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— Medical

Future asthma treatment may target trigger allergens

Asthma attacks are terrifying. They feel almost like the world is closing in around you as you wheeze and cough and gasp for breath. And they often strike suddenly, without warning, when an innocuous event stirs up dust or pollen around you. That terror of unexpected attack that we asthmatics feel every day may largely disappear if a novel new research project pans out. Scientists at the Universities of Cambridge, London, and Manchester have gone after the trigger allergens and developed an inhalable powder from a compound that binds to a major dust mite allergen. This powder could lead to a shift in focus for asthma treatment from relief to inhibition. Read More
— Medical

Electronic implants treat staph infections, and then dissolve

Imagine if there were a remote-control electronic device that could be implanted at an infection site, where it would treat the infection by heating or medicating the affected tissue. While it might be very effective, subsequent infections could result if surgeons went in to remove it, or even if they just left it in place. That's why scientists from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana have developed infection-treating implants that simply dissolve into the body once they've served their purpose. Read More
— Medical

New robotic walker helps patients walk with a natural gait

It can be a laborious business, teaching people such as victims of strokes or brain injuries to walk again. Often, multiple physiotherapists are required to hold patients up while they walk on a treadmill, while also manually moving their legs to achieve the proper gait. Soon, however, a robotic walker developed at the National University of Singapore could make the process considerably easier. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Thought-controlled implant creates proteins on demand

Wouldn't it be great if there were implants that detected the brainwaves associated with conditions such as chronic headaches or epilepsy, and then responded by triggering genes in the patient's body to produce a protein that treated the condition? Well, scientists at the ETH Zurich research institute are on their way to making it happen. They've developed an implant that causes genetically-modified cells to express a specific protein, and the device is indeed activated by brain waves. Read More

DNA test identifies venomous snakes from their bites

When a snake-bite victim shows up at a hospital, it's vitally important for caregivers to know what species of snake bit them. Without that knowledge, they won't know what sort of anti-venom – if any – is required. Making that ID could one day be much easier, thanks to a current study in which species were reliably identified via snake DNA obtained from fang marks in victims' bite wounds. Read More
— Medical

Toxin-producing stem cells fight brain tumors where it matters most

When it comes to new tumor-fighting treatments, it’s often as much about location, location, location as it is the actual drug interaction. Cytoxin-producing stem cells produced by scientists at Harvard University lodge at the site of brain tumor removal to continually attack remaining tumor cells. As an alternative to drug treatments that can be invasive or ineffective, the researchers saw promising results against glioblastomas, which hold the dubious distinction of being the most common and most fatal brain cancer. Read More
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