Research

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Delicious research

Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?

Increased consumption of flavanols – a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables – can increase your mental agility, according to new research. A team at the University of Birmingham has found that people given a cocoa drink containing high levels of flavanols were able to complete certain cognitive tasks more efficiently than when drinking a non-flavanol enriched-drink.

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White matter hyperintensities

High blood pressure puts the brain at risk

Higher than normal blood pressure is linked to more extensive brain damage in the elderly, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal. In particular, the study found that there was a strong association between diastolic blood pressure (the blood pressure between heart beats) before the age of 50 and brain damage in later life, even if the diastolic blood pressure was within…

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Improving imaging

Light up diseases with 'photonic lanterns'

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University have developed a new technique that will allow medical professionals to see disease deep inside the human body in 10 times more detail. Professor Robert Thomson and his team want to improve endoscopies, when long, thin optical fibres are used to look inside the body. The new technique will open up a route to unprecedented imaging resolution, says Thomson, and…

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Downsized imaging

Signals from a miniature MRI unit

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is indispensable in medical diagnostics. However, MRI units are large and expensive to acquire and operate. With smaller and cost-efficient systems, MRI would be more flexible and more people could benefit from the technique. Such miniature MRI units generate a much weaker signal that is difficult to analyze, though. Researchers at the Göttingen Max Planck…

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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection…

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Finding therapeutic targets

Pancreatic cancer: Seeking viable treatment strategies

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any cancers, with immunotherapies currently offering negligible treatment benefits for patients. To help identify new therapeutic approaches, researchers from the University of Oxford have been focusing on leukocyte infiltration as a prognostic marker of the disease. Their study and findings were outlined by Dr Shivan Sivakumar during a session…

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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False positive results

Accuracy of rapid covid test may be lower than previously suggested

The accuracy of a rapid finger-prick antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for covid-19 infection, may be considerably lower than previously suggested, finds a study published by The BMJ. The results suggest that if 10% of people given the test had previously been infected, around 1 in 5 positive test results would be incorrect (false positive results). These conclusions contrast…

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Joint Imaging Platform (JIP)

If the data won't come to the algorithm...

The new Joint Imaging Platform – JIP for short – is a flexible, decentralized analysis platform for medical images. The JIP was initially developed for the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) sites. It is designed to facilitate cross-institutional imaging projects and to help meet the technical and legal challenges associated with the joint use of imaging data.

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Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after wounding, leading to more effective skin healing. This new material, which quickly degrades once the wound has closed, demonstrates that activating an adaptive immune response can trigger regenerative wound healing, leaving behind stronger and…

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Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the vaccine candidate has been transferred to two companies for clinical development.

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Risk assessment

Understanding the spread of COVID-19 on public transport

Researchers at Newcastle University are involved in a study to understand the risks of COVID-19 transmission on public transport and to identify the best measures to control it. Known as Project TRACK (Transport Risk Assessment for Covid Knowledge), the study will conduct fieldwork on buses and trains in London, Leeds and Newcastle, including the Metro system in Tyne and Wear.

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