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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Breast cancer

Cancer cells 'remove blindfold' to spread

Cancer cells spread by switching on and off abilities to sense their surroundings, move, hide and grow new tumors, a new study has found. This sensitivity to their surroundings is the key ability…

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Covid-19

SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility

None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, researchers conclude after the analysis of virus genomes from over 46,000 people…

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White matter hyperintensities

High blood pressure puts the brain at risk

Higher than normal blood pressure is linked to more extensive brain damage in the elderly, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal. In particular, the study found that there…

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Solving a mystery

How the TB bacterium develops rapid resistance to antibiotics

For a slow-growing microbe that multiplies infrequently, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB) has long puzzled researchers as to how it develops resistance to…

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Masks & social distancing

Do Covid countermeasures also curb other diseases? It's not quite that simple

Measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as mask wearing and social distancing are a key tool in combatting the impact of the ongoing coronavirus…

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Study uncovers mechanisms

Predicting susceptibility to cancer-causing agents in the environment

New insights into the mechanisms behind how cancer-causing agents in the environment activate genetic recombination in DNA could help to explain some of the effects of exposure as well as predicting…

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Nitrogen dioxide levels

Air pollution linked to higher COVID-19 mortality

Scientists have unearthed a possible link between the severity of COVID-19 and air quality. The preliminary study – looking at whether areas with higher levels of air pollutants in England are associated with a larger number of cases/deaths from COVID-19 – was conducted by a team from the University of Cambridge. Aware of the effects that air pollutants have on human health – and that initial symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, with some patients developing serious respiratory problems – for their study, the scientific team used publicly available data from multiple air monitoring stations across the country where a minimum of 2,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections and 200 deaths were reported in the period from February to early April 2020.

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Dementia study

Gut microbiota plays a role in the development of Alzheimer

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Still incurable, it directly affects nearly one million people in Europe, and indirectly millions of family members as well as society as a…

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Hormone-Upregulated lncRNA

Early detection of prostate cancer and alternative to invasive biopsies

Pioneering research conducted by University of Virginia in collaboration with Manchester UK based APIS Assay Technologies Ltd has discovered Hormone-Upregulated lncRNA within the lymphocyte-specific…

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Corona and co

How the sun impacts the spread of viral respiratory diseases

Why do most viral epidemics spread cyclically in autumn and winter in the globe's temperate regions? The answer is intimately related to our sun.

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Block of erythrocytes formation

SARS-CoV-2 might attack red marrow

Specialists from the Department of Fundamental Medicine of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) with Russian and Japanese colleagues have probed into mechanisms of COVID-19 inside-the-body…

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Autopsy study

Myocarditis linked to COVID-19 not as common as believed

A study conducted by Richard Vander Heide, MD, PhD, Professor and Director of Pathology Research at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Marc Halushka, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology at…

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Spanish study

Does vitamin D deficiency lead to severe COVID-19 cases?

Over 80 percent of 200 COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Spain have vitamin D deficiency, according to a new study.

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Areas revealed

Where could the next pandemic emerge?

An international team of researchers has taken a holistic approach to reveal for the first time where wildlife-human interfaces intersect with areas of poor human health outcomes and highly…

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Delicious research

Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?

Increased consumption of flavanols – a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables – can increase your mental agility, according to new research. A team at the University of…

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Austrian study

Insights into transmission of SARS-CoV-2

In the COVID-19 pandemic, 57 million people have already been infected worldwide. In the search for vaccines and therapies, a precise understanding of the virus, its mutations and transmission…

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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection…

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Intratumoral B cells

Another side to cancer immunotherapy?

Scientists report on their detailed look at B cells' presence inside tumors. B cells represent the other major arm of the adaptive immune system, besides T cells, and could offer opportunities for new treatments against some kinds of cancers.

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For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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Finding therapeutic targets

Pancreatic cancer: Seeking viable treatment strategies

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any cancers, with immunotherapies currently offering negligible treatment benefits for patients. To help identify new therapeutic approaches, researchers from the University of Oxford have been focusing on leukocyte infiltration as a prognostic marker of the disease. Their study and findings were outlined by Dr Shivan Sivakumar during a session…

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Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after wounding, leading to more effective skin healing. This new material, which quickly degrades once the wound has closed, demonstrates that activating an adaptive immune response can trigger regenerative wound healing, leaving behind stronger and…

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Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the vaccine candidate has been transferred to two companies for clinical development.

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Risk assessment

Understanding the spread of COVID-19 on public transport

Researchers at Newcastle University are involved in a study to understand the risks of COVID-19 transmission on public transport and to identify the best measures to control it. Known as Project TRACK (Transport Risk Assessment for Covid Knowledge), the study will conduct fieldwork on buses and trains in London, Leeds and Newcastle, including the Metro system in Tyne and Wear.

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At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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Improved patient response

Existing heart drugs may help with PD(L)1 immunotherapy

Researchers have found that a class of commonly-used heart drugs may also improve patients’ responses to anti-cancer immunotherapies called PD(L)1 inhibitors, according to preliminary findings to be presented at the 32th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. Angiotensin receptor II blockers (ARBs) are often prescribed for high blood pressure, heart failure,…

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One mouse at a time

New approach to testing potential drugs for children’s cancers

A team of researchers in the US and Australia have developed a way of testing potential drugs for children’s cancers so as to take account of the wide genetic diversity of these diseases. In new research to be presented at the 32th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, Professor Peter Houghton, director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (San…

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Neuropilin-1 as a 'helper' for COVID-19

Coronavirus: Study finds further 'door opener' into the cell

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is known to infect cells via the receptor ACE2. An international research team under German-Finnish coordination has now identified neuropilin-1 as a factor that can facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells’ interior. Neuropilin-1 is localized in the respiratory and olfactory epithelia, which could be a strategically important localization to contribute to…

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'QCOVID' model

New COVID-19 tool predicts risks of hospital admission and death

A new risk tool, developed by UK researchers to predict a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital and dying from COVID-19 has been published by The BMJ. With cases increasing in the UK and elsewhere, and winter approaching, there is an urgent need for reliable models that predict the likely course of COVID-19, to support decisions about shielding, hospital admission, treatment, and…

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Therapy development

New approach to 'BEAT' COVID-19

The present Coronavirus pandemic with all its effects on society – both health and economic – highlights the urgency of developing new therapies for COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, it demonstrates the necessity to become well prepared for new virus infections we may be facing in the future. To help control the current pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future…

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COVID immunity research

Coronavirus re-infection: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19? To date, there have been six published cases of COVID-19 reinfection, with various other unverified accounts from around the world. Although this is a comparably small fraction of the millions of people known to have been infected, should we be…

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Infection with Covid-19

The antiviral effect of innate immunity

Innate immunity is the fastest-acting component of the immune system, but so far little is known about its role during infection with SARS-CoV-2. A few hours after an infection, the body emits an alarm signal, interferon, enabling cells that have not yet been infected to produce antiviral proteins. This phenomenon occurs well before the production of neutralizing antibodies. Scientists from the…

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Uncommon, but reversible

Sudden deaf: permanent hearing loss linked to COVID-19

Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Awareness of this possible side effect is important, because a prompt course of steroid treatment can reverse this disabling condition, they emphasise. Sudden hearing loss is frequently seen by ear, nose and throat…

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