Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
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Image: Operation table with medical instruments; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jörg Horstmann

A new probe may aid in complete removal of cancer tissue during surgery

02/12/2016

An optical fiber probe can distinguish cancer tissue and normal tissue at the margins of a tumor being excised, in real time, by detecting the difference in pH between the two types of tissue. This has the potential to help surgeons avoid removing too much healthy tissue during surgery and also avoid performing additional surgeries later to remove any cancer tissue left behind.
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Image: Graphic of a green ball with purple logs attached to it; Copyright: Victor Kostyuchenko, Duke-NUS Medical School

First steps to neutralizing Zika

28/11/2016

As Zika spreads throughout the world, the call for rapid development of therapeutics to treat Zika rings loud and clear. Taking a step further in identifying a possible therapeutic candidate, a team of researchers have discovered the mechanism by which C10, a human antibody previously identified to react with the Dengue virus, prevents Zika infection at a cellular level.
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Image: Two researchers in a cleanroom; Copyright: SINTEF

Microscopic sensor for more precise radiology treatments

24/11/2016

A team of Norwegian, French and Australian researchers is the first in the world to succeed in quantifying the effects of radiation on individual cancer cells. This means that radiation therapies can now be tailored to individual tumors and thus be more effective.
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Image: A stretchy optical fiber with yellow, blue and green regions; Copyright: MIT

Stretchy optical fibers for implanting in the body

15/11/2016

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have developed a biocompatible and highly stretchable optical fiber made from hydrogel — an elastic, rubbery material composed mostly of water. The fiber, which is as bendable as a rope of licorice, may one day be implanted in the body to deliver therapeutic pulses of light or light up at the first sign of disease.
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Image: Microwell plate; Copyright: ETH Zurich / Olivier Frey

Award for innovative cell culture technology

04/11/2016

A team headed by scientists from the Department of Biosystems at ETH Zurich in Basel has developed a cell culture technology platform for testing interactions between chemical and pharmaceutical compounds and three-dimensional body tissue samples.
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Image: Doctor looks at an X-ray image of a lung; Copyright: panthermedia.net/minervastock

Immune cell insight offers hope for tackling deadly lung condition

04/11/2016

Fresh insights into a life-threatening lung condition triggered by blood poisoning could signal a new approach to treating the disease, researchers found. Scientists have found that a drug, which targets key immune cells, could help to curb excessive inflammation in the lungs that is linked to the condition.
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Image: Scheme of the medical usage of the specific surface antigen GFRA2; Copyright: Osaka University

Discovery of molecular marker specific to early embryonic heart development

03/11/2016

Researchers centered at Osaka University identify molecule specifically expressed on one of the first cell populations to emerge as a precursor of the heart in embryos, which enables the cells to be isolated and studied, and potentially transplanted as a treatment for heart failure.
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Image: White paper with IBD written on it. Pills are lying around the letters; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lbrfzhjpf.gmail.com

New model to study inflammatory bowel disease in human biopsy samples

03/11/2016

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex condition that requires a lifetime of care and increases a person's cancer risk. But its origins are still a mystery. Now, a team of researchers have created a new culture model of the human intestine where living tissue from a patient biopsy can be preserved and studied for days.
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Image: fat tissue with light red stained adipocytes; Copyright: Delphine Duteil

When fat cells change their colour

01/11/2016

The epigenetic enzyme Lsd1 plays an important role in maintaining brown fat tissue.
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Image: DNA strand on the left, viruses on the right; Copyright: panthermedia.net/cuteimage

Grant for nerve tumour research

31/10/2016

Research investigating how DNA from a virus millions of years old may affect the development of nerve tumours, has been awarded funding.
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Image: Autumn tree on a meadow with leaves in the shape of a head, which back is already leafless; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lightsource

Structure of toxic tau aggregates determines type of dementia

31/10/2016

The distinct structures of toxic protein aggregates that form in degenerating brains determine which type of dementia will occur, which regions of brain will be affected, and how quickly the disease will spread, according to a study from the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute.
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Image: Colourful book cover; Copyright: Mary Ann Liebert

Study shows functional effects of human stem cell delivery to heart muscle after heart attack

20/10/2016

Researchers delivered human stem cells seeded in biological sutures to the damaged heart muscles of rats following induced acute myocardial infarction and assessed the effects on cardiac function one week later.
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Image: Graphic of a E. coli outer membrane; Copyright: Courtesy of Wonpil Im, Lehigh University

Scientists model outer membrane of 12 bacterial species to speed new drugs for 'bad bugs'

19/10/2016

Led by Lehigh University professor, the team utilized biomolecular systems simulation to reveal the membrane properties of 21 distinct Lipid A types from 12 Gram-negative bacterial species--a crucial step toward new antibiotic drug development.
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Image: A protected, inactive form of the peptide on the left, and a free, active form of the peptide on the right side; Copyright: Empa

Peptides vs. superbugs

18/10/2016

Several peptides have an antibacterial effect - but they are broken down in the human body too quickly to exert this effect. Empa researchers have now succeeded in encasing peptides in a protective coat, which could prolong their life in the human body. This is an important breakthrough because peptides are considered to be a possible solution in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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Image: Cancer cell; Copyright: panthermedia.net/vitanovski

New advances in imaging to enhance the detection of GI cancers

17/10/2016

A new imaging technique is under development with the aim of detecting and characterizing early cancerous changes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
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Image: Three tins with pills; Copyright: panthermedia.net/garyphoto

New library of human stem cells with the Brazilian genetic admixture

17/10/2016

New human pluripotent stem cells lines are derived from individuals of the Brazilian population - with European, African and Native American genomic ancestry; they can be used for testing drug toxicity and for studying differential drug response
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Image: Three male researchers in a laboratory; Copyright: Ross Neitz

Scientists aim to slow fast growth of cancer cells

05/10/2016

The fight against cancer is a marathon, fought step by step, inch by inch. While breakthroughs may be rare, a new study from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is giving greater insight into the growth of cancer cells and bringing researchers one step closer to the finish line.
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Image: Graphic of blood in the venes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ezuimages

New strategy identified for treating acute myeloid leukemia

29/09/2016

A multi-institutional academic and industry research team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute has identified a promising new approach to the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
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Image: Enlarged illustration of a cancer cell (in green) and T-cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/royaltystockphoto

Dying tumour cells release intracellular ions

16/09/2016

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in the USA and the Babraham Institute, UK, have discovered how a mineral ion leaked from tumour tissue as it dies acts to stop the work of anti-tumour immune cells. This discovery provides a new approach in the development of treatments to engage the immune system in the fight against cancer.
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Image: Three scientists standing in a row; Copyright: RUB, Kramer

Poison in the brain

16/09/2016

The following factors facilitate the formation of putatively toxic structures in the neuronal nuclei of Alzheimer's patients. Spherical structures in the nucleus of nerve cells, so-called nuclear spheres, are suspected to trigger Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: A word cloud. In the centre is written

Belgian scientists discover missing link in septic shock

15/09/2016

Researchers at VIB and Ghent University have discovered an important mechanism of sepsis, an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an infection. In this condition, the brain is unable to curb an inflammatory response, causing organ failure or ‘septic shock’.
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Image: Five researchers in a laboratory; Copyright: Thor Balkhed

Predicting the severity of multiple sclerosis

15/09/2016

Cells in the immune system of patients with multiple sclerosis behave differently from those of healthy individuals. Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have exploited this difference to develop a method that can predict disease activity in multiple sclerosis.
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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

14/09/2016

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:  Phylogenetic tree for cancer evolution; Copyright: Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Penn software helps to identify course of cancer metastasis

12/09/2016

Individual cells within a tumor are not all the same. This may sound like a modern medical truism, but it wasn't very long ago that oncologists assumed that taking a single biopsy from a patient's tumor would be an accurate reflection of the physiological and genetic make-up of the entire mass.
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Image: Image shows cancer cell; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/Sebastian Kaulitzki

Study shows how Chinese medicine kills cancer cells

09/09/2016

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have shown how a complex mix of plant compounds derived from ancient clinical practice in China – a Traditional Chinese Medicine – works to kill cancer cells.
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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: 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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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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