Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Novel cartilage repair therapy

Diseases involving irremediable tissue damage of the musculoskeletal system account today for about 15% of hospital admissions in developed countries. With the ageing of the population, this is believed to gain significantly in importance in the coming years.

The majority of the disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system are the joint diseases, in particular osteoarthritis. The latter disease process is typically initiated and associated with defects of the articular cartilage and the un

Protein research could lead to new meningitis vaccine

New technology is leading to a vaccine against Group B Streptococci (GBS), a common cause of meningitis as well as a frequent cause of pneumonia in newborns. Key proteins have been found that can kick-start the immune system to fight these bacteria, scientists heard today (Tuesday 09 April 2002) at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

“We have developed a method to rapidly screen for cell surface proteins in GBS, which can cause pneumonia a

HIV in the nervous system – still a cause for concern?

HIV infection can be controlled with antiretroviral drugs, but it cannot be wiped out. New evidence suggests that low levels of HIV may still lead to long-term brain damage and dementia, scientists heard today (Tuesday 09 April 2002) at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

“There is concern for the longer term outlook of treated patients because of the likely presence of a low grade inflammation of the brain. Infected drug users are at grea

Targeting treatment

The effectiveness of many potentially powerful treatments including drug therapy, gene therapy and cancer chemotherapy is often reduced because it can be difficult to target the treatment exactly where it will be most effective. One of the problems is that it is frequently difficult for drugs, as well as DNA and other biological molecules, to pass through the membranes of the targeted cells. Electroporation (EP), which involves the application of electrical pulses directly to the tissue to be treated

From frog skin to human colon: rapid responses to steroid hormones

New research on steroid hormone action in the human colon and kidney could pave the way for novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of hypertension and diarrhoea.

Prof Brian Harvey at University College Cork has been studying how the hormones oestrogen and aldosterone produce rapid changes in the transport of salt and water through human intestines and kidneys. Human beings have two main organs that regulate the body’s salt and water balance (effectively blood pressure) – the kidney and

Medical imaging relaxes to brighten up

Protein packaging may enhance MRI contrast.

Images of body tissues and organs could soon be brighter and sharper thanks to a technique developed by Italian chemists. They have made the chemical contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produce a stronger signal by trapping them in protein cages just 12 millionths of a millimetre (nanometres) or so widesup> 1 .

Such improvements increase the contrast of the images, so they should reveal more detailed

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