Research

Microchip to measure stress hormone levels in a drop of blood

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a microchip that can perform real-time measurements of stress hormone levels in a drop of blood. The technology could provide a replacement for bulky and expensive lab tests for such hormones, and allow patients to monitor their stress levels more easily. The chip includes tiny wells that contain antibodies, and the technology monitors antibody binding through impedance measurements performed using electrodes within the device. Life has been stressful for many people during the pandemic, where…

Cheap strap system to monitor chronic fatigue syndrome

Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, have developed a system to monitor the severity of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. The system includes a commercial chest strap sensor that measures heart rate variability and a paired app that collects, collates, and presents these data, allowing patients to monitor their condition and share information with their clinician. ME is a debilitating condition, characterized by severe fatigue that interferes with daily activities. The prevalence…

FATTY ACID COULD KILL HUMAN CANCER CELLS

Researchers have demonstrated that a fatty acid called dihomogamma-linolenic acid, or DGLA, can kill human cancer cells. The study, published in Developmental Cell on July 10, found that DGLA can induce ferroptosis in an animal model and in actual human cancer cells. Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent type of cell death that was discovered in recent years and has become a focal point for disease research as it is closely related to many disease processes. Jennifer Watts, a Washington State University…

RESEARCHERS AT JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY USE NANOPARTICLES TO TREAT MACULAR DEGENERATION

Wet age-related macular degeneration and a number of other eye diseases, including congenital conditions, are related to mutated genes that result in blood vessel abnormalities. These can be treated with gene therapy, but delivering genetic material has proven to be difficult when dealing with large gene sequences that are common in retinal conditions. Viruses have been the go-to vectors for delivering genes into the eye, but the immune system wants to fight them. Too often this results in poor efficacy…

Fidget spinners to detect utis via urine samples

More than half of all women experience at least one episode of urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime, with men also facing increasing risks of infection as they age. Current detection of UTIs rely on patients reporting symptoms followed by a lab culture of the urine for known bacterial culprits, which typically takes a few days. However, doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics to suppress any suspect cases of UTI before they get the test results, contributing to the increasing…