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Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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Utilizing findings from cancer research

Understanding immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Why does every person react differently to an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? Why do some people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms of COVID-19, the disease which it causes? And why do some people become so severely ill that they require ventilators or even die? These questions are being investigated by Professor Mascha Binder, director of the Department of Internal Medicine IV at…

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Diabetic damage

3D imaging shows how diabetes twists nerve fibers

In an international collaboration led by Lund University in Sweden, researchers have used synchrotron light to study what happens to the nerves in diabetes. The technique shows the 3D-structure of nerve fibers in very high resolution. “This knowledge can be used to map mechanisms for how nerve fibers atrophy and grow back. It means that we can better understand how diabetes affects the nerves…

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Organoids

Using 'mini colons' to detect weaknesses of colorectal cancer

One of the main features of colorectal cancer is that there are considerable differences between the tumors of individual patients - at genetic level and hence in terms of the response to treatment too. Researchers from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have developed a method that allows these differences to be identified more effectively. They use mini colons grown in the laboratory for their…

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Wearable watcher

This necklace detects abnormal heart rhythms

An ingenious necklace which detects abnormal heart rhythm will be showcased for the first time on EHRA Essentials 4 You, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “The wearable necklace-ECG (electrocardiogram) provides a new and easy method for detecting an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, which is a fast-growing public health problem,” said study…

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Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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Cause for lack of immune defense against tumors discovered

Improving immunotherapy for cancer

Our immune system not only protects us against infection, but also against cancer. This powerful protection is based in particular on the activation of special cells of the immune system, CD8+ T cells. These cells recognize infected or cancer cells and kill them specifically. “The ability of the immune system and especially CD8+ T cells to eliminate cancer cells in tissues such as the lung, gut…

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Coronavirus treatment

Can stem cells treat COVID-19?

Niels-Bjarne Woods, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has developed lung-specific mesenchymal stem cells to treat inflammation of the lungs and fibrosis. This research now may be the needed breakthrough for treatment of the severe respiratory issues related to COVID-19. A clinical study may soon be underway contingent on a successful application to the Swedish Medical Products Agency.…

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Coronavirus collaterals

COVID-19 could cause 20% rise in cancer deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic could, over the next year, lead to a 20% rise in the number of deaths from people who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, according to research supported by DATA-CAN. The analysis is the first to focus on the impact of the emergency on mortality rates in people with cancer and uses data from the health records of over 3.5 million patients in England.

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Wearable against diabetic retinopathy

Smart contact lenses for diabetes diagnosis and treatment

Diabetes is called an incurable disease because once it develops, it does not disappear regardless of treatment in modern medicine. Having diabetes means a life-long obligation of insulin shots and monitoring of blood glucose levels. Recently, a research team at Pohang University of Science and Technology developed a wirelessly driven ‘smart contact lens’ technology that can detect diabetes…

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A look at oligodendrocytes

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of North Carolina have mapped out the cell types behind various brain disorders. The findings are published in Nature Genetics and offer a roadmap for the development of new therapies to target neurological and psychiatric disorders. One interesting finding was that cells from the gut's nervous system are involved in Parkinson's disease,…

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Reducing side effects

Nanohybrid vehicles to deliver drugs into the human body

Researchers in The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a nanohybrid vehicle that can be used to optimally deliver drugs into the human body. The research was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Leading the study are Mahesh Narayan, Ph.D., professor, and Sreeprasad Sreenivasan, Ph.D., assistant professor, both from the…

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Calculating course and resolution

New COVID-19 model predicts light at the end of the tunnel

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia. The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and Future Fellow Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a…

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Programmed cell death

Cellular mechanism protecting against cancer

Susanne Hellmuth and Olaf Stemmann from the Chair of Genetics at the University of Bayreuth have discovered a natural protective mechanism that leads to the programmed death of potentially diseased cells.

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A novel method

Precise delivery of of therapeutics into the body

A new way to deliver therapeutic proteins inside the body uses an acoustically sensitive carrier to encapsulate the proteins and ultrasound to image and guide the package to the exact location required, according to Penn State researchers.

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Coronavirus analysis

AI-generated design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines published

NEC Corporation announced analysis results from efforts using AI prediction platforms to design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that can drive potent T-cell responses in the majority of the global population. This initiative by the scientific teams within the NEC Group to help combat outbreaks of COVID-19 and support international vaccine development efforts is led by NEC OncoImmunity (NOI) in…

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

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COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems. Jing Wang and his team at Empa and ETH Zurich usually work on…

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Coronavirus research

COVID-19 severity and air pollution: exploring the connection

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found an association between living in an area of England with high levels of air pollution and the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because of the urgent need to share information relating to the pandemic, the researchers have published their report on MedRXiv. It has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, the…

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Amyloid beta regulation

CRISPR helps identify potential Alzheimer's-related protein

Experts at the University of Tokyo have identified a new protein in the pathway that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used the “molecular scissors” of CRISPR/Cas9 to search for new genes related to the neurodegenerative disease. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unknown, but one of the most well- supported theories focuses on a protein called amyloid beta.…

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