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Old July 8th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #81
Ulpia-Serdica
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MedEye Pill-Scanning Medical Safety Tech Pulls In $6M



Mint Solutions, a hardware startup that’s developed a scanning device designed to help hospital nurses ensure each patient gets the right medicine and the correct dosage, has pulled in a €4.425 million ($6 million) Series A funding round.



Mint Solutions’ pill verification device, called MedEye, uses computer vision to identify tablets placed in a drawer on the front of the unit — based on characteristics like the size, shape, colour and markings of individual pills (medicines are required by law to be distinct).

The MedEye system is designed to work with existing hospital workflow and IT infrastructure – so, for instance, the nurse accesses the patient’s medical information via a wristband barcode system and is then able to cross-reference their prescription information with the dosage they are about to receive, getting the latter info by scanning their medicine with MedEye.

The MedEye device has been deployed in hospitals in the Netherlands so far, with plans for further rollouts there and also in the UK and Germany — fueled by the new funding round.

SOURCE: http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/08/medeye-series-a/
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Old July 11th, 2014, 05:53 AM   #82
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VICE News host Thomas Morton swings from the trees with an international team of scientists in Panama that's found a promising treatment for malaria, Chagas disease and breast cancer in the most unlikely place: The mossy fur of tree sloths. It's yet another reason to not cut down rainforests. About half of all drugs brought to market from 1997-2006 came from plants, fungi and bacteria discovered by "bio-prospectors" in nature. And we see that sloths are just one of many new and unusual frontiers for this research.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 04:33 PM   #83
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Temple University Researchers Successfully Eliminate the HIV Virus from Cultured Human Cells for the First Time

July 21, 2014

The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.

http://www.temple.edu/medicine/templ...uman_cells.htm


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Old July 22nd, 2014, 05:19 PM   #84
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So has HIV been cured?

Edit: Reading the article, I got my answer.

Quote:
The HIV-1 eradication approach faces several significant challenges before the technique is ready for patients, Dr. Khalili said. The researchers must devise a method to deliver the therapeutic agent to every single infected cell. Finally, because HIV-1 is prone to mutations, treatment may need to be individualized for each patient's unique viral sequences.
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Old July 26th, 2014, 05:57 AM   #85
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Proton therapy gives cancer hope



Several million people in the world are affected by cancer and there are various treatments available. Some patients undergo sessions of proton therapy, an advanced form of radiotherapy that uses a high-energy proton beam.



In a lab near Brussels, in Belgium, IBA (Ion Beam Applications) is building and testing cyclotrons. Inside the cyclotron, charged particles are accelerated until they almost reach the speed of light. Electrons are separated from hydrogen atoms and only the protons are kept.

Inside the orange magnets a special pipeline is installed to make the protons travel towards the nearby treatment rooms, before they enter the patients’ bodies, and destroy their tumours.

While conventional radiation can damage healthy tissues, proton beams deliver their maximum energy within a precisely controlled range, thereby reducing adverse effects to adjacent healthy tissues. The first prototype particle accelerator for medical purposes was invented in 1986, and the latest generation of cyclotrons, are much smaller and cheaper than previous ones.

Yyves Jongen, the inventor. explained: “Cancer often affects older people. But around 7% of cancers are found in children. And when we’re treating cancer in children it’s even more important not to irradiate other organs which the child will need throughout life. And proton therapy allows us to do that. When we have the patient here on the treatment table we use two x-rays to locate the exact position of the tumour in the patient. And we can position the patient to the nearest millimetre so that we really target that and nothing just beside it.”

Proton therapy is therefore particularly useful when treating tumours which are close to vital organs: for example cancers in the eyes, brain, neck or left breast. The strength of the beam can also be regulated.

The inventor of this proton therapy is now in line for a Lifetime Achievement at the European Inventor Awards, organised by the European Patent office. The winners will be announced on 28th May in Amsterdam.

Yyves Jongen said: “I get paid for doing things I love in life. I am passionate about combating cancer and designing machines which can treat it better. So I’m a very happy man.”

To make this therapy more widely available, the next step is to reduce the size and cost of the machines.

SOURCE: http://www.euronews.com/2013/05/14/p...s-cancer-hope/
So... is proton therapy really the sure cure for patients with all kinds of cancer? From the looks of the session, it sounds expensive. What about those who cannot afford the treatment?
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Old August 10th, 2014, 07:58 PM   #86
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Stem cells show promise for stroke in pilot study

by Sam Wong
08 August 2014

A stroke therapy using stem cells extracted from patients' bone marrow has shown promising results in the first trial of its kind in humans.

Five patients received the treatment in a pilot study conducted by doctors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and scientists at Imperial College London.

The therapy was found to be safe, and all the patients showed improvements in clinical measures of disability.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandev...8-2014-12-58-0


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Old August 13th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #87
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Bee, scorpion and snake venom may hold cancer cure

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/12/health...nology-cancer/

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(CNN) -- It's ancient medicine with a sci-fi-sounding twist.
A scientist at the University of Illinois, Dipanjan Pan, and his team say they may have found a way to stop cancer cell growth, according to a paper presented at the American Chemical Society conference this week.
The work is in very early stages, but has shown success in stopping breast cancer and melanoma cell growth in lab tests. Pan's technique uses nanotechnology to deliver a synthesized element similar to the venom found in bees, snakes and scorpions.
Ancient texts show doctors have used venom to treat aliments for years. In 14 BC, the Greek writer Pliny the Elder described the use of bee venom as a cure for baldness. Doctors used beestings to treat the Emperor Charlemagne's gout in the 700s. Traditional Chinese medicine has used frog venom to fight liver, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers. Alternative doctors in Cuba have used scorpion venom to fight brain tumors.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 09:03 PM   #88
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Old September 8th, 2014, 05:33 AM   #89
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RealView 3D Live Intraoperative Holography Using Philips Imaging



Surgeons working on the heart in a minimally invasive fashion have to do quite a bit of interpolating and imagining of where their instruments are in relation to the anatomy and how that anatomy is different from that of other patients. Typical intraoperative imaging systems provide a 2D view from X-ray fluoroscopes and 3D ultrasound aids in giving a volumetric reproduction. Often these are presented separately and can be unwieldy to browse in a unified way.

Imagine having a 3D holographic reproduction of the patient’s actual heart during surgery to slice, rotate, and manipulate in free space with one’s own hands. This is actually something that exists now and has been successfully used in surgeries at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva, Israel. Using Philips clinical imaging equipment and holographic technology from RealView Imaging (Yokneam, Israel), a team of surgeons was able to analyze the hearts of eight patients during minimally invasive interventional procedures.

The technology does not require any special glasses and interaction with the virtual heart can be done with one’s hands or a “scalpel” to take slices and look inside the organ.

SOURCE: http://www.medgadget.com/2013/10/rea...ips-video.html
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Old September 9th, 2014, 02:20 PM   #90
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Carmat Implants Artificial Heart in a Second Patient

Artificial Heart is Made From Polyurethane and Natural Materials Derived From Cow-Heart Tissu



French biotechnology company Carmat SA ALCAR.FR -3.18% S said Monday it has implanted a pioneering artificial heart made of a mix of synthetic and natural materials in a second patient suffering from chronic heart failure.

Carmat shares rose as much as 19% Friday, when rumors of the second transplant were reported in the French press. Shares in the company were trading down slightly on Monday.

Carmat is halfway through a clinical trial testing the safety of its device—an artificial heart that weighs around 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) and is the first to be made of both synthetic and natural materials—in four patients suffering from end-stage heart failure. That is a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly and patients aren't responding to either medical or surgical treatment.

The only option for patients with end-stage heart failure is a heart transplant—but some patients aren't eligible for them, and for those that are, waiting lists are long and patients often die before a donor can be found.

Carmat estimates that fewer than 4,000 donor hearts are available each year but more than 100,000 patients are waiting for one.

Carmat's heart is made from polyurethane and natural materials derived from cow-heart tissue. It is powered by an external battery pack and aims to restore patients to a normal life after the transplant.

It is designed to last up to five years and be used either in patients who aren't eligible for a human transplant, or those waiting for one. Being larger than a normal human heart, it isn't suitable for all patients, including some women and children.

Carmat's heart was 15 years in development, and is designed to be an improvement on the small number of artificial hearts already on the market. The use of natural materials is aimed at solving problems with blood clotting that can arise when blood comes into contact with artificial materials like plastic.

Artificial hearts already available include a device called AbioCor, of titanium and polyurethane, made by Danvers, Mass.-based Abiomed Inc. ABMD +1.12% and at present available only in the U.S. for patients not eligible for heart transplants.

Another is a device called CardioWest Total Artificial Heart, a heart made of artificial materials but designed only to tide patients over until a human transplant becomes available. The device is made by closely held SynCardia of Tucson, Ariz.

The second patient in the Carmat trial, who hasn't been named, was operated on in Nantes University Hospital.

"We would like to wholeheartedly thank our investigation centers' clinical teams for their involvement alongside us, and today especially the experienced teams at the Nantes University Hospital," Carmat Chief Executive Marcello Conviti said.

The first patient to receive a Carmat implant—a 76-year-old man who was operated on in Paris in December—died in March. Carmat said the first implant was positive. The criterion for success in the study is survival of the patient for 30 days.

Carmat's clinical trial was put on hold after the first patient's death but was resumed in July. It aims to recruit four patients in total. If the results from its first study are positive, Carmat then plans to expand the study to 20 patients.

It estimates the device could potentially benefit the lives of tens of thousands of patients, and could cost between €140,000 ($181,000) and €180,000, with a potential market of around €20 billion.

"While there's some significant advancements in terms of the materials that they're using, this device is really only targeted at people who are in the final stage of life," said Rob Littlefield, a medical-device analyst at data forecaster GlobalData.

Mr. Littlefield said he thinks the market will expand once companies start developing implantable devices for patients with less-severe heart failure.

"These are complicated devices, so it's very slow-moving," he added.

Carmat was the brainchild of heart surgeon Alain Carpentier. Investors in the biotech company, which listed on Euronext ENX.FR +0.10% in 2010, include Airbus Group EADSY -1.51% NV and venture-capital firm Truffle Capital.

SOURCE: http://online.wsj.com/articles/carma...ent-1410176132
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Old September 9th, 2014, 07:49 PM   #91
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Technological Breakthrough Paves the Way for Better Drugs



Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed the first method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell. The method, which is described in the scientific journal Science, could make a significant contribution to the development of new, improved drug substances.

Most drugs operate by binding to one or more proteins and affecting their function, which creates two common bottlenecks in the development of drugs; identifying the right target proteins and designing drug molecules able to efficiently seek out and bind to them. No method has been available for directly measuring the efficiency of the drug molecules to locate and bind to its target protein. Now researchers from Karolinska Institutet have developed a new tool called CETSA (Cellular Thermal Shift Assay), which utilise the concept that target proteins usually get stabilised when drug molecules bind.

"We have shown that the method works on a wide variety of target proteins and allows us to directly measure whether the drug molecules reach their targets in cells and animal models," says lead investigator Professor Pär Nordlund of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. "We believe that CETSA will eventually help to improve the efficiency of many drugs and contribute to better drug molecules and more successful treatments."

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0705101541.htm
Oh, if you're interested in CETSA's, we do them in our lab (we work next door to one of the authors on the paper).
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Old September 16th, 2014, 02:17 PM   #92
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Scientists "reset" stem cells to study start of human development

British and Japanese scientists have managed to "reset" human stem cells to their earliest state, opening up a new realm of research into the start of human development and potentially life-saving regenerative medicines.

In work described by one independent expert as "a major step forward", the scientists said they had successfully rebooted pluripotent stem cells so they were equivalent to those of a 7 to 10-day old embryo, before it implants in the womb.

By studying the reset cells, they said they hoped they would now be able to learn more about embryo development, and how it can go wrong and cause miscarriage and developmental disorders.

"These cells may represent the real starting point for formation of tissues in the human embryo," said Austin Smith, director of the Britain's Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, who co-led the research published in the journal Cell on Thursday.

"We hope that in time they will allow us to unlock the fundamental biology of early development, which is impossible to study directly in people," he added.

Human pluripotent stem cells, which have the potential to become any of the cells and tissues in the body, can already be made in a lab either from cells extracted from early-stage embryos or from adult cells that have been induced, or reprogrammed, into an earlier state.

FULL ARTICLE: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/0...0H61VL20140911
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Old September 29th, 2014, 03:26 PM   #93
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Breast cancer drug Perjeta could extend patients’ lives by 15 months – study

A new but very expensive breast cancer drug has shown “unprecedented” benefits in extending the lives of women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Data released by the pharmaceutical company Roche suggests Perjeta could, in combination with other drugs, increase the survival of women with advanced breast cancer by 15 months. The results will raise the stakes in the battle in the UK over the funding of cancer drugs.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2...nd-lives-study


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Old October 4th, 2014, 07:03 PM   #94
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Medical first in Sweden as woman gives birth after womb transplant



In a medical first, a woman in Sweden has given birth after receiving a womb transplant.

The 36-year-old, who remains anonymous, had a baby boy last month after receiving a uterus from a close family friend.

But the medical team says it will take a long time before it becomes a routine operation.

Mats Brännström from the Uterus Transplantation Team at the University of Gothenburg said: “It depends on the results of coming research studies on the same subject. So I think this is not going to be routine clinical care or routine surgery until many, many years from now.”

A lab-produced embryo was transferred into the mother’s transplanted womb and the baby was eventually delivered by caesarean section.

Liza Johannesson, a gynaecology surgeon at the University of Gothenburg, said: “They are very good, I would say. They are happy, of course, they are in good health, both of them, and also the partner. They are now trying to form a new family and that’s what’s occupying their minds right now, but their health is perfect.”

The success of the operation gives hope to the tens of thousands of women born without a uterus, or those who’ve lost one due to an illness such as cancer.

SOURCE: http://www.euronews.com/2014/10/04/m...mb-transplant/
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Old October 10th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #95
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Massive breakthrough in using stem cells for type 1 diabetes, sounds like they've essentially cured it now:

http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/stem-ce...roducing-cells

Human trials to start within a few years.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 06:15 AM   #96
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This Device Could Detect Dozens of Cancers With a Single Blood Test



That’s why a new startup, dubbed Miroculus, is building a device that could easily and affordably check for dozens of cancers using a single blood sample. Known as Miriam, this low-cost, open source device made its public debut at the TEDGlobal conference in Rio De Janeiro on Thursday, with TED curator Chris Anderson calling it “one of the most thrilling demos in TED history.”



For the company’s founders—a global team of entrepreneurs, microbiologists, and data scientists—the goal is to make Miriam so simple that even untrained workers in clinics around the world could use it. The project is still in the early stages, but if the early trials of Miriam are to be believed, Miroculus could make regular cancer screenings as simple as getting blood drawn.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/miroculus/
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Old October 17th, 2014, 04:43 PM   #97
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Virus might kill cancer cells without harming other cells



By Shan Juan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2014-10-14 19:27



http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2...t_18738455.htm
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Old October 18th, 2014, 11:11 PM   #98
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An interesting story about an innovative, but under the radar company and it's billion dollar founder.

This Woman Invented a Way to Run 30 Lab Tests on Only One Drop of Blood

Even the word sounds archaic—and that’s nothing compared to the slow, expensive, and inefficient reality of drawing blood and having it tested. As a college sophomore, Elizabeth Holmes envisioned a way to reinvent old-fashioned phlebotomy and, in the process, usher in an era of comprehensive superfast diagnosis and preventive medicine.



That was a decade ago. Holmes, now 30, dropped out of Stanford and founded a company called Theranos with her tuition money. Last fall it finally introduced its radical blood-testing service in a Walgreens pharmacy near company headquarters in Palo Alto, California. (The plan is to roll out testing centers nationwide.) Instead of vials of blood—one for every test needed—Theranos requires only a pinprick and a drop of blood. With that they can perform hundreds of tests, from standard cholesterol checks to sophisticated genetic analyses. The results are faster, more accurate, and far cheaper than conventional methods.

The implications are mind-blowing. With inexpensive and easy access to the information running through their veins, people will have an unprecedented window on their own health. And a new generation of diagnostic tests could allow them to head off serious afflictions from cancer to diabetes to heart disease.



None of this would work if Theranos hadn’t figured out how to make testing transparent and inexpensive. The company plans to charge less than 50 percent of the standard Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. And unlike the rest of the testing industry, Theranos lists its prices on its website: blood typing, $2.05; cholesterol, $2.99; iron, $4.45. If all tests in the US were performed at those kinds of prices, the company says, it could save Medicare $98 billion and Medicaid $104 billion over the next decade.

FULL STORY: http://www.wired.com/2014/02/elizabeth-holmes-theranos/
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Old October 21st, 2014, 11:55 AM   #99
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Paralysed man walks again after cell transplant

A paralysed man has been able to walk again after a pioneering therapy that involved transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord.

Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack in 2010, can now walk using a frame.

The treatment, a world first, was carried out by surgeons in Poland in collaboration with scientists in London.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29645760


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Old October 22nd, 2014, 12:27 PM   #100
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Coffee May Protect the Liver

By Nicholas Bakalar
October 20, 2014 8:17 pm

Drinking coffee — even decaffeinated coffee — may protect your liver, a large new study has found.

[...]

More than 14,000 of the subjects drank coffee. After controlling for age, sex, race, education, smoking, alcohol consumption and other factors, the researchers found that compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank three cups a day were about 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels. Among the more than 2,000 who drank only decaffeinated coffee, the results were similar.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/1...ype=blogs&_r=0


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