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Blood

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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When it comes to donated blood, type O is special. It can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type. By contrast, type A can only go to A or AB patients, and B can only go to B or AB patients. Additionally, type O patients can only receive O. Thanks to new research, however, it may soon be possible to give anyone whatever type of blood happens to be available, with no ill effects. Read More
Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job. 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
While blood tests are used to rule out other forms of arthritis, the diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) generally relies on physical symptoms, with X-rays or MRI scans used for conformation if required. But researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have identified a biomarker for OA that could lead to a blood test that could diagnose it, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), years before physical symptoms present themselves. Read More
With uncontrolled bleeding the major cause of deaths on the battlefield, researchers at the University of Washington have developed an injectable polymer that could stem bleeding and provide extra time to get the injured to medical care. Called PolySTAT, the new polymer stems blood loss by strengthening blood clots. Read More
Researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering and the University of Pavia (Italy) have developed a three-dimensional tissue made from porous silk, that’s capable of producing platelets for clinical use. The development is expected to have a significant impact on treatment of blood diseases. Read More
Researchers from MIT claim to have developed an easy-to-use blood test that can be applied in the field, allowing for the screening of multiple diseases at once. The test is said to provide results in around 10 minutes, and could be instrumental in stopping the epidemic spread of fatal diseases such as Ebola. Read More
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a drug commonly used by surgeons to bust open blood clots in a patient's bloodstream, but it does have its limitations. Once injected, there's no guarantee it will reach the site of the blood clot, and even then, having it arrive in the correct dosage can be tricky, with the risk of hemorrhage a very real possibility. Researchers have now found that using a new type of magnetic nanoparticle to deliver the drug offers a much more efficient journey to the site, promising to destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster and aid significantly in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Read More
The onset of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), whereby a clot forms in the veins and obstructs blood flow, is a legitimate concern for people unable to move their legs. The condition can become truly life-threatening if the clot finds its way into the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. Looking to mitigate the dangers of this condition, researchers have developed a specialty sock inspired by the tentacle movements of coral that is designed to stimulate blood circulation through the body. Read More
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