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Medical

Bypassing spinal cord lets paralyzed man control own hand

Using a specialized sleeve, his own mind and a brain-implant smaller than a pea, a man paralyzed from the neck down has regained the ability to handle a variety of everyday objects. The researchers say the success of the technology, which bypasses the injured spinal cord, offers "realistic hope" to others with similar disabilities, with the team planning to expand the trial to include new patients in the coming months.Read More

Creation of insulin-releasing cells in a dish offers hope of diabetes therapy

A molecular switch could hold the key to a personalized cell replacement therapy for diabetes. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are characterized by an inability to produce (or process) insulin, which is required to regulate blood sugar levels. This has been linked to malfunctioning or failing beta cells in the pancreas, but so far scientists have struggled to produce effective replacement cells in the lab. Now a team at Salk Institute believes the problem has been solved.Read More

Looking to love handles to treat diabetes

If a patient has Type 1 diabetes, then their ability to produce insulin is inhibited, usually by a loss of beta cells in the pancreas. Researchers have been looking at ways to replace the lost population of cells, but the process is difficult, often requiring the patient's immune system to be suppressed in order to be effective. Now, researchers at ETH Zurich have made a big breakthrough, successfully creating functional beta cells using stem cells extracted from the fatty tissue of a 50 year-old patient.Read More

Dual-sided pill stays put to release medication

A novel pill, developed by researchers at MIT, shows promise in allowing for effective long-term delivery of drugs, with the ability to stick to the gastrointestinal tract for lengthy periods time. The pill makes use of a two-face build, with one side designed to hold it in place, while the other repels liquid and food that could otherwise dislodge it.Read More

Sweat sensor uses battery-free, plant-like pump

A sensor under development by researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands takes inspiration from how plants draw water out of the earth. Designed to take medically useful readings from patient sweat, the sensor doesn't require any form of external power.Read More

Humans could get salamander-like tissue regeneration abilities in "a few years"

In what could prove to be a game changer in stem cell therapy, a team led by scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have discovered a way to reprogram bone and fat cells to become stem cells that can regenerate multiple tissue types. The technique has already proved successful in mice and could be just a few years away from being safely available for regenerating any damaged tissue in humans.Read More

DNA sequence behind muscle regeneration begins to unravel

Animals that regrow body parts like zebrafish and newts certainly function very differently to the way humans do, but we might one day be able to borrow some of these traits. A closer look at the mechanism driving these remarkable regenerative abilities has suggested that they could be recreated in mice, with the scientists involved hopeful it could ultimately improve our capacity to regrow damaged body parts.Read More

Transplanted pig heart kept ticking for over two years

Researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, Maryland, have managed to keep a pig heart beating for 945 days inside the body of a live baboon. This record-breaking outcome leaves scientists hopeful for the potential for xenotransplantation, the transplantation of animal organs or tissues into humans, to address worldwide organ shortages.Read More

Portable system provides on-demand drug production

Manufacturing drugs is a complex process, often involving multiple facilities and taking weeks or months to arrive at the finished article. The lack of flexibility in the system led MIT researchers to develop a compact, all-in-one solution to allow for streamlined, speedy drug production. It can be adjusted to produce different medications, and isn't designed to replace existing manufacturing plants, but rather to complement them by providing, for example, an emergency backup solution should a facility have to be shut down.Read More

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