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Medical

Scientists from Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine have discovered a potential treatment that may steer cancer cells toward their own destruction. The study focused on a particular gene that was found to influence levels of a tumor-fighting protein called 53BP1, the heightened presence of which makes cancer cells more vulnerable to existing forms of treatment. Read More
Signs of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) can start to appear in boys as young as six, leading to deterioration of the heart muscles and ultimately death. Pharmaceuticals aimed at controlling high blood pressure have been used to treat the one in 3,500 young males suffering from the condition, but a new study suggests that a novel combination of these drugs could slow the decline in heart function earlier on, and in promising new ways. Read More
Coronary heart disease (CHD) kills more than 385,000 people in the United States each year, and more than half of those who die suddenly have no previous symptoms. A new blood test that could reduce CHD-related illness and mortality by predicting the risk of future heart disease has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 screens for cardiovascular inflammation which can lead to a build up of rupture-prone plaque and result in a heart attack or stroke. Read More
Brain injuries are complicated things and even now not fully understood. Researchers at the NYU Langone Medical Center have completed a study that suggests eye tracking technology may be able to help locate and determine the extent of brain injuries as well as monitor recovery. The key to this method is its simplicity – the required eye tracking analysis can be achieved while patients watch music videos for a few minutes. Read More
Administering the correct dosages to fight cancerous tumors can be a difficult balancing act. Too much of the radioactive drugs can cause harm to healthy tissue, but not enough will see the cancer cells survive and continue to spread. But a new technique developed at The Institute of Cancer Research in London may afford doctors an unprecedented level of accuracy in performing radiotherapy, using 3D-printed replicas of a patient’s organs and tumors to better determine how much radiation a tumor has received. Read More
Sufferers of type 1 diabetes regularly need to inject themselves with insulin in order to regulate levels of sugar in their blood, a process that is invasive and requires particular care. But a new study conducted at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute suggests that more comfortable treatment methods may not be all that far away, with scientists remotely manipulating insulin production in mice using electromagnetic waves. Read More
A new experimental, non-invasive medical technique is promising to precisely deliver drug-carrying metal nanorods anywhere inside the body and image tissue with cellular resolution. If perfected, the approach could be used to treat inoperable deep-tissue tumors, brain trauma, and vascular or degenerative diseases. Read More
Early diagnosis of breast cancer could one day be possible via a simple blood test that detects changes in zinc in the body. Scientists have taken techniques normally used for studying climate change and planetary formation and shown that changes in the isotopic composition of zinc, which is detectable in breast tissue, may help identify a "biomarker" (a measurable indicator) of early breast cancer. Read More
Though printing items like chocolate and pizza might be satisfying enough for some, 3D printing still holds a lot of unfulfilled potential. Talk abounds of disrupting manufacturing, changing the face of construction and even building metal components in space. While it is hard not to get a little bit excited by these potentially world-changing advances, there is one domain where 3D printing is already having a real-life impact. Its capacity to produce customized implants and medical devices tailored specifically to a patient's anatomy has seen it open up all kinds of possibilities in the field of medicine, with the year 2014 having turned up one world-first surgery after another. Let's cast our eye over some of the significant, life-changing procedures to emerge in the past year made possible by 3D printing technology. Read More
In 2012, we covered work led by Professor Richard DiMarchi that showed linking two hormones into a single molecule held promise as a treatment for obesity. DiMarchi followed this up last year by combining the properties of two endocrine hormones to provide an effective treatment for both obesity and adult-onset diabetes. Continuing in this vein, DiMarchi has now co-led a study whereby obesity and diabetes were effectively cured in lab animals by adding a third hormone to the molecular mix. Read More
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