Image: Enlarged Mycobacterium smegmatis; Copyright: J. McKinney/EPFL

A new path for killing pathogenic bacteria

25/08/2016

Bacteria that cause tuberculosis, leprosy and other diseases, survive by switching between two different types of metabolism. EPFL scientists have now discovered that this switch is controlled by a mechanism that constantly adapts to meet the bacterium's survival needs, like a home's thermostat reacting to changes in temperature.
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Image: Ovule; Copyright: Panthermdia.net/vampy1

A molecular alarm clock awakens resting ovules

18/08/2016

Researchers discovered in the fruit fly a molecular "alarm clock" that tells resting ovules when is the right time to wake up. Defects in this alarm clock result in female fertility problems.
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Image: Bacteria are flowing to hospital's entrance; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/lightsource

New maths to predict dangerous hospital epidemics

18/08/2016

Mathematicians are now developing completely new statistical calculations on the world’s fastest computers in order to be able to predict how epidemics of dangerous hospital bacteria spread. Studying the entire genomes of bacteria has now thrown open entirely new possibilities for revealing their secrets. It is this genetic knowledge that scientists use to understand bacterial epidemics.
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Image: Graphic shows a head with visible brain in the front and atom copmpounds and a genome in the background; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/tolokonov

Brain study confirms gene mutation link to psychiatric disorders

16/08/2016

Brain scans have revealed how a genetic mutation linked to major psychiatric disorders affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain.
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Image: Legs of business people under a large table; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Arne Trautmann

Fidgeting helps prevent arterial dysfunction from sitting

08/08/2016

Previous research has shown that sitting for an extended period of time at a computer or during a long airline flight reduces blood flow to the legs, which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found that fidgeting while sitting can protect the arteries in legs and potentially help prevent arterial disease.
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Image: hands touching with glasses; Copyright: panthermedia.net/olgasweet

Study finds hundreds of genes and genetic codes that regulate genes tied to alcoholism

05/08/2016

Using rats carefully bred to either drink large amounts of alcohol or to spurn it, researchers at Indiana and Purdue universities have identified hundreds of genes that appear to play a role in increasing the desire to drink alcohol.
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Image: Woman holds her chest; Copyright: panthermedia.net/piotr marcinski

Leaky calcium triggers brainstem blackout that results in sudden cardiac death

02/08/2016

Epilepsy is an extremely common disorder affecting people of all ages, from infants through teenagers to older adults. One of the most mysterious things about this disorder is that about 6 percent of the people with epilepsy have an unusually high incidence of sudden unexpected death.
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Image: A man and a woman sitting at a table, looking into the camera. There are papers and a monitor on the table; Copyright: Universitat Jaume I de Castellón

Researchers discover genetic causes of higher melanoma risk in men

22/07/2016

A study led by researchers at Universitat Jaume I de Castellón has identified one of the genetic causes underlying the higher rate of melanoma in men. The results have been published in Biology of Sex Differences.
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Photo: a woman smokes an e-cigarette

E-cigarette: hundreds of genes involved in airway immune defense

21/06/2016

When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Several of these changes likely increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Now, electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway.
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Photo: Left to right, green fluorescence shows damaged area shrinking over time. Top row, eyes from normal mice. Other rows are eyes from three different mouse models of diabetes

Electric fields weaker in slow-healing diabetic wounds

17/06/2016

People with diabetes often suffer from wounds that are slow to heal and can lead to ulcers, gangrene and amputation. New research from an international group led by Min Zhao, professor of ophthalmology and of dermatology at the University of California, Davis, shows that, in animal models of diabetes, slow healing is associated with weaker electrical currents in wounds.
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Photo: Child gets pierced into the finger using a lancing device

Diabetes: comprehensive prevention, early "vaccination"?

08/04/2016

A diagnosis of diabetes often catches new patients off guard - for instance if they end up in the emergency room suffering from metabolic decompensation. Children are often affected by this. Their immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas early on in their lives, thus causing type 1 diabetes.
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Photo: DNA section

Human Genetics: "Physicians should be able to counsel patients on the process"

01/04/2016

Human genetics is the study of the genetic makeup of human beings. DNA, chromosomes, and genes are extensively analyzed by medical specialists. Physicians of Germany need to have a qualification in genetic counseling to successfully advise patients.
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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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Photo: laboratory mouse eating something

Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?

01/12/2015

Multiple sclerosis apparently can strike anyone - regardless of age, family history, lifestyle or gender. Yet why then does it not strike everyone? Genetic and environmental factors appear not to be the only reason whether it develops or not. The countless microorganisms that colonize our intestinal tract could also be involved in this.
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Photo: laboratory staff evaluating DNA

Direct-To-Consumer Testing: the business with lifestyle tests

08/10/2015

The many possibilities the Internet offers also don’t shy away from laboratory medicine. The demand for biochemical or genetic tests continues to rise. Next to standard laboratory tests, a market developed in which the patient is the immediate recipient of clinical results. New distribution channels eliminate the physician as the responsible party.
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Cancer Immunotherapy: Individual mutations as new target structures

01/06/2015

A tumor is as unique as the person who is affected by it. For a long time, it was assumed this would make treatment more difficult since cancer drugs are not able to be one hundred percent effective in targeting the affected cells. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Ugur Sahin explains why it is precisely these individual mutations that make him hopeful for a new type of therapy.
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Cancer prevention: Beneficial and ultimately personal

04/05/2015

There are many decisions to be made in an adult life; among them are cancer prevention screenings. They are voluntary and many people deliberate whether they should go or not and if they would actually want to know the results. Science, politics and health care professionals also ponder with each new preventive service whether it is beneficial and who should end up paying for it.
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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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Photo: Gold piece surrounded by black ones

Genetics: “We try to simplify diagnosis for rare diseases“

10/11/2014

Sometimes your TV is actually right and diagnosing an illness is really a puzzle. This is the case with rare diseases for example, which only affect a small portion of the population. Physicians are then confronted with the problem of not having enough experience with a specific illness and its symptoms to be able to make a diagnosis.
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Vascular health in athletes

02/06/2014

"Sports are good for your health", as the saying goes. Regular exercise promotes the health of our blood vessels and prevents vascular diseases. However, many years of competitive sports can also have negative effects on vascular health and increase the risk of myocardial infarction. Prof. Martin Halle of the Technical University Munich explains at MEDICA.de what athletes need to pay attention to.
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