Image: Graphic of a brain; Copyright:

Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons after it has dispatched its signal, so more of it stays floating around the brain.
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Image: Black background with some red and blue lights; Copyright: A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore

Scientists develop DNA-altering technology to tackle diseases


Researchers in Singapore have developed a new protein that can alter DNA in living cells with much higher precision than current methods.
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Image: Two men standing in a laborartory; Copyright: MIPT

Using a urine sample to diagnose respiratory pathologies of preterm newborns


Experts from the V. I. Kulakov Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have devised a method that uses the urinary proteome to diagnose conditions in newborn babies.
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Image: Pictured is a fluorescently labeled endothelial cell monolayer, pseudocolorized in blue/green; Copyright: University of Pittsburgh

Gene therapy via ultrasound could offer new therapeutic tool


Combining ultrasound energy and microbubbles to poke holes in cells may prove to be a new tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. A study on this gene therapy approach, called sonoporation, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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New maths to predict dangerous hospital epidemics


Mathematicians are now developing completely new statistical calculations on the world’s fastest computers in order to be able to predict how epidemics of dangerous hospital bacteria spread. Studying the entire genomes of bacteria has now thrown open entirely new possibilities for revealing their secrets. It is this genetic knowledge that scientists use to understand bacterial epidemics.
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Image: Migrating pioneer neurons under the phase contrast microscope, selectively stained by a fluorescence dye; Copyright: TiHo

Novel test method to replace animal testing


Testing the impact of chemo toxicity on the human development without having to resort to animal testing: To get closer to this goal, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo) and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) are developing a new in-situ test method to examine the hazardous potential of chemical substances.
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Image: Gloved hand holds a piece of white fleece; Copyright: Hohenstein Institute

Wound dressings made from bacterial alginate


Researchers have succeeded in mapping out for the first time a complete production and treatment process, from using biotechnology to produce bacterial alginate, right through to producing fibres and manufacturing textile materials.
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Image: design of nanocarriers; Copyright: University of Pennsylvania

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers


Researchers has developed a computer model that will aid in the design of nanocarriers, microscopic structures used to guide drugs to their targets in the body. The model better accounts for how the surfaces of different types of cells undulate due to thermal fluctuations, informing features of the nanocarriers that will help them stick to cells long enough to deliver their payloads.
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New microfluidic chip replicates muscle-nerve connection


MIT engineers have developed a microfluidic device that replicates the neuromuscular junction - the vital connection where nerve meets muscle. The device, about the size of a U.S. quarter, contains a single muscle strip and a small set of motor neurons. Researchers can influence and observe the interactions between the two, within a realistic, three-dimensional matrix.
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Image: Depiction of patch sensor via CFDRC; Copyright: Sergio Omar Garcia/CFDRC

Sustainable sensors to detect, predict muscle fatigue


It may be clammy and inconvenient, but human sweat has at least one positive characteristic - it can give insight to what is happening inside your body.
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Image: An image of a brain, with different coulors; Copyright: INS UMR1106 INSERM/AMU

A virtual brain helps decrypt epilepsy


Researchers at CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University and AP-HM have just created a virtual brain that can reconstitute the brain of a person affected by epilepsy for the first time. From this work we understand better how the disease works and can also better prepare for surgery. These results are published in Neuroimage.
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Image: Mark Pallen, standing outside beside a building; Copyright: University of Warwick

New cloud-computing platform for analysis of microbial genomes


The University of Warwick has led the development of a cloud-based microbial bioinformatics resource, which is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.
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Photo: Object slides

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


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: People in the waiting room of a doctor's office

Vaccines: activatable depot to replace multiple injections


Besides antibiotics, vaccines may be the most important development in medicine: they protect us from diseases by “introducing” our immune system to pathogens. This way, a small injection saves us from severe and potentially mortal courses of disease.
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Graphic: Space station

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


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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