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Medical

Our tissue's inability to repair itself as we grow older is thought to correlate with the decline in the presence of stem cells. So it follows that if stem cell function can be preserved beyond the norm, it could have implications for the aging process and adverse effects of tissue degeneration, such as cancer. Scientists from the University of Toronto have followed this line of thinking through research on the mammary glands of genetically modified mice, finding that development of the tissue can be manipulated to avoid the effects of aging. Read More
In the not-too-distant future, burn victims may be able to recover in the half the time than is possible today. If so, it will be thanks to a biodegradable dressing that applies cultured skin cells directly to the wound site. Read More
A team of researchers from the University of Houston (UH) has developed an algorithm that enabled a man whose right hand had been amputated to grasp objects using a bionic hand controlled by his thoughts. While we've seen similar accomplishments in recent years, the new technique is non-invasive, capturing brain activity via a scalp EEG. Read More
While non-invasive imaging technologies, such as mammograms or CT scans, are capable of detecting tumors, identifying whether they are malignant or benign usually involves getting out the scalpel and conducting a biopsy. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to noninvasively detect cancerous cells, offering the potential of supplementing biopsies or maybe one day replacing them altogether. Read More
In the near future, it's entirely possible that babies with heart defects will be born with complete pacemakers already installed. That's because scientists at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the University of Southern California have developed the world's first fully-implantable pacemaker for fetuses. Read More
Typically, tests for diseases must be done one disease at a time, and can take days to be processed through a lab. A new device developed in an EU project, however, can test for several diseases at the same time and provide results within an hour. The LabDisk is designed for use in Africa. Read More
An experimental nanoparticle therapy cuts in half the time wounds take to heal compared to natural healing. The therapy has already been tested successfully in mice and will soon be tried on pigs, whose skin is similar to that of humans. If it reaches clinical use in humans, this sort of nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed healing of surgical incisions, chronic skin ulcers, and everyday cuts and burns and other wounds. Read More
Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials. Read More
The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective semipermeable barrier running inside almost all vessels in the brain that lets through water, some gases and a few other select molecules, while preventing potentially toxic elements in the blood from entering the brain. Researchers from the University of Montreal, Polytechnique Montréal, and CHU Sainte-Justine say that currently 98 percent of therapeutic molecules are also blocked by the barrier, but they have developed a technique using magnetic nanoparticles that opens the door for such molecules, thereby also opening the door to new treatments for brain diseases. Read More
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have grown functional "mini-lungs" using stems cells derived from the skin cells of patients with a debilitating lung disease. Not only can the development help them in coming up with effective treatments for specific lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, but the process has the potential to be scaled up to screen thousands of new compounds to identify potential new drugs. Read More
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