Image: Enlarged neurons. The cell bodies are purple, whereas the axons are green; Copyright: UAB

Discovery may lead to a treatment to slow Parkinson's disease

22/07/2016

Using a robust model for Parkinson's disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have discovered an interaction in neurons that contributes to Parkinson's disease, and they have shown that drugs now under development may block the process.
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Image: Closed eyes of a patient. Electrodes are attached above the eyebrows; Copyright: savir-center.com

Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness

22/07/2016

Millions of people all over the world suffer from partial blindness – caused by glaucoma, a stroke or traumatic brain injury. For years, the loss of vision was deemed irreversible. But now a new treatment makes it possible to improve eyesight and vision.
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Image: A man and a woman sitting at a table, looking into the camera. There are papers and a monitor on the table; Copyright: Universitat Jaume I de Castellón

Researchers discover genetic causes of higher melanoma risk in men

22/07/2016

A study led by researchers at Universitat Jaume I de Castellón has identified one of the genetic causes underlying the higher rate of melanoma in men. The results have been published in Biology of Sex Differences.
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Image: Microscopy image of a culture mouse neuron; Copyright: Carlos Sánchez-Huertas

The machinery that neurons use to form and maintain their neuronal extensions

22/07/2016

The study, led by IRB Barcelona and published in Nature Communications will help research into regenerative medicine and potentially also help understand neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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Image: An upper half body, which is blue and transparent. The muscles of the arm are higlighted in red; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Eraxion

Protein found to bolster growth of damaged muscle tissue

21/07/2016

Johns Hopkins University biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
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Image: Graphic of a neuron, that is connected with many other neurons via synapses. The synapses are glowing at several points; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ktsdesign

World Brain Day 2016 - The ageing brain

21/07/2016

The World Federation of Neurology (WFN) invites the people to observe the World Brain Day for the third time in 2016. This year’s motto is “The ageing brain”. The focus lies on prevention of and dealing with the neurological diseases stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, since the risk to fall ill with them increases with age.
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Image: Three microfluidic devices made from transparent plastic; Copyright: SMART

Microfluidic device to study electric field cancer therapy

14/07/2016

Researchers at MIT's research center in Singapore have developed a new microfluidic device that tests the effects of electric fields on cancer cells. They observed that a range of low-intensity, middle-frequency electric fields effectively stopped breast and lung cancer cells from growing and spreading, while having no adverse effect on neighboring healthy cells.
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Photo: A coloured tissue section with makred cancer cells

Consensus in the fight against colorectal cancer

07/07/2016

In colorectal cancer, the presence of invasive tumor cells at the advancing edge of the tumor can provide valuable information on prognosis. Initiated by the Colorectal Cancer Research Group at the Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, a consensus conference was held to determine how this phenomenon should best be put into practice.
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Photo: A plug of pink 3-D bioprinted cartilage on top of a plug of osteocondral material

3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink

28/06/2016

Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers.
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Photo: petri dish next to further samples

Software improves ability to catalog bacterial pathogens

28/06/2016

Washington State University researchers have developed a new software tool that will improve scientists' ability to identify and understand bacterial strains and accelerate vaccine development.
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Photo: syringe and stethoscope lay on a paper with the word

New approach to determining risk of cancer reoccurring

27/06/2016

What is the likelihood of a patient developing cancer again after having a tumor removed? This is the question that experts in medicine and medical informatics at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) aim to find answers to in a new research project called ‘MelEVIR – Melanoma, Extracellular Vesicles and Immune Response’.
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Photo: syringe and stethoscope lay on a paper with the word

A better way to predict diabetes

24/06/2016

Researchers have discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery. The discovery would allow health care providers to identify women at greatest risk and help motivate women to make early lifestyle changes and follow other strategies that could prevent them from developing the disease later in life.
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Graphic: printer prints a human head

A new bio-ink for 3-D printing with stem cells

24/06/2016

The new stem cell-containing bio ink allows 3D printing of living tissue, known as bio-printing. The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer extracted from seaweed, and a sacrificial synthetic polymer used in the medical industry, and both had a role to play.
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Photo: blood cells under a microscope

Fighting resistant blood cancer cells

22/06/2016

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) develops through chromosomal alterations in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and usually occurs in older persons. Around 20 percent of adults diagnosed with leukemia suffer from this type of blood cancer.
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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: Phil Santangelo and Eric Alonas are shown with a spinning disk confocal microscope used to image cells

Tiny mirror improves microscope resolution for studying cells

17/06/2016

A tiny mirror could make a huge difference for scientists trying to understand what's happening in the micron-scale structures of living cells.
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Photo: T-cells under a microscope

Super-resolution microscopy reveals unprecedented detail of immune cells' surface

16/06/2016

hen the body is fighting an invading pathogen, white blood cells including T-cells must respond. Now, Salk Institute researchers have imaged how vital receptors on the surface of T cells bundle together when activated.
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Photo: cancer cells

Antibody-based drug helps 'bridge' leukemia patients to curative treatment

14/06/2016

In a randomized Phase III study of the drug inotuzumab ozogamicin, a statistically significant percentage of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose disease had relapsed following standard therapies, qualified for stem cell transplants.
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Photo: blood sample

Blood test could help monitor treatment response

13/06/2016

Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the University of Tübingen have identified proteins in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid that reflect nerve cell damage.
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Photo: A tissue sample coloured in red and green

New way of growing blood vessels for regenerative medicine

02/06/2016

Growing tissues and organs in the lab for transplantation into patients could become easier after scientists discovered an effective way to produce three-dimensional networks of blood vessels, vital for tissue survival yet a current stumbling block in regenerative medicine.
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Photo: A device with handles and multiple cables

Multiphoton microscope and endoscope to speed up diagnosis

01/06/2016

Two new optical devices could reduce the need to take tissue samples during medical examinations and operations and to then send them for testing – potentially speeding up diagnosis and treatment and cutting healthcare costs.
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Photo: Image with blurry warm and cold colors

Technique captures the activity of an entire brain in a snapshot

31/05/2016

When it comes to measuring brain activity, scientists have tools that can take a precise look at a small slice of the brain (less than one cubic millimeter), or a blurred look at a larger area. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have described a new technique that combines the best of both worlds - it captures a detailed snapshot of global activity in the mouse brain.
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Photo: mouse lungs

Taking control of key protein stifles cancer spread in mice

24/05/2016

For cancer to spread, the cells that take off into the bloodstream must find a tissue that will permit them to thrive. They don't just go looking, though. Instead, they actively prepare the tissue, in one case by co-opting a protein that suppresses defenses the body would otherwise mount.
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Photo: single microglia cell in the brain

Mechanism that reduces effect of cocaine on brain discovered

23/05/2016

A type of brain cell known as microglia plays a key role in reducing the effects of cocaine in the brain, according to a major study by a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal.
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Photo: 3-D printed scaffold for a human jaw bone

3-D printed bone with just the right mix of ingredients

13/05/2016

To make a good framework for filling in missing bone, mix at least 30 percent pulverized natural bone with some special man-made plastic and create the needed shape with a 3-D printer. That is the recipe for success reported by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.
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Photo: Surgeons operating at a patient's brain

Neurosurgery: imaging tool in surgeon's hand

11/05/2016

Scientists at Barrow Neurological Institute have recently made discoveries about use of a new technology for imaging brain tumors in the operating room - a finding that could have important implications for identifying and locating invading cells at the edge of a brain tumor.
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Photo: organs of untreated and treated mice

Research points to a new treatment for pancreatic cancer

06/05/2016

Researchers have shown how controlling cholesterol metabolism in pancreatic cancer cells reduces metastasis, pointing to a potential new treatment using drugs previously developed for atherosclerosis.
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Graphic: 3-D representation of a transfer RNA

Discovery of a fundamental limit to the evolution of the genetic code

05/05/2016

A study performed at IRB Barcelona offers an explanation as to why the genetic code, the dictionary used by organisms to translate genes into protein, stopped growing 3,000 million years ago.
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Photo: Two people work in a laboratory

New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity

05/05/2016

Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed nanoparticles that can deliver antiobesity drugs directly to fat tissue. Overweight mice treated with these nanoparticles lost 10 percent of their body weight over 25 days, without showing any negative side effects.
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Photo: Head and a piece of a puzzle

Neuroscientists discover previously unknown function of cannabinoid receptor

04/05/2016

In the brain, there is a delicate interplay of signaling substances and cellular activity. Scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have now identified another key player within this ensemble.
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Photo: A man hold a board with the words

New cancer drugs could treat lethal resistant prostate cancers

02/05/2016

Men with aggressive prostate cancer that has stopped responding to conventional treatment could potentially benefit from a new class of cancer drug designed to overcome drug resistance, a new study suggests.
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Photo: Spinal Cord

Tiny microscopes reveal hidden role of nervous system cells

29/04/2016

A microscope about the size of a penny is giving scientists a new window into the everyday activity of cells within the spinal cord. The innovative technology revealed that astrocytes--cells in the nervous system that do not conduct electrical signals and were traditionally viewed as merely supportive--unexpectedly react to intense sensation.
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Photo: two physicians working at a test set-up

Atherosclerosis: Getting to the root of the problem with a turbo gene

09/02/2016

Many people suffer from atherosclerosis, especially in developed countries. The buildup of fatty deposits inside the arterial blood vessels leads to strokes and heart attacks. Now, a new method is designed to get to the root of the problem, and with the help of nanoparticles inject new turbo replacement cells into the blood vessels which are intended to exert their curative effect.
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Photo: child with broken arm

Different specialties, one goal – treating children right

01/02/2016

Children, especially newborns, are generally no longer simply considered to be small adults whose treatment just needs to be "reduced". This is why a pediatrician’s education includes several specialties because ultimately everything in terms of care comes together here.
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Photo: pipette in petri dish

Great leaps forward thanks to new methods

01/02/2016

Self-healing powers like a superhero on the big screen? That’s the aim of regenerative medicine; at least in a very broad sense. This promising field of biomedicine is currently highly dynamic with innovative technologies and development. New methods are designed to help propel medicine into a whole new sphere.
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From the periodic table of elements into medicine: silicon for theranostics

01/10/2015

Semiconductor nanoparticles for biomedical applications have been researched for some time now. Not only are they millionths of a millimeter in size, they also offer great potential for cancer diagnostics and therapy, so-called theranostics. They enter cells, are activated by ultrasonic radiation and destroy the cells using the generated vibration.
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Hospital crisis communication: A crisis knows no rules

02/03/2015

Crises come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s poor hygiene, thefts or treatment errors – once the crisis has arrived, things need to move quickly. For hospitals in particular, the right crisis communication is key. Yet many medical facilities still neglect the fact that crisis communication starts before the actual crisis takes place.
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Photo: Tissue sections on object slides

Digital pathology: From microscope slide to virtual microscopy

02/02/2015

The digitization of medicine moves on. Researchers, physicians and patients equally benefit from this development – thanks to improved diagnostics with highly sensitive devices, today findings can be comprehensively analyzed and treatment decisions made on a broadened basis. Digitization also offers the area of pathology interesting fields of application.
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Photo: interaction between the proteins

IBD: When genetics and environment interact

05/01/2015

T-cells are the guardians of our immune system. When they show changes, it can lead to severe inflammatory responses in the body. It is believed that the T-cells in persons who are affected by inflammatory bowel disease don’t work properly. Two proteins that can be found on activated T-cells and that interact with each other are now being analyzed.
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Wound treatment with fish skin

03/11/2014

The treatment of chronic wounds is extremely problematic. Chronic wounds can take months or years to heal and some even never heal resulting in over 100.000 amputations taking place annually in the US alone. A new technology from Iceland, that is based on fish skin and is already used clinically, allows for improved healing of chronic and burn wounds.
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Xenon magnetic resonance imaging: making pathological changes in the body visible

03/11/2014

As an imaging procedure, magnetic resonance tomography has become essential in clinical practice, since it can easily make organs and tissue visible. However, until now abnormal cancer cells or small centers of inflammation remained almost invisible. Now cell biologists from Berlin, Germany, have succeeded in fixing this problem with xenon magnetic resonance imaging.
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Photo: Dr. Anna-Maria Liphardt

Laboratory in Space: Hot on the Trails of Cartilage Degradation

01/10/2014

On November 10, 2014, astronaut Alexander Gerst will return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). He is not just anxiously expected by his family, but also by Dr. Anna-Maria Liphardt from the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopedics at the German Sport University Cologne
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Cultured skin makes large-scale transplantations possible

01/07/2014

Large burns require skin grafting. Surgeons remove split-thickness skin grafts and apply them to the injured areas. Now skin that has been made in a laboratory is meant to help in covering burns as well as chronic wounds and thus promote the healing process. Researchers in Zurich have been working on this for more than 13 years.
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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing

01/07/2014

In patients with Parkinson's, neural cells in the brain die off that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Certain physical symptoms that can indicate the disease follow years later. But a reliable diagnosis can only be made through examination of the brain after the patient's death, and not during his lifetime.
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Fat is the best medicine: "Adipose tissue contains many multipotent stem cells, approximately 500 times more than bone marrow"

01/07/2014

The not so popular “love handles“ could revolutionize medicine in the near future. In cooperation with the University of Rostock (Professor Hermann Seitz), the human med AG Company currently seeks to develop a device that is able to gently remove adipose tissue during surgery and subsequently isolate stem cells.
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"We don’t know why certain pharmaceuticals bind especially well while others bind barely at all"

10/02/2014

Prof. Joachim Heberle from the Free University of Berlin wants to make the smallest protein structures visible under the microscope. He wants to accomplish this with an infrared microscope, originating in the field of physics. He told MEDICA.de which technology is behind all this and what he also wants to examine with it in the future.
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Surgery: "Our camera detects the tiniest remainder of a tumor"

03/02/2014

Differentiating tumor tissue from healthy tissue isn’t always easy for surgeons. Scattered cancer cells and early cancer are often hard to detect with the naked eye. A special camera now makes even the tiniest remainder of a tumor visible during surgery.
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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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