Clinical Research

Mosquitoes may seem like just a nuisance but they are more deadly to humans than any other animal. The Anopheles mosquito, for example, transmits malaria.

Researchers are on the path to using  substances that occur naturally on human skin and block mosquitoes' ability to smell and target their victims
in order to grant people, pets and livestock an 'invisibility cloak' against these blood-sucking insects.

Decitabine, a drug used to treat blood cancers, may also stop the spread of invasive breast cancer. according to a study done in lab and animal models. Decitabine turns on a gene coding for protein kinase D1 (PRKD1) that halts the ability of cancer cells to separate from a tumor and spread to distant organs.

People with Crohn’s disease, an immune disorder causing inflammation mainly in the intestines, have been forced to learn how to manage and understand their “gut.”

This, together with the chronicity of the disease and the pretty serious medications often required, means sufferers are usually very open-minded about new approaches to relieve debilitating symptoms. While the exact cause of Crohn’s is unknown, researchers believe there is a link to the “hygiene hypothesis,” the notion that there is an increase in autoimmune disease incidence rates related to clean, modern Western society.

In a new study, researchers show that is possible to restore immune function in spinal injured mice.

People with spinal cord injury often are immune compromised, which makes them more susceptible to infections. Why spinal cord injury patients become immune-suppressed is not known, but the paper says that a disorder called autonomic dysreflexia,  a potentially dangerous complication of high-level spinal cord injury characterized by exaggerated activation of spinal autonomic (sympathetic) reflexes, can cause immune suppression. 

Autonomic dysreflexia can cause an abrupt onset of excessively high blood pressure that can cause pulmonary embolism, stroke and in severe cases, death.

Celiac disease who had persistent intestinal damage - identified with repeat biopsy - showed a higher risk of lymphoma than patients whose intestines healed, according to a new paper.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects up to one percent of individuals in Western nations and is characterized by damage to the lining of the small intestine that, over time, reduces the body's ability to absorb components of common foods. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye.

A small clinical study showed promise for a new method of treating chronic wounds; an ultrasound applicator that can be worn like a band-aid.

The applicator delivers low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound directly to wounds, and was found to significantly accelerate healing in five patients with venous ulcers, which are caused when valves in the veins malfunction, causing blood to pool in the leg instead of returning to the heart. This pooling, called venous stasis, can cause proteins and cells in the vein to leak into the surrounding tissue leading to inflammation and formation of an ulcer. 

Researchers writing in Cell Regeneration report that they used induced pluripotent stem cells from urine to create a human tooth structure.

The integration-free human urine induced pluripotent stem cells were differentiated to epithelial sheets ( from the Greek meaning 'upon breast', since it was first considered the skin on the breast), one of the four types of tissue (others are nervous, muscle and collective tissue) and after 3 weeks they were able to get tooth-like structures using 8 different lines with a success rate of up to 30%. 
Acupuncture to improve fertility rates? 

The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine says that acupuncture, when used as a complementary or adjuvant therapy for in vitro fertilization, may be beneficial  - depending on the baseline pregnancy rates of a fertility clinic. If the baseline success was not very high, it went up a little. For clinics with more success, acupuncture had no effect.

In vitro fertilization is a process that involves fertilizing a woman's egg with sperm outside the womb and then implanting the embryo in the woman's uterus. According to the researchers, acupuncture is the most commonly used adjuvant, complementary therapy among couples seeking treatment at fertility clinics in the United States.

Natural killer cells (NK cells) are part of our innate immune system. As they first line of defense, researchers agree that the body needs as many active NK cells as possible.

But, as is often the case, there can be too much of a good thing and researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) have shown how.

A research project at Kansas State University has potential to treat human deafness and loss of balance.

More than 28 million people in the United States suffer some form of hearing loss and mutation of the SLC26A4 gene, normally found in the cochlea and vestibular organs of the inner ear as well as in the endolymphatic sac, a non-sensory part of the inner ear, is implicated as one of the most common forms of hereditary hearing loss in children worldwide.

When the mutant mice lack SLC26A4 expression, their inner ears swell during embryonic development. This leads to failure of the cochlea and the vestibular organs, resulting in deafness and loss of balance.