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One way sufferers of type 1 diabetes may compensate for a lack of insulin is through an experimental procedure called pancreatic islet transplantation, a process that sees clusters of cells transplanted from the pancreas of a healthy donor. A side effect of this is the need for ongoing doses of immunosuppressant drugs to stop the body attacking the foreign cells. But a new approach that sees these clusters protected by a 3D-printed scaffold is showing promise as a delivery technique, potentially pointing to less painstaking ways to manage the condition.

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A new study has pointed to a chink in the armor of skin cancer cells, suggesting that they can be overpowered by the body's own system with help from a pioneering approach known as viral therapy. A clinical trial has demonstrated that a genetically engineered herpes virus can not only plant itself in the cancer cells and kill them off, but activate the body's own immune system to stave off harmful tumors.

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As it stands, there's not a whole lot we know about pain. Where a tissue or blood sample can be drawn and studied, our nervous system comprising different kinds of cells running signals through complex piping around the body presents a difficult task for scientific research. But a new study details a technique that turns blood cells into different nerve cells, promising to improve our understanding of why things itch or burn. By extension, it is hoped that it could lead to new forms of pain relief that do away with unwanted side effects such as sleepiness or loss of concentration.

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Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of nasty effects diabetes can have on the human body. The disease sees the development of leaky blood vessels in the eye that over time lead to permanent loss of vision. Though it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American adults, its progress can be slowed by certain drugs or laser treatment. But research has now uncovered a new protein found to drive the condition, raising the possibility of preventing it altogether.

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A drug long-used to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy has won US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in treating the nasty effects of exposure to radiation following a nuclear disaster. Known commercially as Neupogen, the drug has been shown to work by shielding the body's white blood cells to heighten a patient's chances of survival.

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A team of researchers from MIT has discovered that creating body implants at a certain size maximizes the amount of time they can spend operational in the body before being neutralized by the immune system. In the future, the research could lead to longer term treatment avenues for diseases that could do away with the need for painful and repeated injections.

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A team of MIT researchers has discovered a new target for drug treatments for prevalent diseases such as malaria. The findings focus on a membrane between the parasite and its host cell, with scientists successfully identifying a family of proteins that, when targeted, could cut off nutrients to the parasite.

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As part of its ongoing effort to eschew animal testing of its products, L'Oréal has teamed up with bioprinting company Organovo to develop 3D-printed skin tissue for that very purpose.

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A study of skin wound healing in 40 (human) volunteers has found that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up the healing process. The researchers hope to now develop and test dressings and devices that could be used in treatment of human or veterinary surgical wounds, sports injuries, and other serious skin trauma.

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Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Institute Ramón y Cajal for Health Research (IRYCIS) have created a new device that significantly cuts down the time required to perform a skin biopsy. It doesn't require any specialized skills to use, and could open the door to faster skin cancer diagnoses.

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