Image: Red killer cells and green immunocytes; Copyright: AG Kastenmüller/Universität Bonn

Infection defense: call for support by the killer cells

15/02/2017

A few days after a viral infection, countless killer cells swarm out to track down and kill infected body cells. In this way, they are highly effective at preventing pathogens from being able to spread further. An international research team has now explained an important mechanism behind building this army. The work under the aegis of the University of Bonn is published in the journal Immunity.
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Image: A laboratory automaton on a laboratory bench; Copyright: G. L. Kohuth/Michigan State University

Faster way of detecting bacteria

08/02/2017

Brett Etchebarne, an assistant professor of emergency medicine in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, has created a molecular diagnostic system that can identify dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, staph infections, and even some superbugs.
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Image: a woman holding a white breath sensor in her left hand; Copyright: UT Arlington

Scientist invents breath monitor to detect flu

01/02/2017

Perena Gouma, a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington, has published an article in the journal Sensors that describes her invention of a hand-held breath monitor that can potentially detect the flu virus.
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Image: Man tipping on a virtual screen, the words

Using Big Data to understand immune system responses

25/01/2017

Numerous researchers around the globe have begun to use the gene editing tool CRISPR to understand human biology. One of them is Associate Professor Richard Kandasamy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR). Kandasamy is working on understanding inflammatory reactions that occur in many diseases.
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Image: Three small electrodes in a close-up; Copyright: Georgia Tech/Robert Butera

Buzzing the vagus nerve to fight inflammatory disease

20/01/2017

Kilohertz frequency electrical block of afferent vagus nerve pathways allows targeted stimulation to reduce inflammation in vivo.
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Image: Different brain cells in green; Copyright: Disease Biophysics Group/Harvard University

Multiregional brain on a chip

16/01/2017

Harvard University researchers have developed a multiregional brain-on-a-chip that models the connectivity between three distinct regions of the brain. The in vitro model was used to extensively characterize the differences between neurons from different regions of the brain and to mimic the system's connectivity.
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Image: Man lying sick on a couch with a wearable on his left arm; Copyright: panthermedia.net/yacobchuk1

Wearable sensors can tell when you are getting sick

16/01/2017

Wearable sensors that monitor heart rate, activity, skin temperature and other variables can reveal a lot about what is going on inside a person, including the onset of infection, inflammation and even insulin resistance, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Image: Computer-generated image of a virus docking at a cell; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ugreen

Autoimmunity and infections: When the body fights itself

10/01/2017

Basel-based doctors are on the trail of a possible connection between autoimmune diseases and infections: errors can occur when immune cells absorb certain proteins from pathogen cells. These findings were reported in the journal PNAS by researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, as well as colleagues in the USA.
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Image: The word

Older adults: Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections, may increase falls

10/01/2017

In people over the age of 65, acute respiratory infections - such as the common cold, influenza, or pneumonia - can lead to potentially life-threatening complications.
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Image: Single room with a window in a hospital; Copyright: panthermedia.net/epstock

Hospital construction: infection prevention through architecture?

09/01/2017

Hospitals apply many infection prevention and control measures. They all have one thing in common: they are individual parts of an overall concept that is aimed at preventing the spread of highly infectious and resistant pathogens in hospitals. Nevertheless, previous hygiene concepts ignore one aspect of hospitals: the architecture of the actual hospital facility itself.
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Researchers identify key proteins that may make Zika so deadly

03/01/2017

Until it burst onto the scene earlier this year, Zika was an obscure, little-known virus. As a result, scientists know little about how it works. Over the past year, they have learned that it can cause a range of dangerous health problems, including birth defects such as microcephaly and neurological problems such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
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Image: Graphic of an ebola virus against a blue background; Copyright: panthermedia.net/krishna creations

Who am I? Viruses on Nanosprings

21/12/2016

Within the scope of the VIRUSCAN project that is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht from Hamburg/Germany investigates individual viruses to be able to later identify them on a nanospring structure. MEDICA.de wanted to know: how does this work?
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Image: Influenza Illustration; Copyright: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New mechanism to control human viral infections discovered

06/12/2016

Researchers discover long sought after mechanism in human cells that could help treat diseases caused by viruses, including influenza and Ebola.
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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: Hands holding a petri dish with a culture; Copyright: WWU/H. Dornhage

Airports: Dangerous germs travel as stowaways

22/11/2016

As scientists from Münster University, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, have now demonstrated, toilets at airports are also a "transfer point" for germs. These include germs against which traditional antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections are not, or only partially, effective.
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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: 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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