#studies

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Tumor-associated macrophages

Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes

Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments. The study, which has been published in the journal Cancer Cell, also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types. Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting…

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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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Finding the connection

Can air pollution lead to psychosis in teens?

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, provides a potential explanation for why growing up in cities is a risk factor for psychosis. This is the first time researchers have linked detailed geographical air pollution data with a representative sample…

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Neurodegeneration

Study sheds new light on microglia

Inside the body, disease and injury can leave behind quite the mess — a scattering of cellular debris, like bits of broken glass, rubber and steel left behind in a car accident. Inside the central nervous system (CNS), a region that includes the brain and spinal cord, it is the job of certain cells, called microglia, to clean up that cellular debris. Microglia have counterparts called…

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Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of remission-resistance-relapse is particularly true for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease in which early success is often countered by eventual disease progression. To wit: The one-year relative survival rate…

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Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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Endocrinology

Predicting the outcome for newborns with congenital hyperinsulinism

Babies born with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) are at risk of suffering from permanent brain damage and life-long disability. Yet some will go on to suffer more severely than others as a result of their disease profile, report the researchers in an article published in Frontiers in Endocrinology. The research team have found that it is possible to predict when and how the disease may affect…

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PARG inhibitors

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer

A team of researchers across The University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing. The Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust funded study, published in the journal Cancer Cell, showed that the drugs, called PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA. The first-in-class…

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Mitochondria mystery solved

Researchers uncover key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment

Why do cancer cells react differently to treatments? Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy. In a Nature Communications paper, researchers reveal for the first time that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug…

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Alternative to statin treatment

Atherosclerosis: Antibodies stabilise plaque

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found that type IgG antibodies play an unexpected role in atherosclerosis. A study on mice shows that the antibodies stabilise the plaque that accumulates on the artery walls, which reduces the risk of it rupturing and causing a blood clot. It is hoped that the results, which are published in the journal Circulation, will eventually lead to improved…

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Heart disease

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes death risk

Cancel the cheese omelet. There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs they could eat. A large, new Northwestern Medicine study reports adults who ate more eggs and dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of…

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Renal denervation

Ultrasound-assisted surgery to treat hypertension

A one-off operation that targets the nerves connected to the kidney has been found to maintain reduced blood pressure in hypertension patients for at least six months, according to the results of a clinical trial led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust, and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The study, published in the journal…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Men in danger

High testosterone could put your heart at risk

Having a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels could play a role in the development of major heart problems in men, such as blood clots and heart failure, finds a study published by The BMJ. The findings may also have implications for men who take testosterone supplements to boost energy levels and sex drive. Some evidence suggests that genetically predicted (“endogenous”)…

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Stop progression

Weight loss sets back Type 2 diabetes for at least two years

More than a third of people with Type 2 diabetes who took part in a weight management programme delivered by the NHS through GP surgeries remain free of diabetes two years later. These latest findings of the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), funded by Diabetes UK and led by experts at Newcastle University and the University of Glasgow, were announced today at Diabetes UK’s…

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Healthy heart

How the 'blue' in blueberries can lower blood pressure

A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating blueberries can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Surrey studied 40 healthy volunteers for one month. They were randomly given either a drink containing 200g of blueberries, or a matched control…

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Seeing red

Will nanotechnology give us infrared vision?

Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared light as well as visible light, reports a study published in the journal Cell. A single injection of nanoparticles in the mice’s eyes bestowed infrared vision for up to 10 weeks with minimal side effects, allowing them to see infrared light even during the day and with enough specificity to distinguish between different…

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Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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Disrupted heartbeat

Why a blow to the chest can kill (or save) you

It is still a mystery why a blow to the chest can kill people by inducing cardiac arrest yet save others that are in cardiac arrest. We may be one step closer to an answer, however, thanks to a device developed by researchers of the University of Bern and the EPFL that can replicate the experience in the laboratory. A hefty blow to the chest can have entirely opposite outcomes. While, for…

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X-ray crystallography

Seeing the unseeable life inside a virus

Researchers at Cardiff University have used x-ray crystallography and computer simulation to get a closer look at how viruses bind cells and cause infection. The new insight could help in the development of drugs and therapies for infections and further advance the exploitation of viruses for medical treatments. The first author of the study, Alex Baker from Cardiff University’s School of…

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Alarming results

Antibiotic resistance spreads faster than previously thought

By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred between bacteria. According to the study published in the journal ‘Microbiome’, those mechanisms are more varied than previously thought. “In…

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The science of sleep

How our brain works against night owls

‘Night owls’ – those who go to bed and get up later – have fundamental differences in their brain function compared to ‘morning larks’ , which mean they could be disadvantaged by the constraints of a normal working day. Research led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Campinas, in Brazil, found that…

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Under pressure

Breast tissue stiffening promotes cancer development

A study provides new insight into how the stiffening of breast tissue plays a role in breast cancer development. By examining how mammary cells respond in a stiffness-changing hydrogel, bioengineers at the University of California San Diego discovered that several pathways work together to promote the transformation of breast cells into cancer cells. The work could inspire new approaches to…

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Pediatric resuscitation

Blindfolded training could help doctors save young lives

In a simulation training study, pediatric team leaders who wore a blindfold improved their leadership skills ratings by 11% over the course of 3 resuscitation scenarios, versus 5% for non-blindfolded leaders. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, the findings demonstrate a promising tool for improving training and outcomes in pediatric resuscitation. “Our study suggests that blindfolding the…

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