Background Reports 2021 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Overweight man in casual wear measuring his waist circumference; Copyright: mstandret


Why are overweight people more susceptible to illness?


If you gain weight, the fat cells in the body get bigger. So in the extremely obese, those fat cells are greatly enlarged. Now, researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) were able to show how enlarged fat cells can cause metabolic diseases. They also developed non-invasive examination methods to determine the size of human fat cells.
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Image: A woman in the lab, Tina Bürki from Empa's Particles-Biology Interactions lab in St. Gallen, inspects a set of biochips; Copyright: Empa


Empa's Zukunftsfonds – Funding ambitious research: A chip to replace animal testing


New drugs made from nanoparticles that can easily penetrate any interface within our bodies are a great hope in medicine. For such hopefuls to reach the market, their safety must be ensured. In this context, it must also be clarified what happens if a substance manages to penetrate the natural barrier between baby and mother, the placenta, in the body of pregnant women.
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Bild: Close-up coatings of different biopolymers applied to demonstrators of molybdenum pacing leads; Copyright: Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

Reduced risk after cardiac surgery thanks to resorbable pacing leads


A team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden is developing resorbable pacing leads that can significantly reduce risk factors after cardiac surgery.
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Image: 3D illustration of a DNA molecule on a blue background; Copyright: mahirkart


Rare cancers: early detection of hereditary cancer risk


Hereditary genetic mutations play an important role in oncogenesis, but they usually remain undetected.
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Image: Close-up of a hand in a blue laboratory glove putting a sample of blood under a microscope; Copyright: prostooleh


New initiative to INDICATE cancer risks


INDICATE, an international collaborative initiative to unravel the role of the Human Leukocyte Antigen type as risk modifier in individuals with a genetic cancer predisposition.
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Image: Ultrasound examination of 10 month old twin boys; Copyright: mvaligursky


Stillbirth prevention: Start of project under leadership of University Hospital Tübingen


Stillbirth rates are high all over the world. Every 16 seconds, a baby is stillborn after the 28th week of pregnancy. Wellcome Leap’s In Utero program aims to reduce this number by half with the help of advanced imaging methods.
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Bild: Close up of open heart bypass surgery in operating room; Copyright: hotovs


Solution to avoid postoperative bleeding in heart surgery


Intending to find molecular signatures that could inform the prognosis, researchers from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) studied blood samples from 33 patients undergoing heart valve replacement surgery in the cardiothoracic surgery department of the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon.
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Image: Gynecologist shows picture with uterus to young patient and explains features; Copyright: RossHelen


Easy-to-use-tool predicts risk of complications from hysterectomy


Researchers have developed easy-to-use online prediction tools that provide personalized risk estimates for patients undergoing hysterectomy for benign disease.
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Image: A woman in a blue tunic, Emelie Ljunggren, smiles at the camera; Copyright: Emelie Ljunggren

Emelie Ljunggren

Prostate: High-volume surgeons no better at reducing postoperative incontinence


In men who have had prostate cancer surgery, urinary incontinence is a common side effect. Its frequency varies from one surgeon to the next. In a major University of Gothenburg study, the number of surgeries performed by the urology surgeon made no difference to the patients’ incontinence risk. This surprised researchers.
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Image: Cyclist; Copyright:

Performance diagnostics: success in sports – testing the limits of performance


Stationary or mobile - competitive athletes rely on regular health assessments. They must deliver peak performance and be physically fit during competitions. But when do they reach their physical limits? Are there any devices that provide information, no matter where the test subject is located?
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Image: View of laptop screen with message that data was encrypted; Copyright: Popov

Security first – hospitals prime targets of cyberattacks


Safety should be a top priority when it comes to safeguarding human lives. That's why hospitals must protect their computer networks and data against unauthorized access. However, thanks to the proliferation of connected devices in hospitals, they are at high risk of suffering devastating cyberattacks. There is also a lack of cybersecurity awareness.
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Picture: Woman sleeping sideways in bed with a breathing mask; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Comprehensive Treatment: It’s All About Breathing


Coughing, airway obstruction, difficulty breathing: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive and currently incurable lung diseases. The innovative solutions of Philips Respironics help patients to manage each stage of the disease and their medication intake, train the respiratory system and provide respiratory support.
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Image: Cells in a Petri dish; Copyright: / devserenco

Organ-on-a-chip - the mini organs of the future?


So far in vitro methods and animal experiments have been used to determine the causes of diseases, research therapeutic approaches and predict the effect of drugs. Organ-on-a-chip models now offer a more accurate and ethically justifiable alternative. Find out more about the models, their advantages and future developments in our Topic of the Month.
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Image: Woman with diabetes and a sensor; Copyright: / Click and Photo

Blood glucose monitoring of tomorrow - modern diabetes therapies


There are 425 million people with diabetes in the world. Heart problems, kidney failure or blindness - these can all be consequences of the metabolic disease. Diabetes patients now have the possibility of being treated digitally.
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