Articles -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

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"Include, Value, Empower": World Kidney Day 2018


The World Kidney Day takes place every year on the second Thursday in March. This year it overlaps with the World Women's Day on March 8. The matching motto is "Kidneys and Women's Health". The risk of chronic kidney failure is often higher in women than in men. The importance of information and prevention is particularly highlighted today.
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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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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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Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies


Study finds abnormalities and decreased oxygen levels in placenta during fetal development.
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NIH scientists find microbes on the skin of mice promote tissue healing, immunity


Insights may inform wound management techniques.
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Image: Illustration of a translucent female body in blue in which the bowel is highlighted in orange; Copyright: Queen's University

Researcher publishes groundbreaking plan to end bowel cancer


A groundbreaking report, led by Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics at Queen’s University Belfast highlights a plan to end bowel cancer, the second most common cause of cancer death in Europe.
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Image: two scientists in the laboratory; Copyright: Universität Bielefeld

First discover the disorder and then find the patients


Bielefeld biochemists confirm cause of initially unclear symptoms.
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Pathology: detecting lymphedema with 3D microscopy


According to the WHO, 300 million people throughout the world are affected by lymphedema. This condition occurs when fluid that flows between cells is no longer transported back into the blood circulation and accumulates in the skin. Triggers can be surgeries, injuries or genetic defects for example. A new microscopy technique could now also indicate the causes.
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Image: Illustration of the Leipzig spoon, which is pushed to the back of the eye; Copyright: University of Leipzig/M. Francke

The "Leipzig Spoon" to cure pathological myopia


Many people all over the world suffer from myopia, also known as nearsightedness. A severe elongation of the eyeball is the cause behind it. If it continues to progress, it ultimately leads to complete loss of vision. Now an innovative medical device intends to stop this progression in the future.
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Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center


Physics has always supported medical science, especially when it comes to practical implementation. Now physicists and health professionals join in collaborative research at an interdisciplinary Center in Erlangen and incorporate fundamental principles of theoretical physics in their studies of diseases.
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Modular Emergency Hospitals – Quick disaster response


After earthquakes or other types of disasters, infrastructures are often damaged and local hospitals destroyed. A modular hospital, developed under the direction of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department is designed to be ready for these types of disaster situations and support the emergency response.
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Image: Several people use the Armeo system and playing a videogame with it; Copyright: Hocoma, Schweiz

Exoskeletons, Serious Games and Co.: New Technologies in Rehabilitation


A stroke, an accident or just because you are aging – there are many reasons to take advantage of physiotherapeutic or rehabilitative measures. More and more new technologies are designed to support patients in this process. They run the gamut from sensor technology and robotics to exergames and virtual reality.
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FAQ: Some questions concerning India


There are recurring questions that companies are seeking to invest or produce in India. Here are some questions and their answers.
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Medical Technology for India – Market of the Future?


India is a land of contradictions. On the one hand, it has densely populated cities with state of the art technology. On the other hand, two-thirds of the population still live under challenging hygienic and financial conditions in the rural areas. Despite these conditions or perhaps because of them, more and more medical technology companies from all over the world are interested in this market.
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Hospital-acquired infections: pathogens know no borders


Many aspects are uniformly regulated in Europe, however, hospital hygiene and MRSA prevention, for example, are not. The Netherlands plays a pioneering role in the fight against hospital-acquired infections. The country is an often-cited role model. But can other countries simply adopt the same system? And what makes it so different? MEDICA asked expert Prof. Alexander W. Friedrich.
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Collect Data? Utilize Data! – The Blessings of Big Data


Genome data, MRI images, and blood test results – data collected in the medical sector is not only very heterogeneous but also extremely extensive. However, it is important to not only collect this data but to also utilize it. After all, processed, linked and analyzed data provides many opportunities in research, hospital management and ultimately also for the individual patient.
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Image: Graphic of an ebola virus against a blue background; Copyright: creations

Who am I? Viruses on Nanosprings


Within the scope of the VIRUSCAN project that is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht from Hamburg/Germany investigates individual viruses to be able to later identify them on a nanospring structure. wanted to know: how does this work?
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Sodium intake and blood pressure: too much salt is bad for you. What about too little salt?


Common salt – or sodium chloride – is essential as a stimulant for nerve conduction. What is more, sodium ions also regulate the water balance in the body. Yet when it came to salt consumption, for the longest time the rule was "less is more". However, a recent study publication calls this belief into question.
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A new broom sweeps clean? The new EU Medical Device Regulation


The year 2016 brings about the new, eagerly anticipated Medical Device Regulation (MDR). The revision needs to now be implemented by all EU member states in the coming years after there have been ongoing deliberations and negotiations since October 2012.
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Hard work pays off: even sick people benefit from physical activity


Children instinctively know this – exercising is fun, makes you happy and keeps you fit. This begs the question of when and why this innate love for movement dwindles in many of us as we get older. After all, diseases like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure can be considerably controlled with sufficient exercise.
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Gram-negative bacteria pose a major challenge for hospitals


Every day, people are admitted to the hospital, discharged or they visit patients. This large number of people increases the risk of bacteria transmission. Preventative measures such as short-sleeved uniforms and copper surfaces can help by improving hospital hygiene but they cannot replace the legal requirements for hygiene measures.
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Rapid Tests: valuable helpers for use in the field


Infectious diseases are widespread in conflict areas. When basic medical care is lacking on location, people cannot be appropriately treated. Laboratory tests are limited in the field. Rapid diagnostic tests make it possible for medical personnel to quickly and accurately test patients for several infectious diseases, for instance for the presence of malaria or HIV infection.
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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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Graphic: stent in a blood vessel

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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Health economics: A counterbalance to economic policy?


Health economics is always expanding and is, therefore, one of the main pillars of the overall Germany economy. This results in a variety of economic, social and technical challenges that need to be overcome. Oftentimes however, the focus here is on sales and profit over the benefits of patients.
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Small companions: How wearables change our lives


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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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“


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: 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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Multi-resistant bacteria want to conquer the world


Bacteria lurk everywhere: on the skin, in the intestines and in every puddle. Most of them that are hanging out in the human body are good bacteria. But not all of them. Those pathogens that exhibit resistance and are thus very hard to combat are the most dangerous kind. Their spread threatens people all over the world.
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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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mHealth Alliance: "Mobile health has the potential to improve healthcare for millions"


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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RESCUER: "Crowds should take an active part in ensuring their own safety during major events"


Thousands of people push through a tight tunnel: 21 people died while several hundred people were injured this way during the Love Parade 2010 disaster in Duisburg, Germany. Today we know that such disasters could be prevented, if communication between event participants and rescue workers would be better.
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Safety in the operating room: "Switzerland is on the cutting edge"


In the operating room, it is especially important for the used devices to be safe and tolerable to the human body. Switzerland also shares this point of view. spoke with Dr. Christoph Röder from the University of Bern about approval procedures and regulations that are being pursued in Swiss operating rooms.
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