Keyword: research

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Microscopy in the body

The next generation of endoscopy technology

Biotechnologists, physicists, and medical researchers at FAU have developed technology for microscopic imaging in living organisms. A miniaturised multi-photon microscope, which could be used in an endoscope in future, excites the body’s own molecules to illuminate and enables cells and tissue structures to be imaged without the use of synthetic contrast agents. The findings have now been…

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A new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Programming a hunter/killer toxin

When the first antibiotics were discovered in the early 20th century, the rate of death from infectious diseases fell dramatically. But the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria as a result of antibiotic misuse is raising fears that by 2050, these same diseases will once again become the leading cause of death worldwide. In a bid to boost the arsenal available to tackle this threat,…

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Genetics

Sequencing methods – unfold the full potential for hospitals

Gene sequencing has been progressing in leaps and bounds over the past few years. The process of determining the order of nucleotides in DNA has become faster and more precise. Moreover, today both microbial DNA and host DNA can be identified in the blood sample of an infected patient, isolated and sequenced. “We are facing a technological revolution, but we still struggle with actually…

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Tailored treatment needed

Half of patients on statins fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol level after 2 years

Half of patients prescribed statins in primary care fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol levels after two years of treatment with these drugs, reveals research published online in the journal Heart. The findings back up those of previous studies, and highlight the need for personalised medicine to tackle high cholesterol and lower the significantly increased risks of future heart disease and…

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Preventing toxic plaques

Key step forward in tackling neurodegenerative diseases

A protein complex has been shown to play a key role in preventing the build-up of toxic plaques in the brain linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. An international team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Stanford (USA) and Konstanz (Germany) have discovered that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) helps to prevent the…

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NAFLD

Fatty liver disease: critical regulator discovered

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver and has become the most common liver disease worldwide. While NAFLD shows few or no symptoms at initial stages, it is a potentially serious disease which can progress to an inflammatory state called steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. Fatty liver disease can be managed by…

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CMT, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Study links key protein to Charcot-Marie-Tooth and other nerve diseases

A new study provides critical insight into a little-known, yet relatively common, inherited neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The findings point to a pathway to possible treatments for this disease and better understanding of other neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, that affect millions. The study focused on two related proteins, MFN2 and…

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Building a risk profile

Audiologists seek genetic link to tinnitus

Tinnitus, more commonly known as ringing in the ears, is a serious audiological and neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million Americans. Noise and music exposure are the predominant environmental risk factors for tinnitus. There is no known cure, and there are no FDA-approved medications developed specifically to treat it. The fact is, tinnitus is very common but not well understood. A…

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Gene editing

DNA “shredder”: a different kind of CRISPR

In the last six years, a tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has transformed genetic research, allowing scientists to snip and edit DNA strands at precise locations like a pair of tiny scissors. But sometimes, it takes more than scissors to do the job. Now, a collaborative international team has unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool that acts more like a shredder, able to wipe out long stretches of DNA in human…

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body. The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a…

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Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature…

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Tumor-associated macrophages

Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes

Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments. The study, which has been published in the journal Cancer Cell, also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types. Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting…

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Dial 'M' for microfold cells

Identifying a key player in gut defense development

A joint team from Hokkaido University and Keio University has identified a gut protein essential for neonatal mice to fight infections, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The insight could help understand how infants develop their own intestinal immune systems after weaning. The gut is constantly exposed to potentially harmful bacteria that come with food and…

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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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Finding the connection

Can air pollution lead to psychosis in teens?

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, provides a potential explanation for why growing up in cities is a risk factor for psychosis. This is the first time researchers have linked detailed geographical air pollution data with a representative sample…

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AAA

New cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm uncovered

Researchers have discovered that a family of lipids (fats) contribute to the development of a serious aortic disease, by driving clotting in the blood vessel wall. The findings could lead to the development of new treatments for this potentially life threatening condition. The team, led by researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with colleagues at Oxford and Erlangen, discovered that…

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Neurodegeneration

Study sheds new light on microglia

Inside the body, disease and injury can leave behind quite the mess — a scattering of cellular debris, like bits of broken glass, rubber and steel left behind in a car accident. Inside the central nervous system (CNS), a region that includes the brain and spinal cord, it is the job of certain cells, called microglia, to clean up that cellular debris. Microglia have counterparts called…

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Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of remission-resistance-relapse is particularly true for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease in which early success is often countered by eventual disease progression. To wit: The one-year relative survival rate…

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Cancer research

Black nanoparticles slow tumor growth

Melanin protects our skin from the sun’s damaging rays by absorbing light energy and converting it to heat. This could make it a very effective tool in tumor diagnosis and treatment, as demonstrated by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München. The scientists managed to create melanin-loaded cell membrane derived nanoparticles, which improved tumor…

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Mineral menace

Multiple Sclerosis: Do zinc and iron play a role?

Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it. But little was known about whether zinc, iron and other minerals play a role in the development of the disease. A new study shows no link between dietary intake of several minerals and whether people later develop MS. The study is…

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Obsessive compulsive disorder

Targeted deep brain stimulation reduces OCD symptoms

The debilitating behaviours and all-consuming thoughts which affect people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), could be significantly improved with targeted deep brain stimulation, according to the findings of a new study. OCD is characterised by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive stereotyped behaviours (compulsions- sometimes called rituals) and often means…

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Thrombocytes

Blocking platelets could prevent fatty liver disease and liver cancer

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is among the most common chronic hepatic disorders in Western industrial countries and the rate is also rapidly rising in newly industrialized countries. Experts estimate that about 30 to 40 percent of the population worldwide develop this liver condition. In the United States, this disease is well on the way to becoming the most frequent indication for liver…

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Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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Endocrinology

Predicting the outcome for newborns with congenital hyperinsulinism

Babies born with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) are at risk of suffering from permanent brain damage and life-long disability. Yet some will go on to suffer more severely than others as a result of their disease profile, report the researchers in an article published in Frontiers in Endocrinology. The research team have found that it is possible to predict when and how the disease may affect…

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Spatial cognition and neurodegeneration

When the compass fails

Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Where are we right now? Our sense of spatial orientation – a complex interaction of various cells in the brain – gives us answers to these questions. In November 2018, around 70 experts in Magdeburg discussed changes in this navigation system induced by age and illness at the ‘Interdisciplinary Symposium on Spatial Cognition in Aging and…

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