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Health & Medicine

Category: Health & Medicine


The just-discovered disease is a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease that causes fever, skin rashes, diarrhea and joint pain in young children.
National Institutes of Health researchers have discovered a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease - otulipenia - that primarily affects young children. They have also identified anti-inflammatory treatments that ease some of the patients' symptoms: fever, skin rashes, diarrhea, joint pain and overall failure to grow or thrive.

In a new study, Yale researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas. The research provides insight into how Zika virus may be transmitted from expectant mother to fetus, resulting in infection of the fetal brain.


This image shows the presence of an extracellular vesicle.
Researchers at The University of Manchester have unlocked the potential of a new test which could revolutionise the way doctors diagnose and monitor a common childhood Leukaemia.


A computer monitor in the lab of Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., shows the brain activity of a monkey using a brain-machine interface.
Eight people who have spent years paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have regained partial sensation and muscle control in their lower limbs after training with brain-controlled robotics, according to a study published Aug. 11 in Scientific Reports.

USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere -- taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small heads.

A month after announcing that two promising vaccine candidates provided mice with complete protection against the Zika virus, a research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), in collaboration with scientists at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and the University of São Paulo, now reports achieving complete protection against Zika virus in rhesus monkeys. The research team's findings were published online today in the journal Science.

Patients suffering from so-called immune-mediated neuropathies frequently have a long medical record. As there are no diagnostic tests available to reliably diagnose the disease, the diagnosis is frequently made belatedly and patients can be misdiagnosed. Accordingly, many years often pass before an effective therapy is started. However, not all patients respond to first-choice drugs even when treated immediately.

Cancer cells need oxygen to survive, as do most other life forms, but scientists had never tracked their search for oxygen in their early growth stages until now -- a step toward a deeper understanding of one way cancer spreads that could help treat the disease.


Berkeley Lab researchers (from left) Lara Gundel, Marion Russell, Hugo Destaillats demonstrate filling a glass syringe with vapor from an e-cigarette.
While previous studies have found that electronic cigarettes emit toxic compounds, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has pinpointed the source of these emissions and shown how factors such as the temperature, type, and age of the device play a role in emission levels, information that could be valuable to both manufacturers and regulators seeking to minimize the health impacts of these increasingly popular devices.

A study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Brigham and Women's Hospital and the California Department of Public Health suggests that all babies with a known mutation for cystic fibrosis (CF) and second mutation called the 5T allele should receive additional screening in order to better predict the risk of developing CF later in life.

Full-term babies receive natural protection from their mothers that helps them fight off dangerous infections. However, babies born prematurely lack protective intestinal bacteria and often are unable to be nursed, causing their infection-fighting capabilities to be underdeveloped. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that a manufactured form of lactoferrin, a naturally occurring protein in breast milk, can help protect premature infants from a type of staph infection.


Updates to the zoonotic niche map of Ebola virus disease in Africa by David Pigott et al.
Though the West African Ebola outbreak that began in 2013 is now under control, 23 countries remain environmentally suitable for animal-to-human transmission of the Ebola virus. Only seven of these countries have experienced cases of Ebola, leaving the remaining 16 countries potentially unaware of regions of suitability, and therefore underprepared for future outbreaks.

The microscopic organisms that live in our gut do more than help us digest food. A new study in rats bolsters a growing body of evidence that the complex mix of microorganisms found in the gut, known as gut microbiota, could influence a person's likelihood of developing colon cancer.

When cells die, whether through apoptosis or necrosis, the DNA and other molecules found in those cells don't just disappear. They wind up in the blood stream, where degraded bits and pieces can be extracted.


The green-labelled cells show a basal cell carcinoma in mouse tail epidermis derived from a single mutant stem cell and expanding out of the normal epidermis stained in red.
Scientists have identified for the first time the 'cell of origin' - in other words, the first cell from which the cancer grows - in basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, and followed the chain of events that lead to the growth of these invasive tumours.

Since the 1970s, U.S. doctors have prescribed lithium to treat patients with bipolar disorder. While the drug has a good success rate, scientists are still unsure exactly how it achieves its beneficial effects.

Precise predictions of whether a tumor is likely to spread would help clinicians and patients choose the best course of treatment. But current methods fall short of the precision needed. New research reveals that profiling primary tumor samples using genomic technologies can improve the accuracy of breast cancer survival predictions compared to clinical information alone. The study was published in the journal GENETICS, a publication of the Genetics Society of America.


In kataegis, multiple mutations cluster in a few hotspots in a cancer genome. Here, cytosine (C) bases are commonly substituted with thymine (T) in the DNA strand.
Kataegis is a recently discovered phenomenon in which multiple mutations cluster in a few hotspots in a genome. The anomaly was previously found in some cancers, but it has been unclear what role kataegis plays in tumor development and patient outcomes. Using a database of human tumor genomic data, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have discovered that kataegis is actually a positive marker in breast cancer -- patients with these mutation hotspots have less invasive tumors and better prognoses.

Oral multikinase inhibitor regorafenib achieves significantly improved survival rates compared to placebo in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, according to data from the phase III RESORCE trial (1), presented at the ESMO 18th World Congress of Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona, Spain.

Physicians have been mystified by chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition where normal exertion leads to debilitating fatigue that isn't alleviated by rest. There are no known triggers, and diagnosis requires lengthy tests administered by an expert.

When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Several of these changes likely increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Now, UNC School of Medicine scientists report that vaping electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway.

The incidence of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism increased significantly in 30 years from 1976 to 2005, Mayo Clinic researchers reported today in a study in JAMA Neurology. This trend was noted in particular for men age 70 and older. According to the researchers, this is the first study to suggest such an increasing trend.


A piece of art created by a study participant using both markers and modeling clay.
Whether you're Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a new Drexel University study found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.

In late 2015, former President Jimmy Carter announced that he was free of the metastatic melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain. In addition to surgery and radiation, Carter was treated with an immunotherapy drug, a new approach in cancer treatment that has a promising outlook.


Hospital in Mbeya, Tanzania.
The first days after HIV infection are very important because sexual partners are exposed to extremely high risks of infection due to the subsequent high viral load in the infected person. Additionally, this period of time determines the further course of HIV infection. DZIF scientists from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Medical Center of the University of Mu-nich (LMU) and DZIF African partner institutions in Tanzania participated in a pro-spective, multinational study which investigated virological and immunological changes due to HIV - prior to the onset of clinical symptoms and commercial HIV testing windows.


Dr. Douglas Antczak with Cayenne, who is not afflicted with sarcoid tumors.
Sarcoid skin tumors are the most common form of cancer in horses, but little is known about why the papillomavirus behind them strikes some horses and not others. A new study by an international research group led by scientists at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine shows genetic differences in immune function between horses partly accounts for these differences. The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, mirrors findings in humans, as some people have a genetic susceptibility to human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical and other cancers.


Chronic myeloid leukemia blood cells.
Cancer stem cells are like zombies -- even after a tumor is destroyed, they can keep coming back. These cells have an unlimited capacity to regenerate themselves, making more cancer stem cells and more tumors. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have now unraveled how pre-leukemic white blood cell precursors become leukemia stem cells. The study, published June 9 in Cell Stem Cell, used human cells to define the RNA editing enzyme ADAR1's role in leukemia, and find a way to stop it.


The cell images represent cancer cells where the cell nuclei are depicted in light blue and the fat droplets in red.
It has been established that not all cancer cells are equally aggressive - most can be neutralised with radiation and chemotherapy. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now discovered that some cancer cells can accumulate fat droplets, which appear to make them more aggressive and increase their ability to spread.

At any given moment, the human genome spells out thousands of genetic words telling our cells which proteins to make. Each word is read by a molecule known as a tRNA.

A benign virus normally found in the skin can lead to a type of rare, lethal skin cancer. Specifically, infection by the Merkel cell polyomavirus can lead to Merkel cell carcinoma in immune-compromised individuals. Researchers have now identified a type of skin cell as the target of the virus in humans. This study, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, establishes a new way to investigate this type of oncogenic viral infection and identifies a potential therapeutic agent against Merkel cell polyomavirus infection.

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