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Image: close-up of the worn wristband; Copyright: Abbas Furniturewalla

Smart wristband to monitor health

09/08/2018

Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineers have created a smart wristband with a wireless connection to smartphones that will enable a new wave of personal health and environmental monitoring devices.
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Image: Two female researchers are holding a transparent tube towards the camera; Copyright: University of Houston

Can nanoparticles lower antibiotic resistance?

19/07/2018

Two engineers with the University of Houston want to determine whether the use of tiny amounts of antibiotics embedded in corn-based nanoparticles could allow the use of lower dosages and avoid wiping out the microbiome - the collection of both healthy and disease-causing bacteria found in the intestines - and the resulting genetic mutations that lead to antibiotic resistance.
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Image: centrifuge with blood samples; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo

New $20 blood test to diagnose thousands of hepatitis B patients

03/07/2018

Researchers have developed an accurate diagnostic score that consists of inexpensive blood tests to identify patients who require immediate treatment against the deadly hepatitis B virus – which can lead to liver damage or cancer.
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Image: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22/06/2018

A drop of blood provides a lot of valuable information. However, it takes several hours to analyze the blood of a patient and make a diagnosis. This takes away a lot of time that's crucial for treatment. A new method intends to considerably speed up this process by testing the cells in the blood in terms of their deformability and immune response.
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Image: collection of antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/montenegro1

Nature's defence mechanisms can reduce the use of antibiotics

14/06/2018

Researchers at DTU have identified natural peptides that fight bacteria, thereby reducing the need for antibiotics.
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Image: measles virus under the microscope; Copyright: Cynthia S. Goldsmith; William Bellini / CDC

Transmission of measles virus: Interaction with two cell receptors is required

12/06/2018

Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have reproduced measles virus transmission in an animal model. They were able to show that an efficient interaction with two cellular receptors plays a decisive role in the efficient transmission of the virus.
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Image: Microscopic colour image showing cells with normal (green dots) and abnormal (yellow dots) stress granules; Copyright: Team Buchberger

The big clean up after stress

05/06/2018

When cells become stressed, they activate specific response patterns. Würzburg researchers have identified new details of these responses, which can help to get a better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.
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Image: 3D structure of the enzymatic active part of SdeA toxin; Copyright: Nature/Kalayil et al

Complementing conventional antibiotics

05/06/2018

Antimicrobial resistance is a major medical problem worldwide, impacting both human health and economic well-being. A new strategy for fighting bacteria has now been reported in the latest online issue of Nature by a research group headed by Prof. Dikic at the Goethe University Frankfurt. The scientists revealed the molecular action mechanism of a Legionella toxin and developed a first inhibitor.
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Image: Worldwide expansion of the two invasive mosquito species a) Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and b) yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti); Copyright: Dorian D. Dörge (Goethe University)

Asian tiger mosquito on the move

28/05/2018

Invasion has a long tradition and is being accelerated by globalisation, trade and tourism.
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Image: chemical structure of furanosteroids-Structures of wortmannin and viridin; Copyright: The University of Tokyo

Identification of biosynthetic pathway for the steroids with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibition activity

25/05/2018

A group of researchers from Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of Tokyo and Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural Products at Jinan University, identified the biosynthetic gene cluster for the furanosteroid demethoxyviridin, and deciphered its biosynthetic pathway.
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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: Clusters of MAIT cells in human blood and colon biopsies; Copyright: Department of Biomedicine, Tobias Rutishauser; Copyright: University of Basel

Human MAIT cells sense the metabolic state of enteric bacteria

18/05/2018

A little-explored group of immune cells plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal bacteria. Changing metabolic states of the microbes have an effect on defense cells at different stages of alert or rest, as researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the journal Mucosal Immunology.
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Image: two men in the laboratory next to the Organ Care System with a pig's lung inside; Copyright: Kaiser/MHH

Organ Care System: treatment under extreme conditions

08/05/2018

Multidrug-resistant organisms that are treated with a dosage that exceeds the regular dose a hundred times and at temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius – the human organism is unable to handle it. Yet if the diseased organ is treated outside of the body, extreme conditions are an option. For the first time, physicians have succeeded in treating a severe case of pneumonia by using the OCS.
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Image: Collage of several MRI images of the heart, in which different locations are marked with red arrows; Copyright: University Hospital Münster/Ali Yilmaz

Myocarditis: more specific diagnosis thanks to molecular imaging

01/09/2017

There are many causes of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. Oftentimes, the culprits are viruses or bacteria and sometimes even an acute heart attack. Regardless of the cause, it creates a challenge for cardiologists: a diagnosis tends to be only nonspecific without a biopsy. A cardiac MRI and molecular imaging promise to provide assistance.
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Image: Demonstrator; Copyright: Leibniz-IPHT

Medical imaging is onto septic fungi

03/04/2017

Instant treatment is absolute vital for patients developing sepsis. Providing a specific therapy early on is key. To manage this the pathogenic organisms need to be identified accurately. But a fungal sepsis can still be a hard nut to crack.
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Image: A petri dish with yellow bacterial cultures on a black ground; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kwanchaichaiudom

Laboratory medicine: confronting infections with speed and foresight

03/04/2017

The laboratory is one of the most important and pivotal bastions in patient care. In the laboratory, acute, chronic and genetic diseases are diagnosed, the progression of diseases such as diabetes is regularly checked or specialists look for biomarkers to adapt cancer therapies.
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Image: Single room with a window in a hospital; Copyright: panthermedia.net/epstock

Hospital construction: infection prevention through architecture?

09/01/2017

Hospitals apply many infection prevention and control measures. They all have one thing in common: they are individual parts of an overall concept that is aimed at preventing the spread of highly infectious and resistant pathogens in hospitals. Nevertheless, previous hygiene concepts ignore one aspect of hospitals: the architecture of the actual hospital facility itself.
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Photo: Large metal device with a pink glowing window in the fron

Plasmasterilization: active ingredient cocktail to fight bacteria

01/06/2016

Until now, plasma, the fourth state of matter,was consideredfascinatingonly to astrophysicists and science fiction fans. But at this point, it also attracts the interest of medicine because plasma can have many uses in this field. In the future, plasma sterilization could become an important component of hospital hygiene-provided that the right device is being used.
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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: white jeep

Rapid Tests: valuable helpers for use in the field

04/01/2016

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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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: Bacteria

Fecal microbiota transplantation: A stranger’s stool heals inflammatory bowel disease

05/01/2015

It sounds strange: During fecal microbiota transplantation, the stool of a healthy donor is transferred into the intestines of a diseased patient to restore his or her damaged gut flora. This is an entirely normal process in the animal kingdom. Now the stool transplant has established itself as the standard for treating Clostridium difficile.
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