Image: Medicationbox; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/duskbabe

International Patient Safety Day - 09/17/2016

16/09/2016

This year’s International Patient Safety Day takes place under the motto "Medication Safety". It is supposed to raise awareness of medication errors. Members of the health care systems will be able to present new approaches and exchange ideas with each other at events on this day.
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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

14/09/2016

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: Two men standing in a laborartory; Copyright: MIPT

Using a urine sample to diagnose respiratory pathologies of preterm newborns

13/09/2016

Experts from the V. I. Kulakov Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have devised a method that uses the urinary proteome to diagnose conditions in newborn babies.
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Image: Graphic shows transparent throat with visible red-marked oesophagus with cancer inside; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/eraxion

Study opens door to targeted treatments for esophageal cancer

07/09/2016

Potential outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever may be more accurately predicted thanks to a new mathematical model developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge. This could in turn help inform public health messages to prevent outbreaks spreading more widely.
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Image: Image shows diagnostic form, on which Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is written and tablets packs and stethoscope are lying; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/designer491

First project on Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

06/09/2016

BioPontis Alliance for Rare Diseases, a unique international nonprofit organization, and VIB, an excellence-based Life Science Research Institute in Belgium, announced a strategic partnership in rare diseases. The first program is aimed at developing a treatment for one type of Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT), a rare, progressive and invalidating neuropathy.
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Image: Image shows woman using virtual reality; Copyright: Panthermedia.net/leungchopan

VR simplifies diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders

05/09/2016

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and Siberian State Medical University are developing an early diagnosis system for neurodegenerative disorders. The diagnosis system is based on virtual reality (VR) – a person is immersed in a virtual environment to carry out some functional tests. Researchers vary the parameters of the virtual environment and record changes in the person’s movements.
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Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?

01/09/2016

Patients take center stage during surgery. Their treatment should be as gentle and effective as possible, which is why there is a trend towards minimally invasive surgery (MIS). But minimal procedures require better supporting technologies. The hybrid operating room combines surgery and imaging systems and increasingly replaces conventional open surgery approaches with MIS.
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Image: OR with modern equipment, large screens and lamps; Copyright: Erwin Keeve, Charité

OR of the future: technology benefits surgeons

01/09/2016

When it comes to the future of medicine, we often ponder how we would like to be treated. On the other hand, there is the issue of how physicians would like to treat their patients. The surgical procedures are determined by the technology that doctors are surrounded by. That’s why technology development also needs to be adapted to the needs of surgeons in the operating room of the future.
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Image: Hand is drawing something with a red coloured pencil; Copyright: EPO

Innovation is at the beating heart of medical technology

30/08/2016

The medical technology industry continues to be one of Europe’s most diverse and innovative high-tech sectors. New technologies are combining material science, electronics, engineering and biochemistry. The common thread across these sectors is their beneficial impact on health, quality of life and society as a whole.
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Image: 3D-image of a person, in the esophagus is one part highlighted red; Copyright: Panthermdia.net/Eraxion

Bad or benign? Testing cells for esophageal cancer risk

22/08/2016

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: A pregnant woman. In the center is an image of a mosquito and the word

Yale study identifies how Zika virus infects the placenta

22/08/2016

In a new study, Yale researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas. The research provides insight into how Zika virus may be transmitted from expectant mother to fetus, resulting in infection of the fetal brain. The study was published online in JCI Insight.
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Image: Upper part of the body with red marked stomachache; Copyright: Panthermdia.net/cristovao

Olympic stomach upsets – leaky gut symdrome?

19/08/2016

A number of competitors at the Rio Olympics have reported stomach problems. Team GB officials have denied that athletes have fallen victim to food poisoning at the Olympic athletes' village in Rio, despite a number complaining of upset stomachs.
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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: Young asian women is coughing in the street; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Leung Cho Pan

Rapid bacterial infection test reduces antibiotic use

11/08/2016

Researchers from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam have shown that using a rapid (5-minute) test can reduce antibiotic misuse for respiratory infections. Cutting the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions is a key way to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.
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Image: The word

Prize for research into speeding up stroke diagnosis

20/07/2016

A mathematician at the University of Strathclyde has shared in a prestigious prize for research into methods for accelerating the diagnosis of strokes.
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Image: A graphic that shows the new invention; Copyright: Nano Lab, Tufts University

A thread that collects diagnostic data when sutured into tissue

19/07/2016

For the first time, researchers led by Tufts University engineers have integrated nano-scale sensors, electronics and microfluidics into threads - ranging from simple cotton to sophisticated synthetics - that can be sutured through multiple layers of tissue to gather diagnostic data wirelessly in real time, according to a paper published in Microsystems & Nanoengineering.
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Image: Two pictures (A and B) of brain scans. The perfusion of blood throughout the brain is highlited in different colors; Copyright: Radiological Society of North America

Artificial intelligence may aid in Alzheimer's diagnosis

08/07/2016

Researchers in The Netherlands have coupled machine learning methods with a special MRI technique that measures the perfusion, or tissue absorption rate, of blood throughout the brain to detect early forms of dementia, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI)., according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
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Photo: Diagnostic test in a laboratory

Experts call for standard list of essential diagnostic tests

01/07/2016

Similar to long-established list of essential medicines, a standard list of essential diagnostic test could help improve capacity and quality of testing in developing nations.
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Photo: Local laboratory technicians work with mobile microscopes.

Phone-based microscopes for rural areas

01/07/2016

Handheld, mobile phone-based microscopes can be used in developing countries after minimal training of community laboratory technicians to diagnose intestinal parasites quickly and accurately.
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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: Old woman with a smartphone

Health Apps: "Mobile Applications for smartphones have strengths and weaknesses"

22/03/2016

Medical apps like diabetes or high blood pressure diaries are becoming increasingly popular with smartphone users. There are many available choices out there but they are not always clear. Added to this is the question of how the data collected by the apps can be sensibly incorporated into treatment.
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Graphic: The pancreas and the surrounding organs

Pancreatic cancer: diagnosis via signature analysis

08/03/2016

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is difficult to diagnose and only presents with symptoms in the later stages. In the future, a laboratory test developed at the Greifswald University Medicine could make an early detection of this type of cancer and consequently a faster and better treatment possible.
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Photo: Three-dimensional model of the right ventricle

Ultrasound: four dimensions for pediatric cardiac diagnostics

01/03/2016

Fortunately, only a handful of newborns are affected by them, though this determines if not the rest of their lives then, at least, the first few years of affected children: congenital heart defects. After the necessary surgeries, the small patients repeatedly need to return for checkups. Until now, these were conducted using MRI scans. 4D ultrasound can be an alternative.
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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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Graphic of the operation

Filling bone defects – replacement tissue with its own blood supply

01/02/2016

First grow tissue in the lab, then insert it into patients when they need it and you’re done! Unfortunately, things are not as easy as people hoped at the onset of “tissue engineering”. Although robust tissues for bone defects can be grown in a petri dish, for example, they unfortunately quickly die off again inside the body if there is no corresponding nutrient supply.
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Photo: Pregnancy test

Disaster medicine or disastrous medicine?

04/01/2016

Most Europeans think it was a long time ago, but the residents of West Africa clearly feel the consequences of the Ebola epidemic that broke out in December 2013 and still continues today. So far, approximately 11,300 people have died as a result of the outbreak; more than 28,000 contracted the disease.
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Photo: Ebola test

Ebola: detection strips instead of lab tests

04/01/2016

When infectious diseases such as Ebola break out, a rapid diagnosis is important because the early detection of a virus along with the right hygiene measures can prevent its continued spread. However, laboratories and skilled personnel are not available everywhere. Low-cost and portable detection strips can bring relief.
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Photo: Small POC test kit for blood samples; Copyright: bate-web/Spelleken

Nutrition: finding intolerances in the blood

27/11/2015

More and more people suffer from allergies and food intolerances. Laboratory diagnosis for these often takes long and can be inaccurate. Healthcare practitioners increasingly rely on point-of-care tests to avoid costly laboratory tests and quickly find solutions for their patients.
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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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Fighting myomas with ultrasound

01/10/2015

A proper diagnosis is a part of great therapy. However, it can also be beneficial to be able to quickly respond to changes during a treatment. One example of this is the treatment of uterine myomas. Female patients at the University Hospital Bonn are treated using so-called high-intensity focused ultrasound, HIFU in short. Prof. Holger Strunk explains this procedure.
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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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Theranostics: Complex particles for tomorrow's medicine

01/10/2015

It is a portmanteau, a mixture of two words. This way it saves us time and trouble while speaking because the human speech apparatus is lazy. And it describes a mixture of procedures: the combination of two procedures that would normally be separate in medicine. We are talking about theranostics.
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Small companions: How wearables change our lives

01/09/2015

They can be seen everywhere: at the wrists, in the ear, clipped to the belt. Wearables are small technical assistants who are built to collect and partially also to analyze data. Some of them collect measurable health data, others "only" count their user’s steps or measure the surrounding UV radiation. The fact is, however, that wearables are en vogue and are used for many different cases.
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Fast and low radiation exposure: The newest generation gamma camera

03/08/2015

Nuclear medicine physicians use so-called gamma cameras for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The devices record radioactive substances that are injected into the patient and show changes in the heart muscle (myocardium). Now a new gamma camera is able to record images faster and by using much less radiation.
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Prostate cancer: Agent with theranostic potential

03/08/2015

Endoradiotherapy can be very unpleasant for cancer patients, since it does not only harm tumor cells, but also healthy ones. Sometimes, patients even need to stop therapy because of the side effects. Physicians and researchers are thus continuously searching for ways to transport radiopharmaceuticals directly and exclusively to their target.
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Radiopharmaceuticals: Individualized diagnostics and therapy

03/08/2015

Malignant tumors can be fought with X-rays – usually with radiation therapy from outside the body. Nuclear medicine physicians can also accomplish this inside the body with radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals. They also offer big benefits for clinical diagnostics as long as a specific target can be assigned to them.
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Wanted: rapid test to prevent deep vein thrombosis

01/07/2015

Deep vein thrombosis is not just a risk factor for frequent flyers but also for wearers of cardiovascular implants and newly operated patients. Blood thinners prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming, but they need to be carefully adjusted and do not work the same way in every patient. A detailed analysis of platelets (thrombocytes) could prevent complications in the future.
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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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Lung cancer: A blood test evaluates the effectiveness of therapy

01/06/2015

Can liquid biopsies become the new trend in cancer diagnostics? The medical world has asked this question for quite some time. The first globally approved liquid biopsy-based test for lung cancer shows that this can work. Yet further findings and research are still required to establish this less invasive method in diagnostics.
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Tumor markers: State-of-the-art diagnostics for personalized medicine

01/06/2015

When cancer is diagnosed, the terms tumor markers or biomarkers keep popping up. They describe characteristics that are not found in healthy persons. The classic tumor markers can be easily detected in blood samples or other body fluids. Other analysis methods require more effort. Yet they all share one thing in common: biomarkers indicate a potential tumor.
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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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Early cancer detection: "Physicians and patients need a good database"

04/05/2015

Whether it is a mammogram, colonoscopy or a skin cancer screening – after a certain age, we are subject to various early cancer detection screenings. Yet many of us don’t know that these screening tests are also associated with risks. This is something what Dr. Sylvia Sänger from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf discovered in a study.
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Statutory Skin Cancer Screening: "This is not just about mortality rates"

04/05/2015

Since the end of April 2015, the long-awaited evaluation report on the skin cancer screening programs offered by German health insurance providers is now finally available. We spoke with Dr. Ralph von Kiedrowski, Board Member of the German Dermatologist Association (German: Berufsverband Deutscher Dermatologen) on what the screening can accomplish and his take on the G-BA report.
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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: Child in hospital

Pediatric pathology: Specialized knowledge for the youngest

02/02/2015

When children are sick, their parents take them to a pediatrician. A pediatric pathologist is needed when pathology exams need to be conducted. This branch of pathology requires specialized knowledge. The Society for Pediatric and Fetal Pathologists is championing the transfer and preservation of this knowledge.
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Making Your Own End-of-Life Decisions: “All options of palliative care, pain management and continued life need to have been explained to the patient“

01/12/2014

How does a physician handle a patient, who wants to die and what rights do I actually have as a patient? Legal practitioners do not automatically answer these and other questions. We talked about this subject with MD-PhD Ralf Jox from the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
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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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MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE: Preventing diabetes from affecting the kidneys

03/11/2014

November 14, 2014 is World Diabetes Day – and MEDICA is also concerned with this metabolic disorder: several lectures at the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE are dedicated to the so-called “sugar disease” that affects 382 million people worldwide. The Conference addresses the damages caused by the disease, its prevention and therapy.
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Photo: Blue box at optical bench

Continuous glucose monitoring: "Our method is based on the principles of infrared photometry"

22/10/2014

Patients in intensive care units do not just have to struggle with the consequences of a severe injury or disease – they are also subject to acute glucose fluctuations that compromise the healing success. These sometimes happen so quickly that they cannot be caught in time with existing discrete measurement methods.
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Photo: Application of the NanoKnife therapy

Prostate cancer: gentle removal with irreversible electroporation

08/10/2014

The NanoKnife® therapy practiced at the Prostate Center in Offenbach am Main removes prostate tumors in a gentle manner im comparison to prostatectomy or radiation therapy. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Michael K. Stehling explains the advantages of the focal therapy.
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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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Photo: Nanodiamond

Nanodiamonds: "Our goal is not to be able to diagnose a specific disease, but to offer medicine a universal tool"

22/09/2014

They are not just “a girl's best friend“, but are also important helpers in medicine: diamonds. Yet the latter are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye. Dr. Patrick Happel at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany studies so-called nanodiamonds. Someday soon, they are supposed to help in significantly improving medical imaging.
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Hospitals: many small measures against infections and sepsis

01/08/2014

If neither the immune system nor antibiotics are able to control an infection, a sepsis can arise out of it - an infection that attacks several organs at the same time and causes the immune system to overreact. This is a life-threatening condition.
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Hygiene: "The sensor applies the principle of so-called photonic structures"

01/08/2014

Detecting infections quickly and reliably with the naked eye: This is what many doctors in hospitals and in the doctor's surgeries wish for. To make this dream come true, Prof. Holger Schönherr, a scientist from Siegen, is researching a sensor that should show an infection by a color change.
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Photo: Overweight people from behind

Diabetes mellitus: dangerous consequences, good prevention options

22/07/2014

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that could result in dangerous consequences for the individual patient and the entire society. However, you can successfully stop this disease with targeted prevention methods.
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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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Football: "We want to globally determine deaths for the first time"

02/06/2014

Sudden deaths of football players make headlines time after time: competitive athletes who are the idols of many people die just when they are on the playing field and in the limelight. Congenital heart defects often cause their death. Sports physicians and FIFA now plan to ascertain data that can help improve preventive examinations in competitive football.
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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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mHealth Alliance: "Mobile health has the potential to improve healthcare for millions"

02/05/2014

Whether in remote areas or in a large city – people everywhere need good healthcare. Thanks to mobile health, more and more people can get medical help, even in poor regions of the world.
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"The secrets of an astronaut's health and fitness"

24/03/2014

He is kind of a "Bones" McCoy, since he keeps astronauts fit: Dr. Simon Evetts leads the Medical Projects and Technology team within the Medical Support Office of the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne, Germany. MEDICA.de talked to him about sports in universe, space technology and the benefits for us earthlings.
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Sonography: "Unfortunately, hospitals are not being required to train well"

04/03/2014

Prenatal care, cancer check-up, vascular examinations – sonography is versatile, provides reliable imaging to physicians and does not tax patients with radiation. It is comprehensively available, from doctor’s office to university medical center. A sound continuing education of sonography users is essential for good diagnostics, also since different devices have different strong points.
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Photo: Researcher in the lab

"An MRI device the size of two to three shoeboxes could soon sit on your desk"

24/02/2014

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established procedure in clinical diagnostics. It creates a signal with millions of nuclear spins, which in turn is converted into images. Very large magnets are being used to align the nuclear spins. Researchers at the University Medical Center Freiburg study a new method that can do without expensive magnets.
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Photo: Man and woman visit a physician

"Gender-specific adjustments in clinical diagnostics and therapy can be expected"

15/01/2014

In Western civilization, equality of women and men has been a topic for many years and is already being successfully implemented in many areas, even if many obstacles still need to be overcome – the introduction of quotas for women in boardrooms, just to mention one of them.
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"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"

08/01/2014

Heart diseases can be triggered by special viruses that affect the cardiac muscle. Preventive drugs could definitely be developed – if the virus does not mutate.
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