Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 10

Feb 15, 2024

Cannabis and Binge Eating: Exploring Patterns and Implications for Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Is there a connection between cannabis use and binge eating? This is what a recent study published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology hopes to address as a team of researchers investigated the medical risks associated with cannabis use and binge eating, specifically the link between the two. This research marks only the third study conducted to make a connection between cannabis use and binge eating disorder and holds the potential for scientists, medical practitioners, and patients make better informed clinical decisions for treating binge eating.

“Distinguishing the relationship between cannabis use, eating disorder severity and other psychiatric symptoms in binge eating patients is necessary for informing screening and clinical recommendations,” said Megan Wilkinson, who is a PhD student in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences and lead author of the study.

For the study, the researchers enlisted 165 participants who were pursuing medical treatment for binge eating and were asked to report both their cannabis and alcohol use as part of the survey. In the end, the researchers found that 23 percent of the participants had used cannabis within the prior three months. Additionally, the participants were also found to have increased alcohol consumption, as well. In terms of the connection between cannabis use and binge eating, while the researcher concluded that cannabis use did not result in increased binge eating, they found the opposite in that binge eating could result in increased cannabis use, as noted by the 23 percent participants who reported using cannabis.

Feb 15, 2024

Study: Traumatic brain injury leads to widespread changes in neural connections

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

A head injury serious enough to affect brain function, such as that caused by a car accident or sudden fall, leads to changes in the brain beyond the site of impact, Tufts University School of Medicine scientists report in the journal Cerebral Cortex. In an animal model of traumatic brain injury, the researchers found that both hemispheres work together to forge new neural pathways in an attempt to replicate those that were lost.

“Even areas far away from the injury behaved differently immediately afterward,” says first author Samantha Bottom-Tanzer, an MD/Ph. D. student in neuroscience at the School of Medicine. “Traumatic brain injury research tends to focus on the region of injury, but this study makes a good case that the entire brain can be affected, and imaging in distal regions can provide valuable information.”

Bottom-Tanzer and colleagues are the first to use an combining fluorescent sensors of neuronal activity and electrodes to record how many parts of the brain talk to each other after a brain injury. The team tracked neural activity in mice for up to three weeks post-injury during periods of exercise and rest.

Feb 15, 2024

Long-Term Outcomes After False-Positive Mammography Results

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Previous research has suggested that false-positive mammogram results are associated with higher risk for subsequently developing breast cancer. To further examine this issue, researchers in Sweden used national mammography data to follow 500,000 women (median age, 52) during 30 years (1991–2020). About 45,000 women had false-positive results (i.e., they were recalled for further evaluation but didn’t receive diagnoses of breast cancer at that time). Women with false-positive results were matched with controls to compare rates of subsequent breast cancer diagnosis.

The results include:

Feb 15, 2024

New Mechanism Reveals How Tumors Evade Immune Detection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists have dedicated their lives to finding a cure for cancer. America became a science hub for cancer research, particularly after President Richard Nixon declared the “war on cancer” in 1971. As a result, extensive research has been published on how cancer functions and different ways to target both solid and hematologic malignancies. Unfortunately, there is currently not a cure for cancer. Although some patients are treated and enter remission, tumors can reoccur. In addition, some tumor types are harder to treat than others. Although the science community is hopeful to effectively treat each type of cancer, more work is needed to discern why some tumors are harder to treat than others.

Many tumors evade the immune system through different mechanisms and mutations. Therapy-resistant cells may stay dormant for a period of time before proliferating, which results in cancer recurrence. Additionally, different surface markers prevent immune cell activation which target cancer. This allows the tumor to proliferate without an immune cell response. Many different immunotherapies being developed target these surface markers to activate T cells, which kill or lyse infections. The type of immunotherapy that refers to the blockade of cell-to-cell interactions is known as checkpoint inhibitors. Checkpoint proteins are surface markers that help the immune cell differentiate from self. More specifically, these cells provide a signal for immune cells to avoid lysing healthy cells and protect from autoimmunity. However, tumors use a selection of checkpoint proteins to avoid immune cell detection.

Feb 15, 2024

The key to fighting fungal infections may have been inside us all along

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Fungal infections have been slipping past their usual geographic boundaries and increasing in hospitals and other settings — and, as Scientific American’s Maryn McKenna has pointed out, we currently don’t have much recourse against them.

Fungal infections are incredibly hard to beat, even with modern medicine.

But MIT researchers studying the common yeast Candida albicans may have found a new effective antifungal candidate, and you’ve got some in you right now: mucus.

Feb 15, 2024

Nanomedicine paves the way for new treatments for spinal cord injury

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In a study published in Advanced Materials, researchers have demonstrated that an innovative nano-vector (nanogel), which they developed, is able to deliver anti-inflammatory drugs in a targeted manner into glial cells actively involved in the evolution of spinal cord injury, a condition that leads to paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Treatments currently available to modulate the mediated by the component that controls the brain’s internal environment after acute spinal cord injury showed limited efficacy. This is also due to the lack of a therapeutic approach that can selectively act on microglial and astrocytic cells.

The nanovectors developed by Politecnico di Milano, called nanogels, consist of polymers that can bind to specific target molecules. In this case, the nanogels were designed to bind to , which are crucial in the inflammatory response following acute spinal cord injury. The collaboration between Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS and Politecnico di Milano showed that nanogels, loaded with a drug with anti-inflammatory action (rolipram), were able to convert glial cells from a damaging to a protective state, actively contributing to the recovery of injured tissue.

Feb 15, 2024

Ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober created the world’s smallest Nerf gun — from DNA

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Mission accomplished. Except Rober wasn’t done yet. Out of curiosity — and in preparation for the challengers to follow — he wondered if it was possible to make an even smaller blaster. One, say, three million times smaller? To answer that, he asked Pallav Kosuri, an assistant professor at the Integrative Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, if it was possible.

Kosuri’s reply: Sure! You just need to make it out of DNA.

Continue reading “Ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober created the world’s smallest Nerf gun — from DNA” »

Feb 15, 2024

Case study features successful treatment of the oldest patient to achieve remission for leukemia and HIV

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, treated the oldest person to be cured of a blood cancer and then achieve remission for HIV after receiving a blood stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine today demonstrates that older adults with blood cancers who receive reduced intensity chemotherapy before a stem cell transplant with donor cells that are resistant to HIV may be cured of HIV infection.

Paul Edmonds, 68, of Desert Springs, California, is the fifth person in the world to achieve remission for and HIV after receiving stem cells with a rare genetic mutation, homozygous CCR5 Delta 32. That mutation makes people who have it resistant to acquiring HIV. Edmonds is also the person who had HIV the longest—for over 31 years—among these five patients.

Continue reading “Case study features successful treatment of the oldest patient to achieve remission for leukemia and HIV” »

Feb 14, 2024

Experimental implant could end the need for insulin injections

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

A new kind of implant could one day make it far easier for people with type 1 diabetes to manage their disease. The insulin-making implant is a mixture of transplanted islets cells and medical technology, inserted just below the skin in a person’s arm, and if it perform well in clinical trials, it could potentially last for years.

The challenge: Insulin is a hormone that our bodies use to convert sugar in our blood into energy. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce enough (or any) insulin — if left untreated, this causes dangerously high blood sugar levels, leading to serious health issues or even death.

Regularly checking blood sugar levels and injecting synthetic insulin when they’re high is the most common way to treat type 1 diabetes, but it isn’t the only way.

Feb 14, 2024

AI Unveils Mysteries of Unknown Proteins’ Functions

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Summary: Researchers developed an innovative AI tool, DeepGO-SE, that excels in predicting the functions of unknown proteins, marking a significant advance in bioinformatics. Leveraging large language models and logical entailment, this tool can deduce molecular functions even for proteins without existing database matches, offering a groundbreaking approach to understanding cellular mechanisms.

Its precision has placed DeepGO-SE among the top algorithms in an international function prediction competition, demonstrating its potential in drug discovery, metabolic pathway analysis, and beyond. The team aims to apply this tool to explore proteins in extreme environments, opening new doors for biotechnological advancements.

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