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Vaccine-style treatment for rheumatoid arthritis retrains the immune system

By - June 4, 2015 2 Pictures

According to the American College of Rheumatology, more than one million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The disease gives rise to swelling and pain by causing the immune system to malfunction and attack healthy tissue. No cure is available, though aggressive and varied drug treatments can curb its effects. Now, success in an early clinical trial suggests that a new form of therapy could stop these symptoms taking hold by retraining the patient's immune system to ignore a peptide it normally identifies as a foreign foe.

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New study shows Peek eye test app works like a pro

Peek, the smartphone eye test app designed to improve eyecare in remote areas, has been found to be as accurate as traditional methods. According to a study published last week, tests with the app carried out between December 2013 and March 2014 produced levels of accuracy that were on a par with paper-based charts and expensive illuminated vision boxes found in clinics.

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3D-printed scaffolds may make for improved diabetes treatment

By - May 28, 2015 1 Picture

One way sufferers of type 1 diabetes may compensate for a lack of insulin is through an experimental procedure called pancreatic islet transplantation, a process that sees clusters of cells transplanted from the pancreas of a healthy donor. A side effect of this is the need for ongoing doses of immunosuppressant drugs to stop the body attacking the foreign cells. But a new approach that sees these clusters protected by a 3D-printed scaffold is showing promise as a delivery technique, potentially pointing to less painstaking ways to manage the condition.

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Herpes virus genetically engineered to destroy skin cancer cells

By - May 27, 2015 1 Picture

A new study has pointed to a chink in the armor of skin cancer cells, suggesting that they can be overpowered by the body's own system with help from a pioneering approach known as viral therapy. A clinical trial has demonstrated that a genetically engineered herpes virus can not only plant itself in the cancer cells and kill them off, but activate the body's own immune system to stave off harmful tumors.

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Scientists turn blood into nerve cells in pursuit of better pain relief

By - May 26, 2015 1 Picture

As it stands, there's not a whole lot we know about pain. Where a tissue or blood sample can be drawn and studied, our nervous system comprising different kinds of cells running signals through complex piping around the body presents a difficult task for scientific research. But a new study details a technique that turns blood cells into different nerve cells, promising to improve our understanding of why things itch or burn. By extension, it is hoped that it could lead to new forms of pain relief that do away with unwanted side effects such as sleepiness or loss of concentration.

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Newly identified protein may hold key to preventing diabetes-induced blindness

By - May 25, 2015 1 Picture

Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of nasty effects diabetes can have on the human body. The disease sees the development of leaky blood vessels in the eye that over time lead to permanent loss of vision. Though it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American adults, its progress can be slowed by certain drugs or laser treatment. But research has now uncovered a new protein found to drive the condition, raising the possibility of preventing it altogether.

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— Medical

FDA ticks off first drug to treat radiation sickness after nuclear disasters

By - May 25, 2015 1 Picture

A drug long-used to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy has won US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in treating the nasty effects of exposure to radiation following a nuclear disaster. Known commercially as Neupogen, the drug has been shown to work by shielding the body's white blood cells to heighten a patient's chances of survival.

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— Medical

MIT scientists discover size of implant can affect immune system rejection

By - May 19, 2015 1 Picture

A team of researchers from MIT has discovered that creating body implants at a certain size maximizes the amount of time they can spend operational in the body before being neutralized by the immune system. In the future, the research could lead to longer term treatment avenues for diseases that could do away with the need for painful and repeated injections.

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