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Image: young woman in front of a laptop, looking tired; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SIphotography

Why do some sleep-deprived people experience worse cognitive functioning than others?

19/06/2018

Penn study reveals that microRNAs predict differences in cognitive impairment in memory and attention after sleep deprivation.
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Image: nurse holding a brown dog in her arms; Copyright: Michael Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna

Immunoglobulin E as a promising new form of anti-cancer immunotherapy

19/06/2018

If immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are directed against harmless antigens such as pollen, the result can be an allergic reaction. However the original purpose of these IgE antibodies is to repel harmful exogenous substances rather than to trigger allergies.
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Image: Emerging platelets (white arrows) are buded off by their progenitor cells, the megakaryocytes; Copyright: Rudolf Virchow Center of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Targeting platelets

13/06/2018

A new Collaborative Research Center will start in July with a total funding of nearly 14 million euros, headed by the German Institute for Experimental Biomedicine in Würzburg. The aim is to decode the complex and insufficiently understood functions of platelets, the so-called thrombocytes.
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Image: mountain tops covered in snow; Copyright: Dr. Daniela Flueck, University of British Columbia Okanagan

Scientists discover why heart function is reduced at high altitude

12/06/2018

For over a century, we have known that high altitude reduces the amount of blood the heart pumps around the body with each beat. New research published in The Journal of Physiology has unearthed why this is the case and the findings will be important for people who live, travel and exercise at high altitudes.
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Image: blood vessel and red blood cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/the_lightwriter

The vessel not taken: understanding disproportionate blood flow

31/05/2018

Considering the size of red blood cells, a new model for blood flow sheds light on why blood sometimes prefers some vessels over others.
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Image: man opening a fridge in the dark; Copyright: panthermedia.net/AllaSerebrina

Eating at night, sleeping by day swiftly alters key blood proteins

28/05/2018

Proteins involved in metabolism, immunity disrupted after just one simulated night shift.
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Image: semaphorin 6D reverse signaling controls lipid metabolism and anti-inflammatory polarization; Copyright: Osaka University

Neuron guidance factor found to play a key role in immune cell function

25/05/2018

Macrophages are white blood cells involved in a variety of biological functions, from destroying infectious pathogens to repairing damaged tissue. To carry out their different roles, macrophages must first be activated and transformed into different subtypes. However, the mechanisms that lead to macrophage activation are not fully understood.
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Image: blood vessel with red and white blood cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/vampy1

New insights into blood vessel growth

16/05/2018

Scientists at the Goethe University have discovered that single cells in the innermost layer of blood vessels proliferate after injury and in so doing make a significant contribution to the formation of new vessels.
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Image: an elderly couple, the woman showing a puzzled expression; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Creatista

Brain cholesterol associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

15/05/2018

Researchers have shown how cholesterol – a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases – may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: the letter B made up of vegetables, fruits and leaves; Copyright: panthermedia.net/egal

Hypertensive patients may benefit from folic acid supplements

15/05/2018

Patients with low platelet count and high homocysteine levels reduced first stroke risk by 73 percent with the B vitamin.
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Image: Tahir Hussain in the laboratory; Copyright: Kris Kehe/UH College of Pharmacy

Protecting kidneys from obesity

11/05/2018

UH professor of pharmacology Tahir Hussain has received $1.6M from the National Institutes of Health to examine a kidney cell that could prevent damage from inflammation caused by obesity. The targeted cells express a protein called the angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R), which recently has been indicated to have anti-inflammatory and reno protective actions.
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Image: woman with scarf around her head and a girl sitting smiling on a sofa; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee.eu

Novel discoveries on aggressive NK-cell leukemia

26/04/2018

International research consortium led by researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland, discovered new information related to a rare form of leukemia called aggressive NK-cell leukemia. Potential new treatment options were found which are highly warranted as currently this disease usually leads to rapid death of patients. The study was published in Nature Communications.
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Image: two men posing in front of the camera; Copyright: Sarah Pack, Medical University of South Carolina

New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of success

09/04/2018

In a groundbreaking development, results from a recent clinical trial to treat lung cancer show that a novel immunotherapy combination is surprisingly effective at controlling the disease's progression. The study, published April 4 in the journal The Lancet Oncology, focused on non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common form of lung cancer.
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Image: smiling woman; Copyright: Kofi Boahene

Surgeons transform static 'Mona Lisa' smiles to joyous ones

04/04/2018

By modifying a muscle transplant operation, Johns Hopkins surgeons report they are able to restore authentic facial expressions of joy -- wide and even smiles - to selected patients with one-sided facial muscle paralysis due to birth defects, stroke, tumors or Bell's palsy.
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Image: a Ixodes scapularis tick; Copyright: Dr. Utpal Pal, University of Maryland

UMD researcher uncovers protein used to outsmart the human immune system

03/04/2018

Findings have major implications for tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.
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Image: red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets; Copyright: National Cancer Institute

Haemophiliacs and their treatment – danger signals involved in immune response against factor-VIII

03/04/2018

In patients with haemophilia A, the missing blood coagulation factor VIII is administered, and thus replaced, intravenously. A part of the patients, however, develops antibodies (inhibitors) against factor VIII, which, in the worst case scenario, can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
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Image: african female doctor sits in a provisional office at a plastic table with documents and laptop; Copyright: University of Zurich

North and south cooperation to combat tuberculosis

29/03/2018

Tuberculosis can be cured and could be eradicated. For this to happen, however, patients have to receive the right treatment. Researchers at the Makerere University and the University of Zurich were able to demonstrate that the levels of medication used are often too low. As a result, patients remained contagious with the dangerous disease for longer than necessary.
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Image: hand holding a blood sample; Copyright: Fotolia

Alzheimer's disease: patients exhibit changes in certain blood lipids that are typical of premature ageing

28/03/2018

The neurodegenerative condition known as Alzheimer's disease is the commonest cause of dementia. A research group led by molecular biologists Fabian Dorninger and Johannes Berger at MedUni Vienna's Centre for Brain Research investigated changes in certain lipids (choline phospholipids) in the plasma of elderly people who were healthy and those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: Woman holding a doll in a glowing pyjamas; Copyright: Empa

Illuminated pyjamas treat jaundice in mommy's arms

20/12/2017

Sixty percent of newborns are affected by jaundice during their first days of life. In most cases, the condition is harmless. The ailment is more pronounced in premature babies, whose treatment involves irradiation with blue light in a special incubator – naked and alone.
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Image: POCT-device and patient files; Copyright: panthermedia.net/gabriella

Point-of-care testing: helpful when things need to happen quickly?

01/08/2017

Advances in technology and analysis techniques, as well as the increasing miniaturization of laboratory equipment and processes, make it possible: patient-side laboratory testing, better known as point-of-care testing or POCT. There are many POCT projects and all of them promise a rapid diagnosis as well as economic advantages. But are these tests also suited for everyday medical testing?
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Image: blood is taken from a finger and analysed by a blood testing device; Copyright:hes_so_valais_wallis

Without any delay: drug dose adjustment at the point of care

01/08/2017

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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Image: Collage made of two images, one show a round, transparent plastic disc with micro channels, one shows a plastic chip; Copyright: Hahn-Schickard, Image Bernd Müller

Prenatal diagnosis: genetic analysis using droplet PCR

24/07/2017

A new analysis method that uses fetal DNA extracted from the mother’s blood is designed to non-invasively reach a prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders in a child. A task force of the Hahn Schickard Society for Applied Research is an active part of the "ANGELab" project and co-developed this diagnostic procedure.
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Photo: Hospital  bed

Textiles used in hospitals and medical offices – germs don’t stand a chance

01/06/2016

Some hospitals have long banned the status symbol of physicians – the white coat. Research has shown that especially the sleeves were contaminated with various types of bacteria. But it’s not just lab coats that can spread germs in healthcare settings. This field uses a variety of different textiles. Wouldn’t it, therefore, make sense to apply antimicrobial finishes?
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Photo: Devices and products patients need to treat their diabetes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ MihaPstock

Artificial pancreas: an (almost) automated diabetes treatment?

22/05/2016

The treatment for diabetes is very time-consuming for patients: they need to regularly monitor blood sugar levels, take medication and inject insulin. Poor self-management may result in a dangerous lapse in blood glucose levels. Yet external factors can also contribute to diabetes being out of control. An artificial pancreas system could offer relief.
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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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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: child with broken arm

Different specialties, one goal – treating children right

01/02/2016

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

01/02/2016

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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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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Graphic: stent in a blood vessel

Mechanical thrombectomy: stroke treatment 2.0

01/12/2015

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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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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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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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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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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