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Medical

As our life spans increase, more services and care will be needed for the elderly, especially those who live independently. Technology clearly has an increasing role to play in improving home care and health monitoring. The latest developments from German research group Fraunhofer are a case in point. Read More
Mountain climbers facing extreme climatic conditions, patients affected by schizophrenia or neurological disorders and athletes facing severe exhaustion have all reported experiencing feeling an invisible and yet persistent "presence" that is often felt just outside their field of view. Researchers at EPFL have now recreated the same sensations in perfectly healthy subjects, inducing ghostly hallucinations in a matter of minutes. Read More
European research organization Fraunhofer is set to present a prototype device for quickly diagnosing prostate cancer at the COMPAMED trade fair in Düsseldorf next week. Its creators claim that it can reliably determine whether changed tissue in the prostate is benign or malignant within just a minute-and-a-half, thanks to an on-board visual analysis of a sample gathered via biopsy. Read More
A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has shown that verapamil, a drug widely used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and migraine headaches, is able to completely reverse diabetes in animal models. The UAB team will now move onto clinical trials to see if the same results are repeated in humans. Read More
A PhD candidate and six undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UCIC) have created a low-cost, programmable, 3D-printed prosthetic hand that may soon change the lives of amputees in Ecuador. The hand costs just US$270 to manufacture, making it a small fraction of the cost of a typical prosthetic of this type. Read More
There is not a lot known about how exactly tumor cells travel to different parts of the body to form secondary cancers, a process known as metastasis. But now engineers from John Hopkins University have created a device that is offering an entirely new perspective, allowing researchers an up-close look at the cells as they spread and potentially unearthing new methods of treatment. Read More
It’s no secret we are facing an antibiotic crisis. Overuse has caused widespread antibiotic resistance, leading the World Health Organisation to declare we are "headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill." Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a new non-antibiotic compound that treats severe bacterial infections and avoids the problem of bacterial resistance. Read More
Slowly but surely, 3D printing is working its way through the human anatomy, replacing infected jaws, cancerous vertebrae and deformed hips in a procession of world-first medical treatments. The latest body part to be ticked off the list is the heel, putting a 71-year-old cancer patient who was facing an amputation below the knee back on his feet. Read More
When someone has diabetes, foot injuries such as ulcers can take a long time to heal. Not only does this cause diabetics prolonged discomfort, but it can even lead to amputation. Help may be on the way, however, in the form of a drug that's delivered through a skin patch. Read More
A clinical trial of a permanent vaccine for hookworm has been completed in Brazil, giving hope for a permanent end to a problem that affects 600 million people worldwide. US-based Sabin Vaccine Institute, which has developed the vaccine has called hookworm "one of the most pervasive neglected tropical diseases (NTD) affecting the world’s poor." Read More