This new device has successfully worked in over 95% of patients.
"Some 40,000 babies with the defects are born each year in the United States. Many have no pulmonary valve, which carries blood from the heart's right ventricle to the lungs, or only a very small pulmonary valve.Some patients receive a connecting tube, or conduit, early in life, to provide blood flow. The conduits, typically made from cadaver pulmonary valves, from pig valves or bioprosthetic materials, are implanted during open heart surgery and essentially bypass the missing or inadequate pulmonary valve.But the conduits over time can become leaky and narrowed, putting stress on the right ventricle and preventing it from squeezing properly. As a result, patients can develop abnormal life-threatening heart rhythms and symptoms such as inability to exercise. At that point, patients have traditionally required open heart surgery to replace the pulmonary valve. But such surgery, which requires cutting open the rib cage to get direct access to the heart, causes scar tissue that makes future surgery much more difficult. Medtronic's Melody valve is meant to provide additional blood flow when conduits become faulty, and thereby delay the need for more open heart surgery. " - Reuters.
This new device has successfully worked in over 95% of patients.
Stanford researchers have identified a specific protein - CD47- which is upregulated in all cancer cells that aims to trick the immune system into not attacking them. By developing an antibody that blocks the expression of CD47 in all cancer cells, researchers were successful in catalyzing the immune system in killing tumors of the lung, brain, liver, and other vital organs. “We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis,” said biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Neuroscientists have long discussed if particular sites of damage within the brain may influence moral judgement. Researchers have now utilized biotechnology and imaging to determine that the brain’s ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is critical for the acquisition and maturation of moral competency—going beyond self-interest to consider the welfare of others.“By understanding how dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex early in life disrupts moral development, we hope to inform efforts to treat and prevent antisocial behavior, from common criminality to the mass murders our society has witnessed in recent years,” says co-first author Bradley Taber-Thomas. Understanding the connection between drain damage and moral judgement paves the way for forensic psychiatry and radiology in the future. Ethical dilemmas arise as we aim to assess, for example, combat soldiers with brain damage who commit immoral crimes.
Although lithium is the first line of treatment for bipolar disorder, the biological effectiveness of this drug remains unclear. Tetsuo Ohnishi and colleagues from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute and RIKEN BioResource Center have now produced a genetic mouse model to show that lithium’s therapeutic effect stems from its suppression of a biomolecule called myo-inositol.“We set out to examine whether or not the inositol depletion hypothesis of lithium action is real by creating a mouse model in which cellular myo-inositol is reduced genetically,” explains Ohnishi. “If the hypothesis is correct, the mouse model should mimic lithium’s biological effects.” “Lithium exerts antimanic and antidepressive effects in humans, and prolongs the circadian period,” says Ohnishi. “We found an antidepressive trait in our mouse model in various tests, and the circadian period of the model mice was longer than in wild-type controls. Collectively, the data suggest that cellular inositol depletion exerts lithium’s effects.”
Researchers in Zurich have developed a method by which they can deploy gold nanoparticles to a cancerous tumor in order to kill the cancer cells. By combining iron oxide nanoparticle fragments within the gold nanoparticle shell, they can steer the particle directly to the tumor of target. By using a superparamagnetic based particle, researchers were able to utilize light at a particular frequency to activate the nanoparticles ability to kill the cells. Read more here.
Dr. Yang Li was presented with a patient with the grandest tumor he had ever encountered: Weighing 14 kg and spanning 40 cm in length, Yang Xiao recognized an initial growth on his neck during his teenage years. After several years, the tumor had infiltrated his entire spine, debilitating him to a great degree. A complex surgery was planned out in order to safely remove the stone tumors without damaging vital arteries and the spinal cord. After a 9 hour surgery, the patient lost 40 pints of blood, but was successfully cured. Amazingly, Dr. Yang Li was able to remove the entire bulk of the tumor, without damaging nerves, arteries or the spine.
Mrs. Zhao presented at the First Hospital of China Medical University with chronic sinus pain, swollen lymph nodes and headaches. After thorough examination, physicians detected a metal structure lodged in the patients upper sinus cavity, nearing cranial structures. Luckily, doctors extracted the bullet, which was embedded in Mrs. Zhao's cranial physiology for 48 years. She recalls being hit by a bullet at a young age, but decided to live with it after the initial pain subsided.
An internal biological clock regulates our sleep-wake cycle, but the mechanism of this rhythm remains elusive. For the first time, researchers at Johns Hopkins, led by Dr. Mark N. Wu, have found a protein in fruit flies that translates timing information from the body's clock and uses it to control sleep by communicating with specific regions in the brain. This study identified the " Wide Awake" gene, which is responsible for delivering the message to the brain that it is time to shut down and sleep. Fruit flies containing a mutation in the Wide Awake gene were unable to receive proper GABA neuronal signals responsible for quieting down the arousal circuits in the brain. The researchers full article, titled WIDE AWAKE Mediates the Circadian Timing of Sleep Onset, can be found in the journal Neuron.
Dr. David Agus of USC reported on research conducted at Sloan Kettering which used targeted T cell therapy to treat 16 patients suffering from “They took 16 patients with advanced leukemia, who had failed chemotherapy or not responded at all to chemotherapy, so they classically have weeks to months to live. They took their own immune cells out… and inserted a homing mechanism to target the cancer cells,” said Agus. “The cancer cells were growing on their own, unrelentingly, and these immune cells came in and they could target and kill them. They become assassins. So, making their own immune cells become assassins and it worked.”
Two accepted techniques are used to demonstrate a patient has AD: 1) Biomedical imaging modalities illustrate brain abnormalities 2) Abnormalities detected by drawing a CSF sample from the spinal cord. Researchers have used a 3 year clinical study to develop a new methodology to detect AD in older patients by drawing regular blood samples from them. Although the data is preliminary, skeptics from leading universities interested in engineering techniques to detect AD before its clinical onset are hopeful this innovation will be further developed.