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Health & Wellbeing

Blood test could indicate predisposition to suicide

While there are a wide range of scenarios that may cause a person to take their own life, the fact is that in a given situation, some people will do so whereas others won't. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now believe that this difference can largely be traced to a genetic mutation in the people who are more likely to commit suicide. What's more, this mutation can be detected via a blood test. Read More

Science

Scientists develop an astronaut-friendly technique to test lung function

A novel technique developed by the Microgravity Centre, Brazil, could allow astronauts aboard the ISS to measure the effect that prolonged exposure to microgravity can have on human lung capacity. Research like this is a vital stepping stone to understanding the safety measures needed to keep astronauts alive and healthy on a long journey, such as NASA's planned mission to Mars.Read More

Medical

Cancer screening with a simple "universal" blood test

Although many dread the prick of a blood test, most would find it a preferable testing method to invasive and expensive biopsies. That's why a blood test for cancer is the goal of many research efforts, including one at the University of Bradford in the UK, where researchers are claiming to have devised a simple universal blood test for the disease that relies on the fact that white blood cells in cancer patients are already damaged from battling cancerous cells. Read More

Medical

Human blood platelets grown in bone marrow-replicating bioreactor

Scientists have already successfully coaxed stem cells into becoming red blood cells, which could be used to create "man-made" blood for transfusion. Red blood cells, however, aren't the only component of human blood. Now, researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital have also created functional human platelets, using a bioreactor that simulates the medium in which blood cells are naturally produced – bone marrow. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Students developing an injectable foam to treat battlefield wounds

When a soldier is wounded on an extremity such as an arm or leg, applying a bandage and/or tourniquet to stop the bleeding is typically a fairly straight-ahead process. However, in cases where an injury is received right at the junction between an extremity and the torso – places such as the neck, shoulder or groin – things get a lot trickier. Gauze pads treated with clotting agents are often packed into the wound, although they're not always sufficient for staunching the flow. A group of students from Johns Hopkins University are working on a better alternative, in the form of a hardening foam that's injected into the wound. Read More

Medical

Scientists take a significant step towards an early warning blood test for Alzheimer's

An international collaboration of scientists led by King's College London (KCL) and Proteome Sciences plc has identified a combination of 10 proteins found in human blood cells which may lead to an accurate early warning test for Alzheimer's. An increased ability to detect this debilitating disease at an early stage has the potential to greatly improve quality of life and may even lead to new clinical trials developing new avenues of treatment designed to stop the disease in its tracks.Read More

Medical

Researchers engineer red blood cells to deliver therapeutic payloads

Although several studies are currently exploring the use of man-made nanoparticles for delivering medication to targeted areas of the body, care must be taken to ensure that those particles don't cause adverse reactions when introduced to the bloodstream. Scientists at the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute, however, are taking a different approach to the same basic concept. They've developed a method of attaching chemical payloads to red blood cells. Read More

Medical

Artificial human blood substitute could help meet donor blood shortfall

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 107 million blood donations are collected around the globe every year, most of which goes on to help save lives. However, while the need for blood is global, much of that which is donated is not accessible to many who need it, such as those in developing countries. And of the blood donated in industrialized countries, the amount often falls short of requirements. To help address this imbalance, scientists at the University of Essex are developing an artificial blood substitute that would provide a benign, virus-free alternative for blood transfusions. Read More

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