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Northwestern University

Health & Wellbeing

Non-invasive MRI technique picks up early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

The development of brain plaques are thought to correlate with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as memory loss. Previous research has indicated that limiting these buildups could be the key to tackling the disease, but scientists from Northwestern University are digging a little deeper. The team has devised a non-invasive MRI technique capable of tracking the specific toxins that accumulate to form plaques, potentially enabling doctors to pick up early signs of the disease before it starts to take hold. Read More

Science

Blu-ray discs could help make better solar cells

Blu-ray discs have proven themselves superior to DVDs as storage media in light of their high capacity, high definition, and higher transfer rate. Now researchers claim that Blu-ray discs have one more advantage over DVDs: they also have the ability to help markedly improve the efficiency of solar cells, when their etched information patterns are repurposed for use as light concentrators. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Wearable skin and heart monitor changes color when there's cause for concern

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a health monitor capable of tracking heart and skin condition while worn discretely on the skin. Measuring around 5 cm squared (0.8 in sq), the patch is designed to be inconspicuous and alert the user to conditions ranging from dry skin to cardiovascular problems. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Blood test provides first objective diagnosis of depression in adults

Diagnosing depression can be a difficult task, currently relying on patients reporting symptoms – something those suffering depression don't always do – and doctors correctly interpreting them – which isn't easy as the symptoms are non-specific. Now researchers have developed a blood test to diagnose depression in adults, providing the first objective, scientific diagnosis for the condition.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation found to boost memory

Failing memory is one of the (many) drawbacks of old age, but can also impact younger people suffering stroke, early-stage Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury and cardiac arrest. In a breakthrough that opens up the potential for new treatments for memory impairments in the young and old, researchers at Northwestern University have shown that electrical stimulation of the brain can improve memory, with the benefits lasting long after treatment. Read More

Medical

Injected microparticles shown to greatly reduce heart attack damage

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

Health & Wellbeing

Intravaginal ring could block HIV transmission to women

According to UNAIDS, a member of the United Nations Development Group, 58 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Although preventative drugs and condoms do block the transmission of HIV, neither are always practical, available or affordable in developing nations. Help could be on its way, however, in the form of an anti-HIV intravaginal ring that is worn continuously for up to 30 days. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Promising antibacterial coating created from green tea and salt

Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered new ways of utilizing the properties of naturally occurring polyphenols found in green tea, red wine and dark chocolate. Dissolving polyphenol powders in water with a small amount of salt instantly produces transparent coatings that kill bacteria on contact, have antioxidant qualities and are non-toxic. The sticky nature of polyphenols and the low cost of materials could open the door to a wide range of uses for these coatings. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

The two faces of the "love hormone"

Often called the love hormone, oxytocin has shown the ability to enhance social bonding, decrease anxiety and encourage an overall feeling of satisfaction with life. A new study out of Northwestern University, however, finds that this ancient hormone has a dark side, and is capable of strengthening unpleasant memories, fear, and anxiety. This Jeckyll and Hyde behavior results from the fact that oxytocin has a general strengthening effect on social memories, without regard to their polarity. Read More

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