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Medical

Mouse gums turned into fully functioning skin

While growing biological components in the lab such as a thymus gland, sperm cells, eye tissue and cartilage are becoming more and more commonplace, thus far, creating fully functioning lab-grown skin has eluded scientists. Previous attempts have produced epithelial cells only, which comprise the outer layer of skin. Now, researchers at Japan's RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology have created skin tissue complete with sebaceous glands as well as hair follicles. They started with mouse gums.Read More

Tool matches cancer genetics to approved treatments

When treating cancer, it's difficult to know whether a chosen treatment is proving effective. While new breakthroughs may give doctors faster indications of whether drugs are working, by the time a new treatment is attempted, it might be too late to achieve a positive outcome. A new tool, developed by researchers at the University of Colorado, could have a big impact on which treatment doctors decide to use, using data from whole exome sequencing to pick out drugs likely to prove effective at tackling tumors on a case-by-case basis.Read More

Nanoparticle "cluster bombs" could provide less toxic chemotherapy

Doctors have been using the chemotherapy drug cisplatin for decades, but significant toxic side effects – which can affect everything from the kidneys to the inner ear – limit its effectiveness as a treatment. A new method, which makes use of innovative nanoparticles, could change that, providing a "cluster bomb" approach to delivery that shows signs of being significantly less toxic to the patient.Read More

Nanoparticle shows if cancer treatment is working, ASAP

Knowing whether a therapy is working effectively is extremely important when treating cancer. That information can have a big impact, potentially prompting a change in treatment and improving its outcome. Right now, we don't have a method of detecting whether a tumor is reacting to medication until numerous cycles of therapy have been completed, but research by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) could change that, with a new nanoparticle treatment providing the information in as little as eight hours.Read More

Microneedle patch drip feeds cancer drugs directly into melanomas

The emerging field of immunotherapy has uncovered some powerful new weapons in the fight against cancer, but tumor cells can be quite crafty in the way they go undetected by our immune system. In an advance that could play a part in neutralizing these stealthy attributes, researchers have developed a microneedle patch that can be worn on the skin to more effectively deliver immunotherapy drugs directly to the site of a melanoma.Read More

Wounds may be treated using ... frog foam?

When the tiny Tungara frog lays its eggs, it also secretes a protein cocktail that it beats into a foam using its back legs. Surrounding the eggs, that foam protects them from predators, germs and environmental stress. As it turns out, a synthetic version of the substance may also one day have another use – delivering medication to serious skin wounds.Read More

Improved understanding of genetics offers new hope for diabetics

Diabetes is a widespread health problem, affecting some 400 million people across the planet. With that number only set to rise, it's important that we find new treatments as quickly as possible. Researchers at the University of Montreal are making significant progress in that regard, discovering a common genetic defect in beta cells that may be a big factor in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.Read More

Modified maggots fast-track wound healing

It might be a little hard to stomach, but using maggots to clean up wounds is a technique that has been in use for centuries. By selectively devouring dead flesh and leaving healthy tissue intact, these loathsome larvae have offered a cheap way of treating wounds, but not necessarily a quicker one. Now scientists are looking to hasten the healing process by genetically modifying maggots to produce a human growth factor while they go about their business.Read More

Sweat-monitoring patch releases diabetes drugs when required

Unlocking the secrets that sweat contains about our bodies could come to offer all kinds of exciting ways to maintain our physical well-being. From glucose to sodium, tracking of key chemicals in this bodily fluid could make for new, non-invasive ways to keep tabs on harmful conditions. The latest effort to tap into this assortment of physiological information comes in the form of a sweat-monitoring patch that records glucose in a subject and even releases diabetes drugs into the bloodstream to keep its levels in check.Read More

Gene editing could provide a cure for HIV

While antiretroviral drugs do a good job of keeping HIV infections under control, scientists are working hard to come up with a full cure for the condition. A team of researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University is making real progress in that regard, successfully testing a gene editing system, demonstrating its ability to eliminate the virus from DNA in human cells grown in culture.Read More

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