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Medical

Secret behind success of breakaway cancer cells uncovered

A team of researchers, led by scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, has made a breakthrough in our understanding of how cancer cells are able to spread around the body and form deadly new tumors. The team found that two proteins work together, exhibiting an unusual behavior that helps keep the cells alive.Read More

3D printing heart parts at 30,000 feet

If you live anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico, earlier this month, while you were sipping your coffee or surfing the web, a plane was zooming 30,000 feet overhead, simulating weightlessness while a 3D bioprinter spit out heart and vascular structures created with human stem cells. The project was a joint effort between several companies experimenting with bioprinting in zero gravity environments – an initiative that could one day lead to better and more plentiful human organs.Read More

First Zika vaccine to enter human trials

The World Health Organization declared it a global public health emergency in February, and it now looks like a heightened response to the Zika virus is starting to bear fruit. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved the first human trials of an experimental Zika virus vaccine, with the first subjects set to receive doses in the coming weeks.Read More

A touch of electricity may help diabetic wounds heal

When the body sustains a wound, electrical signals around the site of the injury help cells migrate there as part of the healing process. While this works well in healthy individuals, new research reveals that when such wounds happen to diabetics, the electrical fields around them are significantly weaker, leading to the slow-healing process common to people with the condition. By manipulating the electricity around wounds, the researchers feel that they might be able to speed the healing process and help diabetics thrive.Read More

Lab-grown living bone fuses fast with pig jaw

Repairing damaged or defective bone structures can be quite difficult, painful, and expensive for patients requiring the care. While advances have been made in replacing sections of bone and stimulating natural healing, researchers from Columbia University have developed a bone-growing technique that precisely replicates original structures in the head and face.Read More

Gamma camera sees skin, and what lies beneath

A new, portable imaging system could have a big impact on doctors' abilities to study patient tissue, both on a surface level, and further down. The technology combines optical and gamma imaging, and has already been successfully tested in a clinical pilot study.Read More

NASA's $500k competition to accelerate development of lab-made human tissue

As humankind gears up for a concerted push toward Mars, there are a whole of lot of problems we'll need to get our heads around first. Perhaps most important is how the human body can be kept in working order during extended periods in space – something astronaut Scott Kelly is hoping to shed some light on after spending a whole year aboard the International Space Station. To aid in this search for ways to combat the adverse physiological effects of deep space exploration, NASA is now running a US$500,000 competition aimed at developing functional lab-grown human tissue.Read More

Low-cost graphene-based biosensor chip detects DNA mutations in real time

One of the most common indicators of many diseases and cancer in blood is the presence of a genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Unfortunately, to date such tests for SNPs are slow, cumbersome and – above all – expensive. Now a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have developed a new graphene-based sensor that promises to deliver test results easily, in real time, and inexpensively. The researchers believe this could be a breakthrough in the early detection and screening for many life-threatening illnesses.Read More

Rebooting the immune system fights off early MS

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" has become a bit of a joke when dealing with problems with electronic equipment, but more often than not it does work. Now, Canadian doctors and researchers have found that rebooting the immune system essentially cures early, aggressive MS. In clinical trials, the treatment was shown to suppress brain inflammation, prevent relapses, halt disease progression and even reverse some symptoms like vision loss and muscle weakness.Read More

Pacemaker for the tongue helps apnea patients breathe normally

For years, one of the primary ways to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea was through the use of a device known as a continuous positive airway pressure – or CPAP – machine, which forces air through the nasal passages to interrupt dangerous pauses in breathing while sleeping. For people can't tolerate the machine, a new chest implant that sends electrical pulses to a nerve in the tongue promises healthier rest, as reported in a new University of Pennsylvania (U Penn) study.Read More

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