Keyword: research

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Nature vs. nurture

Oh! Are our emotional vocalisations learned or innate?

Are emotional expressions shaped by innate specialised mechanisms that guide learning, or do they develop exclusively from learning? In a classic ‘nature versus nurture’ study, social psychology researcher Disa Sauter from the University of Amsterdam explores whether people can recognise emotions from the sounds deaf people make when they express their feelings. Her research was now published…

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Brewing up brain benefits

Drinking tea improves brain health

A recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions – and this is associated with healthy cognitive function – compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining…

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Chemo side effects

Breakthrough in cancer hair loss treatment discovered

Scientists have determined a new way to protect the hair follicle from chemotherapy in an effort to prevent hair loss as a result of cancer treatments. Researchers based at The University of Manchester have discovered a new strategy for how to protect hair follicles from chemotherapy, which could lead to new treatments that prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss – arguably one of the most…

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Targeted treatment

New nanomedi­cine for efficient cancer chemo­ther­apy

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) have developed a new anti-cancer nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. This new nano-tool provides a new approach to use cell-based nanomedicines for efficient cancer chemotherapy. Exosomes contain various molecular…

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Stopping the seizures

Epilepsy surgery: the earlier the better, study shows

A person with drug resistant epilepsy who gets an early surgical intervention has a better chance of becoming seizure free. This is shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis in which Sahlgrenska Academy researchers, in collaboration with the Swedish Council for Assessment of Health Technology and Social Services (SBU), analysed results from a range of previous studies. They concluded that…

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CRISPR-Cas vs MDC1A

Undoing the damage of muscle dystrophy

A new technology has brought researchers one step closer to a future cure for Congenital Muscular Dystrophy type1A, a devastating muscle disease that affects children. The new findings are based on research by Kinga Gawlik at Lund University, Department of Experimental Medical Science, and were recently published in Nature. Congenital Muscular Dystrophy type1A, MDC1A, a progressive genetic…

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Bleeding disorder

Hemophilia: a lot more prevalent than thought

More than 1,125,000 men around the world have the inherited bleeding disorder of hemophilia, and 418,000 of those have a severe version of the mostly undiagnosed disease, says a new study led by McMaster researchers. This is three times what was previously known. Only 400,000 people globally were estimated to have the disorder which is caused by a defect in the F8 or F9 gene which encodes…

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Tissue construct

A 'swift' way to 3D-print organs

Twenty people die every day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., and while more than 30,000 patients now receive transplants annually, another 113,000 are currently on organ waitlists. Many people see artificially grown human organs as the Holy Grail for resolving the organ shortage, and advances in 3D printing have led to a boom in using that technique to build living tissue constructs…

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t-MALDI-2

Dual-beam laser mass spectrometry gives unique insights

Cells are the basic building blocks of life – and, as such, they have been the object of intense study since the invention of the optical microscope in the 17th century. The development of mass spectrometry (MS) methods – those which define the chemical composition of cells – represented a further milestone for research in the field of cell biology. In the latest issue of the journal Nature…

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

Parasitic worm infections can reduce the susceptibility of immune cells to HIV infection, according to new University of Liverpool research. Some species of parasitic worm, such as the water-borne Schistosoma mansoni, have developed strategies to evade, skew and dampen human immune responses. This includes being able to alter the response of a type of immune system cell called a CD4+ T cell,…

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Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the resistance genes spread primarily when antibiotics are used, a rationale backed up by Darwin's theory: only in cases where antibiotics are actually being used does a resistant…

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Mini sunlight reactor

Producing meds with 'artificial leaf' technology

Being able to produce medicines cheaply and everywhere, with sunlight as an energy source. This reality is closer than ever now that chemists from Eindhoven University of Technology are presenting a "mini-reactor" that, similar to leaves in nature, absorbs sunlight and drives chemical reactions. As an ultimate demonstration, they succeeded in having the reactor actually produce two…

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Feasibility study

Liquid biopsy to complement early breast cancer screening

Investigators from the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga [(IBIMA)-CIMES-UMA, Malaga Spain] and collaborators have published the first pilot study to examine the use of a non-invasive liquid biopsy in early diagnosis of breast cancer. This study was unique in that the ctDNA analyses was performed before any invasive diagnostic procedure or treatment. To achieve their goal, the researchers…

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The XX factor

XX chromosomes put women's hearts at risk

New research at the University of Kentucky has confirmed that the presence of XX sex chromosomes increases the amount of fat circulating in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the arteries and ultimately a higher risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The research was published in Nature Communications. The leading cause of death in women is coronary artery disease (CAD), but women…

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Psychological treatment

New PTSD meds take advantage of body's own cannabinoids

A medication that boosts the body’s own cannabis-like substances, endocannabinoids, shows promise to help the brain un-learn fear memories when these are no longer meaningful. This according to an early-stage, experimental study on healthy volunteers at Linköping University. The new findings give hope that a new treatment can be developed for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. “We have…

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Wireless spirometer & smartphone

'Asthma app' to improve self-monitoring

A study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows that a treatment adjustment algorithm based on lung function and symptoms in a mobile phone can be an efficient tool in managing uncontrolled asthma. For fuss-free measuring of lung function, the phone connects to a wireless spirometer and the app can register respiratory symptoms and provide visual feedback on treatment. The study is…

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Methylation of microRNA

Is it cancer? New method could tell the difference

Levels of molecules associated with genetic function, such as microRNA, can be an important indicator of abnormal activity associated with cancer. However, little is known about how different molecules are altered in cancerous cells. Now, researchers from Japan have found a new way of distinguishing cancerous from non-cancerous tissues. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers…

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‘Smart’ approach to AF

mHealth to help detect atrial fibrillation

A new study, presented as ‘Late Breaking Science’ at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual congress, highlights the feasible use of mobile health (mHealth) devices to help with the screening and detection of atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart condition. AF causes an irregular and sometimes, abnormally fast heart rate. The heart’s upper chambers (atria) contract randomly and…

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Nanotechnology

Tiny diamonds in the brain

The recording of images of the human brain and its therapy in neurodegenerative diseases is still a major challenge in current medical research. The blood-brain barrier, a filter system of the body between the blood system and the central nervous system, constrains the supply of drugs or contrast media that would allow therapy and image acquisition. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for…

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Cardiovascular disease

Why exercise is even more beneficial for CVD patients

A study of nearly half a million people has found for the first time that those with heart or blood vessel problems benefit more from having a physically active lifestyle than do healthy people without cardiovascular disease (CVD). Increased physical activity reduced the risk of dying during a six-year follow-up period for people with and without CVD, but the researchers found the greatest…

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Contrast agent in cola drinks

Gadolinium found in fast food restaurants

It has been found in many rivers and even in the tap water in some German cities, now scientists detected gadolinium from contrast agents in the food chain. A research group headed by Michael Bau, Professor of Geoscience at Jacobs University Bremen, detected the gadolinium in tap water and in cola soft drinks bought in restaurants of well-known fast-food franchises in Berlin, Dresden,…

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Sexual orientation & DNA

A single 'gay gene'? Doesn't exist, says science

Genes alone cannot be used to determine an individual’s sexual orientation. A study published in the journal Science found only five out of hundreds of thousands genetic variants occurred somewhat more often in people who had had same-sex partners. This suggests human sexuality is influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, according to the researchers. The study is based…

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Vascular PSP survey

Giving patients a say in vascular conditions research

A new survey will give patients, carers and members of the public the opportunity to have their say in what they think is important for future research for vascular conditions. The Vascular Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) survey, developed in partnership with the James Lind Alliance aims to identify unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of vascular conditions from…

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In focus

Universal algorithm set to boost microscopes

Scientists from EPFL have developed an algorithm that can determine whether a super-resolution microscope is operating at maximum resolution based on a single image. The method is compatible with all types of microscopes and could one day be a standard feature of automated models. Thanks to the advent of super-resolution microscopes some 30 years ago, scientists can observe subcellular…

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Draft guidance

FDA: Include male breast cancer patients in trials

In its latest draft guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages inclusion of males in breast cancer clinical trials. Historically, males either have not been included in clinical trials for drugs to treat breast cancer or inclusion of males in those trials has been very limited; when finalized, the draft guidance will provide clarity for industry regarding clinical…

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