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Medication

Medical

Kidney-on-a-chip may save lives

Because they filter our blood, our kidneys are particularly susceptible to damage from toxins in our bloodstream. That's why kidney failure can occur when people are given too high a dosage of certain medications. So, how do drug developers know how much is safe? Typically, it's through animal testing, although University of Michigan researchers have now developed something that could be more accurate – a "kidney-on-a-chip."Read More

Medical

Portable system provides on-demand drug production

Manufacturing drugs is a complex process, often involving multiple facilities and taking weeks or months to arrive at the finished article. The lack of flexibility in the system led MIT researchers to develop a compact, all-in-one solution to allow for streamlined, speedy drug production. It can be adjusted to produce different medications, and isn't designed to replace existing manufacturing plants, but rather to complement them by providing, for example, an emergency backup solution should a facility have to be shut down.Read More

Science

Researchers turn to tick spit to shut down our immune systems

When ticks bite humans, they inject us with a substance that keeps them disguised from our immune systems. This lets them hang on to us and feed for up to 10 days without getting attacked by our bodies' defences. While this strategy certainly serves the tick — and not the humans — very well, researchers may soon be turning the tables and employing a substance in tick saliva to help people battle damaging, and potentially deadly, autoimmune diseases.Read More

Medical

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

Health & Wellbeing

Existing drugs used to tackle dangerous new viruses

Scientists are constantly searching for new methods of combating harmful viruses, but it's not always necessary to create fresh drugs to deal with new threats. A team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham in the UK has found that a group of drugs currently used to treat conditions such as depression might also prove an effective means of combating emerging viruses.Read More

Science

Could lab-grown mini-brains replace animal testing?

If you keep even a casual eye on the world of medical research, then you'll known that animal testing is a ubiquitous part of the process. New drugs are routinely tried out on laboratory animals, usually rodents, before clinical trials are considered. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a possible alternative, creating "mini-brains" made up of a similar mix of cells and neurons found in the human brain.Read More

Medical

Machine-learning robot could streamline drug development

Testing out newly developed drugs is an extremely time-consuming process, and it can be difficult to get right. Now, a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is working to streamline the task, creating a robotically driven experimentation system that's able to reduce the number of tests that have to be carried out by as much as 70 percent.Read More

Medical

Cultured liver cell microreactor might replace animal testing

Finding alternatives to animal testing is an important endeavor. While the practice has been banned in the cosmetic products industry since 2013, it's still a central part of evaluating the effectiveness and dangers of new medication, with researchers usually using laboratory rodents to test out their latest drugs. Now, a team lead by scientists at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology has created a microbioreactor that has the potential to provide medication testing using cultured liver cells rather than animals.Read More

Space

Study suggests that medicines do not degrade faster in space

A new study conducted by Baylor College of Medicine in the US has provided the first evidence that medicines aren't negatively affected by spending time in space. The research looked at samples returned from the International Space Station (ISS), and represents the first step in a new avenue of study.Read More

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