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Insulin-producing mini stomachs promise patient-specific diabetes treatment

Patients with Type 1 diabetes suffer from an absence of pancreatic cells called beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. Researchers have been trying to tackle the deficiency for decades, but now it seems that significant progress may have been made – a team of scientists lead by researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have discovered that it might be possible to engineer tissue from the lower stomach to address patients' insulin needs.Read More

Preconditioned cells may help heal major bone fractures

While the body can fix small bone breaks with relative ease, more significant injuries such as large bone defects or fractures are a little more tricky, often requiring some extra help to mend. Now, scientists from KU Leuven in Germany are improving the effectiveness of treatments to deal with those more serious situations, preconditioning cells before implantation, allowing them to better deal with the often inhospitable environments at wound sites.Read More

Cancer-causing gene could help predict treatment effectiveness

Head and neck cancer is currently the sixth most common cancer on the planet, but up until now no biomarkers have been discovered to predict the response of tumors to treatment. A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, hopes to change that fact, looking to the detection of the cancer-causing gene DEK in patient plasma.Read More

3D-printed ear, bone and muscle structures come to life after implantation in mice

3D printed tissues and organs have shown real potential in addressing shortages of available donor tissue for people in need of transplants, but having them take root and survive after implantation is another matter altogether. Researchers have now taken a sizeable stride towards this future, working with a newly developed 3D printer to produce human-scale muscle structures that matured into functional tissue after being implanted into animals. Read More

Graphene successfully interfaced with neurons in the brain

Scientists have long been on a quest to find a way to implant electrodes that interface with neurons into the human brain. If successful, the idea could have huge implications for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. Last month, a team of researchers from Italy and the UK made a huge step forward by showing that the world's favorite wonder-material, graphene, can successfully interface with neurons.Read More

Brazil starts screening transfusion blood for Zika virus

As the mosquito-borne Zira virus monopolizes the attention of Brazil's government and media, adding to the burden of the dengue epidemic, researchers are offering a method to blood banks that wish to screen transfusion blood for pregnant women and in cases of intrauterine transfusion. There is a suspicion that Zika could cause foeatuses to develop microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with small heads and brains.Read More

Odoreader accurately detects prostate cancer from urine

Standard prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests for prostate cancer are far from ideal, sometimes resulting in unnecessary biopsies, and even failing to detect some cancers altogether. With the goal of developing a more capable alternative, a team of researchers has turned to a machine it calls the Odoreader, which is designed to analyze urine samples to provide a non-invasive prostate cancer test.Read More

Spinning up artificial capillaries with a cotton candy machine

From growing a full thymus gland inside a mouse, to creating a slice of artificial liver tissue, to using ink jet printing technology to create a human ear, researchers are steadily moving us toward the day when ordering up a new organ could be as commonplace as ordering an MRI is today. One of the hurdles in creating lab-grown organs, though, is that the cells in such a structure need a way to receive nutrients. Researchers at Vanderbilt University (VU) may have just leaped that hurdle using a most unexpected tool – a cotton candy machine.Read More

Machine-learning robot could streamline drug development

Testing out newly developed drugs is an extremely time-consuming process, and it can be difficult to get right. Now, a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is working to streamline the task, creating a robotically driven experimentation system that's able to reduce the number of tests that have to be carried out by as much as 70 percent.Read More

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