Graphic: This image shows the AHR-mediated

When suppressing immunity is a good thing

04/07/2016

A receptor, first known for its role in mediating the harmful effects of the environmental pollutant dioxin in our body, is now understood to play other important roles in modulating the innate immune response.
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Photo: Local laboratory technicians work with mobile microscopes.

Phone-based microscopes for rural areas

01/07/2016

Handheld, mobile phone-based microscopes can be used in developing countries after minimal training of community laboratory technicians to diagnose intestinal parasites quickly and accurately.
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Photo: A house in Africa with solar panels on the roof

Saved by the sun

30/06/2016

A new twist on the use of renewable energy is saving children's lives in Africa. The innovation - a solar powered oxygen delivery system - is providing concentrated oxygen in hospital for children suffering from severe pneumonia.
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Graphic: Nanoparticle Mimics HIV

TSRI scientists stabilize HIV structure, design potential AIDS vaccine candidates

29/06/2016

Want to catch a criminal? Show a mugshot on the news. Want to stop HIV infections? Get the immune system to recognize and attack the virus's tell-tale structure.
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Photo: Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis

Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs

27/06/2016

What used to take several weeks is now possible in two days: Thanks to new molecular-based methods, mycobacterial pathogens that cause pulmonary infections or tuberculosis can now be detected much more quickly. Time-consuming bacteria cultures no longer need to be taken from the patient samples, meaning that a suitable therapy can be started quickly.
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Photo: a woman smokes an e-cigarette

E-cigarette: hundreds of genes involved in airway immune defense

21/06/2016

When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Several of these changes likely increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Now, electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway.
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Photo: physicians at station

Gram-negative bacteria pose a major challenge for hospitals

01/06/2016

Every day, people are admitted to the hospital, discharged or they visit patients. This large number of people increases the risk of bacteria transmission. Preventative measures such as short-sleeved uniforms and copper surfaces can help by improving hospital hygiene but they cannot replace the legal requirements for hygiene measures.
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Photo: Hospital  bed

Textiles used in hospitals and medical offices – germs don’t stand a chance

01/06/2016

Some hospitals have long banned the status symbol of physicians – the white coat. Research has shown that especially the sleeves were contaminated with various types of bacteria. But it’s not just lab coats that can spread germs in healthcare settings. This field uses a variety of different textiles. Wouldn’t it, therefore, make sense to apply antimicrobial finishes?
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Photo: Masses of pilgrims

Using cellphone data to study the spread of cholera

01/06/2016

For the first time, EPFL researchers have used mobile phone records to reconstruct the spread of a cholera epidemic.
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Graphic: Drawing of the human gut and words describing its relationship in the body

Antibiotics allow gut pathogens to 'breathe'

12/05/2016

UC Davis study details how antibiotics benefit pathogen growth by disrupting oxygen levels, fiber processing in the gut.
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Photo: Doctor measures blood sugar of a child

Infections can increase diabetes risk in children

11/05/2016

Viral respiratory infections during the first six months of life are associated with an increased risk for type 1 diabetes. This is the conclusion reached by a team of scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München during a study published in the current issue of JAMA.
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Photo: Coloured image of bacterial colonies

Potential drugs against antibiotic-resistant bacteria uncovered

10/05/2016

In recent years, hospitals have reported dramatic increases in the number of cases of the highly contagious, difficult-to-treat, and often deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
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Photo: Physician takes a saliva sample from a patient

Searching for signs of disease in spit

10/05/2016

Testing for health conditions usually involves needles, X-rays and other invasive or uncomfortable measures. To make diagnostics less burdensome for patients, scientists are developing alternatives, looking for disease markers in urine - and even spit.
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Photo: The words

Zika present in Americas longer than previously thought

28/04/2016

The Zika virus was present in Haiti several months before the first Zika cases were identified in Brazil, according to new research by infectious-disease specialists at the University of Florida.
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Photo: Researcher is looking at a microfluidic LabDisc

Point-of-care-testing: from disc to diagnosis

22/02/2016

Easy solutions that deliver results quickly are a great asset in medicine: patients receive their diagnosis faster and physicians have more time to treat them. Such tools also work without sophisticated resources and trained personal. A device currently developed in a project funded by the European Commission could bring all of this to point-of-care-testing for infectious diseases.
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Graphic of the operation

Filling bone defects – replacement tissue with its own blood supply

01/02/2016

First grow tissue in the lab, then insert it into patients when they need it and you’re done! Unfortunately, things are not as easy as people hoped at the onset of “tissue engineering”. Although robust tissues for bone defects can be grown in a petri dish, for example, they unfortunately quickly die off again inside the body if there is no corresponding nutrient supply.
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Photo: Pregnancy test

Disaster medicine or disastrous medicine?

04/01/2016

Most Europeans think it was a long time ago, but the residents of West Africa clearly feel the consequences of the Ebola epidemic that broke out in December 2013 and still continues today. So far, approximately 11,300 people have died as a result of the outbreak; more than 28,000 contracted the disease.
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Photo: Ebola test

Ebola: detection strips instead of lab tests

04/01/2016

When infectious diseases such as Ebola break out, a rapid diagnosis is important because the early detection of a virus along with the right hygiene measures can prevent its continued spread. However, laboratories and skilled personnel are not available everywhere. Low-cost and portable detection strips can bring relief.
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Photo: white jeep

Rapid Tests: valuable helpers for use in the field

04/01/2016

Infectious diseases are widespread in conflict areas. When basic medical care is lacking on location, people cannot be appropriately treated. Laboratory tests are limited in the field. Rapid diagnostic tests make it possible for medical personnel to quickly and accurately test patients for several infectious diseases, for instance for the presence of malaria or HIV infection.
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Hospitals: many small measures against infections and sepsis

01/08/2014

If neither the immune system nor antibiotics are able to control an infection, a sepsis can arise out of it - an infection that attacks several organs at the same time and causes the immune system to overreact. This is a life-threatening condition.
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Hygiene: "The sensor applies the principle of so-called photonic structures"

01/08/2014

Detecting infections quickly and reliably with the naked eye: This is what many doctors in hospitals and in the doctor's surgeries wish for. To make this dream come true, Prof. Holger Schönherr, a scientist from Siegen, is researching a sensor that should show an infection by a color change.
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Multi-resistant bacteria want to conquer the world

01/08/2014

Bacteria lurk everywhere: on the skin, in the intestines and in every puddle. Most of them that are hanging out in the human body are good bacteria. But not all of them. Those pathogens that exhibit resistance and are thus very hard to combat are the most dangerous kind. Their spread threatens people all over the world.
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"The immunosensory system goes beyond the actual immune cells"

22/01/2014

It guards the body but can become its enemy: the immune system defends us from intruding pathogens; it is also able to cause severe diseases if it falsely recognizes the body itself as a threat. Molecular receptors in the whole body enable the immune system to “sense” what happens within.
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"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"

08/01/2014

Heart diseases can be triggered by special viruses that affect the cardiac muscle. Preventive drugs could definitely be developed – if the virus does not mutate.
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