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Take a deep breath – scientists working on a stress breath test

Take a deep breath – scientists working on a stress breath test | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Most of us are able to let other people know that we’re stressed, simply by telling them. For people such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s, however, it can be difficult to express such a thought. That’s why UK scientists at Loughborough University and Imperial College London are developing a new test that can determine someone’s stress levels by analyzing their breath.

 

 

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Devices aim to deliver on stem-cell therapies | KurzweilAI

Devices aim to deliver on stem-cell therapies | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Working with bioengineers and neurosurgeons, Daniel Lim, a neurosurgeon and stem-cell scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, has designed a needle that bends for for delivering stem cells to the brain,  Nature News reports.

The device can deposit cells anywhere within a 2-centimetre radius along a track, a volume bigger than an entire mouse brain.

 

 

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Researchers trap immune cells in oil-water droplets in hopes of reprogramming them to fight cancer

Researchers trap immune cells in oil-water droplets in hopes of reprogramming them to fight cancer | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Some biologists would like to train patients’ own immune systems to treat diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. They envision programming immune cells to destroy tumor cells or to stop immune system attacks on healthy tissue. Now a team of German researchers reports a method that traps immune cells in microscopic water droplets and exposes the cells to chemical signals that could teach them the difference between friend and foe (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja311588c).

 

In our immune systems, T cells play many key roles in preventing disease. They attack invaders such as viruses, help hold the immune system’s memory of past infections, and even prevent other immune cells from attacking the body’s own tissue. Joachim P. Spatz and Ilia Platzman, researchers atMax Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, in Stuttgart, Germany, study how T cells mature and get trained in a particular task. Many types of T cells interact with antigen-presenting cells, which gather up and display fragments of proteins from viruses, bacteria, and other invaders. Through these cellular interactions, the T cells learn how to identify threats and help the immune system eliminate them.

 

Immunologists believe it will be possible to treat diseases by mimicking this process outside the body. For example, a doctor could isolate a cancer patient’s own T cells, expose the cells to antigens specific to the cancer, and then transplant the cells back to direct the immune system to attack the tumor.

 

Previously developed techniques have exposed T cells to flat, relatively rigid surfaces patterned with antigens. But some researchers think a more optimal approach would involve exposing the T cells to an environment that mimics the three-dimensional curvature and squishiness of real cells.

 

The Max Planck Institute group thought they could create such an environment by enclosing T cells within droplets of water in oil. The inner surface of these droplets contains surfactant molecules that produce a fluid and mechanically soft surface, like that of a cell membrane. The team also developed a way to anchor biomolecules to the surfactants, to mimic the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells.

 

The researchers make the droplets by mixing two streams of liquid in a microfluidic system: an oil solution of the surfactants and a water-based mixture of T cells and culture medium. When the two streams meet, droplets form, with the T-cell mixture trapped inside bubbles of surfactant. The researchers attach gold nanoparticles decorated with antigens to the water-facing end of the surfactants. These particles act like the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells. The droplets can be as small as 10 µm wide, and can hold up to six cells each.

 

In a proof of concept experiment, the scientists coated the gold particles with protein fragments known to interact with T cells. When they looked at the droplets under a microscope, they saw that the T cells adhered to the droplets’ inner surfaces. In droplets made with undecorated gold nanoparticles, the cells floated around randomly within the bubbles.

The cells can survive inside the droplets for five days, after which time Platzman believes they run out of food, since the volume of the droplets is extremely small—just a few picoliters. The researchers next plan to use these droplets to expose T cells to disease-related antigens.


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Mercor's curator insight, March 5, 2013 9:18 AM

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Cellules immunitaires chercheurs piège huile-eau des gouttelettes dans l'espoir de reprogrammer leur lutte contre le cancer.

"Certains biologistes souhaitez former patients propre système immunitaire pour traiter des maladies telles que le cancer et les troubles auto-immunes.Ils envisagent de programmer des cellules immunitaires à détruire les cellules tumorales ou à arrêter les attaques du système immunitaire sur les tissus sains. Maintenant, une équipe de chercheurs allemands fait état d'une méthode qui piège les cellules immunitaires dans les gouttelettes d'eau microscopiques et expose les cellules à des signaux chimiques qui pourraient leur enseigner la différence entre ami et ennemi (J. Am. Chem Soc, DOI:... 10.1021/ja311588c) .

 

Dans notre système immunitaire, les lymphocytes T jouent de nombreux rôles clés dans la prévention de la maladie. Ils attaquent les envahisseurs tels que les virus, aider à maintenir la mémoire du système immunitaire des infections passées, et même de prévenir d'autres cellules du système immunitaire d'attaquer les propres tissus du corps. Joachim P. Spatz et Ilia Platzman, les chercheurs ATmax Planck Institut des Systèmes Intelligents, à Stuttgart, en Allemagne, étudier comment les cellules T matures et se former dans une tâche particulière. De nombreux types de cellules T interagissent avec les cellules présentatrices d'antigène, qui se réunissent et afficher des fragments de protéines du virus, les bactéries et autres envahisseurs. Grâce à ces interactions cellulaires, les cellules T apprendre à identifier les menaces et aider le système immunitaire à les éliminer.

 

Immunologistes crois qu'il sera possible de traiter les maladies en imitant ce processus en dehors du corps. Par exemple, un médecin peut isoler propres d'un patient cancéreux des cellules T, les cellules exposer à des antigènes spécifiques à la tumeur, puis transplanter les cellules de retour pour diriger le système immunitaire à attaquer la tumeur.

 

Techniques précédemment développés ont exposé des cellules T à des surfaces planes et rigides relativement à motifs avec des antigènes. Mais certains chercheurs pensent une approche plus optimale consisterait à exposer les cellules T à un environnement qui imite la courbure tridimensionnelle et squishiness de véritables cellules.

 

L'Institut Max Planck groupe a pensé qu'ils pouvaient créer un tel environnement en enfermant des cellules T dans les gouttelettes d'eau dans l'huile. La surface interne de ces gouttelettes contient des molécules tensioactives qui produisent un fluide et la surface mécaniquement souple, comme celle d'une membrane cellulaire. L'équipe a également développé une façon d'ancrer biomolécules aux tensioactifs, à imiter les surfaces des cellules présentatrices d'antigène.

 

Les chercheurs font des gouttelettes en mélangeant deux courants de liquide dans un système microfluidique: une solution d'huile et de tensioactifs un mélange à base d'eau des cellules T et un milieu de culture.Lorsque les deux flux se rencontrent, sous forme de gouttelettes, avec le mélange des lymphocytes T piégées à l'intérieur des bulles d'agent tensio-actif. Les chercheurs attachent des nanoparticules d'or décorées avec des antigènes à la fin l'eau face à des tensio-actifs. Ces particules se comportent comme des surfaces de cellules présentatrices d'antigène. Les gouttelettes peuvent être aussi petites que 10 um de large et peut contenir jusqu'à six cellules chacun.

 

Dans une preuve de concept de l'expérience, les scientifiques ont recouvert les particules d'or avec des fragments de protéines connues pour interagir avec les cellules T. Quand ils ont regardé les gouttelettes sous un microscope, ils ont vu que les cellules T adhéré à la surface des gouttelettes internes ». Dans gouttelettes faites avec des nanoparticules d'or non décorés, les cellules flottaient autour de hasard dans les bulles.

Les cellules peuvent survivre à l'intérieur des gouttelettes pendant cinq jours, après quoi Platzman pense qu'ils manquent de nourriture, puisque le volume des gouttelettes est extrêmement petite, juste un peu picolitres. Les chercheurs ont ensuite l'intention d'utiliser ces gouttelettes d'exposer les cellules T aux maladies liées à des antigènes".



Researchers trap immune cells in oil-water droplets in hopes of reprogramming them to fight cancer via @MercorOrg http://sco.lt/...

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Seven spices, food medicines and home remedies that could save your life

Seven spices, food medicines and home remedies that could save your life | Longevity science | Scoop.it

What does vibrant health actually look like, and how can an individual accurately assess his own quality of life? These are some of the questions that an increasing number of Americans are now asking as they witness a cascade of ill health sweep the nation in the form of allergies, autoimmune disease, neurological problems, developmental disorders, and chronic illness. But the answers to these important questions have to be experienced in order to be fully understood, and the only way to experience them is to actually live them.

 

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A protein ‘passport’ that helps nanoparticles get past immune system

A protein ‘passport’ that helps nanoparticles get past immune system | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Macrophages — literally, "big eaters" — are a main part of the body's innate immune system . These cells find and engulf invaders, like bacteria, viruses, splinters and dirt. Unfortunately, macrophages also eat helpful foreigners, including nanoparticles that deliver drugs or help image tumors.


Along with members of his lab, Dennis Discher, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has developed a "passport" that could be attached to therapeutic particles and devices, tricking macrophages into leaving them alone. 

Taking a cue from a membrane protein that the body's own cells use to tell macrophages not to eat them, the researchers engineered a the simplest functional version of that protein and attached it to plastic nanoparticles. These passport-carrying nanoparticles remained in circulation significantly longer than ones without the peptide, when tested in a mouse model.


In 2008, Discher’s group showed that the human protein CD47, found on almost all mammalian cell membranes, binds to a macrophage receptor known as SIRPa in humans. Like a patrolling border guard inspecting a passport, if a macrophage’s SIRPa binds to a cell’s CD47, it tells the macrophage that the cell isn’t an invader and should be allowed to proceed on.

 

“There may be other molecules that help quell the macrophage response,” Discher said. “But human CD47 is clearly one that says, ‘Don’t eat me’.” Since the publication of that study, other researchers determined the combined structure of CD47 and SIRPa together. Using this information, Discher’s group was able to computationally design the smallest sequence of amino acids that would act like CD47. This “minimal peptide” would have to fold and fit well enough into the receptor of SIRPa to serve as a valid passport. After chemically synthesizing this minimal peptide, Discher’s team attached it to conventional nanoparticles that could be used in a variety of experiments. “Now, anyone can make the peptide and put it on whatever they want,” Rodriguez said.

 

The research team’s experiments used a mouse model to demonstrate better imaging of tumors and as well as improved efficacy of an anti-cancer drug-delivery particle.

 

As this minimal peptide might one day be attached to a wide range of drug-delivery vehicles, the researchers also attached antibodies of the type that could be used in targeting cancer cells or other kinds of diseased tissue. Beyond a proof of concept for therapeutics, these antibodies also served to attract the macrophages’ attention and ensure the minimal peptide’s passport was being checked and approved.


Video is here: http://tinyurl.com/b6dthgb


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Diabetes drugs tied to pancreatitis: study

People who take a certain type of diabetes drug to lower blood sugar levels may be at an increased risk of developing an inflamed pancreas, according to a new study.

 

 

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Advanced breast cancer inching up in young women

More young women are being diagnosed with advanced, metastatic breast cancer than were three decades ago, a new study suggests - although the overall rate of cancers in that group is still small.

One in 173 women will develop breast cancer before she turns 40, researchers said, and the prognosis tends to be worse for younger patients.

 

 

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Electrodes for prosthetic arm permanently implanted into patient for first time

Electrodes for prosthetic arm permanently implanted into patient for first time | Longevity science | Scoop.it

It took some time, but the age of the cyborg is upon us. For the first time, neuromuscular electrodes that enable a prosthetic arm and hand to be controlled by thought have been permanently implanted into the nerves and muscles of an amputee. The operation was carried out recently by a surgical team led by Dr Rickard Brånemark at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden.

 

 

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Interview: 16-Year-Old Jack Andraka Invents Cheap, Accurate Cancer Test

Interview: 16-Year-Old Jack Andraka Invents Cheap, Accurate Cancer Test | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Jack Andraka is 16 years old, a sophomore in high school, and a pretty endearing chap. Andraka’s alter ego? Mad scientist. Last year, Andraka developed a very cheap, accurate diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer using antibodies, carbon nanotubes—and research from Google. Andraka’s work went on to win the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and at FutureMed 2013, his rapid-fire fifteen minute talk earned a standing ovation. Singularity Hub chatted with Andraka right after his presentation:

 

 

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Green tea backed for breast cancer benefits

Green tea backed for breast cancer benefits | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Consumption of green tea may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by modifying the metabolism of oestrogen, according to new research.
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3D-printed ears that look and act like the real thing | KurzweilAI

3D-printed ears that look and act like the real thing | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Cornell bioengineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians have created an artificial ear that looks and acts like a natural ear, giving new hope to thousands of children born with a congenital deformity called microtia.

 

They used 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells to fashion ears that are practically identical to a human ear.

 

Over a three-month period, these flexible ears grew cartilage to replace the collagen used to mold them

 

 

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Ozone levels linked to cardiac arrest

Ozone levels linked to cardiac arrest | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Cardiac arrests are more likely when levels of air pollution - especially soot-like particles and ozone - have been high in recent days or even hours, according to a large study from Texas.

Evidence already links airborne particles with heart disease and lung problems but the new findings are the first to show that high ozone may immediately raise the risk that a person's heart will stop beating.

 

 

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Stay cool and live longer? | KurzweilAI

Stay cool and live longer? | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute have identified a genetic program that promotes longevity of roundworms (nematodes) in cold environments — and this genetic program also exists in warm-blooded animals, including humans.

 

“This raises the intriguing possibility that exposure to cold air — or pharmacological stimulation of the cold-sensitive genetic program — may promote longevity in mammals,” said Shawn Xu, LSI faculty member and the Bernard W. Agranoff Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences at the U-M Medical School.

 

Scientists had long assumed that animals live longer in cold environments because of a passive thermodynamic process, reasoning that low temperatures reduce the rate of chemical reactions and thereby slow the rate of aging.

 

 

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Patient safety efforts may prevent diagnostic errors

Electronic alerts and other technology-based aids may help prevent costly missed or delayed diagnoses, according to a new review of past evidence.

 

 

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Bone-tired? How about ‘gene-tired’?

Bone-tired? How about ‘gene-tired’? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A new study, paid for by the U.S. Air Force but relevant for anyone with a small child, a large prostate or a lot on the mind, is helping illuminate what’s happening at the genetic level when we don’t get enough sleep.

 

It turns out that chronic sleep deprivation — in this experiment, less than six hours a night for a week — changes the activity of about 700 genes, which is roughly 3 percent of all we carry.

 

 

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Despite free treatment, Britain lags others on health

Years of universal healthcare, rising health spending, cancer screening, immunization and anti-smoking laws have failed to stop Britain falling behind its peers in reducing early death and disease, a study showed on Tuesday.

Researchers who compared Britain's health performance since 1990 with 14 European Union countries plus Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States said its pace of decline in premature death was "persistently and significantly" behind the average - a finding they described as "startling".

 

 

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Rapid point-of-care testing for multiple diseases from a drop of blood | KurzweilAI

Rapid point-of-care testing for multiple diseases from a drop of blood | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A diagnostic system using DNA powder and gold nanoparticles being developed by scientists at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering could provide rapid point-of-care diagnosis of the world’s leading infectious diseases in the near future.

 

BBME PhD student Kyryl Zagorovsky has developed a rapid diagnostic biosensor that will allow technicians to test for multiple diseases at the same time with one small sample, and with high accuracy and sensitivity. The biosensor relies upon gold nanoparticles, which change color.

 

 

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Kevin Moran's curator insight, March 5, 2013 7:00 AM

Technology Continues To Empower Patients When It Come To Early Detection & Treatment!

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Facebook, Google tech gurus to design cancer research game

Scientists from a British cancer charity are teaming up with technology gurus from the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google to design and develop a mobile game aimed at speeding the search for new cancer drugs.

 

The project, led by the charity Cancer Research UK, should mean that anyone with a smart phone and five minutes to spare will be able to investigate vital scientific data at the same time as playing a mobile game.

 

 

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Health effects of retirement have proved hard for researchers to assess

Health effects of retirement have proved hard for researchers to assess | Longevity science | Scoop.it

When people stop working, everything about their weekday schedule changes. Their lives may move more slowly and be more relaxed. Losing work-related stress may come as a huge relief — and be good for your health. But losing your everyday movement and social interaction can also harm your health.

 

 

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New device designed to restore brain functions – via the tongue

New device designed to restore brain functions – via the tongue | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created a device known as a PoNS, that shows promise for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or the effects of diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

 

Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command are now conducting a study on the device, which works by stimulating the patient’s tongue.

 

 

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Kenneth Hightower's curator insight, September 12, 7:19 PM

Do you think this could help with brain strokes?

 

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Some cancer screenings can confuse patients rather than clarify their health

Some cancer screenings can confuse patients rather than clarify their health | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Ovarian, pancreatic and testicular tests get low ratings, unlike those for cervical, colon and breast cancers.
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Deep Brain Stimulation Used To Treat Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation Used To Treat Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A device that delivers electrical shocks directly into the brain has been shown to alleviate symptoms in people with early stage Parkinson’s disease better than the best treatments being used today. Normally reserved as a last resort for patients with severe symptoms and for whom drugs are ineffective, the deep brain stimulation’s newly found effectiveness could promote it to the first line of attack against the disease at the earliest detection of symptoms.

 

 

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Why exercise slows memory loss in Alzheimer’s

Why exercise slows memory loss in Alzheimer’s | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A stress hormone produced during moderate exercise may protect the brain from memory changes related to Alzheimer’s disease

Via Dimitris Agorastos, Christina Mediate
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Natalie Stewart's curator insight, January 28, 2013 12:46 PM

A research team, led by Marie-Christine Pardon in the School of Biomedical Sciences, discovered that the stress hormone CRF—or corticotrophin-releasing factor—may have a protective effect on the brain from the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.
CRF is most associated with producing stress and is found in high levels in people experiencing some forms of anxiety and depressive diseases. Normal levels of CRF, however, are beneficial to the brain, keeping the mental faculties sharp and aiding the survival of nerve cells.
 

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Just say don't: Doctors question routine tests and treatments

Just say don't: Doctors question routine tests and treatments | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Now there are 135.

That's how many medical tests, treatments and other procedures - many used for decades - physicians have now identified as almost always unnecessary and often harmful, and which doctors and patients should therefore avoid or at least seriously question.

The lists of procedures, released on Thursday by the professional societies of 17 medical specialties ranging from neurology and ophthalmology to thoracic surgery, are part of a campaign called Choosing Wisely. Organized by the American Board of Internal Medicine's foundation, it aims to get doctors to stop performing useless procedures and spread the word to patients that some don't help and might hurt.

 

 

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Carbon nanotube transistors orders of magnitude better at spotting cancer, say bioengineers | KurzweilAI

Carbon nanotube transistors orders of magnitude better at spotting cancer, say bioengineers | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Mitchell Lerner at the University of Pennsylvania and associates have revealed a technique that uses an array of carbon nanotube transistors on a silicon chip to detect a biomarker of prostate cancer known as osteopontin (OPN), The Physics arXiv Blog reports.

 

 

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