Tag Archives: method

Seahorse Heads have a ‘No Wake Zone’ That’s Made for Catching Prey

AUSTIN, Texas — Seahorses are slow, docile creatures, but their heads are perfectly shaped to sneak up and quickly snatch prey, according to marine scientists from The University of Texas at Austin.

“A seahorse is one the slowest swimming fish that we know of, but it’s able to capture prey that swim at incredible speeds for their size,” said Brad Gemmell, research associate at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, which is part of the College of Natural Sciences. (more…)

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UCLA Researchers Further Refine ‘Nanovelcro’ Device to Grab Single Cancer Cells from Blood

Improvement enables ‘liquid biopsies’ for metastatic melanoma

Researchers at UCLA report that they have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients’ tumors and circulate in the blood. With the improvements to their device, which uses a Velcro-like nanoscale technology, they can now detect and isolate single cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis.

Circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, spreading from tumors to other parts of the body, where they form new tumors. When these cells are isolated from the blood early on, they can provide doctors with critical information about the type of cancer a patient has, the characteristics of the individual cancer and the potential progression of the disease. Doctors can also tell from these cells how to tailor a personalized treatment to a specific patient. (more…)

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A Better Way to Culture Central Nervous Cells

A protein associated with neuron damage in Alzheimer’s patients provides a superior scaffold for growing central nervous system cells in the lab. The findings could have clinical implications for producing neural implants and offers new insights on the complex link between the apoE4 apolipoprotein and Alzheimer’s disease. Results appear in the journal Biomaterials.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A protein associated with neuron damage in people with Alzheimer’s disease is surprisingly useful in promoting neuron growth in the lab, according to a new study by engineering researchers at Brown University. The findings, in press at the journal Biomaterials, suggest a better method of growing neurons outside the body that might then be implanted to treat people with neurodegenerative diseases. (more…)

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A Creative Approach to Health

“What are we painting today?”

The question followed me as I walked down the hallway. Some 15 minutes before we were scheduled to start, there were already a dozen children crammed into the activity room to begin our weekly art session. More were coming.

Usually, kids participating in the art program at IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) trickle in slowly over the first half-hour of our scheduled time. But today was a painting day and that draws a crowd. By the time we started, 25 children ranging in age from 4 to 14 had paint, a brush and paper, and all were eager to start. (more…)

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New Noninvasive Tool Helps Target Parkinson’s Disease

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Health professionals may soon have a new method of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, one that is noninvasive and inexpensive, and, in early testing, has proved to be effective more than 90 percent of the time.

In addition, this new method has the potential to track the progression of Parkinson’s, as well as measure the effectiveness of treatments for the disorder, said Rahul Shrivastav, professor and chairperson of Michigan State University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and a member of the team developing the new method.

It involves monitoring a patient’s speech patterns – specifically, movement patterns of the tongue and jaw. (more…)

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Doctors Wary of Studies Funded by Pharmaceutical Industry, Study Shows

Physicians are about half as willing to prescribe drugs tested in pharmaceutical-industry funded trials than those in NIH-funded studies, a new study finds.

Physicians are less likely to trust the results of clinical trials when they know those trials were funded by pharmaceutical companies, regardless of the quality of the research, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows.

The study, led by Dr. Aaron Kesselheim of the Harvard Medical School in Boston and co-authored by University of Arizona associate professor of law Christopher Robertson, evaluated physicians’ confidence in the results of drug trials conducted with a high, medium or low level of methodological rigor. It then looked at how their confidence in those same results changed when a trial’s funding source was revealed as either the National Institutes of Health or a company in the pharmaceutical industry, versus when no funding source was disclosed. (more…)

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Researchers Devise More Accurate Method for Predicting Hurricane Activity

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method for forecasting seasonal hurricane activity that is 15 percent more accurate than previous techniques.

“This approach should give policymakers more reliable information than current state-of-the-art methods,” says Dr. Nagiza Samatova, an associate professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work. “This will hopefully give them more confidence in planning for the hurricane season.” (more…)

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