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Medical

Exposé of flu's cell hijacking tactics could stop viruses taking hold

It's not easy for bird flu to migrate to humans, but once there it can have wreak considerable havoc, with consequences that include death. For the first time scientists have zeroed in on the very narrow pathway that allows the passage of this type A influenza virus from birds to mammals, a discovery they say could one day enable them to shut the gate on the flu virus altogether. Read More

Boosting brain molecule points to treatment for autism and other neurological disorders

Rett Syndrome is a rare but severe neurological disorder that causes autism-like behavior in young females. It has long been known that behind the condition is a genetic mutation, and researchers are now claiming to have found an absent molecule that facilitates regular nerve cell function and development in healthy brains. Armed with a drug that can repair this missing link, the scientists are hopeful their work can lead to effective treatments for not only Rett Syndrome, but various forms of autism-spectrum disorders as well.Read More

New compound triggers immune response to range of RNA viruses, including Ebola and hep C

Though important advances have been made in treating RNA virus infections such as hepatitis C and influenza, a broad spectrum antiviral drug that throws a blanket over all of them, including more deadly variants like Ebola, has remained out of reach. Scientists are now reporting the discovery of a drug-like molecule that could be used to combat all RNA viruses, by triggering an innate immune response that suppresses and controls the infections.Read More

Study shows that environment and behavior contribute to the majority of cancers

Back in January, a Johns Hopkins University study was released claiming that two-thirds of adult cancers are down to random mutations, or more simply put – bad luck. Now, a team of researchers from Stony Brook University is refuting that claim, providing an alternative analysis that counters the argument, stating instead that external factors actually play a much bigger role.Read More

New hydrogel aids skin regeneration to improve wound healing

Healing chronic skin wounds can be difficult, particularly when they span large areas, or when healing is complicated by health problems such as a lack of mobility. A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has worked to improve the process, creating a more effective method of regeneration through use of a new material that creates a porous scaffold, allowing wounds to heal more effectively.Read More

Engineered fat cells slip through blood-brain barrier to illuminate early-stage tumors

Cancerous growths that arise from the supportive tissue of the brain, known as gliomas, account for around 30 percent of all brain tumors and carry an average survival rate of just 14 months. These aggressive tumors are difficult to detect through MRI, largely due to the the protective blood-brain barrier that stops contrast agents from entering and lighting them up. But a new type of engineered fat cell could make them more treatable, by penetrating the barrier and revealing their presence at a much earlier stage of development.Read More

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