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Medical

Highly sensitive Sneezometer picks up early signs of asthma

Devices that measure lung capacity and fluctuations in airflow (called spirometers), are a common tool for picking up on symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions. But using one typically involves repeated deep breaths and the devices themselves aren't so portable, restricting where and when they can be used. Researchers have now 3D printed a spirometer that is not only more mobile, but is claimed to be much more sensitive than available devices with the ability to detect variations in airflow from a single sneeze. Read More

Growth of functional breast tissue spawns a new weapon in cancer research

Current approaches to breast cancer research have their limitations when it comes to observing its behavior in live human tissue. There is something to be gained by studying cells in mice and the lab, but these methods still don't paint a complete picture. Researchers have now built a hydrogel scaffold that mimics the environment found within the human breast, allowing them to grow real mammary tissue and gain new insights into how tumors spread through this part of the body.Read More

Slimline asthma inhaler slides right into your wallet

For sufferers of asthma, going out without an inhaler in-tow is risk not worth taking, but these clunky devices don't lend themselves too well to life inside jean pockets. So one startup has set out to make a much more portable version, developing a slimline asthma inhaler that can be stored inside a wallet.Read More

Molecule-blocking drug opens new path to pain relief

New research has shown success at blocking specific molecules involved in maintaining pain following a nerve injury, significantly lowering patient discomfort. The tests were successful in laboratory mice, indicating that it might prove effective in human tests, and the method is simple and easy for doctors to perform.Read More

Light reflectance fine tunes prostate cancer surgery

When a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, doctors often decide to remove the gland and some of the surrounding tissue, but the procedure isn't always perfect, and in some cases either too little or too much tissue is removed. A new technique might significantly improve the accuracy of the procedure, using a reflected light technology to detect left-behind cancer cells during the surgery.Read More

Lab-grown sperm cells used to create healthy baby mice

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully created functional sperm cells from mouse stem cells in the laboratory, then implanted those cells into rodents' egg cells to produce healthy, fertile offspring. While a lot more work needs to be done before human trails could be considered, the breakthrough could be significant, with the potential to combat male infertility.Read More

Ordinary skin cells turned into brain tumor predators

The 2006 discovery that mature skin cells can be converted into stem cells opened up exciting possibilities in regenerative medicine. Now almost a decade later, the Nobel-Prize winning research of Shinya Yamanaka is still opening doors for scientists across different arms of medical research. In what it labels as a first, a team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has built on this technology to transform adult skin cells into cancer-killing stem cells that seek and destroy brain tumors.Read More

Electronic system takes the guesswork out of respiratory diagnoses

Listening to a patients' breathing is certainly a key part of diagnosing their respiratory problems. However, doctors' individual observer bias certainly comes into play, plus it can be difficult to make a diagnosis when there's a lot of background noise. That's why scientists at Hiroshima University have created an electronic system that objectively matches lung sounds to specific maladies.Read More

Bats' 24/7 immunity holds clues to tackling infectious disease

If bats were as susceptible to viruses like Ebola as humans are, then blindness would be the least of their worries. But despite serving as a natural host for more than 100 different viruses, these nocturnal mammals don't display any resulting signs of disease. Australian scientists are claiming to have now figured out why, in a revelation that potentially brings us a step closer to safeguarding the human population from Ebola and other deadly diseases.Read More

Insulin-producing mini stomachs promise patient-specific diabetes treatment

Patients with Type 1 diabetes suffer from an absence of pancreatic cells called beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. Researchers have been trying to tackle the deficiency for decades, but now it seems that significant progress may have been made – a team of scientists lead by researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have discovered that it might be possible to engineer tissue from the lower stomach to address patients' insulin needs.Read More

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