research

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Fossilised findings

Study shows: Even dinosaurs had cancer

A collaboration led by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and McMaster University has led to the discovery and diagnosis of an aggressive malignant bone cancer — an osteosarcoma — for the first time ever in a dinosaur. Examples of malignant cancers are very rare in the fossil record. The paper was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology. The cancerous bone in question is the fibula (lower…

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Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

Genes that are thought to play a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells have been found to be active in embryos as early as during the second week of pregnancy, say scientists at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The researchers say this could mean embryos are susceptible to COVID-19 if the mother gets sick, potentially affecting the…

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Breast cancer imaging

Should Gadolinium-based contrast agents be used in breast DTI?

The accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis via diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) was equivalent both before and after the administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), despite a value change in DTI parameters, finds a new research article. “However,” wrote first author Anabel M. Scaranelo of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s breast imaging division in Toronto, “the limitations in…

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Caught in the loop

How COVID-19 leads the immune system astray

Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction – rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition. Experts from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the University of Bonn, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Helmholtz Centre for Infection…

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New tool discovered

Gut microbiome: Crohn’s disease bacteria grown in the lab

Several thousand strains of bacteria live in the human gut. Some of these are associated with disease, while others have beneficial effects on human health. Figuring out the precise role of each of these bacteria can be difficult, because many of them can’t be grown in lab studies using human tissue. This difficulty is especially pronounced for species that cannot live in oxygen-rich…

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Temporal pressure

"Micropores": A new way to deliver drugs through the skin

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have showed that applying “temporal pressure” to the skin of mice can create a new way to deliver drugs. In a paper published in Science Advances, the researchers showed that bringing together two magnets so that they pinch and apply pressure to a fold of…

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Wearable technology

Smart watches and fitness trackers: useful, but may increase anxiety

Is my heart beating slightly fast? Is a heart attack coming? I didn’t sleep as much as I thought I had last night – is that bad for my heart? Health apps and fitness watches can shed considerable light on how our bodies work and make recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. However, self-measuring can have a downside too, according to a new study that examined the experiences of 27 heart…

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G-quadruplexes

Quadruple DNA structures in breast cancer found

Four stranded DNA structures – known as G-quadruplexes – have been shown to play a role in certain types of breast cancer for the first time, providing a potential new target for personalised medicine, say scientists at the University of Cambridge. In 1953, Cambridge researchers Francis Crick and James Watson co-authored a study published in the journal Nature which showed that DNA in our…

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Smart breathing support

Self-learning ventilators could save more COVID-19 patients

As the corona pandemic continues, mechanical ventilators are vital for the survival of COVID-19 patients who cannot breathe on their own. One of the major challenges is tracking and controlling the pressure of the ventilators, to ensure patients get exactly the amount of air they need. Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a technique based on self-learning…

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Dietary dangers

Sugar consumption: a driving factor in onset of pancreatic cancer

A diet high in sugar increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer in some people and can also drive the aggressive growth of tumours, a new study finds. During this study, researchers from the University of Surrey, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium and the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, sought to understand the impact of diet on the development and progression of pancreatic cancer. This rare…

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'Ancientbiotics'

Medieval medicine against antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing battle for scientists to overcome, as more antimicrobials are urgently needed to treat biofilm-associated infections. However, scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick say research into natural antimicrobials could provide candidates to fill the antibiotic discovery gap.

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Corona & tinnitus

COVID-19 also reported to cause hearing problems

A significant number of patients reported a deterioration in their hearing when questioned eight weeks after discharge from a hospital admission for COVID-19, according to University of Manchester audiologists, in a study supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). One hundred and twenty one of the adults admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS…

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Cytosponge research

‘Pill on a string’ test could transform oesophageal cancer diagnosis

A ‘pill on a string’ test can identify ten times more people with Barrett’s oesophagus than the usual GP route, a new study shows. The test, which can be carried out by a nurse in a GP surgery, is also better at picking up abnormal cells and potentially early-stage cancer. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition that can lead to oesophageal cancer in a small number of people. It’s usually…

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Theranostics

Magnetic gold nanohybrid particles will help fight cancer

A team of scientists at the Russian National University of Science and Technology MISiS, together with colleagues from Russia and Germany, have presented a detailed study of magnetite-gold nanohybrids. In the future, such nanoparticles can help in theranostics — the diagnostics and subsequent therapy of oncological diseases. The results of the work have been published in the Journal of…

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Right in the guts

IBD: The late repercussions of early antibiotics use

Disruption of gut bacteria by antibiotics soon after birth can affect the maturation of the immune system, say researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Even short, single antibiotic courses given to young animals can predispose them to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they are older, according to their research. The study, published in Genome Medicine, provides further evidence…

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Pathological regression of lymph nodes

Improved grading system to predict esophageal cancer survival

A group of researchers led by Osaka University established a new pathological grading system to evaluate the therapeutic effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for metastatic lymph nodes (LNs) removed in esophageal cancer (EC) surgery, demonstrating that the system predicts recurrence and prognosis in EC patients better than conventional systems. Their research results were published in Annals…

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Brain tumor treatment network

'Federated learning' AI approach allows hospitals to share patient data privately

To answer medical questions that can be applied to a wide patient population, machine learning models rely on large, diverse datasets from a variety of institutions. However, health systems and hospitals are often resistant to sharing patient data, due to legal, privacy, and cultural challenges. An emerging technique called federated learning is a solution to this dilemma, according to a study…

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ER-positive tumour BC

Drug target for aggressive breast cancer found

A team of British and American scientists have discovered a way to slow the growth of breast cancer stem cells in the lab. The study led by Dr Bruno Simões and Professor Rob Clarke from The University of Manchester could eventually lead to combination drug therapies on previously untreatable breast cancers. Around three quarters of women who have breast cancer have what are known as oestrogen…

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Cell invasion

Filopodia: The long 'fingers' of highly invasive lung cancer

Tiny finger-like projections called filopodia drive invasive behavior in a rare subset of lung cancer cells, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have found. Adam Marcus’ lab has developed innovative techniques for separating “leaders” and “followers,” subpopulations of tumor cells that cooperate during the process of metastasis. The lab’s new analysis of what…

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Combined against corona

COVID-19: promising drug combination opens up new therapeutic avenues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding a treatment to effectively fight the disease remains a major research challenge. Researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIRI) have developed a unique strategy for selection, evaluation and repositioning of drugs already on the market to assess their…

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the Pennsylvania State University, found that in rats and human cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels — known as vascular remodeling — that reduce blood flow and increase pressure.…

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Neurology research

Calcium channel subunits play a major role in autistic disorders

The ability of the human brain to process and store information is determined to a large extent by the connectivity between nerve cells. Chemical synapses are very important in this context as they constitute the interface for the transmission of information between individual nerve cells. Abnormalities in the formation of synapses cause many neurological disorders such as autism. Neurobiologists…

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Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety…

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