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Immortalized human skin cells (HaCaT keratinocytes) expressing fluorescently tagged keratin
Dr. Bram van den Broek reveals an exceptional and microscopic view of something we see every day — our skin. The image depicts a cell expressing an excessive amount of keratin, seen here fluorescently labeled in yellow.

Keratin is an important structural protein in skin cells. The keratin fibrous network protects the cells against mechanical stress, and is involved in many other cellular functions, like cell migration and adhesion. Studying the structure, dynamics and regulation of the keratin network can reveal information about such processes. In certain types of cancer, for instance, reduced amounts of specific keratins are indicative for tumor aggressiveness.

This photo won 1st Place
2017 Photomicrography Competition

Credits: Dr. Bram van den Broek, Andriy Volkov, Dr. Kees Jalink, Dr. Reinhard Windoffer & Dr. Nicole Schwarz

The Netherlands Cancer Institute
BioImaging Facility & Department of Cell Biology
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Magnification40x (objective lens magnification)

#keratin #skin #biology #medicine #micrograph

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An Inflammatory Storm
These may look like lightning traces crackling across the sky but this storm is happening on a much smaller scale, triggered by an infection or injury deep inside a muscle. Within minutes the area is flooded with white blood cells called neutrophils (stained pink), which rush out of the blood vessels (blue and green) and get to work.

Neutrophils are the body’s first response against damage and infections, eating up invading bacteria and producing chemicals that attract other components of the immune system to come and join the fight – a process known as inflammation. But while this is an important part of our body’s defenses, a build-up of neutrophils in the brain or heart following a heart attack or stroke can actually increase damage and cause further problems.

Scientists are investigating exactly what causes this neutrophil storm, with the aim of developing more effective treatments for strokes and heart disease.

Image by:
Dr Tamara Girbl, Centre for Microvascular Research, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Centre for Microvascular Research, William Harvey Research Institute Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Image copyright held by the photographer
Image on the ‘Highly Commended’ shortlist in the British Heart Foundation’s Reflections of Research competition 2017

Info via BPoD - Kat Arney

#medicine #research #health #heartdisease #neutrophils #science

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Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young are the joint winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine winning for their discoveries about how internal clocks and biological rhythms govern human life.
"Using fruit flies as a model organism, this year's Nobel laureates isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. Subsequently, they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing the mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. We now recognize that biological clocks function by the same principles in cells of other multicellular organisms, including humans.

"With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day. The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism."


#nobelprize2017 #medicine #internalclock

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Acute kidney failure (AKI) - get informed
Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of wastes may accumulate, and your blood's chemical makeup may get out of balance.

Acute kidney failure — also called acute renal failure or acute kidney injury — develops rapidly over a few hours or a few days. Acute kidney failure is most common in people who are already hospitalized, particularly in critically ill people who need intensive care.

Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, acute kidney failure may be reversible. If you're otherwise in good health, you may recover normal or nearly normal kidney function.

What are the symptoms?
☛Decreased urine output, although occasionally urine output remains normal
☛Fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet
☛Shortness of breath
☛Seizures or coma in severe cases
☛Chest pain or pressure
☛Sometimes acute kidney failure causes no signs or symptoms and is detected through lab tests done for another reason.

Decreased blood flow
Some diseases and conditions can slow blood flow to your kidneys and cause AKI. These diseases and conditions include:
☛Low blood pressure (called “hypotension”) or shock
☛Blood or fluid loss (such as bleeding, severe diarrhea)
☛Heart attack, heart failure, and other conditions leading to decreased heart function
☛Organ failure (e.g., heart, liver)
☛Overuse of pain medicines called “NSAIDs”, which are used to reduce swelling or relieve pain from headaches, colds, flu, and other ailments. Examples include ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen.
☛Severe allergic reactions
☛Major surgery

Direct Damage to the Kidneys
Some disease and conditions can damage your kidneys and lead to AKI. Some examples include:
☛A type of severe, life-threatening infection called “sepsis”
☛A type of cancer called “multiple myeloma”
☛A rare condition that causes inflammation and scarring to your blood vessels, making them stiff, weak, and narrow (called “vasculitis”)
☛An allergic reaction to certain types of drugs (called “interstitial nephritis”)
☛A group of diseases (called “scleroderma”) that affect the connective tissue that supports your internal organs
☛Conditions that cause inflammation or damage to the kidney tubules, to the small blood vessels in the kidneys, or to the filtering units in the kidneys (such as “tubular necrosis,” “glomerulonephritis, “vasculitis” or “thrombotic microangiopathy”).

Blockage of the urinary tract
In some people, conditions or diseases can block the passage of urine out of the body and can lead to AKI. Blockage can be caused by:
☛Bladder, prostate, or cervical cancer
☛Enlarged prostate
☛Problems with the nervous system that affect the bladder and urination
☛Kidney stones
☛Blood clots in the urinary tract

What is the treatment for acute kidney failure?
Treatment for AKI usually requires you to stay in a hospital. Most people with acute kidney injury are already in the hospital for another reason. How long you will stay in the hospital depends on the cause of your AKI and how quickly your kidneys recover. In more serious cases, dialysis may be needed to help replace kidney function until your kidneys recover. The main goal of your healthcare provider is to treat what is causing your acute kidney injury. Your healthcare provider will work to treat all of your symptoms and complications until your kidneys recover.


Infographic via reddit

#medicine #AKI #kidneyhealth #health #dialysis

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Can you develop a STD/STI without “catching” it, or having it passed down?
No, you can’t get an STD without catching it from someone. STDs are communicable infections. That’s a fancy way of saying they’re spread from one person to another, kind of like a cold.

Sex — including vaginal, anal, and oral sex — is the main way STDs travel from one person to another. That’s why using condoms and dental dams every time you have sex is a good idea. These barriers literally block germs from getting through.

But some STDs can be spread other ways, too. For example, HIV and Hepatitis B can both be spread from one person to another by sharing needles. HIV can also be spread to a baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Scabies and public lice can be passed from one person to another from non-sexual behavior too, like sharing a towel or bed sheets with someone who has it.

Sex isn’t the only way STDs happen, but all STDs are passed from one person to another somehow. They don’t just pop up out of nowhere.

Learn more about STD & safer sex:
Photo via Reddit

#medicine #STD #sex #STI

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A mutation causing a heritable heart condition has been corrected in preimplantation human embryos using CRISPR–Cas9
Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to erase a heritable heart condition that is known for causing sudden death in young competitive athletes, cracking open the doors to a controversial new era in medicine.

This is the first time gene editing on human embryos has been conducted in the United States. Researchers said in interviews this week that they consider their work very basic. The embryos were allowed to grow for only a few days, and there was never any intention to implant them to create a pregnancy. But they also acknowledged that they will continue to move forward with the science, with the ultimate goal of being able to “correct” disease-causing genes in embryos that will develop into babies.


Journal article:

#medicine #research #CRISPRcas9 #science #geneEdit

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The ultimate roadmap of metabolic pathways to produce ATP
The source of energy, for every cell in your body, that keeps everything going is called ATP.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the biochemical way to store and use energy.


Infographic by Eleanor Lutz

#medicine #biology #molecules #ATP #infographic

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Untreatable gonorrhoea on the rise worldwide
Gonorrhoea is becoming as incurable as it was in the 1920s, before the first drugs to treat it were discovered. More than 60% of countries surveyed around the world have reported cases that resist last-resort antibiotics, according to an announcement by the World Health Organization(WHO) on 6 July. The announcement included information about a new gonorrhoea drug in development.

Since the 1930s, several classes of antibiotics have been used to kill the bacterium that causes gonorrhoea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Widespread use — and misuse — of these drugs, however, has led to a rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria. “The best time to have had gonorrhoea was the eighties, since there were many drugs to treat it with,” says Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington DC. Increasingly, that's no longer the case, he says.

Health agencies in the United States, Europe and Canada have in recent years flagged drug-resistant gonorrhoea as an emerging threat. If left untreated, gonorrhoea can increase a woman’s risk of developing HIV infection, infertility or ectopic pregnancy — among other effects. When the WHO partnered with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a non-governmental organization in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2016 to confront antimicrobial resistance, gonorrhoea was at the top of the list.

Source and further reading

#medicine #gonorrhea #research #WHO

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What is natural caesarean?
A new method of caesarean section birth promises to deliver babies in a less stressful environment and strengthen the bond between mother and child.

Doctors make an incision into the womb and assist the baby by bringing out its head, before leaving it to force its shoulder and body out alone in a way that mimics a natural birth.

Rather than be removed immediately by doctors, babies born through natural caesarean are able to spend up to four minutes with their mother immediately after birth, helping to reinforce the maternal bond.


Video source

#naturalCsection #newborn #OBGYN #prolife #medicine

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Kidney Disease - General Overview
Kidney disease can affect your body’s ability to clean your blood, filter extra water out of your blood, and help control your blood pressure.
When your kidneys are damaged, waste products and fluid can build up in your body. That can cause swelling in your ankles, vomiting, weakness, poor sleep, and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the damage can get worse, and your kidneys may eventually stop working. That’s serious, and it can be life-threatening.

Read & learn:

#medicine #kidneydisease #science
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