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Blood test for Alzheimer’s shows 100 percent accuracy in early trials

Alzheimer's can be quite a stealthy foe, at times causing damage in a sufferer long before any symptoms start to show. Naturally, this makes it tricky to detect early on, which is problematic because treatment options only narrow as the disease progresses. But researchers may have now uncovered what could become a hugely valuable diagnostics tool, developing a blood test capable of picking up early stage Alzheimer's with "unparalleled accuracy."Read More

Magnetic beads effectively "patch" bowel leakage

Whether you call the condition fecal incontinence or accidental bowel leakage, it still boils down to the same thing – the unintentional loss of stool, due to a damaged or weakened anal sphincter muscle. While non-invasive approaches such as physical therapy can work, sometimes the only course of action is to perform a colostomy. That said, Torax Medical has developed another option, in the form of its FENIX Continence Restoration System. The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida recently became the first US clinic to implant the device.Read More

New antimicrobial material joins fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Last month, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance warned of a possible future in which emerging superbugs render current antibiotics ineffective, and called for more research into developing new drugs to help prevent that scenario. Thankfully, we've seen some promising developments in recent years and now scientists in Singapore have contributed to the effort with the creation of a new material that not only kills microbes quickly, but prevents antibiotic-resistant bacteria from growing in their place.Read More

SkinGun shoots burn victims with their own stem cells

Guns are often thought about for their destructive nature, but a new kind of gun is set to help heal rather than harm. Called the SkinGun, the device applies stem cells to the site of a burn in a novel way, helping increase both treatment and recovery time over standard methods. New tests show that it delivered a healing spray with 200 times more coverage than traditional methods.Read More

No more heart-in-a-backpack for Michigan man

In January 2015, then-24-year-old Stan Larkin left The University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center with an artificial heart in his chest and the pump that drove it on his back in a bag. Larkin was the first person to receive the completely artificial heart in Michigan and for a year, it kept him alive by pushing blood through his circulatory system. Now, Larkin has traded his backpack in for a real heart, having gotten a transplant last month.Read More

​Virus "delivery trucks" flip disease-causing cells into healthy ones

It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi movie: Scientists create a weapon that neutralizes a bad invading entity and maybe even turns it into a force for good. That's a bit like what researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have just done. Only in this case, the invaders are disease-causing liver cells and the "weapon" involves a bit more than special effects.Read More

Stem cell treatment reawakens limbs in wheelchair-bound stroke victim

While new tools have emerged to help rehabilitation along, the road back to a healthy life after suffering a stroke can be a long and challenging one. In research that could one day significantly cut recovery times for victims of these debilitating brain injuries, scientists have injected modified stem cells into the brains of patients and brought about substantial improvements to motor function, with one even regaining control of her limbs and leaving her wheelchair behind. Read More

Trained immune cells raise prospect of universal cancer vaccine

Engineering immune cells to attack cancer is a form of treatment that is showing great promise, but it is complex because it involves extracting and modifying T cells before injecting them back into the body. Scientists have now demonstrated a way to not just arm immune cells while still inside the body, but equip them with the ability to fight any kind of cancer, providing an early proof-of-concept for a cheap, universal vaccine for the deadly disease.Read More

Wearables made to warn of asthma attacks

People with serious asthma already know to avoid certain activities or situations, but even then, attacks can still occur. That's why scientists at North Carolina State University are developing a wearable early warning system known as the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET). Consisting mainly of a wristband and chest patch, the technology monitors patients' bodies and their environment, sending an alert when an attack may be imminent.Read More

3D hydrogel biochips offer better diagnosis of early-stage bowel cancer

Early detection is paramount to survival from bowel cancer, but doing so is difficult because most symptoms don't present until the cancer matures. Worse, existing diagnostic tests tend to be invasive and traumatic. Russian scientists hope to change this with a new biochip technology that can gather better, more precise data for diagnostic analysis. The scientists report that their new method far outstrips traditional methods of diagnosing bowel cancer. Read More

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