Cancer treatment is often a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. You may well have some success with chemotherapy, but subsequent damage to otherwise healthy organs and tissue is a trade-off that clinicians and patients have had to juggle with for decades. But, thanks to a chance meeting at the Hudson Institute in Melbourne, lung cancer patients could be looking at more effective chemo with fewer side effects.
The bacteria that call your gut home can have a tremendous impact on your overall health, but exactly how the bugs do so is a web that’s still being untangled. To investigate, researchers at Harvard Medical School have deleted a single gene from one gut bacteria species and found that it alters the metabolism of the host, reducing their weight gain.
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is one of the most commonly associated causes of age-related dementia and stroke. New research, led by the University of Edinburgh, may have finally uncovered the mechanism by which SVD causes brain cell damage, as well as a potential treatment to prevent the damage, and possibly even reverse it.
Cancer is one of humanity’s biggest killers, but scientists are coming up with some creative ways to fight back. Researchers at the University at Buffalo have developed new kinds of nanoparticles that can infiltrate, heat up and kill cancer cells more effectively and efficiently than similar methods.
Strong and light, spider silk is one of the most impressive materials in the natural world. Both the real thing and synthetic versions have been used to improve everything from clothing to car seats, cooling electronics to preserving produce, making sweet music or helping people hear it, and even patching up severed nerves. Now, scientists in Germany and Switzerland have found a new use for spider silk – wrapping up cancer drugs to protect them until they can reach their tumorous targets.
Antibiotics are effective at killing bacteria (for now, at least), but they aren’t very picky, indiscriminately wiping out both good and bad bacteria. This can upset the fragile balance of your microbiome, which is increasingly being linked to general health and wellbeing. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed a new approach to make a drug that can single out a specific, opportunistic bacteria known as C. difficile.
There’s a limited supply of donor human corneas, meaning that not everyone who needs an eyesight-saving transplant can get one. As a result, biosynthetic corneas have recently been developed. These could become quicker and easier to produce, as scientists have now successfully 3D-printed the things.