Gastrointestinal tract

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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…

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Genome study reveals

Blood group affects composition of intestinal microbiome

For several years, scientists worldwide have been investigating the extent to which microorganisms living in and on the human body influence central life processes and thus health and disease. Today…

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RNA editing

New mechanism of cancer formation discovered

A team of scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) led by Dr Polly Leilei Chen from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine has discovered a…

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Eating disorders and the microbiome

Causes for anorexia: not just in the head (but also in the gut)

Anorexia is a debilitating eating disorder, and was long thought to be purely psychological. New research is challenging this by revealing that gut microbes may have a significant role in anorexia. A…

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Influence of gut bacteria

How our gut microbiome affects Covid-19 severity

The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of Covid-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests…

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Toxins in the gut

Connecting our microbiome to breast cancer development

A microbe found in the colon and commonly associated with the development of colitis and colon cancer also may play a role in the development of some breast cancers, according to new research from…

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AI assistance for colonoscopy

Ensuring Patient Safety in Endoscopy

Patient safety in endoscopy must be approached from a holistic perspective, through solutions which increase detection rates of abnormalities, increase confidence in the safety of the reprocessing outcome, and control the risk of infection and cross-contamination. With these important benefits in mind, manufacturers should be continuously working to innovate products to establish solutions that…

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Computer-aided detection

Olympus launches AI-powered endoscopy platform

Olympus Corporation announced the launch of Endo-Aid, a platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that includes the endoscopy application Endo-Aid CADe (computer-aided detection) for the colon. This new AI platform enables real-time display of automatically detected suspicious lesions and works in combination with Olympus’ recently introduced EVIS X1, its most advanced endoscopy system…

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Helpful housemates

Our gut microbiome could unlock the secret to healthy ageing

Bacteria and other microorganisms in the digestive tract are linked with dozens of health conditions including high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and body mass index (BMI) according to research presented at ESC Congress 2020. “Our study indicates that microbiota might have an important role in maintaining health and could help us develop novel treatments,” said study author Dr. Hilde…

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New tool discovered

Gut microbiome: Crohn’s disease bacteria grown in the lab

Several thousand strains of bacteria live in the human gut. Some of these are associated with disease, while others have beneficial effects on human health. Figuring out the precise role of each of these bacteria can be difficult, because many of them can’t be grown in lab studies using human tissue. This difficulty is especially pronounced for species that cannot live in oxygen-rich…

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Cytosponge research

‘Pill on a string’ test could transform oesophageal cancer diagnosis

A ‘pill on a string’ test can identify ten times more people with Barrett’s oesophagus than the usual GP route, a new study shows. The test, which can be carried out by a nurse in a GP surgery, is also better at picking up abnormal cells and potentially early-stage cancer. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition that can lead to oesophageal cancer in a small number of people. It’s usually…

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Right in the guts

IBD: The late repercussions of early antibiotics use

Disruption of gut bacteria by antibiotics soon after birth can affect the maturation of the immune system, say researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Even short, single antibiotic courses given to young animals can predispose them to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they are older, according to their research. The study, published in Genome Medicine, provides further evidence…

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Pathological regression of lymph nodes

Improved grading system to predict esophageal cancer survival

A group of researchers led by Osaka University established a new pathological grading system to evaluate the therapeutic effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for metastatic lymph nodes (LNs) removed in esophageal cancer (EC) surgery, demonstrating that the system predicts recurrence and prognosis in EC patients better than conventional systems. Their research results were published in Annals…

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Intestinal distress

Celiac disease: 'Reprogramming' the immune system to tolerate gluten

Celiac disease affects 0.3-2.4% of people in most countries world-wide, and approx. 2% in Finland. Celiac patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, typically intestinal complaints, such as diarrhea, but are often symptom-free. Immunologist Tobias Freitag co-developed and tested nanoparticles containing gliadin for the immunomodulatory treatment of celiac disease in Professor Seppo Meri’s…

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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 insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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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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False appendicitis alarm

Study reveals many unnecessary appendix surgeries in children

Surgery for appendicitis is the most common emergency operation in children. A new study has found that the UK has the highest reported national rate of ‘normal appendicectomy,’ where children undergo surgery for suspected appendicitis but laboratory examination of the removed appendix finds it to be normal. Although most children who are misdiagnosed as having appendicitis improve without…

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Gastric squamous-columnar junction cancer

The role of stem cells in deadly gastric SCJ cancer

A study led by scientists from Cornell University provides important new insights into a common and deadly type of gastric cancer. Incidence of this cancer, called gastric squamous-columnar junction (SCJ) cancer, also known as gastroesophageal cancer, rose 2.5 times in the United States between the 1970s and 2000s, while cases of all gastric cancers have decreased by more than 80% since the…

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Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This research was conducted by the team of Benoît Chassaing, Inserm researcher at Institut Cochin (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Paris), whose initial findings have been…

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Sprue POCT

Celiac disease: faster detection through new method

Researchers from the University of Helsinki developed a novel diagnostic method for the rapid on-site measurement of antibodies from patient samples. Now they have applied this new method for the diagnostics of celiac disease, with promising results. Point-of-care (POC) testing is a rapidly growing sector, bringing medical testing from central laboratories to where the patient is receiving care.…

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Medical robotics competition

Early detection of bowel cancer with a magnetic capsule

Five talented robotics specialists were selected by an international jury for the finals of the Kuka innovation competition from among 30 applications from all over the world. For the first time, the focus was put on medical robotics and the topic of “Healthy Living”. Each of the finalists were provided with the sensitive Kuka lightweight robot LBR Med and a 3D vision system from Roboception…

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Endoscopy solution

It’s time for colonoscopy and gastroscopy in 3D

Minimally-invasive surgery (MIS) benefits from 3D visualization with improved image quality and depth perception. Now, a 3D solution for gastroscopy and colonoscopy is available, by simply connecting a device to the hospital’s existing flexible endoscopy equipment with a 3D monitor. This solution is presented by MedicalTek (MDTK), a Taiwanese company specialized in the field of medical image…

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Breakthrough against C. diff

New Clostridioides difficile vaccine on the horizon

Researchers at the University of Exeter first identified a gene in the 'hospital bug' Clostridioides difficile responsible for producing a protein that aids in binding the bacteria to the gut of its victims. In collaboration with researchers at Paris-SUD University, they then showed that mice vaccinated with this protein generated specific antibodies to the protein – and that C. diff that did…

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Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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