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Clinical depression is a common psychiatric condition with often devastating consequences. A new study in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, advances our fundamental understanding of the neural circuitry of depression in the human brain.

17 March 2023

Researchers found evidence of heart muscle inflammation in a small number of patients with acute myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, but not in patients without acute myocarditis, according to a study published in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

10 March 2023

A new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School illuminates how the brain becomes aware that there is an infection in the body.

Studying mice, the team discovered that a small group of neurons in the airway plays a pivotal role in alerting the brain about a flu infection. They also found signs of a second pathway from the lungs to the brain that becomes active later in the infection.

09 March 2023

A new research study suggests that a small protein – PEPITEM – could offer a new approach to reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases. The research, conducted in animal models, is led by Dr. Helen MCGettrick and Dr. Asif Iqbal from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

09 March 2023

The findings demonstrate that fertility is affected by diverse biological mechanisms, which contribute to variations in fertility, and directly affect puberty timing, sex hormone levels (such as testosterone), endometriosis and age at menopause. There were also links to behaviours such as risk taking.

03 March 2023

Research suggests traumatic childhood experiences embed themselves in our brains and put us at risk of mental illness, but epigenetic editing may offer us hope of removing them

The way depression manifested itself in mice in the laboratory of the psychiatrist and neuroscientist Eric Nestler was hauntingly relatable. When put in an enclosure with an unknown mouse, they sat in the corner and showed little interest. When presented with the treat of a sugary drink, they hardly seemed to notice. And when put into water, they did not swim – they just lay there, drifting about.

28 Feb 2023

UVA Health scientists have discovered an unknown contributor to harmful blood vessel growth in the eye that could lead to new treatments for blinding macular degeneration and other common causes of vision loss.

UVA’s Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, and Shao-bin Wang, PhD, and their colleagues have identified a new target to prevent the formation of abnormal tangles of blood vessels associated with eye conditions such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, proliferative diabetic retinopathy and ischemic retinal vein occlusion.

27 Feb 2023

A new study has used brain images from over 30,000 people to map genetic associations with structural differences in the white matter of the brain, with possible links to several heritable brain-related disorders. The research is published in Science Advances.

Two different types of tissue make up our brains – gray matter and white matter. Gray matter is common in functionally significant areas of the brain such as the cerebellum and cerebral cortex, meaning the importance of white matter is sometimes overlooked.

17 Feb 2023

Having safe drinking water is vital for public health, but traditional methods of disinfection cause their own environmental problems. Chlorine is cheap and easy to use in centralized water systems, but at the expense of harmful chemical byproducts.

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have found a way to use small shocks of electricity to disinfect water, reducing energy consumption, cost, and environmental impact. The technology could be integrated into the electric grid or even powered by batteries.

17 Feb 2023

Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (or ChatGPT) is a conversational chatbot, designed to interact as a human would. The creators OpenAI have made the prototype software available for free while it is in the testing phase and encourage users to share their feedback1.

On the company website, OpenAI says: “The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

7 Feb 2023

A new study into the quality and safety of patient care in NHS and independent hospitals will look at the substantial changes in the sectors for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The research team from the universities of York and Manchester plan to use existing routine data to explore patterns of care provision and patient flows, to examine the scope of practice of doctors working across both sectors, and any differences in quality of care.  

2 Feb 2023

New research out of York University found that fluoride exposure via drinking water may increase the risk of hypothyroidism in pregnant women. In a smaller subset of participants, the researchers found lower IQ scores between boys whose mothers had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism compared to boys whose mothers had normal thyroid levels.

10 Feb 2023

An NHS trust is to use drones as a way of transporting clinical supplies between hospitals at up to 70mph.

The drone will be used to carry blood samples, chemotherapy drugs, equipment and mail between Northumberland hospitals for the next four months.

Initially there will be six flights per day, increasing to about 15 in May.

10 Feb 2023

Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for approximately 15% of all breast cancer cases. Patients with this subtype typically have poorer outcomes compared to other breast cancers, suggesting the need for improved treatments. One new therapy being investigated at Moffitt Cancer Center involves oncolytic viruses, which infect and kill the cancer cells.

10 Feb 2023

Scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based strategy for discovering high-affinity antibody drugs.

In the study, published Nature Communications, researchers used the approach to identify a new antibody that binds a major cancer target 17-fold tighter than an existing antibody drug. The authors say the pipeline could accelerate the discovery of novel drugs against cancer and other diseases such as COVID-19 and rheumatoid arthritis.

1 Feb 2023

Turning a decades-old dogma on its head, new research from scientists at UC San Francisco and Stanford Medicine shows that the receptor for oxytocin, a hormone considered essential to forming social bonds, may not play the critical role that scientists have assigned to it for the past 30 years.

30 Jan 2023

By using artificial human skin, a research group from the University of Copenhagen has managed to block invasive growth in a skin cancer model.

The study has been published in Science Signaling and looks at what actually happens when a cell turns into a cancer cell.

27 Jan 2023

The dairy industry strives to preserve the quality and safety of milk products while maintaining the freshest possible taste for consumers. To date, the industry has largely focused on packaging milk in light-blocking containers to preserve freshness, but little has been understood about how the packaging itself influences milk flavor. However, a new study in the Journal of Dairy Science®, published by Elsevier, confirms that packaging affects taste—and paperboard cartons do not preserve milk freshness as well as glass and plastic containers.

27 Jan 2023

It sounds a little like Stone Age standup: A Denisovan and a human walk past a bees’ nest heavy with honeycomb. What happens next?

According to a study led by University of Alaska Fairbanks biological anthropologist Kara C. Hoover and Universite Paris-Saclay biochemist Claire de March, the Denisovan, with the species’ greater sensitivity to sweet smells, may have immediately homed in on the scent and beat the human to a high-energy meal.

26 Jan 2023

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Science have modified a yeast cell to sense the active substances in cannabis and get it to turn red when it does.

 The result paves the way for more actors to discover new medicinal substances and for a new type of drug test that can be done with a smartphone.

29 Jan 2023

Plans to open more so-called virtual wards for patients in England are to be announced by the government.

The measures will enable some, particularly the frail elderly, to be monitored at home by doctors using video and other technology.

There will also be more community teams to visit people in their homes.

29 Jan 2023

A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria has shown that common levels of traffic pollution can impair human brain function in only a matter of hours.

For the study, the researchers briefly exposed 25 healthy adults to diesel exhaust and filtered air at different times in a laboratory setting. Brain activity was measured before and after each exposure using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

25 Jan 2023

A new study has found that a gene variant that causes a flush reaction after alcohol consumption also increases inflammation and impacts circulation. 

This finding could explain why individuals carrying this gene variant also have an increased risk of developing a common type of heart disease. 

The study also identified a common drug that may be able to mitigate this impact.

25 Jan 2023

The DeNovix CellDrop™ Automated Cell Counter has been awarded Sustainable Laboratory Product of the Year in the SelectScience® Scientists’ Choice Awards®.

CellDrop’s patented DirectPipette™ technology distinguishes it as the only cell counter to eliminate the need for cell counting slides. These slides are typically made of single-use plastics that cannot be recycled after use. Researchers who use CellDrop have already saved a total of over 8.5 million slides from use and disposal, which equates to more than 30,000 kg (66,000 lbs) of plastic.

25 Jan 2023

Shara Ticku and her team have developed a palm oil substitute made from oil produced by yeast.

It was landing at Singapore’s international airport a decade ago that sparked Shara Ticku’s idea to create a lab-grown alternative to palm oil.

“In 2013 I flew to Singapore, and when I landed I had to wear a mask,” says the boss of US tech firm C16 Biosciences. “The air was toxic because they were burning the rainforest in Indonesia.”

Indonesian farmers, who were clearing land for palm oil and other crops, were blamed for the fires and the smoke that drifted across the sea to Singapore.

25 Jan 2023

AstraZeneca has entered into a ultimate agreement to acquire CinCor Pharma, Inc. (CinCor), a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, concentrated on progressing novel treatments for resistant and uncontrolled hypertension as well as chronic kidney disease.

9 Jan 2023

Professor Helen Sneddon was a key player in the creation of the Sustainable Laboratories report. She explains her experiences in executing sustainable lab practices, and emphasises the importance of teamwork and knowledge-sharing.

4 Jan 2023

Radiation can be studied during treatment for the first time with clear-cut 3D imaging curated at the University of Michigan.

4 Jan 2023

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