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Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too

August 15, 2014 2:49 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Amid a neuroscience debate about how people and animals focus on distinct objects within cluttered scenes, some of the newest and best evidence comes from the way bats "see" with their ears, according to a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology. In fact, the perception process in question could improve sonar and radar technology.

Scientists racing to test Ebola vaccines in humans

August 15, 2014 10:59 am | by Matthew Perrone - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists are racing to begin the first human safety tests of two experimental Ebola vaccines, but it won't be easy to prove that the shots and other potential treatments in the pipeline really work. There are no proven drugs or vaccines for Ebola, a disease so rare that it's been hard to attract investments in countermeasures. But the current outbreak in West Africa—the largest in history—is fueling new efforts to ...

New gene editing method may help correct muscular dystrophy

August 15, 2014 10:52 am | by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | News | Comments

Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers successfully used a new gene editing method to correct a mutation that leads to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in a mouse model of the condition. Researchers used a technique called CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, which can precisely remove a mutation in DNA, allowing the body's DNA repair mechanisms to ...

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Memories of errors foster faster learning

August 15, 2014 10:18 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Using a deceptively simple set of experiments, researchers at Johns Hopkins have learned why people learn an identical or similar task faster the second, third and subsequent time around. The reason: They are aided not only by memories of how to perform the task, but also by memories of the errors made the first time.

UT Arlington and Pediatrix partner to bring simulation training direct to practice

August 15, 2014 9:45 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A real-time video feed, a laptop and a computerized manikin baby are key components for a new simulation training initiative that allows UT Arlington College of Nursing educators to put Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) and physicians through the paces of an emergency scenario from hundreds of miles away.

Scripps Research Institute chemists uncover powerful new click chemistry reactivity

August 14, 2014 4:23 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Chemists led by Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have used his click chemistry to uncover unprecedented, powerful reactivity for making new drugs, diagnostics, plastics, smart materials and many other products. The new SuFEx—Sulfur Fluoride Exchange—reactions enable ...

New non-invasive technique controls size of molecules penetrating the blood-brain barrier

August 14, 2014 4:14 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A new technique developed by Elisa Konofagou, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia Engineering, has demonstrated for the first time that the size of molecules penetrating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) can be controlled using acoustic pressure—the pressure of an ultrasound beam—to let specific molecules through.

Immune cell discovery could help to halt cancer spread

August 14, 2014 2:32 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Melbourne researchers have revealed the critical importance of highly specialised immune cells, called natural killer cells, in killing melanoma cells that have spread to the lungs. These natural killer cells could be harnessed to hunt down and kill cancers that have spread in the body.

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Clinical trial tests COXEN model to predict best treatment for bladder cancer

August 14, 2014 10:47 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine being able to match a cancer's genes to the best treatment. That's the promise of COXEN (CO eXpression ExtrapolatioN) – a computer program that looks at a panel of cancer genes in a patient's tumor to predict whether it will respond to chemotherapy. Now a clinical trial recently approved by the National Cancer Institute will open at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and nationally via the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG to ...

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing

August 14, 2014 10:34 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

DNGene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that nanopores in the material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) could sequence DNA more accurately ...

Novel chip-based platform could simplify measurements of single molecules

August 14, 2014 10:22 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have developed a new approach for studying single molecules and nanoparticles by combining electrical and optical measurements on an integrated chip-based platform. In a paper published July 9 in Nano Letters, the researchers reported using the device to distinguish viruses from similarly-sized nanoparticles with 100 percent fidelity.

Bypass commands from the brain to legs through a computer

August 14, 2014 10:08 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Gait disturbance in individuals with spinal cord injury is attributed to the interruption of neural pathways from brain to the spinal locomotor center, whereas neural circuits locate below and above the lesion maintain most of their functions. An artificial connection that bridges the lost pathway and connects brain to spinal circuits has potential to ameliorate the functional loss.

“Life was short, disgusting and painful” - CE Aretaeus of Cappadocia

August 14, 2014 9:46 am | by Emily L. Cross, Ph.D., TecMed, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

It is easy to make the assumption that modern medical tools answer to the demands Diabetes Mellitus puts on patients in both surgical and critical care environments. Additionally, it is easy to think that the tools used to measure blood glucose levels to manage day-to-day health are both advanced and accurate. It is true what is available has saved millions of lives, yet, the tools we depend on for survival are almost as archaic as ...

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FDA Approves Lung Preservation Machine

August 13, 2014 4:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal health regulators have approved a novel device that can preserve donated lungs outside the body for possible transplantation into critically ill patients. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that the approval of the XVIVO Perfusion System could lead to ...

Patent examiners more likely to approve marginal inventions when pressed for time

August 13, 2014 4:02 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Haste makes waste, as the old saying goes. And according to research from a University of Illinois expert in patent law, the same adage could be applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where high-ranking examiners have a tendency to rubber-stamp patents of questionable merit due to time constraints.

Stimuli-responsive drug delivery system prevents transplant rejection

August 13, 2014 3:56 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Following a tissue graft transplant—such as that of the face, hand, arm or leg—it is standard for doctors to immediately give transplant recipients immunosuppressant drugs to prevent their body's immune system from rejecting and attacking the new body part. However, there are toxicities associated with delivering these drugs systemically, as well as side effects since suppressing the immune system can make a patient vulnerable to infection.

“Trojan horse” treatment could beat brain tumors

August 13, 2014 2:55 pm | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A "Trojan horse" treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, which involves using tiny nanoparticles of gold to kill tumour cells, has been successfully tested by scientists. The ground-breaking technique could eventually be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme, which is ...

'Shape-shifting' material could help reconstruct faces

August 13, 2014 11:40 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Injuries, birth defects (such as cleft palates) or surgery to remove a tumor can create gaps in bone that are too large to heal naturally. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these bone defects can dramatically alter a person's appearance. Researchers will report today that they have developed a "self-fitting" material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects, and also acts as a scaffold for ...

Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal

August 13, 2014 11:29 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you're diseased, according to research using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Scientists say these surprising findings might lead to better ways to prevent or even reverse the gum disease periodontitis, diabetes, and Crohn's disease.

Research may lead to reliable alternative to open-heart surgery

August 13, 2014 10:37 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

University of Houston (UH) professor Suncica "Sunny" Canic is a mathematician, not a medical doctor, but her research could save the lives of heart patients. Working with collaborators from Houston Methodist Hospital on a minimally invasive experimental procedure for heart valve replacement, Canic's work could lead to optimal design of an alternative to open-heart surgery for treating failing heart valves.

New biomaterial coats tricky burn wounds by acting like cling wrap

August 12, 2014 3:17 pm | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Wrapping wound dressings around fingers and toes can be tricky, but for burn victims, guarding them against infection is critical. Today, scientists are reporting the development of novel, ultra-thin coatings called nanosheets that can ...

23andMe announces agreement with Pfizer to research inflammatory bowel disease

August 12, 2014 3:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

23andMe, the leading personal genetics company today announced an agreement with Pfizer Inc. in which the companies will aim to enroll 10,000 people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in a research initiative designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity and response to treatments for IBD.

Hijacking the Brain's Blood Supply: Tumor Discovery Could Aid Treatment

August 12, 2014 11:21 am | by University of Michigan Health System | News | Comments

Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain's existing blood supply throughout their progression, by growing only within narrow potential spaces between and along the brain's thousands of small blood vessels, new research shows for the first time. The findings contradict the concept that brain tumors need to grow their own blood vessels to keep themselves growing ...

Expert Panel Concludes Neurostimulation Can Be Life-Changing Therapy for Chronic Pain

August 12, 2014 11:07 am | by Johns Hopkins Medicine | News | Comments

Chronic pain, which persists despite the fact that an injury has healed, can last for many months or years and may affect up to 15 percent of the adult population at any point in time. While it is a condition in its own right, it can be a component of other conditions. Neurostimulation, which involves stimulating pain-sensing nerves to convert painful sensations into nonpainful ones, offers ...

An easier way to manipulate malaria genes

August 12, 2014 10:59 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, has proven notoriously resistant to scientists' efforts to study its genetics. It can take up to a year to determine the function of a single gene, which has slowed efforts to develop new, more targeted drugs and vaccines. MIT biological engineers have now demonstrated that

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