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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Cardiology research

How hypertension leads to atherosclerosis

Research scientists at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have investigated the mechanisms by which hypertension leads to arterial damage and atherosclerosis. The results may facilitate…

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Brain tumour analysis

Glioblastoma '3D maps' help find new therapies

Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona obtained a highly accurate recreation of human glioblastoma’s features using a novel 3D microscopy analysis. The study, published in the…

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Peptide research

A 'fake handshake' to trick the coronavirus

Scientists have developed peptides that fit snugly into a groove on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that it would normally use to access a host cell. These protein fragments effectively trick the virus…

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Implantation of cartilage or stem cells

Remarkable cartilage regeneration

Joint cartilage usually regenerates very poorly. The matrix of cartilage (scaffolding) contains very few cells in deep layers. Moreover, joint cartilage is highly isolated: there are neither regenerative cells in the immediate vicinity that could migrate into the site of the defect and trigger repair, nor vessels that could transport regenerative cells to the cartilage. Unsurprisingly, researchers all over the world are experimenting with different approaches to transporting biomaterials to the joint to make cartilage repair more robust.

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Physics of tumours

How cancer cells shape-shift to squeeze through tissue

Working with colleagues from Germany and the US, researchers at Leipzig University have achieved a breakthrough in research into how cancer cells spread. In experiments, the team of biophysicists led…

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Regenerative medicine

Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ to repair human livers

Scientists have used a technique to grow bile duct organoids – often referred to as ‘mini-organs’ – in the lab and shown that these can be used to repair damaged human livers. This is the…

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Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000…

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Inactivation of Coronavirus & Co. via electrochemistry

Antiviral mask offers protection at the push of a button

Researchers at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences are working with the Swiss company Osmotex AG to develop a self-disinfecting mask that inactivates viruses at the push of a button. The…

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Study from Zambia shows many more deaths

Experts: Impact of Covid-19 in Africa “vastly underestimated”

The impact of Covid-19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated, warn researchers in a new study. Outside of South Africa, this is the first study to provide systematic surveillance data capturing…

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Study on N95, KN95 and FFP2 mask suggests

Covid-19 masks: Why proper fit matters more than material

A team of researchers studying the effectiveness of different types of face masks has found that in order to provide the best protection against Covid-19, the fit of a mask is as important, or more…

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Research collaboration

'Cells of the future' might cure lung infections

Healing the body with cells – this is the ambitious goal of scientists at Hannover Medical School (MHH). With this in mind, Professor Dr. Nico Lachmann and Dr. Robert Zweigerdt have initiated a…

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Freefrom Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels

A 'FRESH' way to 3D-print tissues and organs

Research into 3D bioprinting has grown rapidly in recent years as scientists seek to re-create the structure and function of complex biological systems from human tissues to entire organs. The most…

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Brain cancer research

New approach could stop glioblastoma growth

Inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth, paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer,…

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Fertility research

Type 1 diabetes shortens reproductive period in women, study finds

The length of the female reproductive period (the time from the onset of menses to the final menstrual period) has important health implications. A new study compared the length of reproductive…

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Tiny changes, huge effects

Finding causes of disease with induced pluripotent stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are suitable for discovering the genes that underly complex and also rare genetic diseases. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the…

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Mutations of SARS-CoV-2 & Co.

Tracking virus variants faster with sequencing

A global group of researchers is calling for better integration of viral genetics, bioinformatics, and public health to enable better pandemic response now and better pandemic preparedness in the…

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Coronavirus research

Promising SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors discovered

A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as…

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Cancer vaccine research

Tackling tumors with two types of virus

An international research group led by the University of Basel has developed a promising strategy for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Using two different viruses as vehicles, they administered specific tumor components in experiments on mice with cancer in order to stimulate their immune system to attack the tumor. The approach is now being tested in clinical studies.

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Neuro-map reveals nourishment mechanisms

Food for thought: How our brain keeps its supply up

Our brains are non-stop consumers. A labyrinth of blood vessels, stacked end-to-end comparable in length to the distance from San Diego to Berkeley, ensures a continuous flow of oxygen and sugar to keep our brains functioning at peak levels. But how does this intricate system ensure that more active parts of the brain receive enough nourishment versus less demanding areas? That’s a century-old…

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Collagen 'pushing'

Supercomputer illustrates mechanical process of cancer growth

According to the World Health Organization, one in six worldwide deaths have been attributed to cancer; however, these fatalities were not due to initial malignant tumors—the deaths were caused by the spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissues and subsequent tumor growth. These tissues, which consist largely of collagen, have been the focus of a recent collaborative study by a team from…

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iPSC research

'Brain cell grafts' hold promise for reversing Parkinson’s symptoms

Grafting neurons grown from monkeys’ own cells into their brains relieved the debilitating movement and depression symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison report. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, the team describes its success with neurons made from induced pluripotent stem cells from the monkeys’ own bodies.…

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Longer lasting implants for younger people

Engineering more durable artificial joints

A £4 million research project will develop a new generation of artificial joints that last longer, produce fewer side effects and are better suited for younger people. The international collaboration, led by the University of Leeds and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, will focus on improved design and testing to reduce the chance that the implants develop faults and fail, or cause…

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Spotting viral differences

Finding a better way to search for Covid-19 drugs

Is there a better approach to Covid drug research? Research from the University of Kent, Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, and the Philipps-University in Marburg has provided crucial insights into the biological composition of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19, revealing vital clues for the discovery of antiviral drugs. Researchers compared SARS-CoV-2 and the closely related virus SARS-CoV,…

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53,831 genomes analysed

Rare diseases: huge dataset brings new insights

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. The early analysis, part of a large-scale program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines one of the largest and most diverse data sets of high-quality whole…

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Malignant paediatric cancer

Neuroblastoma: sending tumour cells on a collision course

With two commercially available inhibitors, the cell cycle of the cancer cells in neuroblastomas can be disrupted at a key point causing tumour cell death. Neuroblastomas are malignant solid tumours that occur mainly in early childhood. They arise from degenerated immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system. One prognostic marker to assess the malignancy of the tumour is the MYCN oncogene.…

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Target cells, medication effects, evasion methods

4 new facts about early Covid-19 infections

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers studied SARS-CoV-2 infections at individual cellular levels and made four major discoveries about the virus, including one that validates the effectiveness of remdesivir – an FDA-approved antiviral drug – as a form of treatment for severe Covid-19 disease. “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the way that each individual responds…

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Identifying symptoms and predicting diagnosis

Covid-19 detection: Wearables have an edge over traditional diagnostics

Wearable devices can identify Covid-19 cases earlier than traditional diagnostic methods and can help track and improve management of the disease, Mount Sinai researchers report in one of the first studies on the topic. The findings were published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The Warrior Watch Study found that subtle changes in a participant’s heart rate variability (HRV)…

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Nuclear medicine

Targeted cancer therapy: Researchers speed up astatine-211 purification

In a recent study, researchers at the Texas A&M University have described a new process to purify astatine-211, a promising radioactive isotope for targeted cancer treatment. Unlike other elaborate purification methods, their technique can extract astatine-211 from bismuth in minutes rather than hours, which can greatly reduce the time between production and delivery to the patient.

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Detecting depression, psychosis

Machine learning could aid mental health diagnoses

A way of using machine learning to more accurately identify patients with a mix of psychotic and depressive symptoms has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. Patients with depression or psychosis rarely experience symptoms of purely one or the other illness. Historically, this has meant that mental health clinicians give a diagnosis of a ‘primary’ illness, but with…

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"I See"-Research project

Blindness: Cortical prosthesis provides visual information

Providing the blind with visual impressions: That is the aim of the I See project, in which neuroscientists from the University of Bremen are involved. The approach: A miniature camera collects visual information and translates it into signal patterns that are transferred to brain implants.

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Environmental connections

Has climate change driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2?

Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats. A new study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment provides the first evidence of a mechanism by which climate change could have played a direct role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the…

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A closer look at thapsigargin

Potential antiviral treatment for Covid-19 found

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have discovered a novel antiviral property of a drug that could have major implications in how future epidemics/pandemics – including Covid-19 – are managed. The study, published in Viruses, shows that thapsigargin is a promising broad‑spectrum antiviral, highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, a common cold coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus…

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Biological evidence

Scalp cooling protects hair from chemotherapy

A study reveals that scalp cooling physically protects hair follicles from chemotherapy drugs. It is the world’s first piece of biological evidence that explains how scalp cooling actually works and the mechanism behind its protection of the hair follicle. The data was part of an innovative hair follicle research project carried out by the dedicated Scalp Cooling Research Centre based at the…

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Alternative therapies

Artificial aorta can reduce patients' blood pressure

Over 23 million people around the world suffer from heart failure. The disease is usually treated with a transplant, but because donated hearts are hard to come by, there is an ongoing need for alternative therapies. With new developments in cardiac assistance systems, we can delay the need for a transplant – or even eliminate it altogether,” says Professor Yves Perriard, head of EPFL’s…

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American Cancer Society

Breast cancer is the most commonly cancer worldwide

Cancer ranks as a leading cause of death in every country in the world, and, for the first time, female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, overtaking lung cancer, according to a collaborative report, Global Cancer Statistics 2020, from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Data show that 1 in 5 men and women worldwide…

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Coronavirus and the heart

Covid-19 infection raises risk of dying after a cardiac arrest

Covid-19 patients who suffer a cardiac arrest either in or out of hospital are far more likely to die than patients who are not infected with the coronavirus. In particular, women have the highest risk of dying: they are nine times more likely to die after suffering a cardiac arrest in hospital, according to research published in the European Heart Journal.

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Promising alternative to heart transplants

'Artificial aorta' to reduce blood pressure

Engineers at EPFL’s Center for Artificial Muscles have developed a silicone aorta that can reduce how hard patients’ hearts have to pump. Their breakthrough could offer a promising alternative to heart transplants. “Over 23 million people around the world suffer from heart failure. The disease is usually treated with a transplant, but because donated hearts are hard to come by, there is an…

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Covid-19's impact on studies

Clinical trials during the pandemic: lessons for future cancer research

The continuing corona virus epidemic has impacted strongly on cancer care and research, including the delay of treatments and diagnoses as well as on trials of new therapies, and the shift in research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the session ‘Cancer research and Covid-19’, during the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Virtual Showcase (online 2-3 November) looked at how UK…

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Rescuing brain cell activity

Alzheimer's: Promising avenue to restore cognitive function

A team of neuroscientists has identified a potential means to address the loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer’s disease by targeting protein synthesis in mice. Their findings, reported in the journal Science Signaling, reveal that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation.

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Microbiome research

'Organs-on-a-chip' system sheds light on interactions between gut and brain

In many ways, our brain and our digestive tract are deeply connected. Feeling nervous may lead to physical pain in the stomach, while hunger signals from the gut make us feel irritable. Recent studies have even suggested that the bacteria living in our gut can influence some neurological diseases. Modeling these complex interactions in animals such as mice is difficult to do, because their…

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