Clinical Research

The first ever successful nose reconstruction surgery using cartilage grown in the laboratory has been done by the University of Basel. The details are upcoming in The Lancet.

The cartilage cells were extracted from the patient's nasal septum, multiplied and expanded onto a collagen membrane and then the engineered cartilage was then shaped according to the defect and implanted. The cartilage was grown from the patient's own adult stem cells and the technique was used with five patients, aged 76 to 88 years, with severe defects on their nose after skin cancer surgery.

A breakthrough could speed recovery and limit disfigurement for patients who have suffered large soft tissue trauma, as occurs with serious injury or cancer surgery.  

By biomedically engineering a muscle flap that includes a patient's own blood vessels, the team created tissue that could be transferred to other parts of the body along with the patient's blood supply. Current techniques – including grafts and synthetic material – for reconstructing such trauma often fail because of lost blood supply.  The scientists fabricated the flap using a variety of added cells and connective tissues to strengthen it. They tested it by reconstructing deep abdominal wall tissue defects in mice.

Body odor can convey a lot of personal information, according to new research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which reveals that immunization can trigger a distinct change in body odor. This is the first demonstration of a bodily odor change due to immune activation. 

In the study, 'biosensor' mice were trained to discriminate between urine odors from mice vaccinated against either the rabies virus (RV) or the West Nile virus (WNV). All training and testing trials were conducted using a Y-maze with odors randomly assigned to each arm of the "Y."

It's hard to find an article on food or metabolism that doesn't imply it has implications for predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes.
Because higher glucose levels have been associated with higher CVD incidence, it has been proposed that information on blood sugar control might improve doctors' ability to predict who will develop CVD, according to background information in the article.

But an analysis of nearly 300,000 adults without a known history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease showed adding information about glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a measure of longer-term blood sugar control, to conventional CVD risk factors like smoking and cholesterol didn't do much to predict CVD risk.

Researchers have noticed a link between Vitamin D and ASD for years. A new study explains how a lack of the vitamin could lead to problems in fetal and neonatal brain development, creating the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Rhonda Patrick and Bruce Ames of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute showed that vitamin D is essential for the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. They also show that it may be important for the making the precursor to oxytocin, as well as for the formation of the oxytocin receptor and vasopressin receptors. All three of these chemicals, which are both neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate body functions, are crucial for social behavior.

An international collaboration recently analyzed existing cohort studies and randomized trials on coronary risk and fatty acid intake and drew a conclusion that will surprise you if you only get your science and health news from mainstream newspapers or television -  the evidence to support restricting the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease isn't there.

And consumption of polyunsaturated fats is probably not a bad idea but there is insufficient evidence for guidelines which advocate the high consumption of polyunsaturated fats (such as omega 3 and omega 6) to reduce the risk of coronary disease. 

Congenital heart disease is the most common form of birth defect, affecting one out of every 125 babies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers from the University of Missouri recently found success using chemical compound 
to treat laboratory mice with one form of congenital heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a weakening of the heart caused by abnormally thick muscle.

By suppressing a faulty protein, the researchers reduced the thickness of the mice's heart muscles and improved their cardiac functioning.

Since most people don't want to engage in the only weight loss plan guaranteed to work - consuming fewer calories than they burn - options are limited in America's battle of the bulge and are likely to stay limited.

The Federal Drug Administration has approved few drugs for long-term weight loss and some are no longer marketed because of safety issues.

Women who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac during pregnancy are not at increased risk of miscarriages.

NSAIDs are used by pregnant women in the first trimester to combat pain, fever and inflammation.  Previous studies on whether they increase the risk of pregnancy loss have shown inconsistent results.

A new paper claims that traditional Chinese herbal medicines might slow the progression of diabetes - by slowing the more vague condition referred to as "prediabetes."

Prediabetes is considered to mean elevated blood sugar levels without the rise in glucose levels of type 2 diabetes. Obviously such people are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes and then also heart disease and stroke. According to such a classification, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that about 79 million American adults age 20 years or older could be considered prediabetic.