Search for: "Imperial College London" - 111 articles found

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Public health

Lax salt rules linked to increase of CVD and cancer

More cancer, more cardiovascular disease: The relaxation of UK industry regulation of salt content in food was – to put it lightly – a very bad idea, say researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool. They have linked the change in regulation with 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer. The researchers analysed the…

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Fake pills

'Decoy' antibiotics dupe bacteria’s defences

Imperial medical students have helped to devise a new type of ‘decoy’ drug to tackle infections that are resistant to antibiotics. In lab tests on bacterial cultures, the new drug successfully killed a strain of drug-resistant bacteria. It works by delivering two antibiotics, one of which is effectively hidden. When the bacteria fight against the first ‘decoy’ antibiotic, this action…

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Two years earlier

Breast cancer: blood test could detecting relapse earlier

Research has revealed that a new blood test is able to detect disease relapse up to two years earlier than imaging in patients with early-stage breast cancer. The research, carried out by the University of Leicester and Imperial College London and funded by Cancer Research UK, showed that the blood test was able to detect 89 per cent of all relapses, on average 8.9 months quicker than imaging.

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LSD & Psilocybin

Microdosing drugs – exploring risks and benefits

The practice of taking small, regular doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, or productivity lacks robust scientific evidence, say scientists. The process, called microdosing, has been lauded by some, with high profile proponents in Silicon Valley. But to date, scientific evidence to support or even fully explore claims of the benefits and safety, has been lacking. Now, an…

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Ovarian and breast cancer

New insights into BRCA1 gene functions

Research led by the University of Birmingham has found important new ways that the BRCA1 gene functions which could help develop our understanding of the development of ovarian and breast cancers. The research, published in Nature, was led by experts at the University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology and Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and is part of a five-year…

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ctDNA vs. HGSOC

Taking 'molecular snapshots' of ovarian cancer

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer. The HGSOC tumors consist of several heterogeneous cell populations with a large number of mutations. This genetic variability makes it difficult to find drugs that would kill all the cancer cells, and to which the cells would not become resistant during treatment. Over half of the patients…

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Improvement of cardiac care

Rapid myocardial infarction verification

The use of troponin assays to rule in or rule out myocardial infarction (MI) rapidly is critical on several levels. The quick result can reassure the patient that they have not had a heart attack and can return home safely; or, in the event of MI, the relevant treatment can start very soon. It also ensures that clinicians can make the right decision with confidence. Troponin levels have been the…

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A valuable assistant

AI will transform radiologists into data scientists

Machine learning is increasingly helping radiologists to acquire faster and better quality images, and measure heart function. This is just the tip of the iceberg; artificial intelligence has far more to bring to the heart, explained Daniel Rueckert, Head of the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, during CMR 2018. Machine learning (ML) is becoming a valuable assistant for…

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Mysterious illness

Potential diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Imperial College London, with international collaborators, have determined that Kawasaki disease (KD) can be accurately diagnosed on the basis of the pattern of host gene expression in whole blood. The finding could lead to a diagnostic blood test to distinguish KD from other infectious and inflammatory…

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Cystic Fibrosis & COPD

An experimental treatment for chronic lung disease

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a novel experimental treatment for chronic lung diseases that could improve the lives for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

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Simplified catheter ablation

“Back to basics” atrial fibrillation procedure could cut waiting lists

A day case catheter ablation procedure which includes only the bare essentials and delivers the same outcomes could slash waiting lists for atrial fibrillation patients, according to late-breaking results from the AVATAR-AF trial presented today at EHRA 2019, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress. With the simplified protocol, 30% more patients could receive catheter ablation for the…

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ECR 2019

Promising applications of mixed realities in medicine

Extended reality applications like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are mostly known for their use in the gaming or movie industries. However, in recent years, clinicians have begun exploring potential medical applications for those immersive technologies. In a Coffee and Talk session at ECR 2019, researchers from the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK talked about practical…

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Machine learning tool

AI can predict survival of ovarian cancer patients

Researchers have created a new machine learning software that can forecast the survival rates and response to treatments of patients with ovarian cancer. The artificial intelligence software, created by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne, has been able to predict the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer more accurately than current methods. It can also…

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Weak heart

The many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy

A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England –…

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AI structure

Machine Learning: into the pumpkin patch

Standardised and well-structured data, as well as the definition of clear objectives, are indispensable prerequisites for artificial intelligence implementation into clinical processes. ‘Ask not what artificial intelligence can do for you but what you can do for artificial intelligence!’ This variation on John F Kennedy’s famous quote comes from Dr Ben Glocker, Senior Lecturer in Medical…

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A valuable tool for reconstruction

Augmented reality lets surgeons ‘see’ inside limbs

Researchers at Imperial College London (ICL) have shown how the Microsoft HoloLens headset can be used during reconstructive lower limb surgery. Surgeons at London’s St Mary’s Hospital are using the device, a self-contained computer headset that immerses the wearer in ‘mixed reality’, enabling them to interact with holograms visible through the visor. In effect, the limb’s interior is…

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Going nuclear

Ischaemia: Advances in nuclear imaging

Experts outlined approaches to ischaemia imaging during the recent British Cardiovascular Society conference. In a ‘Detection of ischaemia by cardiac imaging in 2018’ session, comparisons were made between solid state SPECT cameras, whether spatial resolution or visual assessment was of the greater importance, if CT-FFR offered advantages over CT perfusion, and the challenges in defining a…

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Epidemics

Animal health drug could stop outbreaks of malaria and Zika virus

Medicines given to household pets to kill fleas and ticks might be effective for preventing outbreaks of malaria, Zika fever and other dangerous insect-borne diseases that infect millions of people worldwide, according to a new study led by scientists at Calibr, a non-profit drug discovery institute closely affiliated with Scripps Research and TropIQ Health Sciences, a Dutch social enterprise.

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Challenging, but rewarding

Emergency radiology advances – despite shortages and low recognition

Emergency radiology is no longer a babbling field; professionalisation will bring more recognition to this young subspecialty, according to Elizabeth Dick, a London-based consultant, who will coordinate part of the new European Diploma in Emergency Radiology (EDER), the European Society of Radiology’s new tool. We interviewed the radiologist, who spoke of her daily practice and why she loves…

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Uncemented AMC Uniglide knee arthroplasty

K U Brust, of the Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive biology and Anaesthetics, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK, and G Bontemps of the Fabricius Klinik, orthopedic department, Remscheid, Germany, report on mid- to long-term results

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Stem Cell therapy repairs lungs in mice

At the Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), which took place in Stockholm, September 15-19, 2007, researchers from the Imperial College London, UK, presented their study about the successful implantation of lung cells grown from embryonic stem cells into the lungs of mice. In future, this method could be used for the treatment of human lung diseases.

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Cancer diagnostics II

New nanoparticle could enhance MRI scanning

Scientists in the UK have designed a new self-assembling nano­particle that targets tumours and could lead to quicker diagnosis of cancer. Researchers at Imperial College London report that a new self-assembling nanoparticle can adhere to cancer cells, thus making them visible in MRI scans and possibly eliminate the need for invasive tissue biopsies. Report: Mark Nicholls

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Hot topic cardiovascular imaging

Every summer the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) holds Europe's biggest annual meeting of specialists in cardiovascular medicine, inviting and drawing in top international medical professionals. Karoline Laarmann asked Professor Kim Fox, President of the European Society of Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and professor of clinical cardiology at Imperial…

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HMS - PACS installations in a networked environment

Dr Nicola H Strickland BM BCh, MA Hons (Oxon) FRCP, FRCR, Consultant Radiologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Department of Imaging, Hammersmith Hospital, London, trained in natural science and medicine at the University of Oxford, and in radiology at Hammersmith Hospital, London. Now a staff member at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, she has been…

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Laser eye procedure beats corneal transplants

Specialists at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in London, have started using pioneering laser surgery to treat patients with pathological eye conditions, such as superficial corneal scarring.

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IT and Networking

The key to implementing PACS installations networked to multiple hospitals is fully to establish in advance exactly what clinical scenario needs to be satisfied. In her lecture, Dr Nicola H Strickland BM BCh, at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK, spoke about the several possibilities, as well as the requirement and challenges which have to be considered in each scenario.

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Quality is the route to improving healthcare

Changing for the better does not depend on the number of hospitals, physicians or beds you have; it’s about eliminating inefficiencies in the pathways of patient care. The organising principle for healthcare needs to be quality. ‘It is the one industry where quality is cheaper,’ emphasises Ari Darzi, renowned pioneer in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, holder of the Hamlyn Chair of…

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Oncology imaging

‘Digistain’ technology offers revolution in detailed cancer diagnosis

A new imaging technology to grade tumour biopsies has been developed by a team of scientists led by the Department of Physics and the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. Publishing their results in the journal Convergent Science Physical Oncology, they describe how their new method promises to significantly reduce the subjectivity and variability in grading the severity…

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Oncology

Treatment hope would leave liver cancer cells in limbo

Scientists have shown that a mutation in a gene called Arid1b can cause liver cancer. The gene normally protects against cancer by limiting cell growth, but when mutated it allows cells to grow uncontrollably. The researchers have shown that two existing drugs can halt this growth in human cells. This points to a new approach to treating liver cancer.

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Compelling cohorts

Population imaging: Big Data will boost disease prediction

Population imaging is key to determining disease prediction and risk prevention, and Big Data will be key to extracting information and drawing analysis from imaging results, experts highlighted during the annual meeting of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) held in Barcelona in October. Interest in cohort studies has been increasing over the years and…

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Smart techniques

Machine learning is starting to reach levels of human performance

Machine learning is playing an increasing role in computer-aided diagnosis, and Big Data is beginning to penetrate oncological imaging. However, some time may pass before it truly impacts on clinical practice, according to leading UK-based German researcher Professor Julia Schnabel, who spoke during the last ESMRMB annual meeting. Machine learning techniques are starting to reach levels of human…

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Regular exercise can lead to heart disease misdiagnosis

Scientists have shown that people who exercise for even a few hours each week can enlarge their hearts. This is a normal and beneficial response to exercise, but until now has only been recognised in athletes. The researchers say that doctors should now consider an individual’s activity level before diagnosing common heart conditions.

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Breath Biopsy platform

Owlstone Medical CEO Billy Boyle wins Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal

Billy Boyle, Founder and CEO of Owlstone Medical, a diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for disease, is to be awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious Silver Medal. The award recognizes engineer Billy’s work in spearheading the development of the company’s Breath Biopsy platform and driving a vision to save 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs.

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Lesbian, gay, bi, trans

Should all patients be asked about their sexual orientation?

In late 2017, NHS England released guidelines recommending that health professionals ask all patients about their sexual orientation in order to improve services for non-heterosexual patients, but should they? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ today. After decades of campaigning from lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charities, sexual orientation is now a protected characteristic that is…

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Digital and real world combine

World premiere for mixed reality surgery

The Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) has organized, in partnership with TeraRecon, Vizua, Microsoft and Digital Evolutis, the live broadcast of the first surgery performed in the world with a collaborative platform of mixed reality at the Avicenne Hospital AP-HP, and interacting with remote doctors. Dr. Gregory Thomas, Head of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology Hospital Avicenne…

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Coronary Artery Disease

Benefits of instant wave-free ratio (iFR) compared to fractional flow reserve (FFR)

Royal Philips today announced that the results from two large clinical trials comparing patient outcomes using instant wave-free ratio (iFR) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. First released in 2013, iFR is an innovative pressure-derived index unique to Philips, a global leader in…

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Altering the ‘flavor’ of humans could help fight Malaria

A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that a specialized area of the mosquito brain mixes tastes with smells to create unique and preferred flavors. The findings advance the possibility, they say, of identifying a substance that makes “human flavor” repulsive to the malaria-bearing species of the mosquitoes, so instead of feasting on us, they keep the disease to themselves,…

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Echocardiography

Toshiba beams in on cardiology ultrasound

To sharply focus on the specialised requirements in echocardiography, Toshiba engineers built from scratch the Aplio i900CV with a total redesign of hardware and software. The new Aplio i-series is a premium addition to the award-winning Aplio 500 platform, which today is used in more than 31,000 clinical settings worldwide.

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Electrospinning

Renewing the promise of bioabsorbable implants

Electrospun materials bring a spark of hope to a cardiovascular landscape darkened by setbacks for reabsorbable stents. It was famously said that implanting a device in a person to cure a disease is to implant a new disease. Simply put, the human body will continually fight against foreign materials, leading to chronic inflammations or repeated interventions. Which explains the recent excitement…

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Brahms or Beyonce?

Music in the operating theatre - the great debate

A debate has flared up across the United Kingdom over which genre of music should be played in the operating theatre during surgery. Amid claims that loud music can be distracting to some surgical personnel, questions have also been posed as to who should choose the music – the head surgeon or nurse? How loud it should be played, or should music is permissible in the operating theatre (OT) at…

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Diuretic pill extends life

UK & France - The Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial (HYVET), the biggest global clinical trial to assess the benefits of lowering blood pressure in patients aged 80+, was halted in July, two years before its scheduled completion in 2009.

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Management

UK hospitals conduct few post mortems

Post mortems are now rarely carried out within UK hospitals – according to a study that examined all acute NHS Trusts within England, NHS Boards in Scotland and Wales and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, and found that the process has disappeared completely in around a quarter (23%) of NHS trusts. In 2013, the average autopsy rate (percentage of adult in-patient deaths that undergo…

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Cardiology

3D scans spot earliest signs of heart disease

Researchers have shown that people with high blood pressure develop changes in their hearts even before symptoms appear. These changes are known to put people at risk of dying early, and the new work suggests it is possible for doctors to recognise such signs of heart disease earlier than they can today - by examining detailed images of the heart.

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Successful OCT imaging during cancer surgery

UK - Optical imaging company Michelson Diagnostics Ltd (MDL) has announced successful initial results from clinical testing of its novel optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging technology. The tests, performed on cancerous and precancerous human oesophagus and lymph node tissue, were designed to establish the potential value of MDL's optical imaging technology used during cancer surgery.

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Navigated Augmented Reality enhances medical applications

The digital world is being enriched by augmented reality (AR), which refers to any type of information offering the user additional help. Mostly, we don’t even notice it; the only external sign being Smart glasses. When new cars are launched we are always surprised by the constantly developing assistance systems they offer – and it’s the same for the growing number of smartphone…

Futures: HIV self-monitoring

HIV/AIDS has reached pandemic proportions. 35 million people are infected. Given the situation of hard pressed general practitioners (GPs) today, as well as geographical and other difficulties (as in Africa, for example), a new device that will enable HIV patients to monitor their own health and the effectiveness of treatments, without visiting their doctors so often, is indeed promising.

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mTOR

Cells in limbo hold clues for tackling cancer and ageing

For some, TOR may bring to mind a Celtic mountain or perhaps an Internet privacy group. In the world of molecular biology it’s a cellular pathway that’s found in everything from yeast to mammals. mTOR (as it’s called in mammals) plays a central role in instructing the cell to grow and divide in response to nutrients. When it’s turned down, the cell shifts into a second, tidying mode,…

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Proven Benefits of ShearWave Elastography

Radiology and European Radiology Journals Report High Reproducibility and Significant Improvement of Breast Ultrasound Specificity. The much anticipated results of the largest clinical breast study ever sponsored by an ultrasound manufacturer have recently been published in the prestigious peer reviewed Radiology and European Radiology medical journals.

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Mortality

Death risk rises over weekends

New studies reveal the heightened risk of death that patients face if admitted to hospital over a weekend. Researchers have studied what effect the day of hospital admission has on death rates across England in 2013-2014, as well as on hospitals in other countries, such as Australia, the USA and The Netherlands. Report: Mark Nicholls

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The new world of biomarkers

While biomarkers are acknowledged as useful tools in the early assessment of patient response to treatment, radiologists are less clear on how they can be applied in clinical practice. The ECR session Biomarkers: new word, new world, new work? explored a number of new applications for biomarkers with senior radiologists discussing their relevance in different areas.

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DNA

Keeping the cellular production line on track

When our cells copy their DNA to grow and replicate, it’s vital the process runs smoothly. To get this right, cells use a complex “machine”, made from many hundreds of components. This machine is built afresh, moment by moment as it’s needed during the copying process. This assembly–de-assembly is vital to accurate and efficient copying.

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Obesity surgery rose ten-fold in ten years

The use of bariatric or weight loss surgery in England has increased ten-fold in National Heatlh Service (NHS) hospitals since 2000, according to a study published in August on bmj.com. The researchers suggest that one reason is the increased demand by obese patients now more aware of this treatment option.

Concern over insulin drug withdrawal

Drug company Novo Nordisk’s decision to pull its Mixtard 30 insulin drug from the UK could add almost €11 million to the NHS drugs bill in England alone, according to an editorial in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB). This decision could also leave thousands of patients dependent on others to help them take their insulin, said DTB, as it launched its Don’t Drop Mixtard 30 campaign in…

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Profession

Imager or doctor: that is the question

Delegates were asked an increasingly vital question during ECR 2015: do they rather want to be imagers or doctors? “This will probably be one of the most interesting sessions of this meeting and, after this congress, maybe even your career,” said Jim Reekers, professor of interventional radiology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as he kick started the eponymous Professional…

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Cancer cells poised for growth when opportunity knocks

Researchers have identified a mechanism that allows cancer cells to respond and grow rapidly when levels of sugar in the blood rise. This may help to explain why people who develop conditions in which they have chronically high sugar levels in their blood, such as obesity, also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

High hopes for elastography

Dr Bill Svensson believes that elastography has the potential to improve diagnosis of breast cancer, reduce the number of false positives in the detection of the condition and also lead to fewer biopsies performed as accuracy of imaging improves further. This June he highlighted the potential of elastography and the developments in the imaging modality at two sessions at the United Kingdom…

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Speeding up vaccine production

During the race to produce vaccines against evolving influenza viruses the slowness of their manufacture has turned producers more sharply towards cell culture technology. Using the traditional process, fertilised chicken eggs must first be inoculated with live flu virus, then the resulting egg-adapted virus must be purified and inactivated to produce trivalent inactivated virus (TIV), during…

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Swiss Army Knife for Laboratories

Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

During the past 15 years, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has evolved into a vital technology used to perform routine tests in many clinical laboratories. Historically, LC-MS/MS had been used primarily by research, pharmaceutical, or commercial laboratories; however, advances in the technology, decreasing costs for basic systems, intelligible software, an increased…

Electing Health – the Europe we want

For a long time the influence of the European Union (EU) on healthcare policy was considered marginal – but this has changed radically since 2010, says Professor Scott L Greer, political scientist at the University of Michigan and specialist in European healthcare policy. Report: Michael Krassnitzer