Diabetic Heart Attacks, Strokes on the Decline
In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.
Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/diabetic-heart-attacks-strokes-decline
Obesity Amplifies Bone, Muscle Loss
Florida State Univ. researchers have identified a new syndrome called “osteosarcopenic obesity” that links the deterioration of bone density and muscle mass with obesity.
"It used to be the thinking that the heavier you were the better your bones would be because the bones were supporting more weight," says Jasminka Ilich-Ernst, the Hazel Stiebeling Professor of Nutrition at Florida State. "But, that’s only true to a certain extent."
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/obesity-amplifies-bone-muscle-loss
Scans May Help Predict Recovery from Vegetative State
When patients suffer from a brain injury and are unresponsive, we often don’t know whether they have suffered irreversible damage from which they will never recover, or whether the damage is a temporary problem (perhaps even an important part of the brain’s healing process).
In patients with substantial swelling of the brain, working out whether they might wake up is usually done through clinical examination – testing whether they respond to stimuli such as light shone in the eyes – and structural brain imaging. But in many cases the accuracy of predicting the outcome is no better than flipping a coin.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/scans-may-help-predict-recovery-vegetative-state
Plant-derived Nanotubes Enable Personalized DNA Delivery
Personalized medicine took one step closer to reality recently with the development of plant-derived nanotubes.
These nanotubes – tiny structures several hundred times thinner than a human hair – hone in on specific tissues in the body and deliver their cargo, in this study’s case, a healthy gene to help override a dysfunctional copy. Nanotubes have many uses, such as delivering chemotherapy drugs directly to a tumor. As of now, chemotherapy is delivered to the entire system and often causes damage to healthy tissue. Using this direct-delivery method, chemotherapy can maximize its effectiveness on tumors while minimizing harm to healthy tissue.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/plant-derived-nanotubes-enable-personalized-dna-delivery
A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say. The young adults who volunteered for the study were not dependent on pot, nor did they show any marijuana-related problems.
"What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use," things like lack of focus and impaired judgment, says Hans Breiter, a study author. Longer-term studies will be needed to see if such brain changes cause any symptoms over time, says Breiter, of the Northwestern Univ. Feinberg School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/research-finds-brain-changes-pot-smokers
Solving Mystery Key to Less Toxic Antifungals
Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery – and in the process have found a potentially less toxic way to fight invasive fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people a year. The researchers say they now understand the mechanism of action of amphotericin, an antifungal drug that has been in use for more than 50 years – even though it is nearly as toxic to human cells as it is to the microbes it attacks.
“Invasive fungal infections are a very important unmet medical need,” says Univ. of Illinois and Howard Hughes Medical Institute chemistry professor Martin Burke, who led the study with chemistry professor Chad Rienstra. “There are about three million cases per year and what’s striking is that, even in 2014, half the patients who come into the hospital with an invasive fungal infection in their blood die.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/solving-mystery-key-less-toxic-antifungals
Nanocrystalline Cellulose Acts as Viral Inhibitor
Researchers have succeeded in creating a surface on nanosized cellulose crystals that imitates a biological structure. The surface adsorbs viruses and disables them. The results can prove useful in the development of antiviral ointments and surfaces.
There are many viral diseases in the world for which no pharmaceutical treatment exists. These include, among others, dengue fever, which is spread by mosquitoes in the tropics, as well as a type of diarrhea, which is more familiar in Finland and is easily spread by the hands and can be dangerous especially for small children and the elderly.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/nanocrystalline-cellulose-acts-viral-inhibitor
Microscope Will Help Early Detection of Cancer, Diseases
An engineering researcher at the Univ. of Arkansas has developed an inexpensive, endoscopic microscope capable of producing high-resolution, sub-cellular images of tissue in real time. The fiber-optic device, which is portable, re-usable and easily packaged with conventional endoscopes, will help clinicians detect and diagnose early-stage disease, primarily cancer.
An endoscopic microscope is a tool or technique that obtains histological images from inside the human body in real-time. Some clinicians consider it an optical biopsy. The system, developed by Timothy Muldoon, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, also serves as an intraoperative monitoring device by providing a “preview of biopsy” – that is, helping clinicians target ideal locations on lesions prior to and during surgical biopsies – and by capturing high-resolution images of tumor margins in real time. The latter will help surgeons know whether they have totally removed a tumor.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/microscope-will-help-early-detection-cancer-diseases
Metals Extend Biomedical Potential
From dental implants that are light, strong and porous enough to bond with bone to surgical implants that dissolve over time, modified metals are dramatically extending biomedical potential.
A new nanostructuring technique being researched by Prof. Yuri Estrin at Monash Univ.’s Centre for Advanced Hybrid Materials promises metals with greater strength, better corrosion resistance and increased biocompatibility.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/metals-extend-biomedical-potential
Blood Test Diagnoses Asthma
Using just a single drop of blood, a team of Univ. of Wisconsin Madison researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma.
This handheld technology — which takes advantage of a previously unknown correlation between asthmatic patients and the most abundant type of white blood cells in the body — means doctors could diagnose asthma even if their patients are not experiencing symptoms during their visit to the clinic.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/blood-test-diagnoses-asthma
A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer is facing pushback from more than a dozen patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women’s health: the Pap smear.
The new test comes from Roche and uses DNA to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While such technology has been available for years, Roche now wants the FDA to approve its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, bypassing the decades-old Pap smear.
No Debate: Cutting Salt Lowers Strokes, Heart Attacks
The salt debate has filled the pages of health magazines and newspapers for years. From John Swales’ original skepticism in 1988 to the Godlee’s sharp call to reality in 1996, the debate has transcended the scientific arena into public opinion and media campaigns with increasingly passionate tones. Now a new study, published in BMJ Open, suggests that a 15 percent drop in daily salt intake in England between 2003 and 2011 led to 42 percent less stroke deaths and a 40 percent drop in deaths from coronary heart disease. So where does this leave the salt debate?
The salt controversy has been particularly heated since the translation of the results of scientific studies into public health and policy actions and the “salt debate” has become for some a “salt war.” The progression of this debate into a war resembles past and present debates (let us think about John Snow and the cholera epidemic in the 19th century, the long-lasting denial of the harm of tobacco smoking in the 20th century, global warming and climate change in the 21st century), when the translation of science into practice clashes with vested interests.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/no-debate-cutting-salt-lowers-strokes-heart-attacks
Nanoparticles Deliver Three Cancer Drugs
Delivering chemotherapy drugs in nanoparticle form could help reduce side effects by targeting the drugs directly to the tumors. In recent years, scientists have developed nanoparticles that deliver one or two chemotherapy drugs, but it has been difficult to design particles that can carry any more than that in a precise ratio.
Now, MIT chemists have devised a new way to build such nanoparticles, making it much easier to include three or more different drugs. In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers showed that they could load their particles with three drugs commonly used to treat ovarian cancer.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/nanoparticles-deliver-three-cancer-drugs
Technique Can Reverse Engineer Developing Lung
Consider the marvel of the embryo. It begins as a glob of identical cells that change shape and function as they multiply to become the cells of our lungs, muscles, nerves and all the other specialized tissues of the body.
Now, in a feat of reverse tissue engineering, Stanford researchers have begun to unravel the complex genetic coding that allows embryonic cells to proliferate and transform into all of the specialized cells that perform a myriad of different biological tasks.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/technique-can-reverse-engineer-developing-lung
Long-term Antibiotic Use Linked to Weight Gain
Scientists have unearthed still more evidence that antibiotics can contribute to obesity. Research published ahead of print in the American Society for Microbiology journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy suggests that patients on long-term antibiotic treatment gained weight and had significant changes in their gut microbiota.
The study, led by Didier Raoult of Aix-Marseille Univ., followed 48 patients who were being treated long-term with doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine for Q fever, and 34 control subjects. Nearly one quarter of the treated patients gained anywhere from two to 13 kg (five to 30 lbs), while none of the controls exhibited weight gain. Patients typically received treatment for 18 months.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/long-term-antibiotic-use-linked-weight-gain