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Modified red blood cells could be put to work, delivering more than just oxygen

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

Disabled mice regained the ability to walk less than two weeks after receiving human neura...

When scientists at the University of Utah injected human stem cells into mice disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, they expected the cells to be rejected by the animals' bodies. It turned out that the cells were indeed rejected, but not before they got the mice walking again. The unexpected finding could have major implications for human MS sufferers.  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

Dr. Steve Jiang and UT Southwestern Medical Center are pioneering the use of general-purpo...

Medical physicists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are latching on to advances in the computational speed of graphics processing units (GPUs) to drastically reduce the time required to calculate radiation therapy plans. The approach also increases the accuracy of calculations, allowing for faster, more precise, and more adaptable treatment of cancer patients.  Read More

One of the vibrating capsules, with a quarter for scale (Photo: Digestive Disease Week)

According to Dr. Yishai Ron, a researcher at Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, nearly half of the people who take medication for chronic constipation are unsatisfied with the results. That dissatisfaction can stem from unwanted side effects, concerns over the long-term safety of the medication, or "the fact that it simply doesn’t work." That's why he and his colleagues have created an oral capsule that relieves constipation by vibrating its way along the intestinal tract.  Read More

MIT's new nanoparticle carries three cancer-fighting drug molecules — doxorubicin is red, ...

Delivering drugs that can knock out tumor cells within the body, without causing adverse side effects, is a tricky busines. It's why scientists have taken to engineering new and creative types of nanoparticles that do the job. Increasing a nanoparticle's ability to carry more drugs expands treatment options, but creating nanoparticles capable of delivering more than one or two drugs has proven difficult – until now. Scientists at MIT report creating a revolutionary building block technique that's enabled them to load a nanoparticle with three drugs. The approach, they say, could be expanded to allow a nanoparticle to carry hundreds more.  Read More

Scientists have used steroids to enhance the performance of stem cells  (Photo: Shuttersto...

Stem cells are highly promising for the treatment of everything from HIV to leukemia to baldness. In many cases, however, a great number of them must be used in order have a noticeable effect, which makes treatments impractical or expensive. Now, scientists at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that a smaller number of stem cells can still get the job done, if they're first hopped up on steroids.  Read More

The cloud-based supercomputer will be used to suggest patient specific cancer treatments f...

IBM's Watson supercomputer is being re-tasked to help clinicians create personalized treatments for a common form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma. The project, which is a collaboration between IBM and the New York Genome Center (NYGC), hopes to make use of Watson's artificial intelligence to analyze vast quantities of data in order to suggest a personalized life-saving treatment based on the patient's individual case.  Read More

New research suggests a nasal spray could be used to treat depression  (Photo: Shutterstoc...

A nasal spray containing a specially-developed protein peptide could form the basis for highly-targeted treatment for depression, new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shown. The peptide, when delivered in spray from, was found to relieve symptoms of depression, with the lead researcher hopeful of little to no side-effects.  Read More

The Cefaly headband is claimed to not only treat migraines, but help to reduce their frequ...

Though using electrical stimulation of the brain as a means of treating migraines has provided an alternative to over-the-counter medication, the administering of the electrical currents can be complex, involving bulky equipment or even surgically implanted electrodes. Cefaly, a battery-operated headband, has now been approved by FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and is said to not only treat migraines, but possibly prevent them altogether.  Read More

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