Image: Graphic of how the exosomes can be produces; Copyright: Dr Marta I. Oliveira, INL, Portugal

Tiny nanoparticles offer significant potential in detecting/treating disease

26/06/2017

Exosomes - tiny biological nanoparticles which transfer information between cells - offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease, the most comprehensive overview so far of research in the field has concluded.
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Image: A bluely colored image of tissue with single pink dots in it; Copyright: University of Basel, Biozentrum

Bacteria free themselves with molecular "speargun"

22/06/2017

Many bacteria are armed with nano-spearguns, which they use to combat unwelcome competitors or knockout host cells. The pathogen responsible for tularemia, a highly virulent infectious disease, uses this weapon to escape from its prison in cells defending the host. Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel report on this bacterial strategy.
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Image: Greenly colored tissue slice with orange blots in it; Copyright: Kirsti Witter/Vetmeduni Vienna

Gene transfer as a treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

19/06/2017

Gene transfer is seen as a hopeful therapy for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. The approach involves using harmless laboratory-produced viruses to introduce important genes into the brain cells. In a study on mice, a team of researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time investigated how far these viruses spread in the brain and which cells they infect.
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Image: Colored image of a cross section of a mouse aorta; Copyright: Ismail Sergin

Type of sugar may treat atherosclerosis, mouse study shows

08/06/2017

Researchers have long sought ways to harness the body's immune system to treat disease, especially cancer. Now, scientists have found that the immune system may be triggered to treat atherosclerosis and possibly other metabolic conditions, including fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
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Image: Two pieces of a puzzle put together. On one is written diabetes and on the other genetics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Kagenmi

Newly discovered disease mechanism for type 2 diabetes

07/06/2017

A newly discovered mechanism behind reduced insulin production in type 2 diabetes is now being presented. In an article in "Nature Communications", researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy describe how insulin-producing cells regress in their development, become immature, and do not work properly. A finding that opens the doors to new clinical treatments.
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Image: Microscopic image of fibroblast cells; Copyright: Cincinnati Children's

One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders

05/06/2017

A detour on the road to regenerative medicine for people with muscular disorders is figuring out how to coax muscle stem cells to fuse together and form functioning skeletal muscle tissues. A study published "Nature Communications" reports scientists identify a new gene essential to this process, shedding new light on possible new therapeutic strategies.
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Image: (Microscopic image) Fusion of ruptured vesicles, colored green and pink; Copyright: Loyola University Chicago

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases share common crucial feature

26/05/2017

A Loyola University Chicago study has found that abnormal proteins found in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease all share a similar ability to cause damage when they invade brain cells.
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Image: Microscopic image of vesicles; Copyright: Norm Haughey's laboratory

How the injured brain tells the body it's hurt

19/05/2017

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a new way that cells in the brain alert the rest of the body to recruit immune cells when the brain is injured. The work was completed in mouse models that mimic infection, stroke or trauma in humans.
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Image: A close-up picture of a big black mole; Copyright: panthermedia.net/sdigitall

Microscopic technique could help detect, diagnose metastatic melanomas

12/05/2017

The fight against skin cancer just got a new weapon. For years, melanoma researchers have studied samples that were considered uniform in size and color, making them easier to examine by more conventional means. But melanomas do not always come in the same shape and hue; often, melanomas are irregular and dark, making them difficult to investigate.
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Image: A green network of nerve cells on black ground; Copyright: Dina Popova

Novel method to detect toxic effects of chemicals

28/04/2017

Traditional toxicological investigations performed on animals (in vivo) are expensive, time-consuming and may cause animal suffering. But research from Umeå University demonstrates that a neuronal cell model, derived from mouse, can be used to evaluate the neurotoxic effect of chemicals.
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Image: Graphical rendering of a protein structure; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Leonid Andronov

Rapid screening machine can read and separate protein sequences

27/04/2017

The structural properties of proteins that could eventually become important materials for manufacturing and medicine are revealed by a novel optical technique that works rapidly to sort through amino acid sequences even inside living bacteria, according to a team of engineers.
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Image: A tablet, written on it are the words

Research moves closer to unravelling mystery cause of multiple sclerosis

24/04/2017

A new study has made a major new discovery towards finding the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), potentially paving the way for research to investigate new treatments. Ahead of MS Awareness Week an international team has discovered a new cellular mechanism that may cause the disease, and a potential hallmark that may be a target for future treatment of the autoimmune disorder.
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Image: Cells under a microscope; Copyright: Jia Xie, Lerner Lab

New approach makes cells resistant to HIV

12/04/2017

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, creating a cell population resistant to the virus. Their experiments under lab conditions show that these resistant cells can quickly replace diseased cells, potentially curing the disease in a person with HIV.
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Image: Graphic of a protein complex; Copyright: MIPT Press Office

One step closer to cracking the mystery of bacterial adaptation to antibiotics

11/04/2017

An international team of researchers has proposed an explanation of the way bacteria process external signals. By identifying the detailed structure of the protein complex used by bacteria, the scientists gained insights into the ability of these microorganisms to detect even small changes in the environment and adapt to them. The research findings were published in "Scientific Reports".
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Image: a cell structure in blue; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ralwel

How to hack a cell

07/04/2017

The human body is made up of trillions of cells, microscopic computers that carry out complex behaviors according to the signals they receive from each other and their environment. Synthetic biologists engineer living cells to control how they behave by converting their genes into programmable circuits.
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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: 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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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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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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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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