Tech

A targeted therapy, currently being studied for treatment of certain cancers including glioblastoma, may also be beneficial in treating other neurologic diseases, a study at the University of Cincinnati shows.

Patients with colon cancer, but no distant metastases yet, can benefit from a short course of immunotherapy while waiting for their surgery, as it can cause tumours to shrink substantially or clear up in a very short time. The patient's own immune cells have cleared away the cancer cells. This is the finding of a NICHE study by the Netherlands Cancer Institute, an innovatory phase II clinical trial. In patients with a specific subtype of colon cancer (MSI) 100% of the patients benefited from the therapy. In the other half (with MSS type) this was 25%.

A Japanese research team has successfully developed a system to predict the severity of Alport syndrome, a serious hereditary kidney disease that occurs in about 1 out of 5,000 people in the US. Patients with Alport syndrome have abnormalities in the causative protein, type IV collagen, that often lead to chronic renal dysfunction requiring dialysis. Without a kidney transplant, this can eventually lead to kidney failure and death.

Some insect wings such as cicada and dragonfly possess nanopillar structures that kill bacteria upon contact. However, to date, the precise mechanisms that cause bacterial death have been unknown.

Using a range of advanced imaging tools, functional assays and proteomic analyses, a study by the University of Bristol has identified new ways in which nanopillars can damage bacteria.

Researchers at Yokohama National University (YNU) meticulously examined cellulose nanofibers extracted from spent coffee grounds, identifying them as a viable new raw source.

The world generates over six million tons of coffee grounds, according to the International Coffee Organization. The journal Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported in 2012 that over half of spent coffee grounds end up in landfills. Cellulose nanofibers are the building blocks for plastic resins that can be made into biodegradable plastic products.

Scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in cooperation with the Faculty of Chemistry of the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) have developed a new, solvent-free method for the encapsulation of drug molecules in MOF (Metal-Organic Framework) porous materials.

Biofuels are an important part of the broader strategy to replace petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that we use today. However, biofuels have so far not reached cost parity with conventional petroleum fuels.

People with aortic stenosis and a low surgical risk became eligible for a less invasive valve replacement last summer, spurring increased demand for the catheter-based procedure called TAVR. But only a subset of U.S. hospitals, including Michigan Medicine's Frankel Cardiovascular Center, are able to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

New Medicare rules have lowered procedural volume requirements for hospitals who wish to offer TAVR to their patients.

But will this truly allow more people to get a TAVR who had trouble accessing the procedure before?

Public health scientists predict that school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States. Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out?of?school time this year for many children in the U.S. and will exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess.

The Perspective article appears in Obesity, the journal of the Obesity Society.

Scientists know that coronaviruses, including the SARS-CoV-19 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, can remain infectious for days -- or even longer -- in sewage and drinking water. 

Researchers at Linköping University, together with colleagues in China, have developed a tiny unit that is both an optical transmitter and a receiver. "This is highly significant for the miniaturisation of optoelectronic systems", says LiU professor Feng Gao.

Chunxiong Bao, postdoc at Linköping University, types in a sentence on a computer screen, and the same sentence immediately appears on the neighbouring screen, optically transferred from one diode to another. The diode is made from perovskite, one of a large family of materials defined by their special crystal structure.

An article published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry shows a new family of molecules with high affinity to join imidazoline receptors, which are altered in the brain of those patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's. According to the preclinical study, the merge of these specific ligands to I2 receptors improves cognitive skills and some biomarkers which are indicators of brain neurodegenerative processes in murine models.

URBANA, Ill. - You know that feeling in your gut? We think of it as an innate intuition that sparks deep in the belly and helps guide our actions, if we let it. It's also a metaphor for what scientists call the "gut-brain axis," a biological reality in which the gut and its microbial inhabitants send signals to the brain, and vice versa.

Evolution is a tinkerer, not an engineer. "Evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works with what already exists," wrote Nobel laureate François Jacob in 1977, and biologists continue to find this to be true.

Think about traffic flow in a city - there are stop signs, one-way streets, and traffic lights to organize movement across a widespread network. Now, imagine what would happen if you removed some of the traffic signals.