prevention

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Coping with COVID-19

Taiwan: a role model for pandemic management

As many nations struggle to keep COVID-19 infection numbers down through increasingly tough public health measures, some point out the island of Taiwan presents an example of how to be prepared in the event of a pandemic. Located less than 150 kilometres from the original viral source – China – Taiwan has seen far fewer cases of the coronavirus in the past month, with a much lower infection…

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Coronavirus chronology

COVID-19 in the U.S.: Government inaction gave virus a head start

The sense of fear is palpable in the images and videos of hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments that are broadcast on television and posted on social media. Fear and heartbreak can be heard in the voices of physicians and nurses who describe what they are experiencing. It’s not as if healthcare professionals hadn’t warned United States residents and government…

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The math behind corona

Predicting the future of the Covid-19 pandemic with data

Mathematical models can help shed light on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Spanish mathematician Juan Luis Fernández Martínez, who predicted Spain could have between 90,000 and 160,000 infected patients. The next trend in epidemic data science will be to issue prediction models that focus on early detection. Fernandez, a professor of applied mathematics from Oviedo,…

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Cultural differences matter

Study shows: Hand washing is key against COVID-19

Countries where people do not have a habit of washing their hands automatically tend to have a much higher exposure to coronavirus, a new study reveals. University of Birmingham researchers have discovered that at least 50% of people do not have a habit of automatic handwashing after using the toilet in China (77%), Japan (70%), South Korea (61%) and the Netherlands (50%). These countries are…

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Flu forecast

Portable AI device predicts outbreaks based on coughing

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have invented a portable surveillance device powered by machine learning – called FluSense – which can detect coughing and crowd size in real time, then analyze the data to directly monitor flu-like illnesses and influenza trends. The FluSense creators say the new edge-computing platform, envisioned for use in hospitals, healthcare waiting rooms…

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Machine learning in intensive care

AI can predict circulatory failure in ICU

Researchers at ETH Zurich and Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, have developed a method for predicting circulatory failure in patients in intensive care units (ICU) – enabling clinicians to intervene at an early stage. Their approach uses machine learning methods to evaluate an extensive body of patient data. Patients in a hospital’s ICU are kept under close observation: clinicians…

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Finding new treatment options

Cancer cachexia: Help against muscle loss

Cancer cachexia often occurs in cancer patients in an advanced state. This metabolic wasting syndrome leads to severely reduced muscle mass and fat tissue, which cannot be reversed by nutritional support. Furthermore, muscle regeneration is affected during cancer cachexia due to impaired muscle stem cell function. A problem that also occurs often in the aging process. Cancer cachexia is…

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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making headlines by the minute. However, some less-than-trustworthy advice can be found among the information. Understandably, many people are concerned and confused. To prevent unnecessary panic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assembled advice for the public. Is it safe to receive parcels from China? Will sesame oil…

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BCG vs tumour recurrence

Modified tuberculosis vaccine shows promise against bladder cancer

The human immune system can recognize and eliminate not only germs but also cancer cells. This is why treatments with weakened germs can help the immune system in its fight against cancer. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin have genetically modified the tuberculosis vaccine BCG in a way that it stimulates the immune system more specifically. Consequently, the…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.” On Feb. 17, the number of infections totaled around 71,000 globally based on data of the WHO. COVID-19 – the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus…

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Preventive potential

Why eating yoghurt may stave off breast cancer

One of the causes of breast cancer may be inflammation triggered by harmful bacteria say researchers. Scientists say their idea – as yet unproven – is supported by the available evidence, which is that bacterial induced inflammation is linked to cancer. The paper in the journal Medical Hypotheses is by Lancaster University medical student Auday Marwaha, Professor Jim Morris from the…

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Mass spec & proteomics

Tackling diabetes prevention from a different angle

A protein newly identified as important in type 1 diabetes can delay onset of the disease in diabetic mice, providing a new target for prevention and treatment in people, according to research led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Indiana University School of Medicine. Because type 1 diabetes is incurable and has serious lifelong health…

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Higher intake, lower risk

Could magnesium save women from fatal heart disease?

A new prospective study based on data from the Women's Health Initiative found a potential inverse association between dietary magnesium and fatal coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. The study, which also showed a trend between magnesium and sudden cardiac death in this population, is published in Journal of Women's Health. Charles Eaton, MD, Alpert Medical School of Brown University,…

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A closer look at blood lipids

Lipidomics and machine learning predict diabetes risk

Using lipidomics, a technique that measures the composition of blood lipids at a molecular level, and machine learning, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a blood lipid profile that improves the possibility to assess, several years in advance, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The blood lipid profile can also be linked to a certain diet and degree of physical activity.…

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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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Personalised prevention

‘Liquid health check’ could predict disease risk

Proteins in our blood could in future help provide a comprehensive ‘liquid health check’, assessing our health and predicting the likelihood that we will we will develop a range of diseases. Preventative medicine programmes such as the UK National Health Service’s Health Check and Healthier You programmes are aimed at improving our health and reducing our risk of developing diseases. While…

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

Award for new blood clot prevention technology

A partnership between the Royal Stoke University Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, and a UK industry-leading medical devices company have been rewarded for its use of an innovative bioelectronic technology to prevent life-threatening blood clots in acute stroke patients – winning in the category: Best use of technology (acute care), at the Building Better…

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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

Measles infections are not harmless – they can cause disease courses that may be of fatal outcome. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in co-operation with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have now found out that measles viruses erase part of the immunological memory over several years. Affected persons are thus more susceptible to infections with other pathogens beyond…

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Interactive CVD risk calculator

KardioKompassi: Individualised cardiac disease prevention with genomic data

With KardioKompassi, researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed an interactive web tool that aims to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease. The application for patients and doctors uses traditional health information combined with genome information, including 49,000 DNA variations associated with the disease. Using this data, the risk calculator evaluates the risk of cardiac…

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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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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

Influenza viruses cause substantial health hazards and claim many lives worldwide each year. Vaccines can keep the virus in check, however, they only protect against influenza when they match the circulating strains – which vary every season. But now, a reasearch team may have found a way to generate a universal vaccine. Led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the…

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Colorectal cancer

Harmful to women? Expert questions new screening recommendation

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a new recommendation on colorectal cancer screening on October 2nd, 2019. The main point: Screening participation is only recommended to people with at least a three percent chance of developing colorectal cancer in the next 15 years. As a result, the majority of women would be advised not to participate in screening – even though its benefit to them…

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Wishlist

Cancer prevention scrutinised

The latest study by the German Society for Haematology and Oncology (DGHO), ‘Prognosis for population-based morbidity for common cancers in Germany – impact on provision’ has made it clear that due to demographic developments in Germany and to medical advances in oncology, the requirements for cancer patients’ care are ever more diverse. The increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients is…

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Measles

Vaccine hesitancy threatens global health

Measles cases are rising worldwide. Globally, a trend of falling public trust in vaccines is alarming health officials and the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health. The UK’s Wellcome Trust 2018 Global Monitor – a survey of more than 140,000 people in over 140 countries – highlighted regions where confidence in vaccinations is…

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