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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SARS-CoV-2 durability

New coronavirus can remain stable for hours on surfaces

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and…

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Cause for colorectal carcinoma

Loss of protein can drive intestinal cancer

An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1:…

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Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder…

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Flu forecast

Portable AI device predicts outbreaks based on coughing

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have invented a portable surveillance device powered by machine learning – called FluSense – which can detect coughing and crowd size in real time, then analyze the data to directly monitor flu-like illnesses and influenza trends. The FluSense creators say the new edge-computing platform, envisioned for use in hospitals, healthcare waiting rooms and larger public spaces, may expand the arsenal of health surveillance tools used to forecast seasonal flu and other viral respiratory outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or SARS. Models like these can be lifesavers by directly informing the public health response during a flu epidemic. These data sources can help determine the timing for flu vaccine campaigns, potential travel…

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Werther effect

Media reports of celebrity suicide linked to increased suicide rates

Media reporting of suicide, especially celebrity suicides, is associated with increases in suicide in the general population, particularly by the same method as used by the celebrity, finds an…

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COVID-19 longevity

How long can the coronavirus persist on surfaces?

How long can coronavirus persist on surfaces such as door handles or hospital nightstands? How can the virus be destroyed effectively? A research team from Greifswald and Bochum, Germany, collected…

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IGF-1

Breast cancer: Growth hormone identified as probable cause

A growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is likely to play a role in the development of breast cancer, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of…

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Classification

Researchers get a common language to describe pain

Pain researchers around the world have agreed to classify pain in the mouth, jaw and face according to the same system; according to a Danish participant, this means more precise diagnoses and…

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Computer-aided search for substances

Virtual screening for anti-coronavirus drugs

The University of Basel is part of the global search for a drug to fight the rampant coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers in the Computational Pharmacy group have so far virtually tested almost 700…

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Intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity

The uncanny influence of our gut flora

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem demonstrated in mice that intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity in cells of the gut mucosa and…

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Skeletal reconstruction

New stem cells discovery could pave the way to generate new bone

A population of stem cells with the ability to generate new bone has been newly discovered by a group of researchers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Dental Medicine. In the journal…

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Surprising discovery

Fatty liver disease can also affect lean people

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mostly diagnosed in overweight and obese people. However, severe forms of NAFLD can also be detected in rare genetic diseases such as lipodystrophy or in…

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The science of sleep

AI could enhance diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve efficiencies and precision in sleep medicine, resulting in more patient-centered care and better outcomes, according to a new position…

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After the denoidectomy

Using tonsils as an 'immune testbed'

Biomedical researchers in Munich have isolated immune cells from human tonsils obtained following routine surgery, and used them to analyze aspects of the immune response and test the effects of…

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Finding new treatment options

Cancer cachexia: Help against muscle loss

Cancer cachexia often occurs in cancer patients in an advanced state. This metabolic wasting syndrome leads to severely reduced muscle mass and fat tissue, which cannot be reversed by nutritional…

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Releasing the brakes on Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Potential new methods for DMD therapies

Researchers identified a group of small molecules that may open the door to developing new therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an as-yet-uncured disease that results in devastating…

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COPD, asthma and more

Deaths and disability due to lung diseases on the rise

There has been an increase in deaths and disability due to chronic respiratory (lung) diseases over the past three decades, finds an analysis of data from 195 countries published by The BMJ. The…

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Promising treatment target

"Partner-in-crime" of colorectal cancer discovered

A protein that helps colorectal cancer cells spread to other parts of the body could be an effective treatment target, researchers from Hokkaido University discovered. Colorectal cancer patients with…

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Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the…

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The math behind corona

Predicting the future of the Covid-19 pandemic with data

Mathematical models can help shed light on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Spanish mathematician Juan Luis Fernández Martínez, who predicted Spain could have between 90,000…

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Acetone sensors

3D printing sensors for diabetes breath tests

The production of highly sensitive sensors is a complex process: it requires many different steps and the almost dust-free environment of special cleanrooms. A research team from Materials Science at…

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Study offers new insights

Sepsis treatment: Destroying DNA to save the genome

Sepsis—the body's own immune response gone against it—is a major health problem worldwide. It is basically a "hyper" immune response by the body to infection or injury, and is…

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Cultural differences matter

Study shows: Hand washing is key against COVID-19

Countries where people do not have a habit of washing their hands automatically tend to have a much higher exposure to coronavirus, a new study reveals. University of Birmingham researchers have discovered that at least 50% of people do not have a habit of automatic handwashing after using the toilet in China (77%), Japan (70%), South Korea (61%) and the Netherlands (50%). These countries are…

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Susceptibility to future drugs

Exploiting the carelessness of cancer cells

Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumours? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications. It is typical of cancer cells that they can quickly…

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Prostate Urine Risk (PUR)

Urine test could reduce unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies

Unnecessary prostate cancer biopsies could be reduced by 60 per cent thanks to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Researchers have developed new methods to identify biomarkers for prostate cancer by combining information from multiple parts of urine samples. It is hoped that the breakthrough could help large numbers of men avoid an unnecessary initial biopsy. Prostate cancer…

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Zooming in

Breast cancer map reveals how mutations shape the tumour landscape

Scientists have created one of the most detailed maps of breast cancer ever achieved, revealing how genetic changes shape the physical tumour landscape. An international team of scientists, brought together by a £20 million Grand Challenge award from Cancer Research UK, has developed intricate maps of breast tumour samples, with a resolution smaller than a single cell. These maps show how the…

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Gastroenterology

Crohn's disease linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Örebro University and Aarhus University, Denmark, have published the largest study to date on the risk of colorectal cancer in Crohn's disease. The article is published in the journal The Lancet Gastroenterology Hepatology. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Several previous studies have reported an increased risk of colorectal…

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Medulloblastoma

Brain cancer mechanism might give insights into many tumour types

A surprising discovery about a rare form of childhood brain cancer suggests a new treatment approach for that cancer – and potentially many others. Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the supposedly simple cancer, called medulloblastoma, forms an unexpectedly intricate network to drive its growth. Some tumor cells actually turn into another type of…

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Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers…

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Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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Immune response regulation

Using iPS cells to fight transplant rejection

Scientists suggest a new strategy that uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to regulate immune reaction to transplanted tissues. The team, led by Professor Ken-ichiro Seino of Hokkaido University’s Institute for Genetic Medicine, found that thymic epithelium cells derived from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can regulate immune response to skin grafts, extending their…

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Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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Deadly virus

New test to identify and control Ebola variants

The situation is extraordinary: there have only ever been four declarations of public health emergencies of international concern in the past and now there are two at the same time. Whilst the risks associated with the novel coronavirus are still unclear, people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are still battling with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has been ongoing since 2018…

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Novel immune checkpoint discovered

Targeting the cancer microenvironment

Researchers discover a novel checkpoint in immune cells with the potential to treat the cancer cell microenvironment. The recognition of bacterial infections or foreign substances is mediated and controlled by the human immune system. This innate and adaptive immune system comprises the most important metabolic and cellulare processes to fight against infections and other diseases. Paradoxically,…

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After mastectomy

Promising approach for breast regeneration

A team of researchers from Osaka University, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. succeeded in reconstructing adipose tissue balls (“mini-breasts”) with a functional vascular network using patient-derived cells, achieving a high graft survival rate in small animal models. So far, silicone breast implants were primarily used in breast reconstruction following…

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Updating treatments

Sugar and fat can make cancer cells harder to kill

In their quest to find new and better methods to make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment, Karin Lindkvist and her research group at Lund University in Sweden are looking into the world of molecules, using the X-rays at the MAX IV laboratory. The researchers believe that limiting the cells' access to sugar will make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Many of the cancer treatments…

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"Immune escape"

Cancer camouflage: how our immune system is duped

T cells play a huge role in our immune system's fight against modified cells in the body that can develop into cancer. Phagocytes and B cells identify changes in these cells and activate the T cells, which then start a full-blown program of destruction. This functions well in many cases – unless the cancer cells mutate and develop a kind of camouflage that let them escape the immune system…

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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 predict. At the same time, it is important to recognise the symptoms as early as possible, since early treatment increases the chance of survival. A group of LiU researchers is using artificial…

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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 is that bacterial induced inflammation is linked to cancer. The paper in the journal Medical Hypotheses is by Lancaster University medical student Auday Marwaha, Professor Jim Morris from the…

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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 study reveals. Using fireworks during these celebrations generates anthropogenic source of air pollutants with significant impacts on local air quality, creating up to eight times the average of…

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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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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 address a frightening mismatch in research funding compared with the burden of heart and circulatory diseases. With the World Health Organization forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths…

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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…

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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 defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as non-communicable because they are assumed to be caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors and cannot be transmitted…

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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 them are a disproportionately high number of children in poor areas.

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