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Image: Two physicians in front of a computer; Copyright: Tohoku University

Imaging: A peek into lymph nodes

18/03/2019

A new method to diagnose cancer cells inside lymph nodes could allow doctors to treat cancers before they spread around the body
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Image: bioengineer Dr Chih-Tsung Yang pictured with the microfluidic cell culture chip in the foreground; Copyright: Joe Vittorio

Organ-on-a-chip: reducing side effects of radiotherapy

15/03/2019

The debilitating side effects of radiotherapy could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a breakthrough by University of South Australia (UniSA) and Harvard University researchers. UniSA biomedical engineer Professor Benjamin Thierry is leading an international study using organ-on-a-chip technology to develop 3D models to test the effects of different levels and types of radiation.
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Image: close-up of a crying young woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/IgorTishenko

Data science: treatments for depression

14/03/2019

Major depressive disorder is a debilitating illness that affects more than 350 million people around the world. The most common treatments for depression are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), drugs such as Prozac that increase serotonin levels in some regions of the brain. About half of the patients who take the pills, however, do not respond to treatment.
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Image: graphic showing how Usiigaci works; Copyright: OIST

Machine learning tracks moving cells

14/03/2019

Both developing babies and elderly adults share a common characteristic: the many cells making up their bodies are always on the move. As we humans commute to work, cells migrate through the body to get their jobs done. Biologists have long struggled to quantify the movement and changing morphology of cells through time, but now, scientists have devised an elegant tool to do just that.
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Image: woman working with microscope; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ Fabrice Michaudeau

'lab-on-a-chip' detects cancer faster

05/03/2019

A new ultrasensitive diagnostic device invented by researchers at the University of Kansas, The University of Kansas Cancer Center and KU Medical Center could allow doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma, leading to timelier interventions and better outcomes for patients.
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Image: A green circuit board; Copyright: University of Bern

New device shows effect of sudden strain at the heart

01/03/2019

It is still a mystery why a blow to the chest can kill people by inducing cardiac arrest yet save others that are in cardiac arrest. We may be one step closer to an answer, however, thanks to a device developed by researchers of the University of Bern and the EPFL that can replicate the experience in the laboratory.
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Image: An illustration of the brain with the structure of a molecule in front of it; Copyright: MIT

MRI sensor can image activity deep within the brain

01/03/2019

Calcium is a critical signaling molecule for most cells, and it is especially important in neurons. Imaging calcium in brain cells can reveal how neurons communicate with each other; however, current imaging techniques can only penetrate a few millimeters into the brain.
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Image: A man and a woman working in a laboratory; Copyright: Jan-Peter Kasper/University Jena

Test system helps preventing chronic inflammation

25/02/2019

An international research team led by Friedrich Schiller University in Jena has developed a highly sensitive cell model to study the complex effects – and side effects – of anti-inflammatory drugs, with the ultimate aim of preventing chronic inflammation.
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Image: The two light paths of a cell; Copyright:Yen Strandqvist

Holographic microscopy to investigate cell stress

19/02/2019

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have devised a new method to study how single biological cells react to stressful situations. Understanding these responses could help develop more effective drugs for serious diseases.
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Image: Dennis Eickelbeck (left) and Stefan Herlitze make cells glow - with so-called optogenetics.; Copyright: RUB, Marquard

Thanks to light: Controlling and visualizing

18/02/2019

Using a novel optogenetic tool, researchers have successfully controlled, reproduced and visualised serotonin receptor signals in neural cells.
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Image: robot with one finger on its head, next to it a brain made of luminous neurons; Copyright: panthermedia.net/sdecoret

New AI toolkit is the 'scientist that never sleeps'

15/02/2019

Researchers have developed a new AI-driven platform that can analyse how pathogens infect our cells with the precision of a trained biologist. The platform, HRMAn ('Herman'), which stands for Host Response to Microbe Analysis, is open-source, easy-to-use and can be tailored for different pathogens including Salmonella enterica.
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Image: PSI researchers are first to transfer state-of-the-art microscopy method to X-ray imaging; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Romaset

Virtual lens improves X-ray microscopy

07/02/2019

X-rays provide unique insights into the interior of materials, tissues, and cells. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method that makes X-ray images even better: The resolution is higher and allows more precise inferences about the properties of materials.
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Image: A female researcher is looking at a sample on a glass slide; Copyright: Tristan McGuirk

How to train lab-grown heart cells

01/02/2019

Heart muscle cells need exercise - even when they grow outside the human body. A new device designed by U of T Engineering researchers uses a rigorous training regimen to grow small amounts of cardiac tissue and measure how strongly it beats. The platform is ideal for testing the effects of potential drug molecules and could help bring personalized medicine closer to reality.
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Image: Cell cultivation in a Petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

Organ-on-a-chip – Organs in miniature format

01/02/2019

In vitro processes and animal tests are used to develop new medications and novel therapeutic approaches. However, animal testing raises important ethical concerns. Organ-on-a-chip models promise to be a feasible alternative. In a system the size of a smartphone, organs are connected using artificial circulation.
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Image: Man and woman in a laboratory presenting a multi-organ chip; Copyright: TissUse GmbH

Multi-Organ Chips – The Patients of Tomorrow?

01/02/2019

The liver, nervous tissue or the intestines: all are important human organs that have in the past been tested for their function and compatibility using animal or in vitro test methods. In recent years, TissUse GmbH, a spin-off of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), has launched multi-organ chip platforms. But that’s not all.
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Image: Graphic rendering of several cells in a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/dani3315

Organ-on-a-chip systems: limited validity?

01/02/2019

Organ-on-a-chip systems are technically a great enhancement of medical research because they facilitate testing of active ingredients on cell cultures in the chambers of a plastic chip. This replaces animal testing and improves patient safety. That being said, they are not a true-to-life replication of the human body and can only simulate a few functions and activities.
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Image: Rendering of a model of human skin; Copyright: panthermedia.net/megija

3D model of the human skin

31/01/2019

Scientists have successfully constructed a three-dimensional human epidermis based on predictions made by their mathematical model of epidermal homeostasis, providing a new tool for basic research and drug development.
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Image: robot hand from above on the keyboard; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ VitalikRadko

Using artificial intelligence for error correction

25/01/2019

Modern technology makes it possible to sequence individual cells and to identify which genes are currently being expressed in each cell. These methods are sensitive and consequently error prone.
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Image: A man and a woman in the laboratory; Copyright:A. Battenberg / TUM

Evolution of signaling molecules

24/01/2019

Small infections can be fatal: Millions of people die each year from sepsis, an overreaction of the immune system. A new immune signaling molecule, designed by a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), now provides the basis for potential new approaches in sepsis therapy.
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Image: Cryo-electron microscope images; Copyright: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP)

Powerful microscope revolutionizes cell insights

14/01/2019

There are many times when our cells need to move. Mobile cells guide our body's formation (embryonic development). Immune cells roam to capture unwanted intruders. And healing cells (fibroblasts) migrate to mend wounds. But not all movement is desirable: Tumors are most dangerous when cancer cells gain the ability to travel throughout the body (metastasis).
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Image: esophageal tumors; Copyright: panthermedia.net / sciencepics

Mapping residual esophageal tumors - a glimpse into the future?

10/01/2019

It's one of the first questions asked by many cancer patients "What are my chances of beating this?" Often there is no clear answer, with survival rates differing widely. Post-operative testing that provides an accurate prediction of long-term treatment outcomes is the next best thing, allowing clinicians to plan further treatment and more accurately inform patients about their prognoses.
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Image: The Digital Precision Cancer Medicine Platform; Copyright: University of Helsinki

Digital health to support precision cancer medicine in iCAN

09/01/2019

The Academy of Finland has selected the "iCAN Digital Precision Cancer Medicine" competence cluster as one of Finland's six flagships. The iCAN public-private partnership forms a platform aiming to improve the treatment of cancer patients and to support innovations coming from high quality research.
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Image: Killer T cells attack an infectious cell; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Andreus

How herpesviruses shape the immune system

09/01/2019

Cytomegalovirus is widespread and remains in the body for a lifetime after infection. In healthy individuals, this virus is usually kept in check but can become dangerous when the immune system is weakened or during pregnancy. DZIF scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed an analytic method that can very precisely detect viral infections using immune responses.
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Image: Philip Miller with the new microneedle technique; Copyright: Randy Montoya, Sandia National Laboratories

Microneedles technique for quicker diagnoses of major illnesses

08/01/2019

When people are in the early stages of an undiagnosed disease, immediate tests that lead to treatment are the best first steps. But a blood draw - usually performed by a medical professional armed with an uncomfortably large needle - might not be quickest, least painful or most effective method, according to new research.
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Image: Label-free intraoperative nonlinear imaging of the tumor microenvironment; Copyright: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Imaging technique brings diagnostic potential into operating room

07/01/2019

A team of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers led by Prof. Stephen Boppart has successfully visualized the tumor microenvironment of human breast tissue after it was surgically removed from a patient in the operating room by using a new portable optical imaging system. This work marks a major step toward providing cancer researchers with a tool for tracking tumor progression.
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Image: Image of a human cell coloured in black, blue, purple and yellow; Copyright: Roberta Schulte/Swati Tyagi/Salk Institute

Machine learning may predict a healthy old age

02/01/2019

For a study published in Genome Biology, a team at the Salk Institute analyzed skin cells ranging from the very young to the very old and looked for molecular signatures that can be predictive of age. Developing a better understanding of the biological processes of aging could eventually help to address health conditions that are more common in old age, such as heart disease and dementia.
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Image: A tumor cell lights up with high FRET biosensor readout; Copyright: UC San Diego Health

Sensors to detect and measure cancer's ability to spread

02/01/2019

The spread of invasive cancer cells from a tumor's original site to distant parts of the body is known as metastasis. It is the leading cause of death in people with cancer. In a paper published online in iScience, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers reported engineering sensors that can detect and measure the metastatic potential of single cancer cells.
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Image: On the left, an expanded human cell with microtubules (blue) and a pair of centrioles (yellow-red) in the middle; Copyright: Fabian Zwettler / University of Würzburg

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

19/12/2018

Does expansion microscopy deliver true-to-life images of cellular structures? That was not sure yet. A new publication in "Nature Methods" shows for the first time that the method actually works reliably.
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Photo: Preview picture of video

From algorithm to rapid test – Artificial Intelligence classifies blood cells

21/11/2018

Our blood reveals a lot about our physical health. The shape of our blood cells sheds light on several hereditary diseases for example. For a diagnosis, the cells must first be examined under the microscope and categorized into a specific cell class. We met with Dr. Stephan Quint and Alexander Kihm of the Institute of Physics at the Saarland University, who explained how this classification works.
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Image: Small brown mole on the back of a hand; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Mario Hahn

Early detection: Tattoo signals cancer – and more

09/07/2018

People who are not ill and do not show any symptoms typically do not visit the doctor. And while most people know that preventive medical checkups for cancer, for example, are important, they still avoid them. They tend to be very hesitant because the doctor might detect a serious illness. In the future, a new type of implant could make it easier to go to a screening test.
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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: Two hands are holding a tubular frame that is carrying a glistening wet, white tube; Copyright: Leibniz University of Hanover/Institute of Technical Chemistry

Tissue engineering: how to grow a bypass

23/04/2018

A bypass is a complicated structure. It is either made of synthetic materials that can cause blood clots and infections or created by using the patient’s veins. However, the latter often does not yield adequate material. A newly developed bioreactor could solve this problem in the future. It is designed to tissue engineer vascular grafts by using the body’s own material.
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Image: yellow tape measure with capsules in front of it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jiri Hera

Personalized cancer medicine: customized treatment

01/03/2018

Everyone is different. This statement also applies to our health. Cancer, in particular, can look and progress differently depending on the individual person. That’s why every patient ideally also needs a customized treatment that is tailored to their individual needs. But how feasible is this idea?
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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

22/02/2018

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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Image:

"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces

08/01/2018

Few patients with heart failure are fortunate enough to receive a donor's heart. Ventricular assist devices (or heart pumps) have been around for several years and are designed to buy time as patients wait for a transplant. Unfortunately, the body doesn't always tolerate these devices.
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Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center

22/08/2017

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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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: Preview picture of video

Light microscope ChipScope - a glimpse into living cells

14/07/2017

A microscope that is only a few millimeters in size and that can help to consider cell changes in real time. This is the goal of the EU project ChipScope. Scientists led by Dr. Hutomo Wasisto in Braunschweig help to make this project come true.
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Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03/07/2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
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