research

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Coronavirus collaterals

COVID-19 could cause 20% rise in cancer deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic could, over the next year, lead to a 20% rise in the number of deaths from people who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, according to research supported by DATA-CAN. The analysis is the first to focus on the impact of the emergency on mortality rates in people with cancer and uses data from the health records of over 3.5 million patients in England. The University of…

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Physical contact research

Two people, one MRI: The science of cuddling

Researchers at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre have developed a new method for simultaneous imaging brain activity from two people, allowing them to study social interaction. In a recent study, the researchers scanned brain activity from 10 couples. Each couple spent 45 minutes inside the MRI scanner in physical contact with each other. The objective of the study was to examine how social…

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Wearable against diabetic retinopathy

Smart contact lenses for diabetes diagnosis and treatment

Diabetes is called an incurable disease because once it develops, it does not disappear regardless of treatment in modern medicine. Having diabetes means a life-long obligation of insulin shots and monitoring of blood glucose levels. Recently, a research team at Pohang University of Science and Technology developed a wirelessly driven ‘smart contact lens’ technology that can detect diabetes…

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A look at oligodendrocytes

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of North Carolina have mapped out the cell types behind various brain disorders. The findings are published in Nature Genetics and offer a roadmap for the development of new therapies to target neurological and psychiatric disorders. One interesting finding was that cells from the gut's nervous system are involved in Parkinson's disease,…

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Reducing side effects

Nanohybrid vehicles to deliver drugs into the human body

Researchers in The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a nanohybrid vehicle that can be used to optimally deliver drugs into the human body. The research was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Leading the study are Mahesh Narayan, Ph.D., professor, and Sreeprasad Sreenivasan, Ph.D., assistant professor, both from the…

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

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COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems. Jing Wang and his team at Empa and ETH Zurich usually work on…

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Coronavirus research

COVID-19 severity and air pollution: exploring the connection

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found an association between living in an area of England with high levels of air pollution and the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because of the urgent need to share information relating to the pandemic, the researchers have published their report on MedRXiv. It has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, the…

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Amyloid beta regulation

CRISPR helps identify potential Alzheimer's-related protein

Experts at the University of Tokyo have identified a new protein in the pathway that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used the “molecular scissors” of CRISPR/Cas9 to search for new genes related to the neurodegenerative disease. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unknown, but one of the most well- supported theories focuses on a protein called amyloid beta.…

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COVID-19 prevention

Social distancing: does it work?

The number of cases tested positive for COVID-19 initially grew exponentially in China, but then slowed down. Dirk Brockmann, professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and project group leader at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), and his postdoc Benjamin F. Maier have developed a diffusion model that takes into account the effect of social distancing and other measures to explain this…

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Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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Depression medication

New research may lead to more effective antidepressants

Depression is a common psychiatric disorder and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Antidepressants are the first-line treatment for moderate to severe major depressive episodes. Despite their effectiveness, only 40% of patients respond to the first antidepressant they try. A recent paper in Nature Communication strongly suggests that a particular protein, GPR56, is involved in the…

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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

Any new coronavirus vaccine that works well and is safe will still have the daunting challenge of needing to be produced to scale in a very short amount of time. It will also have to be safely delivered into the hands of the most remote populations. The more complex and untested the vaccine approach, the more difficult it will be to both scale its production and deliver it around the world. By…

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Cutting the energy supply

Disrupting cellular pH balance blocks pancreatic cancer

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have found a new way to kill pancreatic cancer cells by disrupting their pH equilibrium. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, reports how depleting an ion transport protein lowers the pH to a point that compromises pancreatic cancer cell growth. Pancreatic cancer cells—like all cancer cells—have a constant need for energy to support their growth and…

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Ultrasound monitoring

'Smart bra' to detect early-stage breast cancer

Students from EPFL in Switzerland teamed up with startup IcosaMed to develop the SmartBra – the first piece of smart clothing that can be used for cancer prevention. “Our smart-clothing technology is designed to detect cancer at the earliest stages. It uses a non-invasive, painless method based on frequent ultrasound monitoring,” says Hugo Vuillet, one of the students on the development…

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Solidarity against the coronavirus

Coalition to fight COVID-19 in low-income countries

A group of scientists, physicians, funders, and policy makers from over 70 institutions from over 30 countries have launched an international coalition to respond to COVID-19 in resource-poor settings. The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition aims to accelerate desperately needed COVID-19 research in those areas where the virus could wreak havoc on already-fragile health systems and cause the…

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Coronavirus treatment

Promising trial drug blocks early stages of COVID-19

An international team led by University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Dr. Josef Penninger has found a trial drug that effectively blocks the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect its hosts. The findings, published in Cell, hold promise as a treatment capable of stopping early infection of the novel coronavirus that, as of April 2, has affected more than 981,000 people and claimed the…

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. The study, published in Science, is the first to map a human antibody’s interaction with the new coronavirus at near-atomic-scale resolution. Although the antibody was…

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Reprogramming viruses

From cancer to corona: UK scientists switch research focus

A team of Cardiff University scientists has switched from researching cancer to work that could help towards a vaccine for coronavirus. The team at the School of Medicine usually work on reprogramming viruses so they can target and kill cancer - but are now focusing their efforts to help in the fight against the new virus which is gripping the world. Dr Alan Parker and his team, whose work on…

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Green light for trial study

Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients: a promising approach

In a small clinical trial just granted approval, about 30 COVID-19 patients at Karolinska University Hospital may soon begin to receive blood plasma from people who have recovered from the disease. Sweden's Ethical Review Authority has approved the trial treatment, and its effectiveness will be evaluated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital.…

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Medulloblastoma

New insights into deadly brain tumours in children

The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumors affecting children – are hereditary. These are the findings of a recent genetic analysis carried out by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and numerous colleagues around the world, which have just been published in the scientific…

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