#gastrointestinal tract

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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 bacteria reprogram DNA activity

The uncanny influence of our gut flora

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem demonstrated in mice that intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity in cells of the gut mucosa and thus have a considerable impact on the development of the healthy gut. Acute intestinal inflammation induced under experimental conditions led to a huge increase in the activity of inflammation-related…

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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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Influential genes

Our microbiome is shaped by genetic differences in the immune system

Genetic differences in the immune system shape the collections of bacteria that colonize the digestive system, according to new research by scientists at the University of Chicago. In carefully controlled experiments using germ-free mice populated with microbes from conventionally raised mice, the researchers showed that while the makeup of the microbial input largely determined the resulting…

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Biosensors

Using smartphones to detect norovirus

A little bit of norovirus – the highly infectious microbe that causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year – goes a long way. Just 10 particles of the virus can cause illness in humans. A team of University of Arizona researchers has created a simple, portable and inexpensive method for detecting extremely low levels of norovirus. Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a…

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Dysbiosis treatment

New prebiotics: benefits without downsides?

Prebiotics are currently a preferred treatment for certain metabolic disorders, as they can restore the balance of dysfunctional gut microbiota, and improve the body’s metabolism. However, these substances have to be used at high doses, which can result in patients experiencing bloating and flatulence. A research group led by Matteo Serino, Inserm researcher at the Digestive Health Research…

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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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Gastroenterology

Biliary tract cancer: Genetic imbalance could be the key

Patients with biliary tract cancer have altered genetic architecture in some immune system receptor systems. This has been shown by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology. It is hoped that the discovery will lead to new effective immunotherapy for these difficult to treat tumour types. Biliary tract cancers, including…

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Microsatellites

Stomach and colorectal cancer: AI identifyies patients for immunotherapy

Changes in certain sections of the genetic material of cancer cells, so-called microsatellites, can provide an important indication of whether immunotherapy may be successful in a patient with stomach or colorectal cancer. Scientists from Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)…

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Crohn’s disease

Adult-onset IBD linked to higher mortality

While the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) in adulthood is tied to a higher mortality, the actual number of deaths has been falling, a Swedish study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Gut reports. Now it is a case of ascertaining which of the newer treatments are the most efficacious, say the researchers. Using the Swedish National…

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Dial 'M' for microfold cells

Identifying a key player in gut defense development

A joint team from Hokkaido University and Keio University has identified a gut protein essential for neonatal mice to fight infections, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The insight could help understand how infants develop their own intestinal immune systems after weaning. The gut is constantly exposed to potentially harmful bacteria that come with food and…

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