research

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Hypertension

High blood pressure increases COVID-19 death risk

Patients with raised blood pressure have a two-fold increased risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19 compared to patients without high blood pressure, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that patients with high blood pressure who were not taking medication to control the condition were at even greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Imaging on the road

A mobile MRI that could fit in a van

MRI imaging is one of the best ways of examining different body tissue and obtaining information about injuries and illnesses. However, MRI scanners are typically large, heavy, and very expensive devices that need to be operated by specially trained healthcare personnel. Aalto University has just launched a project that studies and builds new magnetic resonance imaging technology, which enables…

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Predictive proteins

Biomarkers in COVID-19 patients could predict how ill they become

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified 27 protein biomarkers that could be used to predict whether a patient with COVID-19 is likely to become severely ill with the disease. People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, respond differently. Some do not develop any symptoms, some need to be hospitalised and, for…

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Cancer research

Lymph node analysis to hunt down metastases

What makes tumor cells turn murderous? The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is investigating the mechanisms of metastasis formation – and searching for approaches for new treatments in the fight against cancer. Among other things, the research team at Fraunhofer ITEM has developed a method that enables them to analyze entire lymph nodes.

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Teixobactin against superbugs

Researchers find 'resistance resistant' antibiotic

University of Melbourne researchers are finding ways to beat dangerous superbugs with ‘resistance resistant’ antibiotics, and it could help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) complications. As bacteria evolve, they develop strategies that undermine antibiotics and morph into ‘superbugs’ that can resist most available treatments and cause potentially lethal infections. The…

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Lack of ventilation increases risk

Experts explore COVID-19 airborne transmission

Preventing airborne transmission of COVID-19 should be the next front of the battle against the virus, argue experts from the University of Surrey. In a study published by the City and Environment Interaction journal, scientists from Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), together with partners from Australia’s Queensland University and Technology, argue that the lack of…

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Immunology

COVID-19 study reveals universally effective antibodies

The first round of results from an immunological study of 149 people who have recovered from COVID-19 show that although the amount of antibodies they generated varies widely, most individuals had generated at least some that were intrinsically capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibodies vary widely in their efficacy. While many may latch on to the virus, only some are truly…

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Immune cell monitoring

AI could predict risk of lung cancer recurrence

Computer scientists working with pathologists have trained an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to determine which patients with lung cancer have a higher risk of their disease coming back after treatment. The AI tool was able to differentiate between immune cells and cancer cells, enabling researchers to build a detailed picture of how lung cancers evolve in response to the immune system in…

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Microbiome study

Do microscope eyepieces pose an infection risk?

Light microscope for viewing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are commonly found in scientific laboratories. A research team from Furtwangen University, the University of Tübingen and Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, Aalen, examined more closely their role as potential vectors of infectious pathogens. „Very little was known about this until now," explains the head of the…

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A 'safety net' for better drug delivery

Ultra-thin fibres to protect nerves after brain surgery

The drug nimodipine could prevent nerve cells from dying after brain surgery. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), in cooperation with neurosurgeons at University Hospital Halle (Saale) (UKH), have developed a new method that enables the drug to be administered directly in the brain with fewer side effects. Their findings were published in the European Journal of…

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Implications for lockdown policies

Cruise ship study hints at many ‘silent’ COVID-19 infections

The prevalence of ‘silent’ symptomless COVID-19 infection may be much higher than thought, reveals a study charting the enforced isolation of cruise ship passengers during the current pandemic, and published online in the journal Thorax. More than eight out of 10 of passengers and crew who tested positive for the infection had no symptoms. This has implications for the easing of lockdown…

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Sex bias

Is pain research turning a blind eye on women?

Females process pain differently, but search for pain medication still based on hypotheses drawn from work in males, a study from Canada finds. It is increasingly clear that male and female humans and rodents process pain in different ways. And that there are important differences in the underlying mechanisms involved at genetic, molecular, cellular, and physiological levels. Despite this fact,…

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From physical to computational staining

Deep learning accurately stains digital biopsy H&E slides

Tissue biopsy slides stained using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) dyes are a cornerstone of histopathology, especially for pathologists needing to diagnose and determine the stage of cancers. A research team led by MIT scientists at the Media Lab, in collaboration with clinicians at Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, now shows that digital scans of these biopsy…

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Increased usability and precision

New X-ray contrast agent enhances vascular imaging

Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent which is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This reduces the number of animals required in research experiments. Various diseases in humans and animals – such as tumors, strokes or chronic kidney disease – damage the blood vessels.…

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Profiling the coronavirus

Risk factors for severe and fatal COVID-19 cases identified

Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness have emerged as risk factors for severe and fatal cases of COVID-19 in the UK, according to the largest cohort study to date published by The BMJ. As the largest prospective observational study reported worldwide to date, it provides a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of patients hospitalised in the UK with COVID-19 and their outcomes.…

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Robotic innovation

Micro robot rolls deep into the body

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell travelling through the circulatory system. It has the shape, the size and the moving capabilities of leukocytes and could perhaps be well on its way – in a rolling motion of course – to revolutionize the minimally invasive treatment of…

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Hemolysis monitoring

Measuring blood damage in real-time

Scientists at the University of Delaware and Princeton University have developed a method to monitor blood damage in real-time. “Our goal was to find a method that could detect red blood cell damage without the need for lab sample testing,” said Tyler Van Buren, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with expertise in fluid dynamics. The researchers recently reported their technique…

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Canine vs. coronavirus

Trained dogs can detect COVID-19 with their nose

The extremely sensitive olfactory sense of dogs might prove to become a groundbreaking new tool in the fight against the COVID-19. Trained medical scent detection dogs have previously worked with identifying different types of cancers. Researchers at the veterinary and human medicine faculties at the University of Helsinki have now joined forces to identify COVID-19 infected individuals using…

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Deadly mechanism uncovered

Inside COVID-19's 'cytokine storm'

Leading immunologists in Japan are proposing a possible molecular mechanism that causes massive release of proinflammatory cytokines, or a cytokine storm, leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. Their suggestions, published in the journal Immunity, are based on recent findings that explain how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells. ARDS is a life-threatening…

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Biomimetic sight assistance

"Artificial eye" prototype shows great promise

Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing an artificial eye with capabilities close to its human model. The research team published their work on the biomimetic eye in the journal Nature. “Watching sci-fi series such as Star Trek and I, Robot, I thought about making a…

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HNSCC diagnostics

Head and neck cancer: Novel prognostic biomarker could double survival

A recent study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) discovered a novel genetic biomarker which can predict the survival of head and neck cancer patients. There are over 0.7 million new head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cases globally each year. However, currently there is no clinical implementation of any genetic biomarker to…

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Changes in cells caused by coronavirus

Potential targets for COVID-19 therapy discovered

A team of biochemists and virologists at Goethe University and the Frankfurt University Hospital were able to observe how human cells change upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 in people. The scientists tested a series of compounds in laboratory models and found some which slowed down or stopped virus reproduction. These results now enable the search for an active substance…

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Coronavirus vaccine research

'Immune memory' of blood stem cells could help fight COVID-19

Blood stem cells have a surprising ability. In addition to ensuring the continuous renewal of blood cells, they keep track of past infections so that faster and more effective immune responses can be triggered in the future. This is according to a new study co-led by Inserm researcher Sandrine Sarrazin and CNRS researcher Michael Sieweke at the Center of Immunology Marseille-Luminy…

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Coronavirus misinformation

Experts find COVID-19 fake news in 1 of 4 most popular YouTube videos

More than one in four of the most viewed COVID-19 videos on YouTube in spoken English contains misleading or inaccurate information, reveals the first study of its kind, published online in BMJ Global Health. Public health misinformation on COVID-19 is reaching far more people than in previous pandemics and has considerable potential for harm, warn the researchers. While good quality accurate…

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Cell division

Researchers find protein that helps cancer cells to survive

In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered two important functions of a protein called RTEL1 during cell division. The researchers hope that the new knowledge will help to find new cancer treatments. One of the body's most important processes is cell division, which occurs throughout life. Normal cells only have a limited number of divisions, while in cancer…

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