Inflammation in the human body is a complex physiological response to a complex range of triggers, and scientists have just uncovered some useful new details about how it works by experimenting with muscles grown in the lab. By simulating the effects of exercise on these engineered cells and tissues, the scientists made the unexpected discovery that human muscle can fend off inflammation all on its own.
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can gradually cause vision loss, which is currently irreversible. But in a new cell culture study scientists found that removing a membrane at the back of the eye could help transplanted cells migrate into the optic nerve and repair the connections, potentially restoring lost vision.
Viruses firmly hold the world’s attention at the moment, but we shouldn’t ignore the rising health threat that bacteria pose, too. The crafty critters are fast evolving resistance to antibiotics, meaning our best drugs could soon stop working entirely. Now researchers in Australia have found a way to bypass drug resistance in these so-called superbugs – by distracting them with predatory viruses.
DEET may be an effective mosquito repellent, but it can cause irritation, and has to be reapplied every few hours. Scientists are now working on a more innocuous, longer-laster alternative, that involves introducing genetically engineered bacteria to people’s skin.
Getting transplanted tissue to behave like the original tissue isn’t always a smooth process, and one of the things physicians look out for following a procedure is how well it takes in oxygen. Wired devices called oximeters are the gold standard when it comes to monitoring this in recovering patients, but scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may have found a better way forward in a paint-on bandage that glows in response to the levels of oxygen in the tissue.
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) in St. Louis have spent some years investigating the links between circadian rhythm and Alzheimer’s, and have recently been making some real inroads. Following a 2018 study demonstrating how disrupted sleep can accelerate the buildup of toxic plaques associated with the disease, the team has now identified a protein implicated in the progression of the disease that appears highly regulated by the circadian rhythm, helping them join the dots and providing a potential new therapeutic target.
by: Brent Smith
It was a stormy Monday. I remember it well, as this particular Monday was different from all other Mondays. And I do remember it well for its momentousness and that it was just day before yesterday. Can you recall where you were when you heard the news that Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York City, was the first American to receive the COVID vaccine?
I was in my office, some 250 miles away, but would swear that I heard trumpets sound as they hailed the end of the COVID scourge. Maybe it wasn’t trumpets. Maybe it was the feckless dronings of America’s worst Governor, Andrew Cuomo, as he tried to horn in on the action, congratulating those involved as if they were Neil Armstrong after his first Moon walk.
An incredible proof-of-concept study from a team of European scientists has demonstrated the development of a novel insulin molecule that can sense blood sugar levels and self-adjust its activity in response to a patient’s needs. The experimental molecule has only been tested in animals so far but the researchers are hopeful further development will offer diabetics a safer and easier insulin therapy in the future.