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Blood

— 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
— Medical

Common solvent found to have anti-cancer properties

Researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, have found that a N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), a common solvent used in a wide array of industrial and medical products, has cancer-fighting properties. The discovery came about thanks to an observant researcher, and now the solvent is set to be put to the test in a world-first clinical trial on patients with advanced blood cancer. Read More
— Medical

Recharging aging brains could be in the (young) blood

A literal infusion of some "young blood" has the ability to turn back the clock and restore the mental capabilities of old mice, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. If similar results are seen in humans, the simple technique could lead to new treatments for forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. Read More
— Medical

New research shows blood tests could be effective in diagnosing depression

At present, reaching a diagnosis for depression typically involves interviews with the patient, resulting in a drawn out and costly process. Some recent research efforts have sought to address this, such as a diagnostic technique that measures electrical activity in the brain to more quickly detect mental illness. Now a team of Austrian researchers has demonstrated a link between levels of serotonin in the blood and the depression network in the brain, meaning that diagnosing depression could soon become a much more efficient undertaking. Read More
— Medical

First transfusions of "manufactured" blood planned for 2016

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107 million blood donations are collected globally every year. Nonetheless, blood is often in short supply – particularly in developing nations. Despite new safeguards, there's also still the risk of incompatibility, or of infections being transmitted from donors to recipients. Charitable organization the Wellcome Trust hopes to address these problems, by developing the ability to manufacture blood outside of the body. Last week, it announced that test subjects should begin receiving transfusions of blood made with lab-grown red blood cells by late 2016. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Breathing easy while sleeping could combat symptoms of altitude sickness

Headaches, nausea, weakness and dizziness, combined with a feeling that you just can’t get enough oxygen with each breath are just some of the signs of altitude sickness. Researchers have now found a link between the abnormal breathing patterns experienced while sleeping at altitude and the symptoms of altitude sickness, particularly headaches. The finding suggests that finding a way to breath normally while sleeping could provide a way to combat such symptoms. Read More
— Medical

Finger-prick technique opens door for DIY stem cell donors

Harvesting samples for producing stem cells can be rather painful. Techniques can involve collecting large amounts of blood, bone marrow or skin scrapes. The reality is intrusive measures such as these can be very off-putting. But what if it was as simple as a finger-prick? Such a DIY approach, which is so easy it can be done at home or in the field without medical staff, has been developed by researchers at Singapore's A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB). Read More
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