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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: 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: 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: Healthy mucus layer (red) keeping Escherichia coli (green) at a safe distance within the colon, preventing them from breaking throug; Copyright: Bahtiyar Yilmaz, University of Bern

Discovery of bacterial signature of intestinal disease

22/01/2019

Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Research of the University of Bern and the University Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine of the Inselspital Bern, Switzerland, have discovered that changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease affect the severity of the disease and the success of therapy.
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Image: Doctor on a computer display examines RNA-sequences; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Lev Dolgachov

New technique improves single cell RNA sequencing

26/11/2018

In the era of personalized medicine, scientists are using new genetic and genomic insights to help them determine the best treatment for a given patient. In the case of cancer, the first step toward these treatments is an investigation into how tumor cells behave in an effort to figure out the best drugs to use to attack them.
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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: 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: In a movement laboratory, a man is wearing sensors on his legs and armst, while walking. During this he is being recorded and observed; Copyright: DAS BILD für ZHAW Gesundheit

"XoSoft" Project – Wearable Intelligent Exoskeleton

01/06/2017

After a stroke or as a result of aging, there are many situations when people are impaired in their walking ability and rely on a personal assistant or auxiliary aids and services. The XoSoft Project offers a solution: a soft exoskeleton that can be worn like a pair of leggings and stiffens or softens, depending on the situation.
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