Articles -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

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Antioxidants and amino acids could play role in the treatment of psychosis


The systematic review involved eight independent clinical trials of nutrient supplementation in 457 young people.
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Programming DNA to deliver cancer drugs


Recent developments in neuroscience set high requirements for sophisticated data management, not least when implantable Brain Machine Interfaces are used to establish electronic communication between the brain's nerve cells and computers.
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Daffodils to fight against cancer


A research describes the anti-cancer effects of a natural alkaloid extracted from Daffodils. Led by Denis Lafontaine, affiliated with the Faculty of Sciences at the ULB, the researchers have discovered that this compound triggers the activation of an anti-tumoral surveillance pathway.
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Image: blood-patrolling monocytes (red) adhering to inflamed endothelium (green) in the inner curvature of the aortic arch of a mouse with incipient atherosclerosis; Copyright: CNIC

Blocking a protein could improve the effectiveness of intravascular cellular 'policing'


The study shows that blockade of the protease MT4-MMP increases the activity of blood-patrolling monocytes in the circulation.
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Image: Rebecca Hochstein collecting samples in a hot spring in Yellowstone; Copyright: Derek Loudermilk

MSU researchers reveal findings about virus that lives in Yellowstone hot springs


For seven years as a graduate student at Montana State University, Rebecca Hochstein hiked into the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park.
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Bacteria produce more substances than hitherto assumed


The bacterium Streptomyces chartreusis is an antibiotic-producing bacterium that releases more metabolites into the surrounding medium than scientists assumed based on the analysis of the genome. Many of the substances are likely released to mediate interactions with its environment. They might also include molecules that are of interest as potential pharmaceutical agents.
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Image: a container with the nutrient medium for cancer cells; Copyright: Dr. Markus Wehland

Cells in space – extraterrestrial approaches in cancer research


Here on Earth, all experiments are bound by gravitation. Yet, freed from gravity's grip, tumor cells, for example, behave in an entirely different way. As part of the "Thyroid Cancer Cells in Space" project by the University of Magdeburg, smartphone-sized containers carrying poorly differentiated thyroid cancer cells are sent into space.
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Female hormones may be linked to asthma, study suggests


Fluctuations in female sex hormones could play a role in the development of allergies and asthma, a major review of evidence suggests.
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Can our genes help predict how women respond to ovarian cancer treatment?


Research has identified gene variants that play a significant role in how women with ovarian cancer process chemotherapy.
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Symptoms of alcoholism make taking medication to treat the disease more difficult


Symptoms of alcoholism make it more difficult for some people to regularly take the prescription drug naltrexone, which could help treat their disease, a researcher at Oregon State University has found.
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Starving liver cancer


Scientists at the University of Delaware and the University of Illinois at Chicago have found a new way to kill liver cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth. First, they silence a key cellular enzyme, and then they add a powerful drug. They describe their methods in a new paper published in Nature Communications.
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How old antibiotic compounds could become tomorrow's life-saving drugs


As the fight against drug-resistant infections continues, University of Leeds scientists are looking back at previously discarded chemical compounds, to see if any could be developed for new antibiotics.
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Asthma drug potential treatment for aortic aneurysm


Aortic aneurysm – the dilation of the aorta – is a serious condition that lacks effective drug treatment. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report in the journal PNAS, however, that a common asthma drug can retard the development of aortic aneurysm in mice.
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Image: VEGF stimulates the formation of sprouts on the vessel; Copyright: 2018 Yukiko Matsunaga, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo

Blood vessel-on-a-chips show anti-cancer drug effects in human cells


Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo, CNRS and INSERM, report a new organ-on-a-chip technology for the study of blood vessel formation and drugs targeting this event.
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Image: shell, that encapsulates the DNA of the hepatitis B virus; Copyright: Christopher Schlicksup, Indiana University

'Virus-cracking' molecules advance fight against hepatitis B


Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer.
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HPV may lurk in your throat


Human papilloma virus (HPV), the culprit behind cervical cancer and some forms of head and neck cancer may hide in small pockets on the surface of tonsils in people not known to carry the virus.
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Image: The adenovirus (left) camouflages itself from the immune system thanks to its protective coat (right); Copyright: UZH

Stealth Virus for Cancer Therapy


Scientists from the University of Zurich have redesigned an adenovirus for use in cancer therapy. To achieve this they developed a new protein shield that hides the virus and protects it from being eliminated. Adapters on the surface of the virus enable the reconstructed virus to specifically infect tumor cells.
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Image: digital screening mammography with fine calcifications (arrow) which resulted in the diagnosis of an aggressive preliminary stage of breast cancer; Copyright: UK Münster

Breast cancer discovered in its preliminary stages in mammography screening is usually aggressive


In the biennial mammography screening programme, the most frequent diagnosis of breast cancer in its preliminary stages is, biologically, the most aggressive form. High-grade ductal carcinoma in situ holds the greatest risk of developing into a so-called invasive carcinoma.
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For children with respiratory infections, antibiotics with narrower targets are better


CHOP researchers find outcomes are similar, but broader-spectrum antibiotics have higher risk of adverse effects.
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Promising malaria vaccine tested


An international research team has conducted successful phase II clinical tests of a new anti-malaria medication. The treatment led to a cure in 83 cases. The new combination of drugs was developed by Professor Peter Kremsner of the Tübingen Institute of Tropical Medicine and the company DMG Deutschen Malaria GmbH.
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How cells are able to turn


Researchers have long wondered how our cells navigate inside the body. Two new studies, in which Lund University researcher Pontus Nordenfelt has participated, have now demonstrated that the cells use molecular force from within to steer themselves in a certain direction. This knowledge may be of great significance in the development of new drugs.
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Scientists discover how treating eczema could also alleviate asthma


Scientists from VIB-UGent have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma. The findings are an important next step in understanding the relationship between the two inflammatory diseases and to developing effective therapies. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
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Efficacy of antibody targeting Devic's disease proven in new animal model


Osaka University study identifies antibody that alleviates symptoms in neuromyelitis optica in rats.
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Image: DeKosky lab members Natalie Bui (undergraduate summer student) and Tiffany Nguyen (post-doctoral researcher) measuring DNA in a sample.; Copyright: Kelly Tong

Breakthrough enables screening millions of human antibodies for new drug discovery


A paper just published in "Nature Biotechnology" outlines a pioneering method of screening a person's diverse set of antibodies for rapid therapeutic discovery. Antibody proteins are an important part of the human immune system that specifically target foreign viruses and bacteria, and they have been the fastest-growing class of approved drugs in the past several decades.
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Researchers identify new melatonin-based molecular targets for the design of new drugs against Parkinson's


A team of scientists led by Darío Acuña-Castroviejo, professor at the University of Granada (UGR), has published the results of a new breakthrough in molecular mechanisms of the anti-parkinsonian activity of melatonin.
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Genetic analysis can improve depression therapy


The failure of drugs such as SSRIs, used to treat depression, can be a result of genetic variations in patients. Variations within the gene that encodes the CYP2C19 enzyme results in extreme differences in the levels of escitalopram achieved in patients, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
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Supercharged antibiotics could turn tide against superbugs


An old drug supercharged by University of Queensland researchers has emerged as a new antibiotic that could destroy some of the world's most dangerous superbugs.
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New tool to assess largely ignored risk in pharmaceutical industry


A new method to test the likelihood of a drug turning into a potentially harmful version of itself when it enters the body has been developed by researchers at Cardiff University.
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A kiss of death for prostate cancer


Hokkaido University researchers have uncovered a cellular protein that stabilizes a tumor promoting signaling pathway, suggesting a new target to treat prostate cancer.
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Without any delay: drug dose adjustment at the point of care


Many therapeutic drugs are very powerful, but they are also very toxic at the same time. Thus, they have to be measured regularly, again and again, so that an adjustment of the individual drug dosage can be made. Until now, the "normal" way was to take the blood sample, send it to a central laboratory and get the results after some days. A new point-of-care test can measure it in 15 minutes.
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Diseases of aging: lifestyle and prevention also pay off


A German proverb says, "Old age is like a hospital that accepts all diseases," and medicine confirms that older people are not only considerably more susceptible to infectious diseases than they were in middle age, but that body and mind are also less resilient and recover slower or not at all from adverse effects or injuries.
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Disaster medicine or disastrous medicine?


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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Mechanical thrombectomy: stroke treatment 2.0


Each year, approximately 250,000 Germans suffer a stroke. This makes stroke the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. The circulatory disorder that occurs in the brain is normally treated using systemic thrombolysis, a procedure that bears various risks. Unlike mechanical thrombectomy, which offers clear advantages by comparison.
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Prostate cancer: Agent with theranostic potential


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


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


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


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, 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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Euthanasia – A Human Right?


Several weeks ago on November 1, 2014, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who suffered from terminal brain cancer, took drugs to end her life surrounded by her family. This was preceded by months of despair and anguish, but also by love and a lust for life as the young woman describes in several videos she recorded to fight for the right to die with dignity.
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