Health & Medicine

Cryo-electron tomography and synaptic transmission in the brain

The transmission of information between brain cells is regulated by complex loops of biochemical processes. Neurotransmitter molecules are released in the intercellular space by an electrically stimulated neuron and bind to receptors in a different neuron, thus establishing a connection between these cells. By combining cryo-electron microscopy and tomography of vitrified brain samples, Dr Vladan Lučić at Max Planck Institute […]

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Health & Medicine

xAI-EWS — an explainable AI model predicting acute critical illness

Early clinical predictions of acute critical illness have a vital influence on patient outcomes. For clinical medicine to benefit from the higher predictive power of Artificial Intelligence, however, explainable and transparent systems are essential. Simon Meyer Lauritsen and his collaborators at Enversion, Aarhus University, and Regional Hospital Horsens in Denmark have developed xAI-EWS – an explainable AI early warning score […]

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Health & Medicine

Thickeners: The evidence for their appropriate use in dysphagia management

Swallowing difficulties, known as dysphagia, can impact a patient’s nutritional status, as well as their quality of life. If not managed correctly, dysphagia can lead to serious complications. Speech and language therapists are central to managing dysphagia and they often recommend the use of thickeners in fluids and foods to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Thickeners are also used […]

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Health & Medicine

Capturing three-dimensional cell structure with X-ray tomography

Seeing cells is no easy task. Most cells are smaller than a tenth of the size of a human hair, making them impossible to see by eye. Optical microscopes, with the help of cell-staining to colour cells, can help us peer into the invisible world of cells. However, they only show us a 2D image of a very thin slice […]

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Health & Medicine

Could cool sensations from the eyelids and eye surface boost brain power?

Our brains work best when the temperature around us is between 18 and 22oC. Any hotter than this, and productivity, motivation and short-term memory all begin to suffer. In exciting new work, Professor Edward Wei identified a group of molecules called cryosims, which can create a cooling effect without reducing body temperature. As well as treating conditions like dry eye […]

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Health & Medicine

Fermentation: Enhancing favourable health properties of cod liver oils

There are three competing ways to get cod liver oil from cod: you can heat the cod liver, you can extract it using chemical refining, or you can ferment it. Most commercial cod liver oils are extracted using one of the first two, but manufacturers of fermented cod liver oils claim that their product contains more antioxidants, meaning the fatty […]

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Health & Medicine

Managing behavioural symptoms of dementia in Latinos

Dr Diana Lynn Woods, Azusa Pacific University, has dedicated her research to the greater understanding of dementia and the methods used to treat behavioural symptoms of dementia. Her recent work has focused on Latinos with dementia who exhibit behavioural symptoms of dementia and ways to incorporate genetic and cultural factors into intervention strategies. Humans are living longer than ever. However, […]

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Health & Medicine

Identifying the mitochondrial DNA mutations that cause cancer

Mutations that affect the mitochondrial DNA may play a key role in cancers. However, the exact mutations that are involved in cancer are still unknown. Dr Fatimata Mbaye and collaborators, from the University of Dakar in Senegal examined the sequences of two regions of the mitochondrial genome to identify and compare the mutations occurring in different cancers. Understanding the relationship […]

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Health & Medicine

FLASH radiotherapy: What, how and why?

Ultra-high dose rate (FLASH) radiotherapy is a new way of treating tumours caused by cancer. Higher doses of radiotherapy are associated with trauma to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumour, whereas FLASH radiotherapy demonstrates a sparing effect of the healthy tissues without compromising the anti-tumour action. Dr Kristoffer Petersson at the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, University of Oxford, along […]

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Health & Medicine

Australian Genomics: Integrating genomic testing into healthcare

Over the past few years, researchers have developed many new techniques to collect information from our genome. This can help identify inherited conditions and some types of cancer, for example. However, these methods have often been kept within the limits of scientific research. Now, Australian Genomics is keen to push their use into a clinical setting, where they can benefit […]

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