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Overview: Articles

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Image: Medical glass vials in a production line; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Serhii Nernamov

Tiny 'cages' could keep vaccines safe at high temperatures

28/04/2017

Vaccines and antibodies could be transported and stored without refrigeration by capturing them in tiny silica 'cages', a discovery which could make getting vital medicines to remote or dangerous places much easier, cheaper and safer.
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Photo: A thin layer of transparent material on a brown surface; Copyright: EMPA

Gelatin instead of forearm

27/04/2017

The characteristics of human skin are heavily dependent on the hydration of the tissue - in simple terms, the water content. This also changes its interaction with textiles. Up to now, it has only been possible to determine the interaction between human skin and textiles by means of clinical trials on human subjects.
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Image: A green network of nerve cells on black ground; Copyright: Dina Popova

Novel method to detect toxic effects of chemicals

26/04/2017

Traditional toxicological investigations performed on animals (in vivo) are expensive, time-consuming and may cause animal suffering. But research from Umeå University demonstrates that a neuronal cell model, derived from mouse, can be used to evaluate the neurotoxic effect of chemicals.
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Image: A preemie in an incubator; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ondrooo

Lab on a chip designed to minimize preterm births

25/04/2017

In the United States alone, a half million babies are born preterm; worldwide, the number is an estimated 15 million. Complications associated with preterm birth are the no. 1 cause of death for children under 5, and those who live often face a range of health problems.
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Image: Water is flowing in two open hands; Copyright: panthermedia.net/silverjohn

Researchers develop membranes that remove viruses from drinking water

21/04/2017

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have developed novel ultrafiltration membranes that significantly improve the virus-removal process from treated municipal wastewater used for drinking in water-scarce cities.
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Image: Scientists in a lab; Copyright: The University of Manchester

Researchers' quest for scanning techniques to improve drug safety

20/04/2017

The University of Manchester is part of a new consortium which will develop new CT and MRI scan techniques and biomarkers to look at the accumulation of compounds in the body caused by drugs and the harm they may cause - potentially improving patients' safety and the development of new treatments.
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Image: Graphic of how Methylation Mapping works; Copyright: Aditya Sarathy

Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

19/04/2017

Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.
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Image: nano-SPEAR suspended midway between layers of silicon (grey) and photoresist material (pink) ; Copyright: Robinson Lab/Rice University

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals

18/04/2017

Microscopic probes developed at Rice University have simplified the process of measuring electrical activity in individual cells of small living animals. The technique allows a single animal like a worm to be tested again and again and could revolutionize data-gathering for disease characterization and drug interactions.
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Image: A locusts sitting on a leaf; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexsvirid

A simple sniff

14/04/2017

Delivering life-saving drugs directly to the brain in a safe and effective way is a challenge for medical providers. One key reason: the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from tissue-specific drug delivery. Methods such as an injection or a pill aren't as precise or immediate as doctors might prefer, and ensuring delivery right to the brain often requires invasive, risky techniques.
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Image: Close-Up of the nanowire; Copyright: Integrated Electronics and Biointerfaces Laboratory, UC San Diego

'Neuron-reading' nanowires for neurological diseases

13/04/2017

A team led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed nanowires that can record the electrical activity of neurons in fine detail. The new nanowire technology could one day serve as a platform to screen drugs for neurological diseases and could enable researchers to better understand how single cells communicate in large neuronal networks.
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