Image: Peroxiredoxin Function; Copyright: Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University

Protein could open door to new class of antibiotics

02/09/2016

Researchers have made the first-ever detailed, atomic-level images of a peroxiredoxin, which has revealed a peculiar characteristic of this protein and might form the foundation for a new approach to antibiotics.
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Image: blood samples in test tubes; Copyright: USMC/Wikimedia Commons

People with type O blood more likely to die of cholera

30/08/2016

People with blood type O often get more severely ill from cholera than people of other blood types. New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may explain why.
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Image: a 3-D printed multimaterial shape-memory minigripper; Copyright: Photo courtesy of Qi (Kevin) Ge

3-D-printed structures "remember" their shapes

29/08/2016

Engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are using light to print three-dimensional structures that "remember" their original shapes.
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Image: Young asian women is coughing in the street; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Leung Cho Pan

Rapid bacterial infection test reduces antibiotic use

11/08/2016

Researchers from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam have shown that using a rapid (5-minute) test can reduce antibiotic misuse for respiratory infections. Cutting the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions is a key way to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.
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Image: User interface of a software; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Cell under observation: "The software lets us study the development on video"

08/08/2016

What happens when stem cells differentiate? What molecular characteristics do they have? Questions that can now be easier answered with the help of a new open-source software. We spoke with Prof. Fabian Theis at the Helmholtz Center Munich, who participated in the software development.
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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: 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: UBC researcher Keekyoung Kim and UBC student Zongjie Wang working in a lab ; Copyright: UBC Okanagan

Cell research could help with heart tissue transplants

18/07/2016

A new technique developed by a UBC researcher could make tissue regeneration cheaper and safer for health-care systems and their patients.
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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: Red skeletal myotubes seen through a microscope

Researchers use gelatin to grow stronger muscles

05/07/2016

USC researcher Megan L. McCain and colleagues have devised a way to develop bigger, stronger muscle fibers. But instead of popping up on the bicep of a bodybuilder, these muscles grow on a tiny scaffold or "chip" molded from a type of water-logged gel made from gelatin.
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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: ceramic joints

Knee at your fingertips

22/04/2016

How can you print ceramics, what purpose do they have and how benefits medical technology? Answers provides Dr. Tassilo Moritz from Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS.
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Photo: DNA section

Human Genetics: "Physicians should be able to counsel patients on the process"

01/04/2016

Human genetics is the study of the genetic makeup of human beings. DNA, chromosomes, and genes are extensively analyzed by medical specialists. Physicians of Germany need to have a qualification in genetic counseling to successfully advise patients.
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Photo: Old woman with a smartphone

Health Apps: "Mobile Applications for smartphones have strengths and weaknesses"

22/03/2016

Medical apps like diabetes or high blood pressure diaries are becoming increasingly popular with smartphone users. There are many available choices out there but they are not always clear. Added to this is the question of how the data collected by the apps can be sensibly incorporated into treatment.
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Graphic: The pancreas and the surrounding organs

Pancreatic cancer: diagnosis via signature analysis

08/03/2016

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is difficult to diagnose and only presents with symptoms in the later stages. In the future, a laboratory test developed at the Greifswald University Medicine could make an early detection of this type of cancer and consequently a faster and better treatment possible.
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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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Photo: Small POC test kit for blood samples; Copyright: bate-web/Spelleken

Nutrition: finding intolerances in the blood

27/11/2015

More and more people suffer from allergies and food intolerances. Laboratory diagnosis for these often takes long and can be inaccurate. Healthcare practitioners increasingly rely on point-of-care tests to avoid costly laboratory tests and quickly find solutions for their patients.
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Photo: laboratory staff evaluating DNA

Direct-To-Consumer Testing: the business with lifestyle tests

08/10/2015

The many possibilities the Internet offers also don’t shy away from laboratory medicine. The demand for biochemical or genetic tests continues to rise. Next to standard laboratory tests, a market developed in which the patient is the immediate recipient of clinical results. New distribution channels eliminate the physician as the responsible party.
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Wanted: rapid test to prevent deep vein thrombosis

01/07/2015

Deep vein thrombosis is not just a risk factor for frequent flyers but also for wearers of cardiovascular implants and newly operated patients. Blood thinners prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming, but they need to be carefully adjusted and do not work the same way in every patient. A detailed analysis of platelets (thrombocytes) could prevent complications in the future.
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Photo: Mini organ chip

Mini synthetic organism: When the heart beats on a chip

08/06/2015

Replicating the human organism in a mini format – researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS braved this challenge. They developed a compact system where different physical processes can be imitated on a chip. It is also possible to copy cardiac and pulmonary functions.
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Cancer Immunotherapy: Individual mutations as new target structures

01/06/2015

A tumor is as unique as the person who is affected by it. For a long time, it was assumed this would make treatment more difficult since cancer drugs are not able to be one hundred percent effective in targeting the affected cells. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Ugur Sahin explains why it is precisely these individual mutations that make him hopeful for a new type of therapy.
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Tumor markers: State-of-the-art diagnostics for personalized medicine

01/06/2015

When cancer is diagnosed, the terms tumor markers or biomarkers keep popping up. They describe characteristics that are not found in healthy persons. The classic tumor markers can be easily detected in blood samples or other body fluids. Other analysis methods require more effort. Yet they all share one thing in common: biomarkers indicate a potential tumor.
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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: Object slides

Tissue storage: "Our top biobanks are internationally leading the charge"

02/02/2015

Only projects with a solid foundation are successful in the long run. This is also true for science. Biobanks are the most important component of this foundation when it comes to fundamental biomedical research: Only high quality tissue samples that are stored there make conclusive research possible - for example in search of the causes of tumorigenesis.
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Photo: device for standardized wounds

ARTcut: Standardized injury of skin models for wound healing research

08/12/2014

Comparative research models are indispensable in wound healing research to evaluate new treatments of chronic wounds. Consequently, studies need to exhibit equivalent basic prerequisites and be conducted on similar wounds. This is why a team of researchers is working on an automated process to place standardized wounds in skin models.
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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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Photo: Spinal disc stress simulator

Spinal disc herniation: causal research with the simulator

01/10/2014

Herniated discs can have very different effects: some cause no discomfort and are only discovered by accident; others can cause paralysis or cause patients to be in great pain. For the most part, these problems develop suddenly after an awkward movement – at least that is what patients report.
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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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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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Graphic: Space station

"Studies involving microgravity suggest stem cells will grow faster in space"

22/04/2014

The International Space Station ISS is not only the largest artificial object in space. It is also a laboratory for physicists, chemists, biologists and physicians and orbits earth at 28.000 kilometers per hour at an altitude of 400 kilometers. Thanks to this location, the ISS could one day make an important contribution to regenerative medicine.
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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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"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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Study approach: surgical trials mean more safety in the operating room

06/01/2014

Whether a surgical suture is better applied manually or with a surgical stapler can be determined through trial and error. Determining which method guarantees patient safety best should also not just be based on a surgeon’s experience. Controlled studies are the method of choice to assess both well-proven and new techniques in the operating room.
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