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COMPAMED Newsletter

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Image: 3D printed soft scaffold; Copyright: Imperial College London

3D printing creates super soft structures that replicate brain and lungs


A new 3D printing technique allows researchers to replicate biological structures, which could be used for tissue regeneration and replica organs.
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Image: first impression of the movie produced by The Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Molecular Metabolism; Copyright: Laboratory of Molecular Metabolism at The Rockefeller University

3-D imaging of fat reveals potential targets for new obesity treatments


Stunning three-dimensional images of fat cells, the first of their kind, are the latest tactic in the ongoing fight against the global obesity epidemic. A movie, produced by The Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Molecular Metabolism, is part of a new report that reveals the inner workings of fat tissue in mice.
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Image: smiling scientist - Ryan Donnelly; Copyright: Ryan Donnelly

Queen's University Professor's Skin Patch Offers Solution to Antibiotic Resistance Crisis


A team of researchers from Queen's University Belfast, led by Professor Ryan Donnelly, Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology are developing a new type of skin patch (microarray patch) that administers drugs directly into the bloodstream through thousands of individual "microneedles" which are being tested as a possible answer to the antibiotic resistance crisis.
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Image: Scaffold-free tissue engineered construct derived from synovial mesenchymal stem cells; Copyright: Osaka University

Phase III clinical trials for stem cell-based cartilage regeneration therapy have started


A group of researchers at Osaka University developed a synthetic tissue using synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for treating damaged cartilage, which had previously been incurable and had no effective therapies.
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Image: four alpacas; Copyright: MPI for Biophysical Chemistry/I. Böttcher-Gajewski

Fewer laboratory animals thanks to secondary nanobodies


Antibodies are indispensable in biological research and medical diagnostics. However, their production is time-consuming, expensive, and requires the use of many animals.
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Image: hand holding a smartphone; Copyright:

Micro-spectrometer opens door to a wealth of new smartphone functions


Use your smartphone to check how clean the air is, whether food is fresh or a lump is malignant. This has all come a step closer thanks to a new spectrometer that is so small it can be incorporated easily and cheaply in a mobile phone. The little sensor developed at TU Eindhoven is just as precise as the normal tabletop models used in scientific labs.
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Image: horizontal view across the cervical canal; Copyright: University of Leeds

Using MRI to understand why some women go into early labor


Scientists are using the latest imaging techniques usually used to map the brain to try and understand why some pregnant women miscarry or go into early labour.
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Image: a group of people doing different movements; Copyright:

Taking biomechanics outside the laboratory


Valencia University's Institute of Biomechanics (IBV) has developed two prototypes based on portable inertial technologies that make it possible to analyse human movements with complete accuracy inside and outside the laboratory.
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Image: the top of a test tube filled with white pills; Copyright:

New active ingredients from the toolbox


Microorganisms often produce natural products in a step-by-step manner similar to an assembly line. Examples of such enzymes are non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS). Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have now succeeded in designing these enzymes in such a way that they can produce completely new natural products.
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Image: patient during an MRI scan; Copyright: Robinson

MRI scans predict patients' ability to fight the spread of cancer


A simple, non-invasive procedure that can indicate how long patients with cancer that has spread to the brain might survive and whether they are likely to respond to immunotherapy has been developed by researchers in Liverpool.
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Image: three men in a laboratory; Copyright: University of California

Scientists discover possible master switch for programming cancer immunotherapy


Researchers report the discovery that a protein called "Runx3" programs killer T cells to establish residence in tumors and infection sites.
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Image: animation of a 3D printer; Copyright: Bara Krautz

3D-printed minifactories


There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing. However, the materials used for this process are still "dead matter" such as plastics or metals.
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Image: radiograph of a brain tumour; Copyright:

Innovative probe visualises tumours


Gliomas are a type of brain tumour characterised by a poor prognosis. In order to improve this prognosis, as much of the tumour as possible must be removed safely during the neurosurgical operation. However, especially in the case of slow-growing, low-grade gliomas, it is often difficult to distinguish diseased tissue from healthy tissue.
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Image: DNA origami

DNA origami: Building virus-sized structures and saving costs through mass production


It is the double strands of our genes that make them so strong. Using a technique known as DNA origami, biophysicist Hendrik Dietz has been building nanometer-scale objects for several years at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
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Image: sheet of paper saying

New Lyme disease tests could offer quicker, more accurate detection


New tests to detect early Lyme disease - which is increasing beyond the summer months -could replace existing tests that often do not clearly identify the infection before health problems occur.
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Image: hand holding up a dipstick in front of a leaf and surrounded by chemical symbols; Copyright: Michael Mason

UQ dipstick technology could revolutionize disease diagnosis


New dipstick technology that enables pathogen detection and the rapid diagnosis of human, animal and plant disease in even the most remote locations has been developed by University of Queensland scientists.
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Image: Two-dimensional all-optical ultrasound imaging (B-Mode) acquired during the manual translation of the needle tip across a distance of 4 cm; Copyright: University College London

Ultrasound imaging needle to transform heart surgery


Heart tissue can be imaged in real-time during keyhole procedures using a new optical ultrasound needle developed by researchers at UCL and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
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Image: hands holding a tablet with a dna string on it; Copyright:

Infectious diseases: CTRL + ALT + delete


Gene editing is revolutionizing the bioscience research landscape and holds great promise for "deleting" diseases from human bodies. Sandia National Laboratories is working to make this technology safer and to ensure that one day it can be delivered into humans without triggering adverse immune system reactions or causing other undesirable side effects.
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Image: Raman image of Alzheimer brain tissue; Copyright: University of Twente

Imaging technique shows progress Alzheimer's disease


Using 'Raman' optical technology, scientists of the University of Twente in The Netherlands, can now produce images of brain tissue that is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The images include the surrounding areas, already showing changes.
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Image: novel biomaterial, looks like silicon and has a size of only three millimeters; Copyright: Christine Arndt

Scientist at Kiel University receive EU funding to develop new implantats


During a heart attack muscle tissue can be damaged or can even die when cells are not provided with enough oxygen. A research team from Kiel University (CAU) has developed a biomaterial to regenerate and restore harmed tissue and lead to faster treatment. The scientists made use of the fact that cells react to stimuli from their environment.
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Image: young woman with virtual reality glasses in nature; Copyright:

Virtual and augmented reality technologies influence consumers' eating experiences


Could health-promoting foods be made more appealing by using digital tools to enhance consumers' eating experiences? VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has used Virtual Reality (VR) to amplify such experiences. VR immersion had significant effects on brain signals and consumers' evaluations of the pleasantness of their eating situation and emotional responses.
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Image: A collage of two microscopic images, one with a much higher resolution; Copyright: Ozcan Research Group/UCLA

Deep learning to reconstruct holograms and improve optical microscopy


A form of machine learning called deep learning is one of the key technologies behind recent advances in applications like real-time speech recognition and automated image and video labeling.
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Image: ; Copyright:

Mending hearts in three dimensions


Kyoto-Osaka team uses hiPSCs to repair myocardial infarctions in rats. The creation of cardiac tissue-like constructs could offer an effective and convenient "woundplast" for repairing myocardial infarction.
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Image: sketch of a heart in front of heart curve; Copyright:

New tool predicts risk of heart attack in older surgery patients


A tool designed to more accurately predict the risk of heart attack in older patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery works significantly better than traditional risk assessment tools. By having more accurate information, older patients and their physicians can make an informed decision on whether to undergo surgery, UCLA researchers concluded.
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Image: 3-D Structure of Molecular Scaffold SgK223; Copyright: Onisha Patel and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

3-D 'scaffold' map to help the search for new cancer treatments


Researchers have produced the first three-dimensional (3D) map of a molecular 'scaffold' called SgK223, known to play a critical role in the development and spread of aggressive breast, colon and pancreatic cancers.
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Image: colorful reconstruction of neurons in the adult fly mushroom body; Copyright: Takemura et al.

Electron microscopy uncovers unexpected connections in fruit fly brain


What was once thought to be a done-and-dusted map of the fruit fly brain has gotten a second look, and researchers have discovered that it's actually not done at all.
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Image: Nano-CT images of a velvet worm leg; Copyright: Müller, Pfeiffer / TUM /

Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs


Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers.
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Graphic: Docking one of the hit compound into human Carbonic Anhydrase II isoform; Copyright: Anton Shetnev

Chemists have created compounds that can treat glaucoma


Glaucoma is a serious disease associated with increased intraocular pressure which often leads to blindness. One of the ways to treat glaucoma is to reduce aqueous humour secretion in the ciliary body of the eye by suppressing (inhibiting) activity of special enzymes - carbonic anhydrases. Russian scientists have designed new compounds that can effectively reduce intraocular pressure.
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Image: 3D printed element of a bone; Copyright: RMIT University

Just-in-time 3-D implants set to transform tumor surgery


A major new Australian research project using 3D implants and robotic surgery is set to radically advance the way physicians surgically treat tumours and bone cancer.
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Image: A newborn under EEG monitoring; Copyright: S Vanhatalo

Artificial intelligence to evaluate brain maturity of preterm infants


University of Helsinki researchers have developed artificial intelligence software, which can evaluate the maturity of a preterm infant’s brain directly from an EEG.
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Image: Lab-grown blood vessel; Copyright: University of Minnesota

New tissue-engineered blood vessel replacements one step closer to human trials


Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a new lab-grown blood vessel replacement that is composed completely of biological materials, but surprisingly doesn't contain any living cells at implantation. The vessel, that could be used as an "off the shelf" graft for kidney dialysis patients, performed well in a recent study with nonhuman primates.
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Image: Distributions of antibiotics and their breakdown products throughout the lung; Copyright: UC San Diego Health

The microbial anatomy of an organ


New 3-D visualization tool could enable targeted drug delivery for cystic fibrosis and other conditions.
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Image: Missael Garcia and Viktor Gruev; Copyright: L. Brian Stauffer

Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden world


By mimicking the eye of the mantis shrimp, Illinois researchers have developed an ultra-sensitive camera capable of sensing both color and polarization.
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Image: organoids in comparison; Copyright: UCLA

Better mini brains could help scientists identify treatments for Zika-related brain damage


UCLA researchers develop improved technique for creating brain tissue from stem cells.
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Image: flexible sensor ; Copyright: MIT/Brigham and Women's Hospital

Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract


Ingestible devices could diagnose gastrointestinal slowdown or monitor food intake.
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Image: Prototype self-propelled catheter; Copyright: Hideyuki Tsukagoshi

A self-propelled catheter with earthworm-like peristaltic motion


Prof. Yuichiro Takai of Toho University and Prof. Hideyuki Tsukagoshi of Tokyo Tech collaborate in developing the new self-propelled catheter designed to generate travelling waves in multiple chambers just by adding and reducing pressure inside one tube.
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