Research

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DNA damage causes AML

Cancer chemotherapy side-effects on blood cell development

By analysing secondary acute myeloid leukaemias, researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona have detected mutations caused by platinum-based chemotherapies in cells that were healthy at the time of treatment. Treatment with chemotherapies influences the development of blood cells, favouring clonal hematopoiesis from cells with pre-existing mutations. The study has…

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Classifying subtypes

Breast cancer ‘ecotypes’ could lead to more personalised treatment

A team led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has revealed a new approach for classifying breast cancer subtypes based on their cell profile, which could help personalise treatments for patients. By analysing breast cancer biopsies from patients at Sydney hospitals, the researchers revealed more than 50 distinct cancer, immune and connective cell types and states, which could assign…

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SARS-CoV-2 in the media

Does 'beautifying' the Coronavirus make us underestimate its danger?

Colourful, 3D rendered scientific images are fascinating - but can they deceive viewers? New research from Spain suggests this might be the case. According to the study by the Instituto de Radio Televisión Española and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona conducted during the Covid-19 lockdown, black and white images of SARS-CoV-2 make the virus seem more infectious. The results, published on…

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

New predictive biomarkers for ALS identified

Some blood lipid biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease risk are also associated with a lower risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggest the findings of a large epidemiology study. ALS is the commonest form of motor neuron disease - a progressive nervous system disease that destroys nerve cells responsible for voluntary movement such as walking and talking.

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Altered bacterial function

Accumulation of drugs in the gut may reduce their effectiveness

Common medications can accumulate in gut bacteria, a new study has found, altering bacterial function and potentially reducing the medications’ effectiveness. These interactions - seen for many drugs including those used to treat depression, diabetes, and asthma - could help researchers to better understand how drug effectiveness and side-effects differ between individuals. The study is…

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Patient response testing

New method predicts which cancer therapies work (and which don't)

A new technology that can study which therapies will work on patients with solid cancerous tumours has been developed by scientists at University College London (UCL). Researchers say the tool, which can rapidly test tumorous tissue against different treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, could be used by clinicians to pinpoint the best therapy for a particular patient.

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Respiratory research

Covid-19 infection does not affect lung function in kids, young adults

Covid-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to new research presented at the ‘virtual’ European Respiratory Society International Congress. In the first study to investigate the impact of Covid-19 infection on lung function, researchers led by Dr Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that even…

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Understanding oncogenesis

How normal cells turn into liver cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Helsinki could show for the first time that normal human fibroblast cells can be converted to specific cancer cells using only factors that are commonly detected in actual human patients. Previous studies have achieved this only by using powerful viral factors that are not common in human cancers. Since many human cancer types still lack specific diagnostic…

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Coronavirus prevention

Double vaccination cuts risk of Long Covid in half

Adults who have received a double vaccination are 49% less likely to have Long Covid should they contract a Covid-19 infection, according to new research from King's College London. The scientists analysed data from participants logging their symptoms, tests and vaccines on the UK ZOE COVID Symptom Study app between 8th December 2020 and 4 July 2021, including 1,240,009 (first dose) and 971,504…

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Skin cancer identification

Dermatology & AI: The need to quantify skin tones

Although artificial intelligence (AI) tools and smartphone apps that help identify suspicious moles and potential skin cancers are starting to proliferate, dermatology informatics has far to go before becoming a clinically adoptable technology. Many challenges need to be resolved, not least of which is the need for more image data representing people of colour.

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Prevention of toxic DNA lesions

Promising mechanism to stop Huntington's progression

A new mechanism that stops the progression of Huntington’s disease in cells has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL), as part of their research groups at the UK Dementia Research Institute. Researchers say the breakthrough study, published in Cell Reports, could lead to much needed therapies for the rare genetic disease, which is…

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Regulatory issues

Genetic data privacy, the GDPR, and research needs: a delicate balance

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has created a great deal of uncertainty about how key requirements should be interpreted. This means that collaborators in international genetic research projects do not always agree on fundamental issues such as whether they are processing personal data, consent requirements under the GDPR and on what basis genetic data can be transferred…

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Cardiac arrest help takes flight

AED drone delivery shows great potential

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden can now report the results of a unique pilot project where drones were used to deliver defibrillators to real-life alerts of suspected cardiac arrest. The drones were dispatched in more than a fifth of the emergencies and arrived on target and ahead of the ambulance in most cases.

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Cardiovascular disease prevention

Why a good night's sleep can save your heart

In a new study, researchers at Lund University and Uppsala University have seen a clear connection between how long a person sleeps and a number of biomarkers linked to cardiometabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “With greater knowledge of the actual mechanisms of disease development, the possibilities for a more specific and targeted treatment increase”, says…

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Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

Scientists have grown beating heart cells to attempt to identify drugs to prevent Covid-19-related heart damage. Concerns over the extent of cardiac damage among Covid patients emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and there are also suggestions that the impact on cardiomyocytes could contribute to the symptoms of long Covid. To explore these issues, a research team at the University of…

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Atrial fibrillation

Night shift work could increase risk of heart problems

People who work night shifts are at increased risk of developing an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF), according to research published in the European Heart Journal. The study is the first to investigate the links between night shift work and AF. Using information from 283,657 people in the UK Biobank database, researchers found that the longer and…

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Revealed in CT scans

Lung damage: New cause for breathing troubles in asthmatics found

A novel CT scan-based approach has revealed significant changes in a parameter indicating lung destruction in some asthmatics. This finding could lead to more personalized treatments for asthma accompanied by persistent airflow limitation. Clinicians have long thought that some people with asthma experience declines in their lung function, called fixed airflow obstruction (FAO), due to changes to…

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