COVID-19 and beyond - Understanding infectious diseases -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

COVID-19 and beyond - Understanding infectious diseases

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3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity
Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity.
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Cancer cells become fluidized and squeeze through tissue
Working with colleagues from Germany and the US, researchers at Leipzig University have achieved a breakthrough in research into how cancer cells spread. In experiments, the team of biophysicists led by Professor Josef Alfons Käs, Steffen Grosser and Jürgen Lippoldt demonstrated for the first time how cells deform in order to move in dense tumor tissues and squeeze past neighboring cells.
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AI deciphers genetic instructions
With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) a German-American team of scientists deciphered some of the more elusive instructions encoded in DNA. Their neural network trained on high-resolution maps of protein-DNA interactions uncovers subtle DNA sequence patterns throughout the genome, thus providing a deeper understanding of how these sequences are organized to regulate genes.
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Mass spectrometry: novel gel electrophoresis technique for rapid biomarker diagnosis
Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful method for biomarker analysis because it enables highly sensitive and accurate measurement of target molecules in clinical samples. The application of MS to clinical diagnosis, such as neonatal metabolic screening, has been progressing with a focus on metabolite markers.
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Raman spectroscopy: European laboratories aim to create common standards
Is the tissue healthy or pathologically altered? Is the antibiotic effective against a certain bacterium or is the bacterium resistant to it? Raman spectroscopy can help to answer such questions quickly and precisely. However, one challenge for the use of the light-based analysis method in everyday clinical practice is that the results can be highly sensitive to the measurement conditions.
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Embryonic development in cell culture
To study early stages in embryonic development in the cell culture dish, scientists use so-called human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC). These are cells with have remarkable special properties that can be multiplied as they can indefinitely multiply and are capable of forming any functional cell type of the body.
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Start of first clinical trial on tissue engineered heart repair
For the first time, engineered heart muscle (EHM) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will be used to treat patients with heart failure. After regulatory approval, recruitment of the first patient for the first-in-class, first-in-patient BioVAT-HF early clinical trial has started in Göttingen, Germany.
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Bernese researchers create sophisticated lung-on-chip
A specialized laboratory of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, headed by Olivier Guenat has developed a new generation of in-vitro models called organs-on-chip for over 10 years, focusing on modeling the lung and its diseases.
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'Up-sizing' mini organs used in medical research
A team of engineers and scientists has developed a method of 'multiplying' organoids: miniature collections of cells that mimic the behavior of various organs and are promising tools for the study of human biology and disease.
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Take-at-home tests boost colorectal cancer screening for the underserved
Colorectal cancer screening rates jumped by more than 1,000 percent when researchers sent take-at-home tests to patients overdue for testing at a community health center that predominantly serves people of color.
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Platform identifies cancer mutations that may be responsive to drug therapies
A Cleveland Clinic-led team of researchers has developed a personalized genomic medicine platform that will help advance accelerate genomic medicine research and genome-informed drug discovery, according to new study results published in Genome Biology.
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New technology could upend DNA sequencing for certain mutations
Doctors are increasingly using genetic signatures to diagnose diseases and determine the best course of care, but using DNA sequencing and other techniques to detect genomic rearrangements remains costly or limited in capabilities.
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AI: individualized cancer therapy soon to be faster
The treatment of cancer with new, individualized cell therapies is usually very costly and lengthy. Before treatment can take place, patients often have to wait a long time for individualized therapeutics to be produced and they lose valuable time.
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New device enables guided biopsies in real time
A team from the Gamma and Neutron Spectroscopy Group of the Corpuscular Physics Institute (IFIC) has patented a new device for real-time guided biopsies, with direct application in any type of cancer that requires a biopsy and whose process must be carried out using ultrasound.
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Double antibody protects from SARS-CoV-2
The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB; Bellinzona, Switzerland), affiliated to the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) developed a second-generation 'double antibody' that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy.
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Fighting respiratory virus outbreaks through sensor-based rapid detection
Viral respiratory diseases are easily transmissible and can spread rapidly across the globe, causing significant damage. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic is a testament to this. In the past too, other viruses have caused massive respiratory disease outbreaks: for example, a subtype of the influenza virus, the type A H1N1 virus, was responsible for the Spanish flu and the Swine flu outbreaks.
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Cancer diagnosis using a urine test with artificial intelligence
Successful precision cancer diagnosis through an AI analysis of multiple factors of prostate cancer. Potential application of the precise diagnoses of other cancers by utilizing a urine test.
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Signaling Strength between nerve cells depends on size of connections
The neocortex is the part of the brain that humans use to process sensory impressions, store memories, give instructions to the muscles, and plan for the future. These computational processes are possible because each nerve cell is a highly complex miniature computer that communicates with around 10,000 other neurons. This communication happens via special connections called synapses.
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Blood group co-determines composition of the intestinal microbiome
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (CIBD) in particular is suspected to be closely linked to the composition and (im-)balance of the intestinal microbiome. However, the causal relationship between the microbiome and the development of disease and determining factors of the composition of the microbiome in the individual are still largely unexplained.
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New method heals skeletal injuries with synthetic bone
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues in Dresden, Germany, have developed a way of combining a bone substitute and drugs to regenerate bone and heal severe fractures in the thigh or shin bone.
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Cartilage matrix for cartilage regeneration
Just a few millimetres thick, articular cartilage plays a crucial role in our musculoskeletal system, since it is responsible for smooth (in the truest sense of the word) movement. However, the downside of its particular structure is that even minor injuries do not regenerate. Timely treatment of cartilage damage is therefore essential.
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Lasers and molecular tethers create platforms for tissue engineering
Imagine going to a surgeon to have a diseased or injured organ switched out for a fully functional, laboratory-grown replacement. This remains science fiction and not reality because researchers today struggle to organize cells into the complex 3D arrangements that our bodies can master on their own.
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Organoid Models: Illuminating Path to Cervical Cancers
Organoids are increasingly being used in biomedical research. These are organ-like structures created in the laboratory that are only a few millimetres in size. Organoids can be used to study life processes and the effect of drugs. Because they closely resemble real organs, they offer several advantages over other cell cultures.
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Test identifies COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease
One of the most vexing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is doctors' inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care.
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Detecting COVID-19 antibodies in 10-12 seconds
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University report findings on an advanced nanomaterial-based biosensing platform that detects, within seconds, antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to testing, the platform will help to quantify patient immunological response to the new vaccines with precision.
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Smartlab – Robotics and automation in the laboratory

Disinfection methods of hospital drinking water - Fully automatic legionella prevention