Health & Medicine

Is wood ash a silent killer in sub-Saharan Africa?

Traditional cookstoves fuelled by locally sourced wood are found in homes across sub-Saharan Africa. Some 70% of the population use traditional cookstoves to burn wood, and as a result produce 19 megatonnes of ash every year across the region. The ash is generally dumped nearby or scattered on farmland, but what exactly is in the ash? Quantifying the amounts of heavy […]

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Health & Medicine

Frailty screening: Doing good and avoiding harm

Ageing populations bring both opportunities and challenges for the economy, services and society. Screening for frailty aims to match the healthcare offered with a person’s needs, circumstances and capacity to benefit. Professors Mary McNally, Lynette Reid and William Lahey from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, explore the legal and ethical implications of frailty screening to ensure concerns with both doing […]

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Health & Medicine

When control is lost: Studying the interactions of ATP and acetylcholine in the urinary bladder

The inner lining of the bladder, known as the urothelium, not only serves as a passive barrier but also triggers the reflex controlling urination (the micturition reflex). The neurotransmitter ATP released from the stretched urothelium activates the bladder afferent nerves and evokes the release of acetylcholine that substantially contributes to the contractile response. Prof Gunnar Tobin from the University of […]

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Health & Medicine

Laboratory lungs: The implications of lung organoids for health and disease

Lung disease is a major public health concern. However, research is hindered by the challenges of developing translatable human lung systems in a laboratory setting. Dr Sandra Leibel, neonatologist and Physician Scientist at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, USA, is studying lung development and disease mechanisms. In order to do this, she has developed stem cell-derived lung […]

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Health & Medicine

A novel implant enhances skull surgery outcomes

During brain surgery, the surgeon removes a piece of the skull to access the brain. The initial damage to the skull is then repaired by a procedure called cranioplasty, but the reconstruction may be complicated by infection and dehiscence (parting of the sutured lips of a wound). Cranioplasty is also used to reconstruct contour abnormalities of the skull. Recently, Professor […]

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Health & Medicine

Fragment-based design of isoquinoline derivatives as anti-inflammatory drugs

Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a well-established high-throughput screening method for drug generation. Fragment molecules used in FBDD tend to be structurally less complex than the compounds used in conventional high-throughput screening techniques. Dr Masakazu Atobe from Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation in Japan and his colleagues have developed a methodology that can be applied to the discovery of effective drugs […]

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Health & Medicine

Uncovering critical cell death mechanisms for novel cardioprotective therapies

Cell death is part of a natural process by which old cells are replaced by new, but it can also result from disease or injury. There are still many aspects of this process which are not fully understood. The laboratory of Dr Jason Karch, Baylor College of Medicine, aims to increase comprehension of the mechanisms behind cell death. If these […]

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Health & Medicine

High-throughput fluorescent sequencing of biomolecules within their cellular environment

Understanding the molecular diversity within healthy or diseased tissues is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and for gaining a better understanding of fundamental biological processes. Biological tissues contain thousands of different molecules, yet conventional staining looks at only a few at a time because it relies on a limited number of dyes. Prof George Church and Dr […]

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Health & Medicine

A safer, effective treatment for autoimmune glomerulonephritis

In the disease autoimmune glomerulonephritis, the body’s own immune system attacks the blood vessels of the glomeruli, the part of the kidney that filters the blood. This condition is life-threatening, but current treatments are limited and carry a high risk of serious side-effects. Recently, Dr Dragana Odobasic of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and her colleagues investigated the potential of tolerogenic […]

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Health & Medicine

Old drugs, new purpose: The search for binge eating medication

Binge eating is an important feature of two serious mental health conditions: bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. While medication can be helpful in treating patients with these illnesses, currently just two drugs are approved for this purpose. Professor Susan McElroy of the Lindner Center of HOPE, Ohio, USA, leads research into potential new medications for binge eating conditions. Professor […]

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