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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


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'


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


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:

New advances in imaging to enhance the detection of GI cancers


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:

New library of human stem cells with the Brazilian genetic admixture


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


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:

New strategy identified for treating acute myeloid leukemia


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:

Dying tumour cells release intracellular ions


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


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


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


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


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


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: Kaulitzki

Study shows how Chinese medicine kills cancer cells


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: Image shows blue marked ephrins and red marked ephs forming yellow marked complexes at cell contact points; Copyright: MPI of Neurobiology/Gaitanos

Hungry cells on the move


Researchers discover a signalling pathway that enables cells to reach their destinations through repulsion.
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Image: Immunohistochemical staining of nasal polyp tissue; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Response to house dust mites is age-dependent


In adults with a house dust mite allergy, a cascade of inflammatory signals on the surface of the airways leads to airway remodeling. This process cannot be influenced by standard cortisone therapy. Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have reported these findings.
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Image: Green OLED light during physical stimulation of cells (OLED and cell culture plate); Copyright: Fraunhofer FEP

Cell-compatible OLEDs for use with patients


Cytocompatibility studies of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have been carried out on cell cultures for the first time at the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP to test how well OLEDs are tolerated by cells.
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Image: Two pictures of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease; Copyright: Salk Institute

Elevating brain protein allays symptoms of Alzheimer's


Boosting levels of a specific protein in the brain alleviates hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model of the disorder, according to new research published online in "Scientific Reports".
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Image: Green insect cells under seen through a microsope; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Progress in vaccination against vespid venom


Especially in late summer, apprehension about wasp stings increases amongst allergy sufferers. So-called hyposensibilisation therapy can help, but it is linked to a heavy burden on patients and health insurers. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University Munich have now presented a method in the journal "Allergy", which facilitates a personalised procedure.
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Image: Fluorescence microscopy image of stem cells; Copyright: Aalto University

Nanofiber scaffolds show new behaviour of stem and cancer cells


A discovery in the field of biomaterials may open new frontiers in stem and cancer cell manipulation and associated advanced therapy development. Novel scaffolds are shown enabling cells to behave in a different but controlled way in vitro due to the presence of aligned, self-assembled ceramic nanofibers of an ultra-high anisotropy ratio augmented into graphene shells.
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Image: Pictured is a fluorescently labeled endothelial cell monolayer, pseudocolorized in blue/green; Copyright: University of Pittsburgh

Gene therapy via ultrasound could offer new therapeutic tool


Combining ultrasound energy and microbubbles to poke holes in cells may prove to be a new tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. A study on this gene therapy approach, called sonoporation, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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Image: 3D-image of a person, in the esophagus is one part highlighted red; Copyright:

Bad or benign? Testing cells for esophageal cancer risk


Genetically analysing lesions in the food pipe could provide an early and accurate test for oesophageal cancer, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and Arizona State University.
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Image: Computer generated image showing round orange cells; Copyright:

Online marketing of stem cell therapy


Advanced economy nations led by Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States have the highest per capita number of clinics engaging in direct-to-consumer marketing of stem cell therapies, according to the world's largest-ever study of such clinics.
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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"


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: design of nanocarriers; Copyright: University of Pennsylvania

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers


Researchers has developed a computer model that will aid in the design of nanocarriers, microscopic structures used to guide drugs to their targets in the body. The model better accounts for how the surfaces of different types of cells undulate due to thermal fluctuations, informing features of the nanocarriers that will help them stick to cells long enough to deliver their payloads.
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Image: Depiction of patch sensor via CFDRC; Copyright: Sergio Omar Garcia/CFDRC

Sustainable sensors to detect, predict muscle fatigue


It may be clammy and inconvenient, but human sweat has at least one positive characteristic - it can give insight to what is happening inside your body.
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Image: Closed eyes of a patient. Electrodes are attached above the eyebrows; Copyright:

Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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"


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"


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 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"


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"


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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