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Jan 17, 2017

Human organs-on-chips: Harvard develops microchips lined with living cells to revolutionise medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering, neuroscience

Biological engineers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have invented a microchip that can be lined with living human cells in order to revolutionise medicine, particularly relating to drug testing, disease modelling and personalised medicine.

The ‘human organs-on-chip’ is a microchip made from a clear flexible polymer that contains hollow microfluidic channels that are lined with living human cells, together with an interface that lines the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, known as an endothelium.

The idea is that the microchip can emulate the microarchitecture and functions of multiple human organs such as the lungs, kidneys, skin, bone marrow, intestines and blood-brain barrier. And if you were able to do this, you could then test out drugs and study how diseases affect the body without having to endanger human patients, or waste precious organs needed for transplants.

Continue reading “Human organs-on-chips: Harvard develops microchips lined with living cells to revolutionise medicine” »

Jan 17, 2017

We Actually Still Know Nothing About AI (But At Least We’re Trying)

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

Thus far, the month of January has been an exciting time for AI — new smart technologies have demoed, new papers have been written, and new discussions about how to make sure our new synthetic friends don’t kill us have sprung up.

According to Crunchbase’s annual Global Innovation Investment report, venture capital funding for artificial intelligence projects is primed for a boom this coming year, especially when it comes to smart devices, all of those lovely little toys that will make up the Internet of Things, aimed at making consumers’ lives just that much easier.

From the report:

Continue reading “We Actually Still Know Nothing About AI (But At Least We’re Trying)” »

Jan 17, 2017

Even a Little Daily Activity May Boost Colon Cancer Survival: Study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Interesting.


TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Just a half hour a day of moderate physical activity could be potent medicine for patients with advanced colon cancer, preliminary research suggests.

Study authors who tracked more than 1,200 colon cancer patients found a 19 percent decline in risk for early death among those who got 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily.

Continue reading “Even a Little Daily Activity May Boost Colon Cancer Survival: Study” »

Jan 17, 2017

Epigenetics Drives Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis, Potentially Reversible

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

Epigenetic changes, not DNA mutations, drive some metastasis.

Read more

Jan 17, 2017

Malaria Drug Successfully Treats 26 Year Old Brain Cancer Patient

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers report an anti malaria drug has helped improve length and quality of life for a 26 year old brain cancer patient.

Source: University of Colorado.

Continue reading “Malaria Drug Successfully Treats 26 Year Old Brain Cancer Patient” »

Jan 17, 2017

Cancer agency hacked for data won’t pay ransom

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, bitcoin, computing

Pathetic. This is truly a new low for Ransomware hackers.


MUNCIE — An Indiana cancer services agency says it will replace and rebuild its data after a computer hack demanding a ransom.

Cancer Services of East Central Indiana-Little Red Door in Muncie says it was hacked Jan. 11 and the hackers demanded a ransom of 50 bitcoins, or about $43,000, for access to its data.

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Jan 17, 2017

Inactive B2M genes can condition response of lung cancer patients to immunotherapy, study shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Nice.


Researchers from the Genes and Cancer research group at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have identified inactivating mutations in a number of genes that code for HLA-I histocompatibility complex proteins, which are involved in the immune response and can condition the response of lung cancer patients to immunotherapy. The study is a result of the collaboration between several national and international research centers, and has been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

“Initially, we performed a genetic screening of lung cancer tumors using xenograft models, that is, human tumors that grow in mice, to obtain tumors with a low load of normal human cells,” explains Dr. Montse Sanchez-Cespedes, the last author of the paper. Sequencing of the tumors made it possible to identify several mutated genes, including some oncogenes and known tumor suppressor genes, and others that not previously described. “Among the latter, we were particularly interested in the B2M gene for its involvement in the functioning of the immune system, a target of new therapies developed for this type of cancer.”

Continue reading “Inactive B2M genes can condition response of lung cancer patients to immunotherapy, study shows” »

Jan 17, 2017

Superbugs now killing more Americans than breast cancer… the scourge of antibiotics continues

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are now killing more people than breast cancer, according to a new data analysis by the UK Sepsis Trust.

According to the British Department of Health, about 5,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. But the UK Sepsis Trust and others have criticized these figures for being based on studies conducted in other countries, many of them with flawed methodology.

For the new analysis, the UK Sepsis Trust looked at the Department of Health’s own data to come up with an estimate of 12,000 killed per year by superbugs — more than twice as high as the current estimate.

Continue reading “Superbugs now killing more Americans than breast cancer… the scourge of antibiotics continues” »

Jan 17, 2017

Inactive B2M gene is recurrent in lung cancer and may condition response to immunotherapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Big deal.


Researchers from the Genes and Cancer research group at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have identified inactivating mutations in a number of genes that code for HLA-I histocompatibility complex proteins, which are involved in the immune response and can condition the tesponse of lung cancer patients to immunotherapy. The study is a result of the collaboration between several national and international research centers, and has been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

“Initially, we performed a genetic screening of lung cancer tumors using xenograft models, that is, human tumors that grow in mice, to obtain tumors with a low load of normal human cells,” explains Dr. Montse Sanchez-Cespedes, the last author of the paper. Sequencing of the tumors made it possible to identify several mutated genes, including some oncogenes and known tumor suppressor genes, and others that not previously described. “Among the latter, we were particularly interested in the B2M gene for its involvement in the functioning of the immune system, a target of new therapies developed for this type of cancer.”

Continue reading “Inactive B2M gene is recurrent in lung cancer and may condition response to immunotherapy” »

Jan 17, 2017

Protein Associated With Parkinson’s Travels From Brain To Gut

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Pretty wild.


Researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have found that “alpha-synuclein,” a protein involved in a series of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, is capable of travelling from brain to stomach and that it does so following a specific pathway. Donato Di Monte and co-workers report on this in the journal Acta Neuropathologica. Their study, carried out in rats, sheds new light on pathological processes that could underlie disease progression in humans.

Alpha-synuclein occurs naturally in the nervous system, where it plays an important role in synaptic function. However, in Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and other neurodegenerative diseases termed “synucleinopathies,” this protein is accumulated within neurons, forming pathological aggregates. Distinct areas of the brain become progressively affected by this condition. The specific mechanisms and pathways involved in this widespread distribution of alpha-synuclein pathology remain to be fully elucidated. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests however that alpha-synuclein — or abnormal forms of it — could “jump” from one neuron to another and thus spread between anatomically interconnected regions.

Continue reading “Protein Associated With Parkinson’s Travels From Brain To Gut” »