News from the Editors -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: close-up of a liver cancer stem-like cell; Copyright: Dr Toh Tan Boon, NUS N.1 Institute for Health

Cells: potential liver cancer treatment

10.10.2019

Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The most common primary liver cancer in adults is known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and accounts for approximately 780.000 deaths every year. Even with advanced surgical treatments or transplantation, the 5-year survival rate for HCC patients remains poor due to frequent recurrence.
Read more
Image: model image of pathogens; Copyright: Sebastian Geibel

Pathogens: new insights in tuberculosis

10.10.2019

Researchers at the University of Würzburg and the Spanish Cancer Research Centre have gained new insights into the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. The work published in Nature provides the basis for a new approach in antibiotic therapy.
Read more
Image: blood vessel; Copyright: panthermedia.net/thelightwriter

Blood vessels: overly permeable

09.10.2019

In Germany alone there are around 400,000 patients who suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. For the first time, researchers have discovered that dysfunctions in blood vessels play a significant role in the development of such diseases. In experimental model systems, the progression of the disease slowed down significantly by eliminating these dysfunctions.
Read more
Image: immunofluorescence of spleen sections of a mice; Copyright: IMP

Pathogens: a mechanism to control autoimmunity

08.10.2019

The immune system relies on B cells and their ability to make antibodies against an extremely broad range of pathogens. This broad responsiveness bears some risk, as B cells can also turn against healthy tissue - a phenomenon called autoimmunity.
Read more
Image: cells devouring tumor cells under a microscope; Copyright: Dr Fotini Vogiatzi

Immunotherapy: a promising antibody

07.10.2019

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children. This form of blood cancer is caused by malignant abnormal precursor cells of certain white blood cells, and usually leads to a rapidly progressive reduction of bone marrow function, and thus impaired blood formation.
Read more
Image: Blood in test tubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/scanrail

Cells: mechanism for the formation of new blood vessels

24.09.2019

Researchers from Uppsala University have revealed for the first time a mechanism for how new blood vessels are formed and have shown the importance of this mechanism for embryo survival and organ function. The results could be developed to control the formation of new blood vessels in different diseases. The new study is published in the journal EMBO Reports.
Read more
Image: Illustrated DNA string; Copyright: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

DNA: held together by hydrophobic forces

23.09.2019

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, disprove the prevailing theory of how DNA binds itself. It is not, as is generally believed, hydrogen bonds which bind together the two sides of the DNA structure. Instead, water is the key. The discovery opens doors for new understanding in research in medicine and life sciences. The researchers' findings are presented in the journal PNAS.
Read more
Image: tissue grown on a capillary bridge; Copyright: MPI of Colloids and Interfaces/ Sebastian Ehrig

Tissue engineering: Form is function

12.09.2019

Liquid-like tissue behavior is a key principle for the formation of structures in biological systems. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam have shown that growing bone tissue behaves like a viscous liquid on long time scales, thereby accepting forms with minimal surface area.
Read more
Image: dna strings in yellow, blue and red; Copyright: panthermedia.net/khenghotoh

DNA: construction kit replaces expensive antibody medication

11.09.2019

Researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium have developed a technique to make sheep produce new antibodies simply by injecting the DNA building blocks. This approach is much cheaper and more efficient than producing antibodies industrially and administering them afterwards. The study in animals with a similar size as humans brings us a step closer to the clinical use of antibody gene therapy.
Read more
Image: woman sitting down; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee

Stem cells: antihistamines can kill leukaemic stem cells

09.09.2019

The IJC Leukaemic Stem Cell research group, led by Ruth M. Risueño, has discovered in preclinical trials that a particular group of antihistamines can kill leukaemic stem cells. This group investigates Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and the cell population responsible for the disease spreading, persisting, and if it has been treated and overcome, reappear.
Read more
 Image: reasearcher in laboratory; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kasto

Islet-on-a-chip: miniature device for diabetes research

30.08.2019

In a study led by Harvard University's Kevin Kit Parker, microfluidics and human, insulin-producing beta cells have been integrated in an "Islet-on-a-Chip". The new device makes it easier for scientists to screen insulin-producing cells before transplanting them into a patient, test insulin-stimulating compounds, and study the fundamental biology of diabetes.
Read more
Image: Tissue engeneering – mouse pulmonary artery model; Copyright: Alain Herzog / 2019 EPFL

Tissue Engeneering: bioprinting complex living tissue

26.08.2019

Tissue engineers create artificial organs and tissues that can be used to develop and test new drugs, repair damaged tissue and even replace entire organs in the human body. However, current fabrication methods limit their ability to produce free-form shapes and achieve high cell viability.
Read more
Image: nanoparticles in a close-up; Copyright: panthermedia.net/raimund14

Precision medicine: graphene nanoflakes as a new tool

20.08.2019

Chemists funded by the SNSF have created a new compound for flexible drug delivery that specifically targets prostate cancer cells. Incorporating four different molecules, the compound prevents tumour cells from multiplying, can be detected by medical imaging and has staying power in the bloodstream.
Read more
Image: illustration of nanodestructive characterization of stem cell differentiation through exosomal miRNA detection; Copyright: Jin-Ho Lee/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Nanotechnology: better stem cell transplantation research

15.08.2019

Nanotechnology developed at Rutgers University-New Brunswick could boost research on stem cell transplantation, which may help people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, other neurodegenerative diseases and central nervous system injuries.
Read more
Image:  bone tissue replicated with 3D technology; Copyright: panthermedia.net/eranicle

Regenerative medicine: 'Bone in a dish'

07.08.2019

Like real bone, the material developed at Oregon Health & Science University has a 3D mineral structure populated with living cells, providing a unique model to study bone function, diseases, regeneration.
Read more
Image: Graphic rendering of several cells in a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/dani3315

Organ-on-a-chip systems: limited validity?

01.02.2019

Organ-on-a-chip systems are technically a great enhancement of medical research because they facilitate testing of active ingredients on cell cultures in the chambers of a plastic chip. This replaces animal testing and improves patient safety. That being said, they are not a true-to-life replication of the human body and can only simulate a few functions and activities.
Read more