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July 2009

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Music drives microfluidic device
Music, rather than electromechanical valves, can drive experimental samples through a lab-on-a-chip in a new system developed at the University of Michigan. This development could significantly simplify the process of conducting experiments in microfluidic devices. 31 July 2009

Injection of growth factor reverses heart-attack damage
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have shown that injection of a growth factor, called neuregulin1 (NRG1), can spur heart-muscle growth and recovery of cardiac function when injected systemically into animals after a heart attack. 31 July 2009

Covidien to acquire Power Medical Interventions
Covidien has announced that the company has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Power Medical Interventions, Inc. a provider of computer-assisted, power-actuated surgical cutting and stapling products, for approximately $64 million. 31 July 2009

Nurses welcome use of sensors and robots in care for the elderly
Front-line staff in the nursing and care sector would welcome sensor and robot technology in nursing homes and the homes of elderly people, according to a survey by Norwegian research agency SINTEF for the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities. 31 July 2009

Mechanism of bacteria's internal time bomb discovered
Researchers at VIB, the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology in Belgium, have determined the structure and operating mechanism of the proteins involved in the ‘internal time bomb’ of bacteria. 31 July 2009

Agilent Technologies to acquire Varian for $1.5 billion
Varian, Inc has agreed to a takeover by Agilent Technologies Inc.
Agilent will pay $52 cash per share of common stock for Varian in a transaction that represents a premium of approximately 35% to Varian’s closing price on July 24, 2009. 29 July 2009

Dutch researchers discover way to give complete protection against malaria
Researchers from the Medical Centre of the Radboud University of Nijmegen have successfully induced complete protection against malaria in a group of volunteers, opening the way for the development of a vaccine. 29 July 2009

£9m development programme for high-growth start-ups in southwest England
Two major new programmes worth nearly £9 million have been launched to support the development of high-growth-potential businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the next three years. 29 July 2009

Middle-aged men twice as likely to have diabetes as women
Men aged 35-54 are almost twice as likely to have diabetes compared to their female counterparts, according to a new report from health charity Diabetes UK. 29 July 2009

Call for UN action to avert world's fastest growing health threat: non-communicable diseases
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) have called on the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to take immediate action to avert the fastest growing threat by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to global health. 29 July 2009

Three-way measurement improves prediction of prostate cancer return
Cancer experts at Johns Hopkins University in the US have shown that a three-way combination of measurements has the best chance yet of predicting prostate disease metastasis. 24 July 2009 

University of Antwerp to start human tests for swine flu vaccine in August
The University of Antwerp is organising vaccine studies for different producers of swine/Mexican flu (H1N1v) test vaccines in August and September. 300 to 400 volunteers will be recruited for these tests. 24 July 2009

Majority of Canada's emerging biotechs unable to continue research within year
BIOTECanada has found that an incredible 70% of companies will be out of cash and unable to continue their current research operations within a year. 24 July 2009

New 3-D technology allows surgeons to fly through virtual human body
The imaging technology developed at The Methodist Hospital in Houston will change the way surgeons prepare and perform surgery and the way radiation oncologists plan and deliver radiation treatment. 24 July 2009

Medical simulations help students retain information
Simulating medical scenarios helps medical students learn and retain basic science concepts, according to a new study. 24 July 2009

Advances in robotics for stroke rehabilitation discussed at Bournemouth
Bournemouth University’s (BU) pioneering orthosis research and its use in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, was the key discussion among the academic and medical professions at the University recently. 24 July 2009

Medical use for waste LCD television screens
Waste material from discarded televisions could be recycled and used as scaffolds for tissue regeneration, according to new research by scientists at the University of York. 24 July 2009

Lab-on-a-chip analyses blood with optical detector
The EU-funded NEMOSLAB project is developing an integrated ‘lab on a chip’ that can simultaneously test a blood sample for several different molecules at the point of care. 24 July 2009

H1N1 flu virus infectionSwine flu H1N1 virus more virulent than previously thought
In contrast with run-of-the-mill seasonal flu viruses, the H1N1 virus exhibits an ability to infect cells deep in the lungs, where it can cause pneumonia and, in severe cases, death. Seasonal viruses typically infect only cells in the upper respiratory system. 23 July 2009

Blood glucose meter for kids connects with Nintendo DS to help diabetes management
The Didget meter is designed to help kids manage this lifelong condition by rewarding them for building consistent blood glucose testing habits and meeting personalised glucose target ranges. 22 July 2009

Structural MRI may help to accurately diagnose dementia patients
A new study by the Mayo Clinic may help physicians differentially diagnose three common neurodegenerative disorders in the future. 22 July 2009

Improper use of canes and walkers causes 47,000 falls in US
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging elderly people who use canes and walkers as walking aids to be properly assessed and fitted by a physical therapist to avoid fall-related injuries. 22 July 2009

New €1.2 million project to establish cancer communications network in Europe
An initiative to boost cancer prevention, treatment and care throughout Europe by improving communications within the cancer community was launched this week. The Eurocancercoms project is an initiative of the European Institute of Oncology and is led by ECCO. 22 July 2009

Pioneering cancer treatments developed at Dutch oncology centre with RapidArc radiotherapy
Doctors at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam have developed new ways to perform radiosurgery on benign acoustic tumours using fast and precise RapidArc radiotherapy technology from Varian Medical Systems. 17 July 2009

HeartWorksWorld's first virtual heart brings breakthrough in education for cardiothoracic anaesthetists
HeartWorks, a uniquely realistic computer-generated model of the heart and echocardiography simulator, is the result of a 4-year project to improve teaching of peri-operative transoesophageal echocardiography. 17 July 2009

Scottish imaging network delivers improved medical imaging for key diseases
More effective medical imaging to help diagnose and treat patients with Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer and other conditions is one of the key goals of SINAPSE, a major Scottish research network. 17 July 2009

Luminex launches two new cystic fibrosis tests in Europe
The new xTAG tests will be used to provide assistance in cystic fibrosis screening for newborns and confirmatory diagnostic testing in newborns and children. The tests also can be used for carrier testing in adults of reproductive age. 17 July 2009

Sigma Aldrich launches services network for life sciences industry
The new services network provides researchers with convenient access to a wide variety of laboratory-based services from a centralized website location. 17 July 2009

Leica launches improved platform for confocal and two-photon microscopy
Leica Microsystems has optimized its confocal and two-photon microscope platform, the Leica TCS SP5 II in close co-operation with leading research scientists. 17 July 2009

UK life sciences sector applauds government's Life Sciences Blueprint
The associations say that it provides an excellent basis for firmly securing the future of the life sciences sector and re-establishing the UK’s global competitive position. 16 July 2009

UK government launches strategy to put innovative technology into health services
The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) Blueprint sets out to transform the UK environment for life sciences companies and ensure faster patient access to cutting-edge medicines and technologies. 16 July 2009

EU project to assess the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks of NSAIDs
The SOS project aims to assess the risk of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal events among NSAIDs users to guide the selection of NSAIDs that have minimal harmful side effects. 15 July 2009

Inflammation in brain may trigger Alzheimer’s disease
A new study supports the idea that toxic levels of amyloid beta protein accumulate in the brain because a pump that pushes it into the blood and past the blood-brain barrier malfunctions. Certain NSAID drugs could be used to treat the disease. 15 July 2009

Creato Flu develops salmonella-based broad spectrum oral flu vaccine
Using a technique applied to veterinary vaccines, a vaccination strain based on living salmonella is modified by genetic engineering so that the bacterial cells express highly conserved antigens of various influenza subtypes. 15 July 2009

Invitrogen launches microarray system to simplify immunogenetic testing
The new Prodigy system is an advanced DNA and protein analysis tool that simplifies and accelerates histocompatibility research, vaccine and drug development, and disease association studies. 15 July 2009

IBM wins award for developing computer grid to solve world's most critical problems
IBM earned the award for the World Community Grid, which aggregates spare computing capacity of 1.3 million PCs belonging to 460,000 volunteers from over 200 countries and uses it for humanitarian research. 15 July 2009

First human receives cardiac stem cells to repair damage caused by heart attacks
Doctors have completed the first procedure in which a patient's own heart tissue was used to grow specialized heart stem cells that were then injected back into the patient's heart in an effort to repair and re-grow healthy muscle in a heart that had been injured by a heart attack. 15 July 2009

Better estimates of A(H1N1) flu virus severity needed, say experts
Accurate estimates of the severity of the new H1N1 virus, and in particular how many deaths might arise over the course of the pandemic, are central to healthcare planning over the coming months, say experts in a paper published on today. 14 July 2009

Key gene giving embryonic stem cells ability to differentiate into any cell identified
The gene, discovered by an international team of researchers from the US, Portugal and Israel, and seems to act by maintaining the genetic material open and poised to express any gene. 14 July 2009

The surgical robotMalaga University develops first Spanish surgical robot
Laparoscopic surgery has been performed for the first time in Malaga in a routine operation using a robotic assistant in the Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria. The robot was developed by the University of Malaga and is manufactured by Spanish company SENER. 14 July 2009

Crawling robotMiniature robot crawls through veins
The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology has unveiled a miniature crawling robot (ViRob) just 1 mm in diameter that has the potential to perform precise medical procedures inside the human body. 14 July 2009

Combined drug, hormone and radiation treatment cures prostate cancer
An experimental drug therapy used in combination with standardized hormone treatment and radiation therapy has enabled two patients, whose prostate cancer had been considered inoperable, to become cancer free. 8 July 2009

How obesity increases the risk of diabetes
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified the missing link between obesity and insulin resistance Their findings, explain how obesity sets the stage for diabetes and why thin people can become insulin-resistant. 8 July 2009

New detector promises earlier detection of viral infections
A new respiratory virus detector developed at Vanderbilt University is sensitive enough to detect an infection at an early stage, takes only a few minutes to return a result and is simple enough to be performed in a doctor's office. 8 July 2009

Reading brain signals without inserting electrodes
A University of Utah study shows that brain signals controlling arm movements can be detected accurately using new microelectrodes that sit on the brain but don’t penetrate it. 8 July 2009

New fluorescent nanoparticles could track uptake of drugs
Researchers at the University of Leicester have discovered a method to create fluorescent silicon nanoparticles that could be used to track biologically sensitive materials in the body. 8 July 2009

Chemical nose could provide more accurate indication of cancer than biomarkers
Using a 'chemical nose' array of nanoparticles and polymers, researchers have developed a new, more effective way to differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells and also between metastatic and non-metastatic cancer cells. 8 July 2009

Octagon launches CheckPoint validation software for life sciences industry
Octagon Research Solutions, Inc., has announced the availability of CheckPoint, a new software solution aimed at trouble shooting costly data compliance issues for the life sciences industry. 8 July 2009

New discovery shows how cancer spreads
A Finnish-led research group has discovered a mechanism that lung cancer cells use when spreading around the body to form metastases. 6 July 2009

European project to assemble a virtual human body to aid medical research
The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) is a pan-European project that aims to create a methodological and technological framework to deliver patient-specific computer models for the personalised and predictive healthcare. 6 July 2009

St Thomas' Hospital buys Siemens portable ultrasound systems
The London Hospital has bought three Acuson P10s, a handheld, pocket-sized ultrasound system that can be used for rapid, point-of-care assistance in a variety of conditions. 2 July 2009

Industry experts in partnership to stimulate UK medical technology sector
The team behind the UK Access to Finance for Healthcare Technology Companies programme has today announced an alliance with two of the leading organisations in the regional medical technology sector. 2 July 2009

Karolinska University Hospital to offer Saladax 5-fluorouracil assay to European oncologists.
In collaboration with Karolinska, Saladax can now offer 5-FU testing and 5-FU dose management to hospitals and oncologists throughout Europe. 2 July 2009

Rubicon Genomics introduces PicoPlex single cell whole genome amplification kit. 2 July 2009

BioSante Pharmaceuticals and Cell Genesys sign merger agreement.
2 July 2009

GE Healthcare and Geron in global agreement to commercialize stem cell drug discovery technologies. 2 July 2009

GlaxoSmithKline signs contract for Phase Forward clinical trials software. 2 July 2009

A patient prepared for surgery with MR-guided HIFUNon-invasive neurosurgery with focused ultrasound a world first
Ten patients in Zurich, Switzerland, have successfully been given brain surgery using focused ultrasound to kill tumour cells without cutting open the skull. 2 July 2009

Focused ultrasound offers better treatment for prostate cancer
An experimental treatment that uses ultrasound waves to kill prostate cancer cells may be able to treat men without surgery, with fewer side effects and with only a short stay in hospital, according to a UK study published in the British Journal of Cancer. 2 July 2009

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