Computational creativity and the future of AI

Heart Disease

The relative sizes of a standard pacemaker and the new fetus-sized model (Image: CHLA)

In the near future, it's entirely possible that babies with heart defects will be born with complete pacemakers already installed. That's because scientists at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the University of Southern California have developed the world's first fully-implantable pacemaker for fetuses.  Read More

Nanometer-sized “drones” that deliver drugs to heal and stabilize fat deposits in arteries...

Scientists have developed targeted, biodegradable nano "drones" to deliver anti-inflammatory drugs that heal and stabilize arterial plaque in mice. Their work could pave the way for more effective prevention of heart attack and stroke in humans caused by atherosclerosis, in which artery walls thicken and suffer reduced plasticity due to an accumulation of white blood cells.  Read More

The PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 screens for cardiovascular inflammation which can lead to a buil...

Coronary heart disease (CHD) kills more than 385,000 people in the United States each year, and more than half of those who die suddenly have no previous symptoms. A new blood test that could reduce CHD-related illness and mortality by predicting the risk of future heart disease has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 screens for cardiovascular inflammation which can lead to a build up of rupture-prone plaque and result in a heart attack or stroke.  Read More

The work-loop assay, with its heart tissue visible at center

When scientists want to find out how a new medication will affect the cardiovascular system, the traditional way of doing so is via animal or human trials. This takes time, can be potentially harmful to the test subjects, and doesn't always deliver conclusive results. Thanks to a device created at Coventry University in the UK, however, the testing process may soon be quicker, safer and more reliable.  Read More

Scientists have created functioning human heart tissue that exhibits Barth syndrome  (Imag...

When we've previously heard about "organs on a chip," they've been miniature recreations of healthy organs. If they're being used for research into the treatment of health problems, however, then it only makes sense that those "organs" should have something wrong with them. With that in mind, a group of Harvard scientists have created the world's first lab-grown sample of functioning human heart tissue that has a cardiovascular disease.  Read More

A protein that's more abundant in young mice appears to reverse the aging process in older...

Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have shown that injections of a protein dubbed GDF11, when administered to older mice, appear to cause a reversal of many signs of aging. Analysis showed that every major organ system tested displayed signs of improvement, with the protein even appearing to reverse some of the DNA damage which is synonymous with the aging process itself.  Read More

The researchers say that the injected stem cells regenerated 40 percent of the damaged hea...

In what could mark a significant breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have successfully repaired damaged tissue in monkey hearts using cells created from human embryonic stem cells. The findings demonstrate an ability to produce these cells on an unprecedented scale and hold great potential for restoring functionally of damaged human hearts.  Read More

A beating rabbit's heart, fitted with one of the membranes (Photo: Igor Efimov)

When it comes to monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, or delivering electrical stimulation to it (as in the case of pacemakers), most current technologies rely on electrodes that make contact with the organ in just a few locations. That doesn't necessarily provide a very detailed picture of what's going on, nor does it deliver stimulation all that evenly. Now, scientists have created a sensor-laden three-dimensional elastic membrane that can be pulled over the whole heart, to provide a large number of contact points.  Read More

An injection of polymer nanoparticles could save the lives of heart attack victims (Image:...

After a heart attack has occurred, inflammatory cells known as monocytes rush to the damaged tissue. This causes the heart to swell, reducing its ability to pump blood, and further damaging the tissue – a potentially lethal situation. Now, however, scientists have discovered that injectable microparticles can help stop that from happening.  Read More

The ZIO Patch is worn on the chest for up to two weeks (Photo: Scripps)

Ordinarily, when doctors wish to monitor an ambulatory patient for heartbeat irregularities, they have them wear what is know as a Holter monitor. The device is fairly cumbersome, so it's usually worn for no more than 24 hours. A recent study, however, indicates that the relatively new ZIO Patch provides more accurate readings, while being considerably less obtrusive.  Read More

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