Innovation

News: Probiotics Could Cut Sepsis in Infants for Just $1 a Day

Bacteria, viruses and other germs sometimes set off the immune system to overreact, producing a severe condition called sepsis. Sepsis is so dangerous that it is the leading cause of death of children across the world, killing a million kids every year, mostly in developing countries. Probiotic bacteria might be able to prevent sepsis and infections, but no large research studies have been done to find out whether that actually works. Until now.

News: A New Set of Cancer Drugs May Work Against Viruses, Too

How can a drug used to treat cancer be effective against viruses, too? The answer lies in the drug's shared target — specifically, cellular components that control the activity of genes. A new research study showed that one such type of drug, histone methyltransferase inhibitors used in cancer clinical trials, has activity against herpes simplex virus, too.

News: Replacement Joints with Antibiotics on Board Mean Lower Chance of Infection & Fewer Surgeries

For about a million Americans each year, a joint replacement brings relief from pain and restored mobility. But, 5–10% of those people have to endure another surgery within seven years, and most of those are due to an infection in their new joint. If doctors could treat infections more effectively, patients could avoid a second surgery, more pain, and another rehabilitation.

News: In the Ultimate Irony, Zika Virus May Cure Brain Cancer

A deadly type of brain tumor and Zika-related brain damage in developing fetuses are devastating brain conditions that, at first glance, may seem unrelated. However, thanks to new research, their paths seem to cross in a way that could benefit patients. A new study has shown that Zika kills brain cancer stem cells, the kind of cells most resistant to treatment in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumor diagnosed in about 12,000 people in the US each year.

News: Scientists Turn Bacteria into Mini Cyborg Solar Panels

Plants all around us capture sunlight every day and convert it to energy, making them a model of solar energy production. And while the energy they make may serve the needs of a plant, the process isn't efficient enough to generate power on a larger scale. So, scientists from the University of California found a way to treat bacteria with chemicals that turned them into photosynthesis machines, capable of generating products we can convert into food, fuels, and plastics.

News: Monthly Injection Has Potential to Replace Daily Handfuls of HIV Drugs

People infected with HIV take many different types of pills every day to decrease the amount of virus in their body, live a longer and healthier life, and to help prevent them from infecting others. That could all be in the past as new clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of a new type of treatment — injections given every four or eight weeks — look to be equally effective at keeping the virus at bay.

News: This Genetic Defect Could Be Why Typhoid Mary Never Got Typhoid Fever

Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...

News: HIV Prevention Ring Passes Safety Testing Clinical Trial

Young girls, especially those who live in areas where HIV is epidemic, like sub-Saharan Africa, are particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV. A vaginal ring containing the antiviral agent dapivirine has been shown to decrease the chance of developing HIV-1 in adult women over 21 and now in the first step for use in adolescents, the ring has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in that younger age group.

News: Swine Flu Linked to Parkinson's Like Brain Changes

Growing evidence suggests that neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's may develop in part due to environmental factors, including infections that can cause inflammation in the nervous system. New research from investigators from Jude Children's Research Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University has strengthened that connection.

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