prevention

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COVID-10 video

Coughing visualization shows benefits of wearing a good mask

Coupling function with fashion, cloth and home-sewn face masks are available in a variety of forms and fabrics. While experts underscore that wearing a mask is effective in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not all masks — or the materials with which they’re made — contain virus particles equally. In a new video, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineer Scott Sanders demonstrates…

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Blocking coronavirus entry portals

Cell ‘membrane on a chip’ could speed up COVID-19 drug screening

Researchers have developed a human cell ‘membrane on a chip’ that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Cornell University and Stanford University, say their device could mimic any cell type - bacterial, human or even the…

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Protective equipment

COVID-19 prevention: Why adequate PPE and training are so important

Despite being at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, frontline healthcare professionals who were appropriately protected did not contract infection or develop protective immunity against the virus, finds a study from China published by The BMJ. The researchers acknowledge that the healthcare professionals were working away from home, so had limited social interactions after work, which probably…

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COVID protective equipment

Face mask disinfects itself via USB cable

A self-disinfecting reusable protective face mask was developed at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) faculty of Materials Science and Engineering. The disinfection process occurs when a layer of carbon fibers in the mask is heated using a low current source, such as an electric mobile phone charger, the developers state. A patent application for this invention has been submitted in…

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Infection control in hospitals

Nosocomial influenza: The enormous effect of mask wearing

The Coronavirus dominates everyday conversation as well as medical and scientific discussions, but in a Leipzig hygiene congress, other topics – such as nosocomial influenza – took a strong position. Dr Andreas Ambrosch, head of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene at the Brothers of Mercy Hospital in Regensburg, Germany, presented a new study on the spread…

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COVID-19 prevention

Social distancing: does it work?

The number of cases tested positive for COVID-19 initially grew exponentially in China, but then slowed down. Dirk Brockmann, professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and project group leader at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), and his postdoc Benjamin F. Maier have developed a diffusion model that takes into account the effect of social distancing and other measures to explain this…

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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

Any new coronavirus vaccine that works well and is safe will still have the daunting challenge of needing to be produced to scale in a very short amount of time. It will also have to be safely delivered into the hands of the most remote populations. The more complex and untested the vaccine approach, the more difficult it will be to both scale its production and deliver it around the world. By…

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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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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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