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Health & Medicine News -- ScienceDaily

23.11.2020Nature's toolkit for killing viruses and bacteria

Engineers reveal how zinc oxide nanoneedles and droplet hydrodynamics can stop pathogens.

23.11.2020PEDSnet report details how COVID-19 pandemic has affected children

Analysis of 135,000-plus medical records shows the novel coronavirus hits hardest among teens, children with diabetes or cancer, lower-income families, and Black, Latinx and Asian groups.

23.11.2020Scientists identify brain cells that help drive bodily reaction to fear, anxiety

Scientists have discovered that artificially forcing the activity of BNST cells in mice produced an arousal response in the form of dilated pupils and faster heart rate, and worsened anxiety-like behaviors. This helps illuminate the neural roots of emotions, and point to the possibility that the human-brain counterpart of the newly identified population of arousal-related neurons might be a target of future treatments for anxiety disorders and other illnesses involving abnormal arousal responses.

23.11.2020COVID-19 infection combined with blood clots worsens patient outcomes, study finds

While respiratory issues continue to be the most common symptom of a COVID-19 infection, new research indicates the disease could also be associated with an increased tendency of the blood to clot, leading to a higher risk of death from COVID-19.

23.11.2020Therapeutic PD-1 cancer vaccine shown to be safe and effective in animal study

A study has described a potential therapeutic anticancer vaccine that frees suppressed cancer-killing immune cells, enabling them to attack and destroy a tumor.

23.11.2020Algorithm accurately predicts COVID-19 patient outcomes

A team of engineers has demonstrated how a new algorithm they developed was able to successfully predict whether or not a COVID-19 patient would need ICU intervention. This artificial intelligence-based approach could be a valuable tool in determining a proper course of treatment for individual patients.

23.11.2020Identifying compound classes through machine learning

Bioinformaticians have now developed a unique method with which all metabolites in a sample can be taken into account, thus considerably increasing the knowledge gained from examining such molecules.

23.11.2020Children more willing to punish if the wrongdoer is 'taught a lesson'

Many children are willing to make personal sacrifices to punish wrongdoers -- and even more so if they believe punishment will teach the transgressor a lesson, a new study shows.

23.11.2020Boosting stem cell activity can enhance immunotherapy benefits

Immune-system T cells have been reprogrammed into regenerative stem cell-like memory (TSCM) cells that are long-lived, highly active 'super immune cells' with strong antitumor activity, according to new research.

23.11.2020Breakthrough in studying the enzyme that ultimately produces fish odor syndrome

Fish odor syndrome (trimethylaminuria) is a debilitating disease, in which the liver cannot break down the smelly chemical trimethylamine which is produced by enzymes from bacteria residing in the gut leaving people with a fish like odor. Researchers are paving the way to prevent the syndrome after a breakthrough in studying the enzyme in the gut which produces trimethylamine.

23.11.2020The drug aprotinin inhibits entry of SARS-CoV2 in host cells, study finds

In order for the SARS-CoV2 virus to enter host cells, its 'spike' protein has to be cleaved by the cell's own enzymes -- proteases. The protease inhibitor aprotinin can prevent cell infection, as scientists have now discovered. An aprotinin aerosol is already approved in Russia for the treatment of influenza and could readily be tested for the treatment of COVID-19.

23.11.2020Concussion risk in stunt performers

Researchers are shining a light on a segment of concussion patients who often go unnoticed in comparison to athletes: performing artists.

23.11.2020Helicates meet Rotaxanes to create promise for future disease treatment

A new approach to treating cancers and other diseases that uses a mechanically interlocked molecule as a 'magic bullet' has been designed.

23.11.2020Proteins in motion

Membrane proteins are more efficient at reaching distal dendrites than soluble proteins.

23.11.2020Scientists' atomic resolution protein models reveal new details about protein binding

Atom-scale models of proteins that incorporate ligands, like drug molecules, shows a strong correlation between minimally frustrated binding sites and drug specificity. Such models could lead to better-designed drugs with fewer side effects.

23.11.2020What do slight arm movements reveal about our breathing and health?

Special activity trackers can be used to fairly accurately determine the respiratory rate of people while they sleep. In the future, activity trackers could be used to detect the early stages of a disease, as a person's respiratory rate can indicate signs of an undetected medical problem.

23.11.2020Newfound ability to change baby brain activity could lead to rehabilitation for injured brains

Researchers have identified the brain activity for the first time in a newborn baby when they are learning an association between different types of sensory experiences. Using advanced MRI scanning techniques and robotics, the researchers found that a baby's brain activity can be changed through these associations, shedding new light on the possibility of rehabilitating babies with injured brains and promoting the development of life-long skills such as speech, language and movement.

23.11.2020Magnetic brain waves to detect injury and disease

Researchers have designed a new Optically Pumped Magnetometer (OPM) sensor for magnetoencephalography (MEG). The sensor is smaller and more robust in detecting magnetic brain signals and distinguishing them from background noise than existing sensors. Benchmarking tests showed good performance in environmental conditions where other sensors do not work, and it is able to detect brain signals against background magnetic noise, raising the possibility of MEG testing outside a specialised unit.

22.11.2020U.S. should look at how other high-income countries regulate health care costs, experts urge

Structuring negotiations between insurers and providers, standardizing fee-for-service payments and negotiating prices can lower the United States' health care spending by slowing the rate at which healthcare prices increase, according to a new study.

21.11.2020Folding of SARS-CoV2 genome reveals drug targets -- and preparation for 'SARS-CoV3'

Researchers report having observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. Since these structures are very similar among various beta corona viruses, the scientists not only laid the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating COVID-19, but also for future occurrences of infection with new corona viruses that may develop in the future.

20.11.2020Hyperbaric oxygen treatment: Clinical trial reverses two biological processes associated with aging in human cells

A new study indicates that hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) in healthy aging adults can stop the aging of blood cells and reverse the aging process. In the biological sense, the adults' blood cells actually grow younger as the treatments progress.

20.11.2020Researchers examine which approaches are most effective at reducing COVID-19 spread

Researchers have found that physical distancing is universally effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, while social bubbles and masks are more situation-dependent. The researchers developed a model to test the effectiveness of measures such as physical distancing, masks or social bubbles when used in various settings.

20.11.2020Frequent, rapid testing could cripple COVID-19 within weeks, study shows

When it comes to curbing the spread of COVID-19, test frequency and test turnaround-time are far more important than test sensitivity, according to a new study. The authors say frequent, rapid tests make 'personalized stay-at-home orders' possible.

20.11.2020Discovery illuminates how cell growth pathway responds to signals

A basic science discovery reveals a fundamental way cells interpret signals from their environment and may eventually pave the way for potential new therapies.

20.11.2020Memories create 'fingerprints' that reveal how the brain is organized

While the broad architecture and organization of the human brain is universal, new research shows how the differences between how people reimagine common scenarios can be observed in brain activity and quantified. These unique neurological signatures could ultimately be used to understand, study, and even improve treatment of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

20.11.2020Ribosome assembly: The final trimming step

Ribosomes synthesize all the proteins in cells. Studies mainly done on yeast have revealed much about how ribosomes are put together, but a team now reports that ribosome assembly in human cells requires factors that have no counterparts in simpler model organisms.

20.11.2020COVID-19 patients survive in-hospital cardiac arrest at pre-pandemic rates

Resuscitation and survival rates of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who've had cardiac arrest are much higher than earlier reports of near-zero; variation at the individual hospital level may have affected overall numbers

20.11.2020Potential cellular target for eliminating bone breakdown in osteoporosis found

By disabling a function of a set of cells in mice, researchers appear to have halted the process that breaks down bone, a potential boon for osteoporosis treatment.

20.11.2020Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels

Researchers have prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

20.11.2020Altered 'coat' disguises fatal brain virus from neutralizing antibodies

A genetic modification in the 'coat' of a brain infection-causing virus may allow it to escape antibodies, according to researchers. They say testing people for this and other viral mutations may help identify patients at risk for developing a fatal brain disease.

20.11.2020Age is no barrier to successful weight loss

Obese patients over the age of 60 can lose an equivalent amount of weight as younger people using only lifestyle changes, according to a new study that demonstrates that age is no barrier to losing weight.

20.11.2020A sulfur molecule to block the coronavirus

Some viruses can get inside cells via a mechanism that involves sulfur organic molecules. Chemists have discovered effective inhibitors and blocked the uptake of SARS-CoV-2.

20.11.2020New findings speed progress towards affordable gene therapy

In a promising advance for affordable, personalized medicine, researchers have used metal-organic frameworks to successfully deliver the genetic snipping tool CRISPR/Cas9 into human cancer cells.

20.11.2020Getting it just right, the Goldilocks model of cancer

Cancer is a disease driven by mutations that alter the way biochemical signals control cell growth, division and migration. Scientists found out that, like Goldilocks, cancer is very picky about getting rapid growth just right.

20.11.2020Glyphosate may affect human gut microbiota

More than half of bacterial species in the core of the human gut microbiome are potentially sensitive to glyphosate, shows new research. Researchers introduced the first bioinformatics resource to determine and test the potential sensitivity of organisms to glyphosate.

20.11.2020MMR vaccine could protect against COVID-19, study shows

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine has been theorized to provide protection against COVID-19. In a new study, researchers provide further proof of this by showing that mumps IgG titers, or levels of IgG antibody, are inversely correlated with severity in recovered COVID-19 patients previously vaccinated with the MMR II vaccine.

20.11.2020Near-infrared probe decodes telomere dynamics

A new synthetic probe offers a safe and straightforward approach for visualizing chromosome tips in living cells. The probe could advance research into aging and a wide range of diseases, including cancers.

20.11.2020How tissue geometry influences the movement of cells through the body

Cells move constantly throughout our bodies, performing myriad operations critical to tissue development, immune responses and general wellbeing. This bustle is guided by chemical cues long studied by scientists interested in cellular migration.

20.11.2020Scientists discover new, simple way to classify marine biomes

Scientists have developed a new way to classify the ocean's diverse environments, shedding new light on how marine biomes are defined and changed by nature and humans.

19.11.2020How rotavirus causes severe gastrointestinal disease

Using intercellular calcium waves, rotavirus amplifies its ability to cause disease beyond the cells it directly infects. This is the first virus identified to activate ADP-mediated intercellular calcium waves.

19.11.2020Predicting preterm births

Researchers studied how family history can predict preterm birth.

19.11.2020Artificial intelligence-based tool may help diagnose opioid addiction earlier

Researchers have used machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, to develop a prediction model for the early diagnosis of opioid use disorder.

19.11.2020Long-acting antipsychotic therapy plus cognitive training show promise for schizophrenia

Scientists have found that the use of long-acting antipsychotic medication combined with the use of cognitive training in group settings led to improved cognition and increased productivity.

19.11.2020Three reasons why COVID-19 can cause silent hypoxia

To crack the mystery of what causes silent hypoxia, a condition when oxygen levels in the body are abnormally low, biomedical engineers used computer modeling to test out three different scenarios that help explain how and why the lungs stop providing oxygen to the bloodstream.

19.11.2020Researchers identify features that could make someone a virus super-spreader

Researchers used computer-generated models to numerically simulate sneezes in different types of people and determine associations between people's physiological features and how far their sneeze droplets travel and linger in the air. They found that people's features, like a stopped-up nose or a full set of teeth, could increase their potential to spread viruses by affecting how far droplets travel when they sneeze.

19.11.2020Engineered immune cells elicit broad response to HIV in mice, offering hope for vaccine

Unlike so many other deadly viruses, HIV still lacks a vaccine. The virus has proven especially tricky to prevent with conventional antibodies, in part because it evolves so rapidly in the body. A solution would require coaxing the body into producing a special type of antibody that can act broadly to defeat multiple strains of the virus at once. Scientists have moved closer to attaining that goal with an approach that would rely on genetically engineered immune cells from the patient's body.

19.11.2020Insights in the search for new antibiotics

A collaborative research team published an opinion article that addresses the gap in the discovery of new antibiotics.

19.11.2020Cesarean section-born children may face higher risk of infection-related hospitalization

Children born via cesarean section may be more likely to be hospitalized for infection during early childhood. A new study suggests that compared to vaginally born children, cesarean-born children may have a higher risk of infection-related hospitalization for up to five years of age.

19.11.2020CLCN6 identified as disease gene for a severe form of lysosomal neurodegenerative disease

A mutation in the CLCN6 gene is associated with a novel, particularly severe neurodegenerative disorder. Scientists have now analyzed the effect of a point mutation that was found in three unrelated affected children.

19.11.2020Scientists discover roles for a cellular motor in cancer

Scientists have discovered new functions of a key cellular machine that regulates gene packaging and is mutated in 20 percent of human cancers.

19.11.2020How the flu virus spreads within cities

New insights into the local transmission of seasonal influenza may be valuable for planning interventions to combat the spread of respiratory diseases within cities, according to a new study.

19.11.2020New effective and safe antifungal isolated from sea squirt microbiome

By combing the ocean for antimicrobials, scientists have discovered a new antifungal compound that efficiently targets multi-drug-resistant strains of deadly fungi without toxic side effects in mice.

19.11.2020A pressure sensor at your fingertips

Researchers have developed an ultrathin pressure sensor that can be attached directly to the skin. It can measure how fingers interact with objects to produce useful data for medical and technological applications. The sensor has minimal effect on the users' sensitivity and ability to grip objects, and it is resistant to disruption from rubbing. The team also hopes their sensor can be used for the novel task of digitally archiving the skills of craft workers.

19.11.2020Study finds low risk of pregnancy complications from COVID-19

Pregnant women who test positive for COVID-19 and their newborn babies have a low risk of developing severe symptoms, according to a new study.

19.11.2020Breathing problems in teens: COVID-19 or lung injury due to vaping?

In a case series of three teen patients, pediatricians present common manifestations of COVID-19 and lung injury due to vaping (EVALI). As EVALI and COVID-19 share many symptoms, it is critical for health providers to get the vaping history of teenagers with unexplained breathing problems.

19.11.2020Understanding lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis

For young people with cystic fibrosis, lung infection with Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, is common and is treated with antibiotics in the hope that this will prevent a decline in lung function. However there has recently been debate over the role S. aureus plays in CF lung disease. Researchers have used a new model of CF lungs which could be used to make better decisions about future use of antibiotics.

19.11.2020Vibrations of coronavirus proteins may play a role in infection

New research finds vibrations of the protein spikes on coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, play a crucial part in allowing the virus to penetrate human cells. The findings could help determine how dangerous different strains or mutations of coronaviruses may be, and might point to a new approach to developing treatments.

19.11.2020Rare gene mutation hints at 'fountain of youth'

Researchers think they've found a 'fountain of youth' in a rare genetic marker -- but it's unique to a few French-Canadian families. Called PCSK9Q152H, the mutation of the PCSK9 gene was initially thought to protect against cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies reveal that it may protect against other human illnesses, mainly liver diseases.

19.11.2020Drug eases recovery for those with severe alcohol withdrawal

Scientists say a drug originally developed to treat high blood pressure can reduce severe withdrawal symptoms for patients diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.

19.11.2020Bed dust microorganisms may boost children's health, study suggests

Researchers have found a link between microorganisms living in the dust of children's beds and the children's own bacteria. The correlation suggests that microorganisms may reduce a child's risk of asthma and allergy

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