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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
April 8, 2018 · 422 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Researchers report on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics that may be effective at treating drug-resistant infections

The antibiotic, first identified by Nosopharm, is unique and promising on two fronts: its unconventional source and its distinct way of killing bacteria, both of which suggest the compound may be effective at treating drug-resistant or hard-to-treat bacterial infections.

Reference: Molecular Cell

Scientists provide new cellular understanding in bone development, seeking insights into faster bone healing and new biomaterials

Most of us don’t think about our teeth and bones until one aches or breaks. A team of engineers has looked deep within collagen fibers to see how the body forms new bone and teeth, seeking insights into faster bone healing and new biomaterials.

Reference: Nature Communications

Researchers show for the first time that healthy older adults can grow just as many new brain cells as young people

There has been controversy over whether adult humans grow new neurons, and some research has previously suggested that the adult brain was hard-wired and that adults did not grow new neurons. This study counters the notion. Scientists found that older people have similar ability to make thousands of hippocampal new neurons from progenitor cells as younger people do.

Reference: Cell Stem Cell

A new study has revealed that certain immune cells behave differently in HIV-infected patients than they do in healthy individuals

The UT Austin research team’s finding is significant because the Tfh cells — which are present in greater numbers in HIV-infected patients than in healthy individuals — typically help fight off infection by communicating with other immune-supporting cells in the lymph nodes (the immune system’s command center) about an impending viral attack. The researchers found that the Tfh cells present in those infected with HIV are not playing their usual part to defend against viral infections.

Reference: Science Immunology

New blood test found to predicts the onset of TB up to two years in advance

A new blood test has been found to more accurately predict the development of tuberculosis up to two years before its onset in people living with someone with active TB, according to new research.

Reference: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Researchers describe a new method that measures the degree of similarity between tumor cells and pluripotent stem cells

The theory that cancer progression involves the acquisition by tumor cells of features similar to those of stem cells has gained strength in the scientific community. According to this theory, tumor cells tend to “forget” the tissue from which they originated as the disease progresses, acquiring an undifferentiated phenotype associated with heightened aggressiveness and treatment resistance.

Reference: Cell

New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of success

In a groundbreaking development, results from a recent clinical trial to treat lung cancer show that a novel immunotherapy combination is surprisingly effective at controlling the disease’s progression. The study focused on non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common form of lung cancer.

Reference: The Lancet Oncology

Scientists have developed a fluorescent probe that identifies tumor-initiating cells and also selectively kills them

Cells with stem-cell characteristics appear to be especially important in the formation and metastasis of tumors. Scientists have now developed a universal fluorescent probe for these ‘cancer stem cells.’ This dye also selectively kills off the cells.

Reference: Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Scientists have discovered a new stem cell that could heal brain damage

A newly discovered type of stem cell could help brains repair themselves from injury or even debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s, according to the latest research. Called the “G2 quiescent stem cell”, it’s one of several ‘sleeping’ (or quiescent) stem cells in the brain.

Reference: Science

Researchers have developed a portable device to monitor patients’ white blood cell levels at home, without taking blood samples

Such a device could prevent thousands of infections every year among chemotherapy patients, the researchers say. Their tabletop prototype records video of blood cells flowing through capillaries just below the surface of the skin at the base of the fingernail. A computer algorithm can analyze the images to determine if white blood cell levels are below the threshold that doctors consider dangerous.

Reference: Scientific Reports

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