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Professor Richard Klemke | Targeted Drug Delivery: From Science Fiction to Reality

Professor Richard Klemke | Targeted Drug Delivery: From Science Fiction to Reality

Most human diseases are localised in terms of their location but currently, injected or orally administered drugs are evenly distributed all over the body and thus, act indiscriminately. The targeted delivery of medication to the exact site where it is needed is a common theme in science fiction but thanks to Professor Richard Klemke and his team at the University of California San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center, this fantasy may soon become a reality.

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Professor Michael Bukrinsky | Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-morbidities: How Lipid Homeostasis Alterations Lead to Cardiovascular and Neurological Disorders

Professor Michael Bukrinsky | Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-morbidities: How Lipid Homeostasis Alterations Lead to Cardiovascular and Neurological Disorders

Although human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is still prevalent worldwide, life-saving antiretroviral drugs can now prevent an infection from progressing into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nevertheless, people who are HIV-positive are still at increased risk of developing neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases, known as co-morbidities. Professor Michael Bukrinsky from the George Washington University in Washington DC works to understand the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to these disorders. His research has produced interesting results that demonstrate the role of altered lipid (cholesterol) homeostasis in HIV-infected cells and how this comes to pass.

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Dr Doug Brugge | The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Studies: Minimising Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution

Dr Doug Brugge | The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Studies: Minimising Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution

Epilepsy is a chronic, long-term disease in which abnormal activity in the brain leads to repeated seizures, and it affects nearly 70 million people worldwide. The exact mechanisms behind epileptic seizures are still poorly understood. However, we do know that epilepsy can be caused by changes in the network structure of our brains and that seizures may be a result of spontaneous excessive brain synchronisation. Professor Eckehard Schöll and his Master student Moritz Gerster together with colleagues are using computer simulations to better understand the interplay of network structure and network synchronisation in epilepsy.

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Professor Eckehard Schöll | Moritz Gerster – Rewiring the Brain: How a Small-world Network Structure Mimics Spontaneous Synchronisation in Epileptic Seizures

Professor Eckehard Schöll | Moritz Gerster – Rewiring the Brain: How a Small-world Network Structure Mimics Spontaneous Synchronisation in Epileptic Seizures

Epilepsy is a chronic, long-term disease in which abnormal activity in the brain leads to repeated seizures, and it affects nearly 70 million people worldwide. The exact mechanisms behind epileptic seizures are still poorly understood. However, we do know that epilepsy can be caused by changes in the network structure of our brains and that seizures may be a result of spontaneous excessive brain synchronisation. Professor Eckehard Schöll and his Master student Moritz Gerster together with colleagues are using computer simulations to better understand the interplay of network structure and network synchronisation in epilepsy.

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Dr Francesca Ronchi | How Gut Bacteria Influences Brain Health

Dr Francesca Ronchi | How Gut Bacteria Influences Brain Health

Our intestines contain millions of bacteria, known as our microbiota, which secrete compounds and play a key role in keeping us healthy. These bacteria don’t just affect the health of our digestive system, they can influence organs as far away as the brain. Dr Francesca Ronchi at Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin is determining the role of the microbiota in the prevention and development of neurological disorders.

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Dr Lars Oddsson | The walk2Wellness Trial: Measuring the Impact of a Wearable Sensory Prosthesis on People with Peripheral Neuropathy

Dr Lars Oddsson | The walk2Wellness Trial: Measuring the Impact of a Wearable Sensory Prosthesis on People with Peripheral Neuropathy

Dr Lars Oddsson, CTO of RxFunction and Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota is co-inventor of a wearable device called Walkasins® to help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls in people with sensory peripheral neuropathy. The walk2Wellness trial incorporated five clinical sites where they demonstrated that by replacing sensory stimulation for balance, this prosthetic device can have a positive impact on clinical mobility outcomes and quality of life for those who have suffered nerve damage causing loss of sensation in their feet.

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Dr Timothy Carroll | Dr Nicholas Lackenby | Ms Jenia Gorbanenko – Orthodox Christian Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr Timothy Carroll | Dr Nicholas Lackenby | Ms Jenia Gorbanenko – Orthodox Christian Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Orthodox Christians often use tactile gestures during acts of religious devotion. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, such gestures had the potential to increase the spread of the virus. Dr Timothy Carroll, Dr Nicholas Lackenby and Ms Jenia Gorbanenko at University College London undertook an ethnographic study focused on how Orthodox Christian communities responded to public health advice that conflicted with their long-standing sacred practices.

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Shane Urban | The Critical Intervention Screen: Improving Safety in the Transport of Trauma Patients

Shane Urban | The Critical Intervention Screen: Improving Safety in the Transport of Trauma Patients

Lights and sirens on ambulances are used in emergencies to accelerate the transport of critical patients to hospital but unfortunately, can increase the risk of motor vehicle collisions. Emergency medical service personnel are those most commonly injured during these collisions and the general public account for the majority of fatalities. Shane Urban at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital, USA, set out to develop a novel, prehospital triage tool that can determine when best to use lights and sirens during the transport of trauma patients.

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Dr Diane Barber | Dysregulated Intracellular pH can Enable Different Diseases

Dr Diane Barber | Dysregulated Intracellular pH can Enable Different Diseases

The pH inside our cells is constantly changing, but also carefully controlled within certain limits. Dynamic intracellular pH (pHi) is essential for normal cell behaviours, but when it becomes dysregulated, it can enable an array of diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Dr Diane Barber from the University of California San Francisco has carried out extensive research into how normal pHi dynamics regulate cell behaviours and the impact that dysregulated pHi can have in different diseases.

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Dr Beate Aurich | Identifying, Understanding and Managing Treatment-related Risks of Medicines Prescribed to Children

Dr Beate Aurich | Identifying, Understanding and Managing Treatment-related Risks of Medicines Prescribed to Children

The relatively new field of paediatric pharmacovigilance aims to improve the clinical care of children by understanding and appropriately managing the risks of medicines administered to this group of patients. Dr Beate Aurich is an established expert in this field, and with colleagues, has published an article on the practical aspects of paediatric pharmacovigilance. She notes that the assessment of the benefit-risk balance of available treatment options should be based on multidisciplinary efforts and include both children and their families.

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Dr Rogier Hopstaken | A Simple Point-of-care Test to Help Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Dr Rogier Hopstaken | A Simple Point-of-care Test to Help Combat Antibiotic Resistance

As the strains of bacteria that are not killed by antibiotics proliferate, increasing numbers of people are at risk of severe illness and even death. Dr Rogier Hopstaken from Star-shl Diagnostic Centres in the Netherlands has shown that a simple, yet effective technique may be the answer to antibiotic over-prescription. A C-reactive protein test at primary points of care can indicate whether a patient with a respiratory tract infection has a severe (bacterial) infection and thus, whether antibiotics are required. This test may be our best tool yet to help combat antibiotic resistance in primary care.

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Dr Panicos Shangaris | Optimising the Prenatal Treatment of Inherited Diseases

Dr Panicos Shangaris | Optimising the Prenatal Treatment of Inherited Diseases

The greatest challenge for ageing populations is that vaccines can be less protective for the elderly due to the age-related decline of the immune system. This means that improving the efficacy of vaccines in the ageing population is crucial to public health. Dr Lei Jin and colleagues from the University of Florida set out to develop a novel strategy to directly address this key issue.

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Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Myopia – better known as short-sightedness – is a global health problem in which the eye grows too long, meaning it cannot produce clear images of objects in the distance. The common form of myopia is readily treated through the wearing of glasses, contact lenses or conducting laser surgery. It is also polygenic, meaning that many genes are likely to be involved in its inheritance through generations.

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Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Tetanus is a serious, potentially fatal disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria entering the body. It is characterised by severe stiffness, muscle spasms and breathing difficulties. In some developing countries, tetanus unfortunately still occurs and presents a significant healthcare challenge, particularly in relation to maternal and neonatal (newborn) deaths.

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Raymond Palmer | Improving Indoor Air Quality Lessens the Symptoms Associated with Chemical Intolerance

Raymond Palmer | Improving Indoor Air Quality Lessens the Symptoms Associated with Chemical Intolerance

Chemical intolerance is on the rise, currently afflicting around 20% of the American population. Common triggers include low-level exposure to indoor air contaminants such as combustion products from gas stoves and smoking, and indoor volatile organic compounds from products including disinfectants and air fresheners, as well as chemicals from paint and construction materials.

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Dr Michael Schutz | Musical Alarms: Improving Medical Environments by Studying Sound

Dr Michael Schutz | Musical Alarms: Improving Medical Environments by Studying Sound

Medical devices in hospitals use auditory interfaces to keep doctors and nurses updated while keeping their eyes focused on patients. These auditory alarms are crucial for complex procedures, such as placing a breathing tube. Unfortunately, the specific sounds used in current systems are highly problematic. The lack of sophistication in these tones render them annoying and distracting, harming communication amongst medical staff and posing risks for patient care. An FDA survey has revealed hundreds of deaths annually resulting from poorly designed alarms! Although there are many ways to improve their use, one solution has received little attention thus far – improving the quality of the sounds themselves.

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The 2022 Prince Mahidol Award Conference: Building the World We Want

The 2022 Prince Mahidol Award Conference: Building the World We Want

Humanity is facing many challenges, ranging from COVID-19 to climate change, and from natural resource depletion to social inequity. The Prince Mahidol Award Conference is an annual event held in Bangkok, where leaders and experts meet to discuss global challenges. This year, the theme was ‘The World We Want: Actions Towards a Sustainable, Fairer and Healthier Society’.

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Revolutionising Understanding of the Myometrium to Prevent Preterm Birth

Revolutionising Understanding of the Myometrium to Prevent Preterm Birth

Preterm birth refers to the birth of a baby before 37 weeks of completed gestation. An estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely each year and sadly, this prevalence is rising. Approximately 1 million die as a result of premature birth, and those who survive are at risk of lifelong disabilities. Dr Buxton and his team at the University of Nevada, Reno, are studying the role of the smooth muscle of the uterus to elucidate its role in preterm labour and birth.

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Using Machine Learning to Predict Bacterial Growth According to the Media Components

Using Machine Learning to Predict Bacterial Growth According to the Media Components

Bacterial growth depends on the complex interactions of a multitude of chemical components. Microbiologists have long attempted to predict bacterial growth according to culture media components, and have employed a variety of mathematical and computational models to this end. Dr Bei-Wen Ying and her colleagues at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, successfully applied machine learning to understand the contribution of media culture components to bacterial growth. Their work makes a significant contribution to growth prediction and demonstrates that machine learning can be employed in the exploration of the complex dynamics that regulate living systems.

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Controlling the Worldwide chaotic Spreading of COVID-19 Through Vaccinations | Dr Aldo Bonasera

Controlling the Worldwide chaotic Spreading of COVID-19 Through Vaccinations | Dr Aldo Bonasera

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, we face challenges that require innovative and strategic responding. Dr Aldo Bonasera at Texas A&M University in the USA and Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, and Dr Hua Zheng at the School of Physics and Information Technology, Shaanxi Normal University in China, have taken a mathematical approach to compare the current COVID-19 pandemic with the Spanish Flu. Their findings have led to important recommendations for managing the current pandemic through vaccination programmes.

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