Biomedical engineers have grown three-dimensional human heart muscle that acts just like natural tissue. This advancement could be important in treating heart attack patients or in serving as a platform for testing new heart disease medicines.
Scientists have discovered that immune cells in the brain can produce a substance that prevents bacterial growth: Namely, itaconic acid. Until now, biologists had assumed that only certain fungi produced itaconic acid. A team has now shown that even so-called microglial cells in mammals are also capable of producing this acid.
A new study suggests a possible link between elevated blood sugar levels and risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. About 5 percent of men and women, ages 65 to 74, have Alzheimer's disease, and it is estimated that nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease.
For the first time, researchers from institutions around the country have conducted an identical series of toxicology tests evaluating lung-related health impacts associated with widely used engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The study provides comparable health risk data from multiple labs, which should help regulators develop policies to protect workers and consumers who come into contact with ENMs.
The tick-borne Lone Star virus has been conclusively identified as part of a family of other tick-borne viruses called bunyaviruses, which often cause fever, respiratory problems and bleeding, according to new research. What made the work especially promising was the speed at which the virus was definitively identified.
New research out of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota shows that by turning on just a single gene, Mesp1, different cell types including the heart, blood and muscle can be created from stem cells. Stem cell researchers have been trying to generate different cell types for regenerative medicine for years. The gene Mesp1 was particularly interesting to cardiac researchers.
Cancer chemotherapy can cause peripheral neuropathy—nerve damage often resulting in pain and muscle weakness in the arms and legs. Now, researchers have discovered that chemo also induces an insidious type of nerve damage inside bone marrow that can cause delays in recovery after bone marrow transplantation.
A handheld diagnostic device that MGH investigators first developed to diagnose cancer has been adapted to rapidly diagnose tuberculosis and other important infectious bacteria. New research describes portable devices that combine microfluidic technology with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to not only diagnose these important infections, but also determine the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
Double-amputee Jason Koger used to fly hundreds of miles to visit a clinician when he wanted to adjust the grips on his bionic hands. Now, he's got an app. Koger came to Philadelphia this week to demonstrate the i-limb ultra revolution, a prosthetic developed by the British firm Touch Bionics. Using a stylus and an iPhone, Koger can choose any of 24 grip patterns that best suit his needs.
Stem cells drawn from amniotic fluid show promise for tissue engineering, but it’s important to know what they can and cannot do. A new study has shown that these stem cells can communicate with mature heart cells and form electrical couplings with each other similar to those found in heart tissue.
Researchers have identified a gene that, when repressed in tumor cells, puts a halt to cell growth and a range of processes needed for tumors to enlarge and spread to distant sites, in hope that this so-called “master regulator” gene may be the key to developing a new treatment for tumors resistant to current drugs.
By tracking changes in patients’ blood, scientists have created a new way of looking at how tumors evolve in real-time and develop drug resistance. The research used traces of tumor DNA, known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), found in cancer patients’ blood to follow the progress of the disease as it changed over time and developed resistance to chemotherapy treatments.
It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet. But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S. — is ineffective, or worse, harmful.
A team of researchers has identified virtually all of the major mutations that drive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing blood cancer in adults that often is difficult to treat. The findings pave the way for developing better treatments for AML based on the genetic profile of a patient’s cancer.
In recent years, healthy people have been bombarded by stories in the media and on health websites warning about the dangers of too-low vitamin D levels, and urging high doses of supplements to protect against everything from hypertension to hardening of the arteries to diabetes.
Surgeons, using a new man-machine interface, were able to successfully perform simulated robotic surgical procedures using only their sense of touch. Despite all of the advances in robotics, the ability to provide the operator of a robotic system with a sense of touch (haptics) still remains a significant problem.
Scientists have identified an influential link in a chain of events that leads to autoimmune inflammation of the central nervous system in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). The researcher spells out the pivotal role of Peli1 in the activation of immune cells called microglia that promote inflammation in the central nervous system in response to tissue damage or invasion by microbes.
Researchers have identified a gene variant that helps predict how much weight an individual will lose after gastric bypass surgery, a finding with the potential both to guide treatment planning and to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches to treating obesity and related conditions like diabetes.
A new analysis of the contents of lipstick and lip gloss may cause you to pause before puckering. Researchers tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses and detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns.
Parents are reporting more skin and food allergies in their children, a big government survey found. Experts aren't sure what's behind the increase. Could it be that children are growing up in households so clean that it leaves them more sensitive to things that can trigger allergies?
It's not a "Star Trek" tricorder, but by hooking a variety of gadgets onto a smartphone you could almost get a complete physical- without the paper gown or even a visit to the doctor's office. Blood pressure? Just plug the arm cuff into the phone for a quick reading.
While the search continues for the Fountain of Youth, researchers may have found the body’s “fountain of aging”: the brain region known as the hypothalamus. For the first time, scientists report that the hypothalamus of mice controls aging throughout the body.
Many diseases– obesity, Type 2 diabetes, muscular dystrophy– are associated with fat accumulation in muscle. In essence, fat replacement causes the muscles to weaken and degenerate. Scientists have discovered the biological mechanism involved in this process, which could point the way to potential therapies.
Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, a person’s arm frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. Much in the same way, robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task.
Even bacteria have a kind of “immune system” they use to defend themselves against unwanted intruders– in their case, viruses. Scientists are now able to show that this defense system is much more diverse than previously thought and that it comes in multiple versions.