Health & Medicine

Free blood donation vs. the plasma market

Blood products are vital both for transfusion purposes and the production of blood-derived medicines. Currently, the two ways of obtaining blood products are via free blood donations or via the international plasma market, an industry reliant on paid blood donations. Professor Jean Mercier Ythier of the University of Paris Panthéon-Assas explores the economics and ethics of the plasma market and […]

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Health & Medicine

Breath hold techniques during volumetric modulated arc therapy in breast cancer patients

The research of Dr Vishruta Dumane, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, focuses on developing approaches to radiotherapy that will minimise risk to neighbouring organs and tissues, whilst maximising the impact of treatment to the tumour. Her recent work adds further support for the use of deep inspiration breath holds during radiotherapy (VMAT) to reduce exposure of […]

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Health & Medicine

A measure to predict critical errors in open emergency surgery

Medical errors are a leading cause of worldwide deaths. Surgeons are sometimes required to carry out procedures that they do not perform frequently, which leads to surgical errors that can have severe consequences for patients. To confront this issue, Professor Colin Mackenzie, Emeritus Professor at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, developed with his team, the Trauma Readiness Index […]

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Health & Medicine

Scalp microbiome gets to the root of dandruff

Dandruff is an extremely common cosmetic condition, but one that remains often difficult to treat. Research scientists Sally Grimshaw, Elaine Xu and Dr Barry Murphy, of Unilever R&D, have carried out a detailed genetic investigation of the scalp microbiome: the community of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that live on the scalp skin. Their findings suggest that both bacteria and […]

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Health & Medicine

Using a computer to fight malaria: Finding new artemisinin-based combination therapies

Malaria still claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of people a year and the World Health Organisation identifies half the world’s population at risk from the disease. Even more worryingly, an increasing number of malaria strains are showing signs of drug resistance to existing treatments. One approach that still seems to be effective is the use of artemisinin-based combination […]

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Health & Medicine

Sickle cell disease: Studying arteries with Doppler ultrasound

Sickle cell disease is one of the most common genetic diseases worldwide. Occlusion of blood vessels triggers painful crises and leads to various clinical manifestations such as kidney failure, leg ulcers, bowel ischemia, portal hypertension and retinopathy. Many imaging methods allow to observe vaso-occlusion but are limited by cost and availability issues. Dr Oluwagbemiga Ayoola of Obafemi Awolowo University in […]

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Health & Medicine

Understanding equine assisted interventions: The role of emotional learning

For those suffering from mental health or behavioural issues, there are a range of non-medical, non-talk based therapeutic options available. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these is equine-assisted interventions, which involve the interaction of humans and horses. The mechanisms underpinning how this works are little known and are the research focus of Professor Ann Hemingway and colleagues at […]

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Health & Medicine

Cannabis: Offering hope of a breakthrough in chronic pain treatment

For thousands of years, cannabis has been used to treat pain. Now, with medicinal cannabis legal in some places, the drug might prove to be a viable alternative to opioid pain killers. Dr Alex Bekker and colleagues at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA, is investigating how cannabis could be used to ease the pain associated with opioid addiction […]

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Health & Medicine

Family-based interventions can help to prevent cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death worldwide, but the number of deaths are disproportionately higher in low- and middle-income countries. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol have well-understood links to CVD. Fortunately, risks from these factors can be modified through lifestyle interventions. However, lifestyle interventions at the individual level often fail to produce desirable […]

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Health & Medicine

Euthanasia: A neuropsychiatric researcher raises concerns

Euthanasia in humans remains illegal in most parts of the world. In a few countries like Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands, however, euthanasia is available to people suffering from terminal conditions. F. Hanna Campbell, a researcher in neuropsychiatric AI therapeutics at the Center for Neuronal Regrowth, The Hague, Netherlands, has raised a number of concerns on current euthanasia practices. Campbell […]

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