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: Different kinds of nuts; Copyright: panthermedia.net/fotokris44

Hard shell - healthy kernel

10/02/2017

Roasted and salted, ground as a baking ingredient or fresh from the shell - for all those who enjoy eating nuts, there is good news from nutritionists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany). Their latest research shows that nuts can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
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Image: Colored cells under the microscope; Copyright: Laboratoire Bourquin - UNIFR/UNIGE

Method for screening the most useful nanoparticles for medicine

10/02/2017

The use of nanoparticles - small, virus-sized elements developed under laboratory conditions - is increasingly widespread in the world of biomedicine. This rapidly-evolving technology offers hope for many medical applications, whether for diagnosis or therapies.
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Image: Colored image of cells in tissue; Copyright: Song et al./Cell Reports

Basement membrane protein influences connection of blood vessel cells

06/02/2017

Which molecular mechanisms are at work when, in the case of inflammation, immune cells migrate from the blood vessel into the tissue? Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence at Münster University have gained new insights into this question. The study has been published in the journal Cell Reports.
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Image: elderly woman at a doctor's office; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Barbara Reddoch

Too much sitting, too little exercise may accelerate biological aging

23/01/2017

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary.
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Image: Drawings of scar tissues and colored tissue samples in comparison; Copyright: Penn Medicine

Using fat to help wounds heal without scars

19/01/2017

Doctors have found a way to manipulate wounds to heal as regenerated skin rather than scar tissue. The method involves transforming the most common type of cells found in wounds into fat cells - something that was previously thought to be impossible in humans.
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Image: Close-up of an arm with small hairs and drops of sweat; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Kwanchai Chai-udom

Research on sweat glands suggests a route to better skin grafts

17/01/2017

As early humans shed the hairy coats of their closest evolutionary ancestors, they also gained a distinct feature that would prove critical to their success: a type of sweat gland that allows the body to cool down quickly. Those tiny glands are enormously useful, allowing us to live in a wide variety of climates, and enabling us to run long distances.
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Image: Coloured image of tissue; Copyright: Cincinnati Children's

Scientists tissue-engineer part of human stomach in laboratory

17/01/2017

Scientists report in Nature using pluripotent stem cells to generate human stomach tissues in a petri dish that produce acid and digestive enzymes. Publishing their findings online, researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center grew tissues from the stomach's corpus/fundus region.
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Image: A grey background with two magnifying glasses and some coloured spots; Copyright: Eric Jonas, CC-BY.

Classic video game system used to improve understanding of the brain

13/01/2017

The complexity of neural networks makes them difficult to analyze, but manmade computing systems should be simpler to understand.
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Image: Stylized Image of Prostate Cancer From a Man with a Brca2 Mutation; Copyright: Monash University

Aggressive prostate cancer secrets revealed in landmark study

11/01/2017

A landmark study, led by Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute with the involvement of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, has revealed the reason why men with a family history of prostate cancer who also carry the BRCA2 gene fault have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
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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: Green Staphylococci bacteria and black Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that divide and grow; Copyright: Sorgt et al. / University of Groningen

Antibiotic resistance just became more complex

05/01/2017

Bacteria that are susceptible to antibiotics can survive when enough resistant cells around them are expressing an antibiotic-deactivating factor. This new take on how the microbial context can compromise antibiotic therapy was published by a team of microbiologists from the University of Groningen microbiologists, together with colleagues from San Diego, in the journal "PLOS Biology".
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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: Bacteria in a culture dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Anna Puhan

Using 'fire to fight fire' to combat disease could make it worse

03/01/2017

A treatment billed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against disease, including cancer, could back-fire and make the disease fitter and more damaging, new research has found. Ground-breaking research has found that introducing 'friendlier' less-potent strains into a population of disease-causing microbes can lead to increased disease severity.
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Image: Diagram of a cell; Copyright: ETH Zurich

New weapon against Diabetes

23/12/2016

ETH Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers.
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Image: A bowl filled with red chili peppers; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Nitrub

Spicy molecule inhibits growth of breast cancer cells

22/12/2016

Capsaicin, an active ingredient of pungent substances such as chilli or pepper, inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. This was reported by a team headed by the Bochum-based scent researcher Prof. Hanns Hatt and Dr Lea Weber, following experiments in cultivated tumour cells.
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Image: Automated laboratory device is filling sampling tubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luchschen

Immunotherapy: identifying suitable tumor antigens by mass spectrometry

20/12/2016

New cancer therapies harness the immune system to fight tumors. One of the main principles behind these therapies is to find out precisely which molecules on cancer cells trigger an immune response. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry has for the first time identified suitable protein structures directly from patients' tumor cells.
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Image: A coloured image of lung tissue; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

COPD: What causes the lungs to lose their ability to heal?

19/12/2016

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the patients’ lungs lose their ability to repair damages on their own. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) now have a new idea as to why this might be so.
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Image: Alpha cell; Copyright: Cell Press

Breakthrough in diabetes research: Cells produce insulin instead upon artemisinin treatment

14/12/2016

FDA-approved artemisinins, since decades used to treat malaria, transform glucagon-producing alpha cells in the pancreas into insulin producing cells – thereby acquiring features of beta cells, the cell type damaged in type 1 diabetes.
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Image: Young woman with brown hair sitting in her lab ; Copyright: KU Leuven - Rob Stevens

Aggressive form of leukemia linked to defective 'protein factory'

09/12/2016

20 to 40 percent of the patients with multiple myeloma - a type of leukaemia - have a defect in the ribosome, the protein factory of the cell.
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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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