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

COVID-19 and beyond - Understanding infectious diseases

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News from the editors of MEDICA-tradefair.com

An artificial cell on a chip
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. This "cell on a chip" is useful not only for studying processes in cells, but also for the development of new synthetic pathways for chemical applications or for biological active substances in medicine.
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3D printing the first biomimetic tongue surface
Scientists have created synthetic soft surfaces with tongue-like textures for the first time using 3D printing, opening new possibilities for testing oral processing properties of food, nutritional technologies, pharmaceutics and dry mouth therapies.
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ALS early diagnosis thanks to an experimental test
A test to diagnose two very serious diseases such as ALS and FTD when the pathologies have not yet appeared, thereby providing doctors and patients with essential information tools to tackle them early and develop new treatments. A team of researchers at SISSA in association with different clinical and Italian research institutes have made a first promising step in this direction.
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A membrane-attached protein protects bacteria from stress
Stress is present everywhere, even bacteria and plant cells have to cope with it. They express various specific stress proteins, but how exactly this line of defense works is often not clear. A group of scientists headed by Professor Dirk Schneider of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has now discovered a protective mechanism in cyanobacteria as well as in chloroplasts of plant cells.
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An alternative to animal experiments
Researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have cultured so-called intestinal organoids from human intestinal tissue, which is a common byproduct when performing bowel surgery. These small “miniature intestines” can be used for molecular biological examinations and allow for a direct application of research results to humans, thereby making animal experiments redundant.
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Blood test could identify COVID-19 patients at risk of hyperinflammation
A new study jointly led by Professor Tom Wilkinson and Dr Tristan Clark of the University of Southampton, has shown a blood test for five cytokines could help predict those at risk of life-threating overstimulation of immune defenses by COVID-19, and potentially tailor their treatment to tackle this.
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Fighting corona with machine learning
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is starting five new research projects that focus on the coronavirus and the search for new active ingredients. For example, the use of algorithms could ensure a more precise classification of the illness in the future.
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Funding to advance device for detecting COVID-19, cancer, contaminants
In Judith Su's Little Sensor Lab, researchers are working to sense tiny amounts - down to a single molecule - of everything from doping agents to biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Lyme disease and, yes, even COVID-19.
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Army researchers collaborate on universal antibody test for COVID-19
Researchers with the U.S. Army Futures Command are part of a team that tested alternative ways to measure COVID-19 antibody levels, resulting in a process that is faster, easier and less expensive to use on a large scale. Their method holds promise for accurately identifying potential donors who have the best chance of helping infected patients through convalescent plasma therapy.
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COVID-19 rapid test has successful lab results
Rapid detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in about 30 seconds following the test, has had successful preliminary results in Mano Misra's lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. The test uses a nanotube-based electrochemical biosensor, a similar technology that Misra has used in the past for detecting tuberculosis and colorectal cancer as well as detection of biomarkers for food safety.
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Links between inflammation and Parkinson's disease
Around 15 percent of Parkinson's disease cases are related to a known genetic background, out of which mutations in the Parkin and PINK1 genes are among the most frequent ones. Thus, revealing cellular mechanisms which are altered by these mutations is crucial for the development of new therapeutic approaches.
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Reviving cells after a heart attack
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) - nanometer sized messengers that travel between cells to deliver cues and cargo - are promising tools for the next generation of therapies for everything from autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases to cancer and tissue injury.
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Blood test developed for brain tumors
Genetic mutations that promote the growth of the most common type of adult brain tumors can be accurately detected and monitored in blood samples using an enhanced form of liquid biopsy developed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
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Mini-organs grow faster with a squeeze
The closer people are physically to one another, the higher the chance for exchange, of things like ideas, information, and even infection. Now researchers at MIT and Boston Children's Hospital have found that, even in the microscopic environment within a single cell, physical crowding increases the chance for interactions, in a way that can significantly alter a cell's health and development.
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Virtual reality software allows scientists to 'walk' inside cells
Virtual reality software which allows researchers to 'walk' inside and analyse individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.
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Microneedles for therapeutic gene delivery
There is great potential in gene therapy for treating certain types of cancer and genetic defects, immunological diseases, wounds and infections. The therapies work by delivering genes into the patients' cells, which then produce therapeutic proteins to treat the affliction.
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COVID-19: dried blood spot sampling
Using dried blood spot samples (DBS) is an accurate alternative to venous blood in detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, a new study by immunology experts at the University of Birmingham has found.
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Sensor that rapidly detects COVID-19 infection
One feature of the COVID-19 virus that makes it so difficult to contain is that it can be easily spread to others by a person who has yet to show any signs of infection. The carrier of the virus might feel perfectly well and go about their daily business–taking the virus with them to work, to the home of a family member, or to public gatherings.
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New technique for ultrafast tumour therapy
For the first time, researchers at the Centre for Proton Therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland have tested ultrafast, high-dose irradiation with protons. This new, experimental FLASH technique could revolutionise radiation therapy for cancer and save patients many weeks of treatment.
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Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen. Now, scientists at the University of Würzburg have deciphered new details of this process.
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Wound-healing waves
Many cells in our bodies are on the move and somehow seem to "know" where to go. But how do they learn the location of their destination? This question is key to understanding phenomena such as the renewal of cells in our body, the migration of cancer cells, and especially how wounds heal.
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App analyzes coronavirus genome on a smartphone
A new mobile app has made it possible to analyse the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on a smartphone in less than half an hour.
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Secure nano-carrier delivers medications directly to cells
Medications often have unwanted side-effects. One reason is that they reach not only the unhealthy cells for which they are intended, but also reach and have an impact on healthy cells. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), working together with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, have developed a stable nano-carrier for medications.
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COVID-19: cheaper and faster testing
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a method for fast, cheap, yet accurate testing for COVID-19 infection. The method simplifies and frees the testing from expensive reaction steps, enabling upscaling of the diagnostics. This makes the method particularly attractive for places and situations with limited resources.
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No benefit for PORT in non-small-cell lung cancer
Post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) used in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following complete resection and after (neo) adjuvant chemotherapy shows no statistically significant difference in 3-year disease-free survival (DFS), according to data presented at ESMO 2020. These results give the oncology community a long-awaited answer.
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Smartlab – Robotics and automation in the laboratory

Disinfection methods of hospital drinking water - Fully automatic legionella prevention