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Medical

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Mouth guard could continuously monitor diabetes, and more

We've already heard about an electronics-packing mouthguard that can be used to detect serious impacts to the head. Now, scientists at the University of California, San Diego have developed one that could provide continuous readings of users' health markers including lactate, cortisol and uric acid. It may be used to monitor the well-being of people such as diabetics, to track the performance of athletes, or to detect stress in soldiers.

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Robotic needle can be steered through tissue

A robot-assisted system developed at the University of Twente promises to make medical procedures that use needles more precise. The system allows flexible needles to be steered in real time to their target, which negates issues with tissue and organs deforming from the contact pressure or from any unforeseen obstacles that lie between the needle and its target.

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Vomiting machine projects better understanding of how stomach bugs spread

Norovirus is a nasty bug that brings about inflammation in the stomach and intestines leading to pain, nausea, diarrhea and sometimes even death. It affects around 20 million people per year in the US, but despite its rampant nature, questions remain over how exactly it is transmitted. To shed further light on how one of the world's most common pathogens spreads between humans, scientists have built a vomiting machine to study its behaviour when projected into the air.

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Mice brainpower boosted with alteration of a single gene

"Ignorance is bliss," so the old saying goes, but who wouldn't give their brainpower a boost if they had the chance? By altering a single gene to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase (PDE4B), researchers have given mice the opportunity to see what an increase in intelligence is like. While many people would welcome such a treatment, the scientists say their research could lead to new treatments for those with cognitive disorders and age-related cognitive decline.

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New material helps diabetic wounds heal faster

Because they often have weakened immune systems and/or blood flow restrictions, diabetics run a heightened risk of serious infection from even the smallest of open wounds. That's why a team of scientists from Egypt's Alexandria University have developed a means of getting those wounds to heal faster – silver-impregnated dressings.

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New blood clot-busting nanocapsule promises immediate care for heart attacks

When blood clots form in the aftermath of a heart attack or stroke, medications can be deployed to break them apart, but delivery is tricky. Getting the medicine to the clot takes some guesswork and there's no guarantee it will arrive in the right dosage, with complications like hemorrhaging a real possibility. A team of Australian scientists has developed a new approach that sees the drugs carried safely inside a nanocapsule, opening up the treatment to more patients and lessening the chance of side effects.

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Three-protein biomarker raises possibility of a urine test for pancreatic cancer

With a lack of clear symptoms even when the disease is well progressed, more than 80 percent of pancreatic cancer diagnoses come after the cancer has already spread. This has led some researchers to look beyond blood to urine testing, which is a less complex fluid. Among those is a team at the Queen Mary University of London, which has uncovered a three-protein biomarker in the urine of pancreatic cancer sufferers, suggesting a less invasive, early stage test may be on the way.

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