Medicine, Health

Although a source of much hope among ‘multiple myeloma’ (MM) patients, adoptive T cell therapies are still held back by expensive, lengthy, individual-tailored approaches. However, an EU-funded project is aiming to shake things up with off-the shelf solutions of its own.
On an initiative of Mrs. Cresson, Commissioner for research and development, Mr. Bangemann, Commissioner for industry, telecommunications and information technologies, and Mr. Kinnock, Commissioner for transport, the European Commission has set up six task forces to develop in...
Against a backdrop of increasing concern about both obesity and depressive illness amongst European populations, an EU-funded study contributes pioneering research about the link between high-sugar intake and mood disorders.
A nine-year-old born with HIV in South Africa was treated for the first year and went on to live drug-free for eight and a half years – the virus has not returned. Early antiretroviral therapy was not standard practice at the time, but was given to the child from nine weeks old as part of a clinical trial.
The science of photonics continues to impact many areas of our lives from telecommunications to information processing, but the EU-funded PHOTOTUNE project recently highlighted its potential for medical applications, and the next generation of robotics.
Shocking new research suggests that Western men’s sperm count has more than halved between 1973 and 2011, an average of 1.4 % per year. Scientists are still uncertain as to the cause of the dramatic drop but have argued that their findings must be taken seriously and that action must be taken to address what could become a major public health crisis.
Two newly published studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee – at least three cups – results in a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, liver disease and can boost immunity and extend your lifespan. However, it is still to be proven as to whether it’s the coffee itself that protects against such illnesses or whether the lifestyles of regular coffee drinkers are simply healthier than non-coffee drinkers.
Using light pulses to create resonance in mammalian cell circuits, the EU-funded R’BIRTH project has succeeded in switching on and off signalling pathways, and now hope their achievement will feed into the treatment of degenerative neurological conditions.
A ‘painless’ sticking plaster flu jab that delivers vaccine directly into the skin has passed landmark safety tests during its first trial with human subjects. Those in higher risk categories for flu who need the annual jab but shudder at the thought of a needle should rejoice – but the new plaster also promises other benefits.
A prime-boost Ebola vaccine regime has induced a persistent antibody response of at least one year in 100% of the healthy volunteers. Partners behind the development of the vaccine include the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative.
Researchers working on H5N1 and its scope for mutation have modified the surface of the virus creating a version that could infiltrate human lungs. ‘We need to know what the virus could do in nature, so we can be alert and aware if we start seeing these changes,'' says the Professor leading the research.
Scientists have created a new compound that promises to be the ultimate fake tan – a chemical that releases dark pigment in the skin, thus resulting in a bronzed suntan without the need to expose oneself to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
A study conducted in Finland has analysed the oral glucose tolerance tests of 1970 men and 2544 women in relation to their preceding three-year employment records. It found that men with high exposure to unemployment had a higher risk for pre-diabetes and screen-detected type 2 diabetes than employed men.
Scientists investigating the impact on mice of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ), used to treat patients with brain cancer, have found it induces behavioural and psychological changes relevant to depression.
Researchers have managed to accurately replicate images of faces seen by macaque monkeys by monitoring activity in specific regions of their brains. Scientists presented photographs of human faces to macaque monkeys and then analysed the response of around 200 cells in the regions known as the ‘macaque face patch system’, using the signals to then recreate the face shown in the photo.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) – frequent cause of stroke, dementia and heart failure – affects 2-3 % of the population in Europe and the USA. We are increasing our understanding of the causes of the condition, but prevention and therapies are not harnessing mechanistic insights. This means that, apart from the use of anticoagulation to prevent AF related strokes, treatment is still not having a great impact on outcomes.
Anyone doing their best to get their children to choose a banana over biscuits might want to read on. Research supported by EU funding has fed into the development of a computer game that could help children to go for healthy snacks over chocolate and sweets.
EU-funded RNA-based therapy targets the direct cause of some neurodegenerative diseases, not just their symptoms.
How the body regulates its heat is the subject of intense study as it is an area of interest in research into diabetes and obesity treatment. A new study shows the mechanism may not be as previously thought.
The Human Brian Project released the first version of its Medical Informatics Platform last year and the powerful new tool is already producing results. The Platform allows interactive access to brain-related medical information throughout European hospitals and research centres and the project reports five European hospitals and research cohorts have already been recruited.
Around 1.5 billion people worldwide are overweight or affected by obesity. They are at risk cardiovascular disease and related metabolic and inflammatory disturbances. While the links between being over-weight and the clinical conditions associated with adiposity are not clear, recent research shows it may influence DNA methylation.
Premature lambs have been kept alive for weeks using artificial wombs resembling plastic bags. It is hoped the advancement will one day offer premature babies a better chance of survival.
Bronchitis and pneumonia may be harmful, but by studying the genetic structure of the bacteria that causes them, EU-funded scientists have been able to gain a better understanding of how genes function. Their research suggests DNA is organised the same way in all living organisms, a finding that may hold the key to new vaccines and drug therapies.
A new study, drawing on the work of the EU-funded ERA project along with the further support of two others, finds more evidence that dietary restriction increases life-span, as well as delaying and protecting against age-related health problems.
By studying the interaction between touch stimuli and neural processing to improve robotic prosthetics, EU-funded projects such as NEBIAS and NANOBIOTOUCH, are also shedding light on how the whole brain functions.
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Study in Poland