Research

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Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives…

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Mitochondria research

Colorectal cancer: Mutations in overlooked DNA could have huge impact on survival

DNA errors in the cell’s energy ‘factories’ increases the chances of survival for people with bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, according to a new study. Studying how DNA errors…

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Role of end-of-life support

Covid-19: a 'stress-test' for palliative care

A new report shows how palliative and end of life care in the UK was compromised by shortages of PPE, essential medicines, and equipment, because these services were not seen as ‘frontline NHS’…

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Reparative hydrogel

Fixing traumatic head injury with 'brain glue'

At a cost of $38 billion a year, an estimated 5.3 million people are living with a permanent disability related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States today, according to the Centers…

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Bioengineering

Producing transplantable livers in the laboratory

Researchers at the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center (HUG-CELL), hosted by the University of São Paulo’s Institute of Biosciences (IB-USP) in Brazil, have developed a technique to…

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Léopold Griffuel Award

Childhood cancer research: Award for Stefan Pfister

Stefan Pfister, a director of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), a department head at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and a pediatric oncologist at University Hospital…

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Biochemistry

Potential trigger of Crohn’s disease found

Potentially game-changing research led by McMaster University scientists may finally bring relief to millions of people worldwide living with Crohn’s disease. Investigator Brian Coombes said his team identified a strain of adherent-invasive E-coli (AIEC) that is strongly implicated in the condition and is often found in the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease. “If you examine the gut…

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Here comes the tooth fairy

New drug shows promise for regenerating lost teeth

A new study by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may offer hope for adults who have lost their teeth. The team reports that an antibody for one gene - uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1 - can stimulate tooth growth in mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition. The paper was published in Science Advances. Although the normal adult mouth has…

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Prognosis

Better heart failure outcomes through biomarker-based treatment

In a recent study by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, findings indicate that among patients with heart failure, obesity is associated with a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization or death due to cardiac causes. However, achieving biomarker-based treatment goals in heart failure improves the prognosis for patients irrespective of their obesity status.

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Proof of concept

Surveillance system tracks Covid infection hotspots in hospital

A University of Manchester team has applied new techniques to detect and track the transmission of Covid-19 in hospital. The proof of concept system combines the movement and interaction of staff and patients with genomic sequencing of the virus, helping to signpost how best to improve patient pathways, staff movement and reduce risk. They identified hotspots within hospitals where patients and…

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Uprooting cancer

New hydrogel 'reprograms' cancer cells back to cancer stem cells

An innovative hydrogel – called a double network (DN) gel – can rapidly reprogram differentiated cancer cells into cancer stem cells, researchers at Hokkaido University and the National Cancer Center Research Institute have reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The hydrogel can be used to help develop new cancer therapies and personalized medicines targeting cancer stem cells.

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Immune response in pregnant and lactating women

Mothers pass on Covid-19 protection to their babies after vaccination

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have found the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to be highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. They also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns…

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Gesundheit!

Why stress relief is also allergy relief

Increased allergic reactions may be tied to the corticotropin-releasing stress hormone (CRH), suggests a new study. These findings may help clarify the mechanism by which CRH induces proliferation of mast cells (MC) – agents involved in the development of allergies in the human nasal cavity.

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Neurodegeneration research

Alzheimer's: Faster accumulation of tau protein in women's brains

Alzheimer’s disease seems to progress faster in women than in men. The protein tau accumulates at a higher rate in women, according to research from Lund University in Sweden. The study was recently published in Brain. Over 30 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, making it the most common form of dementia. Tau and beta-amyloid are two proteins known to aggregate and…

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A much-needed update

New 'double antibody' delivers dual strike SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Switzerland developed a second-generation ‘double antibody’ that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy. Antibody-based immunotherapy was already shown to be effective against Covid-19 but faces two main obstacles: it needs to work…

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SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

Covid-19 immunity may last from days to decades

Scientists from Singapore found that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wane at different rates, lasting for mere days in some individuals, while remaining present in others for decades. The study, published in The Lancet Microbe, shows that the severity of the infection could be a deciding factor in having longer-lasting antibodies. Individuals with low levels of neutralising antibodies may still be…

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Coronavirus demographics analysis

Does living with children increase Covid-19 risk? Probably not

A study published by The BMJ sheds light on the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and covid-19 outcomes among adults living with and without children during the first two waves of the UK pandemic. It finds no evidence of any increased risk in wave 1 (Feb to Aug 2020). Small increased risks of infection and hospital admission were seen in wave 2 (Sept to Dec 2020), but this did not translate into…

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Promising study results

Electromagnetic fields hinder spread of breast cancer

Electricity may slow – and in some cases, stop – the speed at which breast cancer cells spread through the body, a new study indicates. The research also found that electromagnetic fields might hinder the amount of breast cancer cells that spread. The findings, published recently in the journal Bioelectricity, suggest that electromagnetic fields might be a useful tool in fighting cancers that…

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AI uncovers neurological changes

Facial analysis algorithm to track Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) usually causes facial abnormalities that affect a person’s self-esteem and relationships. However, these abnormalities are difficult to analyze quantitatively with current methods. To address this issue, scientists from Okayama University, Japan, explored whether commercial AI-based facial analysis software could be useful in this context. Their results show that…

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Model analysis

Machine learning for Covid-19 diagnosis: promising, but still too flawed

Systematic review finds that machine learning models for detecting and diagnosing Covid-19 from medical images have major flaws and biases, making them unsuitable for use in patients. However, researchers have suggested ways to remedy the problem. Researchers have found that out of the more than 300 Covid-19 machine learning models described in scientific papers in 2020, none of them is suitable…

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BMMF research

Novel pathogens: a driver for colorectal cancer?

Do BMMFs, the novel infectious agents found in dairy products and bovine sera, play a role in the development of colorectal cancer? Scientists led by Harald zur Hausen detected the pathogens in colorectal cancer patients in close proximity to tumors. The researchers show that the BMMFs trigger local chronic inflammation, which can cause mutations via activated oxygen molecules and thus promote…

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