Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 3

Nov 9, 2020

Tasmanian devils ‘adapting to coexist with cancer’

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Circa 2019

There is hope for the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials whose numbers have been ravaged by disease.

Nov 9, 2020

Cancer cell reprogramming: a promising therapy converting malignancy to benignity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Circa 2019

In the past decade, remarkable progress has been made in reprogramming terminally differentiated somatic cells and cancer cells into induced pluripotent cells and cancer cells with benign phenotypes. Recent studies have explored various approaches to induce reprogramming from one cell type to another, including lineage-specific transcription factors-, combinatorial small molecules-, microRNAs- and embryonic microenvironment-derived exosome-mediated reprogramming. These reprogramming approaches have been proven to be technically feasible and versatile to enable re-activation of sequestered epigenetic regions, thus driving fate decisions of differentiated cells. One of the significant utilities of cancer cell reprogramming is the therapeutic potential of retrieving normal cell functions from various malignancies. However, there are several major obstacles to overcome in cancer cell reprogramming before clinical translation, including characterization of reprogramming mechanisms, improvement of reprogramming efficiency and safety, and development of delivery methods. Recently, several insights in reprogramming mechanism have been proposed, and determining progress has been achieved to promote reprogramming efficiency and feasibility, allowing it to emerge as a promising therapy against cancer in the near future. This review aims to discuss recent applications in cancer cell reprogramming, with a focus on the clinical significance and limitations of different reprogramming approaches, while summarizing vital roles played by transcription factors, small molecules, microRNAs and exosomes during the reprogramming process.

Nov 9, 2020

Covid vaccine: First ‘milestone’ vaccine offers 90% protection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Could it be?

‘Milestone’ vaccine offers 90% Covid protection.

The vaccine is a “significant step” forward for getting life back to normal, but challenges remain.

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Nov 9, 2020

Pfizer says early data signals COVID-19 vaccine is effective

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

#BREAKING: Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. bit.ly/3leFbzp

Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, indicating the company is on track later this month to file an emergency use application with U.S. regulators.

Monday’s announcement doesn’t mean a vaccine is imminent: This interim analysis, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries.

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Nov 8, 2020

Physicists Circumvent 178-Year Old Theory to Cancel Magnetic Fields

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, quantum physics

The ability to cancel magnetic fields has benefits in quantum technology, biomedicine, and neurology.

A team of scientists including two physicists at the University of Sussex has found a way to circumvent a 178-year old theory which means they can effectively cancel magnetic fields at a distance. They are the first to be able to do so in a way that has practical benefits.

The work is hoped to have a wide variety of applications. For example, patients with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s might in the future receive a more accurate diagnosis. With the ability to cancel out ‘noisy’ external magnetic fields, doctors using magnetic field scanners will be able to see more accurately what is happening in the brain.

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Nov 7, 2020

Drones to descend on Israeli hospitals for new air-drop delivery service

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones

The U.S. drone delivery company Zipline is getting ready to begin commercial operations in Israel next year, TheMarker has learned. The company has begun the regulatory process and is in talks with potential customers.

Zipline hopes to begin its pilot program in Israel early next year, delivering blood and medicine to hospitals in the north and south of the country. While the company has drawn up detailed plans for entering the local market, there’s no guarantee that the pilot will develop into a commercial launch of the service.

Founded in 2014, Zipline has raised around 230 million to date and has a valuation of more than $1 billion. It’s considered the most prominent player in the field: The company has operated commercial drone delivery services since 2016 and has carried out more than 70,000 deliveries.

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Nov 7, 2020

Our memory comes from an ancient virus, neuroscientists say

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Some scientists believe that the ability of animals to store memory came from a virus that infected a common ancestor hundreds of millions of years ago. 😃

This study is radically changing how we view the process of evolution.

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Nov 7, 2020

An artificial neural connection allows a new cortical site to control hand movements

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

Restoration of lost motor function after stroke is typically accomplished after strenuous rehabilitation therapy lasting for over months. However, new research published by a group led by Yukio Nishimura, the project leader of the Neural Prosthesis Project, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science showed that an artificial neural connection (ANC)*1 successfully allowed a new cortical site, previously unassociated with hand movements, to regain control of a paralyzed hand in a matter of minutes.

In this research, experimental animals regained voluntary control of a paralyzed hand about ten minutes after establishment of an ANC. Animals engaged in learning with a functional ANC showed variable levels of input signals provided by the cerebral cortex*2 as hand movement improved. Specifically, the activated area of the cortex became more focused as control of hand movements improved.

Through this training of various areas of the cerebral cortex, the research team successfully imparted a new ability to control paralyzed hands via an ANC, even if those areas were not involved in hand control prior to the stroke. Examples of such regions include areas of the cortex that controls the movement of other body parts such as the face or shoulder, and even the somatosensory cortex, which is responsible for tactile and proprioception processing and is normally not associated with motor control. This finding suggests that an ANC can impart new motor control functions to any cortical region.

Nov 7, 2020

New Kind of Superconductivity Discovered: Researchers Demonstrate a Superconductor Previously Thought Impossible

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Superconductivity is a phenomenon where an electric circuit loses its resistance and becomes extremely efficient under certain conditions. There are different ways in which this can happen which were thought to be incompatible. For the first time, researchers discover a bridge between two of these methods to achieve superconductivity. This new knowledge could lead to a more general understanding of the phenomena, and one day to applications.

If you’re like most people, there are three states of matter in your everyday life: solid, liquid, and gas. You might be familiar with a fourth state of matter called plasma, which is like a gas that got so hot all its constituent atoms came apart, leaving behind a super hot mess of subatomic particles. But did you know about a so-called fifth state of matter at the complete opposite end of the thermometer? It’s known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).

“A BEC is a unique state of matter as it is not made from particles, but rather waves,” said Associate Professor Kozo Okazaki from the Institute for Solid State Physics at the University of Tokyo. “As they cool down to near absolute zero, the atoms of certain materials become smeared out over space. This smearing increases until the atoms — now more like waves than particles — overlap, becoming indistinguishable from one another. The resulting matter behaves like it’s one single entity with new properties the preceding solid, liquid or gas states lacked, such as superconduction. Until recently superconducting BECs were purely theoretical, but we have now demonstrated this in the lab with a novel material based on iron and selenium (a nonmetallic element).”

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Nov 7, 2020

New Strategies for Restoring Myelin on Damaged Nerve Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers have discovered a two-pronged approach to restore myelin on regenerated axons in a mouse model of optic nerve damage. The findings have positive implications for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Source: Children’s Hospital of Boston

Loss of myelin—the fatty substance that surrounds the axons of nerve cells—is one of the reasons nerve cells fail to recover after injury and in some diseases. Myelin acts like insulation, covering the long axon threads that enable high-speed communication between neurons. Without myelin, the neurons may not be able to coordinate well, leading to less than optimal function.

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