealthtech), in collaboration with clinical partners from Singapore General Hospital, has developed a smart wearable sensor that can conduct real-time, point-of-care assessment of chronic wounds wirelessly…

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'CRyPTIC' research

Global tuberculosis study identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments. The Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis International Consortium (CRyPTIC) research project has collected the largest ever global dataset of clinical M.…

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ECG computation

Energy-efficient AI detects heart defects

Researchers at the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands (CWI), together with a colleague from Stichting Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum (IMEC) in Eindhoven, have achieved a mathematical breakthrough in the computation of so-called spiking neural networks. Thanks to this breakthrough, special chips that are suitable for this artificial…

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Coronavirus inhibition

Highly potent antibody against SARS-CoV-2 discovered

Scientists at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have discovered a highly potent monoclonal antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and is effective at neutralizing all variants of concern identified to date, including the delta variant. Their findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

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Cancer research

How to break through a tumor's protective shield

The immune system protects the body from cancer. To protect healthy body cells from its own immune system, they have developed a protective shield: the protein CD47 is a so called "don’t eat me" signal, which tells the immune cells to stand back. Tumor cells exploit this CD47-based protection strategy for evading the immune system, by increasing presentation of CD47 on their cell…

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Genomic tracking

Retracing the Covid-19 pandemic in England

The Covid-19 crisis that gripped England between September 2020 and June 2021 can be thought of as a series of overlapping epidemics, rather than a single event, say researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the German Cancer Research Center. During this period, the country wrestled with multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that…

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Neurology research

Stroke: Women remain underrepresented in clinical trials

A new study shows that women are underrepresented in stroke clinical trials relative to the number who have strokes in the general population. The research is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Making sure there are enough women in clinical studies to accurately reflect the proportion of women who have strokes may have implications for future…

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3D microelectrodes

Promising approach for pain relief without side effects

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a completely new stimulation method, using ultra-thin microelectrodes, to combat severe pain. This provides effective and personalised pain relief without the common side effects from pain relief drugs. The study, which was conducted on rats, has been published in the research journal Science Advances.

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Immune response study

Is a "natural" Covid-19 infection better than vaccination? It's complicated

Hope for a future without fear of Covid-19 comes down to circulating antibodies and memory B cells. Unlike circulating antibodies, which peak soon after vaccination or infection only to fade a few months later, memory B cells can stick around to prevent severe disease for decades. And they evolve over time, learning to produce successively more potent “memory antibodies” that are better at…

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Immunological memory

How our lungs 'remember' a Covid-19 infection

After infection with SARS-CoV-2, where does the immune system store the memory to provide long-term protection against reinfection? Though numerous studies have examined blood to track immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, a new study of Covid survivors shows that the memory of the infection is primarily stored in T and B cells within the lung and the lymph nodes surrounding the lung.

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Organoid research

Structure formation in mini-organs

Many of the organ systems found in animals exhibit highly complex structures, which are essential for their various functions. How such structures develop during embryonic development is a central question in biology. Physicists led by Erwin Frey (Professor of Statistical and Biological Physics at LMU Munich) and Andreas Bausch (Professor of Cellular Biophysics at the Technical University of…

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For discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 was awarded jointly to two scientists who made important discoveries regarding our receptors for temperature and touch. Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives we take these sensations for granted, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that…

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Scaffold-free approach

Researchers create cartilage tissue out of stem cells

Researchers at the University of Southampton have invented a new way to generate human cartilage tissue from stem cells. The technique could pave the way for the development of a much-needed new treatment for people with cartilage damage. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber in joints, but it is susceptible to damage through daily wear-and-tear, or trauma from sports injuries and falls.

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Tumor growth stopped in mice

Antidepressants show promise in cancer growth inhibition

Classic antidepressants could help improve modern cancer treatments. They slowed the growth of pancreatic and colon cancers in mice, and when combined with immunotherapy, they even stopped the cancer growth long-term. In some cases the tumors disappeared completely, researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) have found. Their findings will now be tested in…

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