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This tiny electronic device applied to the skin can pick up heart and speech sounds | KurzweilAI

This tiny electronic device applied to the skin can pick up heart and speech sounds | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Northwestern University have developed a tiny, soft, wearable acoustic sensor that measures vibrations in the human body and can be used to monitor human heart health and recognize spoken words.

The stretchable Band-aid-like device attaches to the skin on nearly any surface of the body, using “epidermal electronics” to capture sound signals from the body.

It’s a sort of tiny, wearable stethoscope.
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Oral, ultra–long-lasting drug delivery: Application toward malaria elimination goals

We have developed an oral, ultra–long-acting capsule that dissolves in the stomach and deploys a star-shaped dosage form that releases drug while assuming a geometry that prevents passage through the pylorus yet allows passage of food, enabling prolonged gastric residence. This gastric-resident, drug delivery dosage form releases small-molecule drugs for days to weeks and potentially longer. Upon dissolution of the macrostructure, the components can safely pass through the gastrointestinal tract.
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Neurometabolic Disorders Could Contribute to Depression | The Scientist Magazine®

Neurometabolic Disorders Could Contribute to Depression | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In 2002, psychiatrist Lisa Pan, a depression and suicide prevention researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), met Kyle, a 19-year-old suffering from depression (name altered to preserve confidentiality). He was among the estimated 15 percent of depression patients in the U.S. for whom treatments such as antidepressants or therapy do not help. He “had been through every available treatment” including electroconvulsive therapy, but nothing worked, Pan recalls. “At one time, he was on 17 medications simultaneously.” The teenager had attempted suicide, and doctors determined that he was at risk for similar episodes. The next step for him would be state hospitalization.

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“We felt like we might be onto something,” Pan says. She began exploring the possibility that metabolic imbalances affected others for whom standard depression treatment had failed. She and her colleagues conducted an array of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid tests in 33 such individuals, each of whom had shown negligible response to at least three different maximum-dose depression medications administered for six weeks or more. Ranging from teenagers to middle-age adults, the group included some who also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Supersized micro-magnets made to measure for high-precision drug delivery

Supersized micro-magnets made to measure for high-precision drug delivery | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Some magnetic particles can take on certain attributes when they come in small enough packages, say a few millionths of a millimeter. These special magnetic properties have caught the eye of medical scientists, who have regarded them as potential high-precision tools for carrying drugs to tumor sites with the help of magnetic fields, but their diminutive nature has made them impossible to steer toward the target. Scientists have now found a way to scale up these particles while retaining their desirable magnetic properties, making it possible to commandeer them for the purposes of life-saving drug delivery, among other applications.

When certain magnetic nanoparticles are of a certain minute size they gain an unusual ability – their magnetization will randomly flip when influenced by temperature. This phenomenon, known as superparamagnetism, has actually held back data storage technologies in the past, where shrinking data bits beyond a certain threshold will bring some unwelcome instability to the mix.
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The engineer who fixed his own heart

The engineer who fixed his own heart | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When Tal Golesworthy was told he was at risk of his aorta bursting, he wasn’t impressed with the surgery on offer – so he came up with his own idea. By Geoff Watts.
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Pill Packing 100 Billion Designer Bacteria Could Be Tested Next Year

Pill Packing 100 Billion Designer Bacteria Could Be Tested Next Year | Longevity science | Scoop.it
While making a glowing bacterium is a fun trick, it also represents a larger shift in how we think about living organisms. With synthetic biology, we can develop organisms to provide many useful functions nature never created.

In one of the first medical applications of this concept, Synlogic has patented a version of E. coli engineered to develop “an unquenchable appetite for ammonia” and turn it into the amino acid arginine, which, unlike ammonia, is harmless to the human body.
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Antibody protects developing fetus from Zika virus, mouse study shows | Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Antibody protects developing fetus from Zika virus, mouse study shows | Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The most devastating consequence of Zika virus infection is the development of microcephaly, or an abnormally small head, in fetuses infected in utero. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have identified a human antibody that prevents — in pregnant mice — the fetus from becoming infected with Zika and damage to the placenta. The antibody also protects adult mice from Zika disease.

“This is the first antiviral that has been shown to work in pregnancy to protect developing fetuses from Zika virus,” said Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine and the study’s co-senior author. “This is proof of principle that Zika virus during pregnancy is treatable, and we already have a human antibody that treats it, at least in mice.”
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Researchers Repair Brain Damage in Mice With Stem Cell Transplants

Researchers Repair Brain Damage in Mice With Stem Cell Transplants | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The human brain is a biological wonder with considerable skills. Regeneration, unfortunately, isn’t one of them.

Save for one tiny V-shaped region within the hippocampus, the human brain’s ability to rebuild itself is nearly nonexistent. When neurons die, there’s no backup reserve of cells to replace them. Brain trauma — a blow to the head, a stroke, or neurodegeneration — can be brutally final. You’re not getting lost neurons back.

 

But can transplants help change this verdict?

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Printable Organs Will Put an End to Transplant Lists

Printable Organs Will Put an End to Transplant Lists | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Though printable organs won’t come easily, there is reason for optimism:

-Regenerative medicine isn’t brand new. Wake Forest Institute successfully implanted engineered bladder tissue in humans 10 years ago.

-Costs are decreasing. In 2015, BioBots unveiled BioBots 1, a $10,000 bioprinter that allows researchers to test new tissue engineering techniques.

-Research is focused on the whole body. Wake Forest Institute, for example, is working on therapies for 35 different parts of the human body.

-3D printed tissues and organs show promise in the lab. 3D Bioprinting Solutions printed and transplanted a working thyroid gland in mice. Organovo announced their latest human liver tissue models are functional and stable up to 28 days.

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Immune System Maintains Brain Health | The Scientist Magazine®

Immune System Maintains Brain Health | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Kipnis’s work is part of a wave of research changing the way scientists view the relationship between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS). Until recently, the brain and the spinal cord were considered immune-privileged sites, strictly cordoned off from immune cells unless something went terribly wrong. Researchers knew, for example, that multiple sclerosis (MS) was caused by T cells that breach the selective border called the blood-brain barrier (BBB), enter the CNS, and attack the myelin sheath covering neurons. Even microglia, specialized macrophage-like immune cells that scientists had recognized as normal CNS residents since the 1960s, were mainly studied in the context of disease.
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The Digital Hospital: 80+ Companies Reinventing Medicine In One Infographic

The Digital Hospital: 80+ Companies Reinventing Medicine In One Infographic | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Digital health continues to be on investors’ minds as the industry is on track for a record year with $7.2B in funding to private companies in the space.

Digital health companies vary widely in the user base they’re targeting, from physicians to athletes to insurers. In this post, we used CB Insights data to identify 82 private digital health companies that have a direct impact on hospital care and mapped them according to 15 categories within which they operate. Among other initiatives, these companies are changing the way referrals are processed, hospital rooms cleaned, and patient data collected.
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Techniques for Assessing Genomic Copy Number Variations | The Scientist Magazine®

Techniques for Assessing Genomic Copy Number Variations | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A decade ago, scientists studying the human genome found 1,447 copy number variable regions, covering a whopping 12 percent of the genome (Nature, 444:444-54, 2006). Ranging in size from 1 kilobase to many megabases, the number of repetitive DNA sequences scattered throughout the human genome can expand and contract like an accordion as cells divide. Extra—or too few—copies of these repeats, known as copy number variations (CNVs), can explain inherited diseases or, when the copy number change occurs sporadically in somatic cells, can result in cancer. Today, a growing number of scientists are making links between CNVs, health, and disease.
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Cranberries crush bacteria's communication networks

Cranberries crush bacteria's communication networks | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Not only did the flies that were fed the cranberry extract survive the bacterial onslaught, scientists also found that the cerPAC compound was successful in disrupting two QS molecules in the P. aeruginosa bacterial cells, 3-oxo-C12-HSL and C4-HSL.

"Cranberry PACs interrupt the ability for bacteria to communicate with each other, spread and become virulent,"
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Tiny electronic device can monitor heart, recognize speech

Tiny electronic device can monitor heart, recognize speech | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Northwestern University have developed a tiny, soft and wearable acoustic sensor that measures vibrations in the human body, allowing them to monitor human heart health and recognize spoken words.

The stretchable device captures physiological sound signals from the body, has physical properties well-matched with human skin and can be mounted on nearly any surface of the body, said CU Boulder Assistant Professor Jae-Woong Jeong, one of three lead study authors. The sensor, which resembles a small Band-Aid, weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce and can gather continuous physiological data.
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CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool used in first human trial

CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool used in first human trial | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The powerful gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique is a promising tool in the fight against conditions like retinal degradation, muscular dystrophy and HIV, but so far trials have been restricted to cultured cells and laboratory mice. Now the tool is being used in human trials for the first time, with a team of Chinese scientists injecting CRISPR-edited cells into a patient suffering from lung cancer.

CRISPR works like a pair of genetic scissors, allowing scientists to cut very specific sections of DNA out of an organism, such as inherited genes that may lead to disease, and replace them with something more beneficial. Along with its potential to fight cancer and other illnesses in humans, the technique can be used in other living organisms for a variety of purposes, like pest control or improving the yield, hardiness and nutritional value of crops.
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Checking for heart problems? There's an app for that

Checking for heart problems? There's an app for that | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) and left unchecked, it can potentially cause strokes. Ordinarily, it's detected by hooking the patient up to an electrocardiogram (ECG). Now, however, an iPhone app has been developed that non-invasively does the same job.

Known as Cardiio Rhythm, the app was created by a team at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It utilizes the phone's camera to analyze subtle changes in patients' facial skin color, which are an indicator of fluctuations in their heart rate. It's not unlike the BabyBeat system, which monitors infants' skin tones for signs of the onset of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
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Thermal "walkie-talkies" instruct bacteria to deliver drugs and self-destruct

Thermal "walkie-talkies" instruct bacteria to deliver drugs and self-destruct | Longevity science | Scoop.it
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Rather than shrinking doctors down and sending them inside a patient Fantastic Voyage-style, recruiting microbots and engineered bacteria into the fight against cancer or disease might be more realistic options. A new study from Caltech suggests a way to control bacteria created for just such a mission, by manipulating the temperature around them to trigger when and where they release medicine, and when they might need to self-destruct.

Already, microbes are being tested for their ability to fight disease, but being sent into the body without a clear goal isn't enough, as they tend to wind up in other organs, not just at the site of a tumor.
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The Driverless Car Is a Great Opportunity for Healthcare - The Medical Futurist

The Driverless Car Is a Great Opportunity for Healthcare - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it
How will the latest developments in the car industry help healthcare?

Today, we can only measure health parameters and vital signs at the so-called point-of-care. This can be a physician’s office, the clinic, the hospital or a clinical laboratory. You have to go there, wait patiently in front of the doctor’s office and eventually someone will examine your symptoms.

However, with the revolution taking place in portable diagnostics, algorithms and sensors, the act of measuring health parameters and vital signs becomes more convenient, mobile and cheaper.
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Researchers restore leg movement in primates using wireless neural interface | KurzweilAI

Researchers restore leg movement in primates using wireless neural interface | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists has used a wireless “brain-spinal interface” to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring nearly normal intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg.

The finding could help in developing a similar system to rehabilitate humans who have had spinal cord injuries.

Brain-spine interface uses an implanted microelectrode array (shown with a silicon model of a primate’s brain) to detect spiking activity in the brain’s motor cortex.a pulse generator stimulates electrodes implanted on the spinal cord. (credit: Alain Herzog/EPFL)

The system uses signals recorded from a pill-sized electrode array implanted in the motor cortex of the brain to trigger coordinated electrical stimulation of nerves in the spine that are responsible for locomotion.
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Live Imaging Using Light-Sheet Microscopy | The Scientist Magazine®

Live Imaging Using Light-Sheet Microscopy | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Last summer, Elizabeth Hillman showed participants in a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course the new light-sheet microscope she had invented. Students pulled leeches out of a pond and imaged them wiggling under the instrument, which shoots frames so quickly that the creatures’ quick movements were captured with no blur. “It was a von Leeuwenhoek moment, where we felt like we were seeing things we’ve never seen before,” says Hillman, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia University in New York.
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New antimicrobial peptide kills strains resistant to existing antibiotics | KurzweilAI

New antimicrobial peptide kills strains resistant to existing antibiotics | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers at MIT, the University of Brasilia, and the University of British Columbia has engineered an antimicrobial peptide to wipe out many types of bacteria, including some that are resistant to most antibiotics.

A recent study from a U.K. commission on antimicrobial resistance estimated that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections will kill 10 million people per year if no new drugs are developed.
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5 viruses, 1 metal and 1 solvent tagged as new cancer causers in US agency report

5 viruses, 1 metal and 1 solvent tagged as new cancer causers in US agency report | Longevity science | Scoop.it
You likely already know that cigarettes and certain types of radiation cause cancer, but there are actually over 200 other substances in the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) just-released 14th annual Report on Carcinogens (ROC) that are believed to lead to malignant tumors in human beings. And seven of those were just added.

Five of the new substances added are actually viruses that either cause cancer directly or make it easier for other cancer-causing viruses to do their deadly work. They include: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1); Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV); Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). All five of these viruses are classified as "Known to be a human carcinogen," as opposed to the agency's other category of "Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."
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The Human Virome | The Scientist Magazine®

The Human Virome | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In recent years, great leaps in genomic sciences have allowed researchers to detect viruses living in and on the human body—collectively called the human virome. Recent genomic explorations of human samples have revealed dozens of previously unrecognized viruses resident in our gut, lung, skin, and blood. Some of these newly identified viruses may underlie mysterious, unexplained diseases, but it is also possible that some of these viruses are harmless in most people, most of the time.
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Lung-on-a-chip lights up to model damage caused by smoking

Lung-on-a-chip lights up to model damage caused by smoking | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In order to translate observed breathing patterns and smoking behavior into biological effects, we combined the small airway-on-a-chip with a smoking machine that burns cigarettes and a microrespirator that inhales and exhales small volumes of cigarette smoke and fresh air in and out of the epithelium-lined channel in programmable intervals mimicking true smoking behavior," explains Richard Novak, co-author of the study.
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Irish research teams find potential new treatment for aggressive breast cancer - Independent.ie

Irish research teams find potential new treatment for aggressive breast cancer - Independent.ie | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Irish scientists may have found a way of treating one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.
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