A platform that can diagnose several diseases with a high degree of precision using metabolic markers found in patients' blood has been developed by scientists at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. The method combines mass spectrometry, which can identify tens of thousands of molecules present in blood serum, with an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of finding patterns associated with diseases of viral, bacterial, fungal and even genetic origin. The research was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP and conducted as part of Carlos Fernando Odir Rodrigues Melo's PhD. The results have been published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. "We used infection by Zika virus as a model to develop the platform and showed that in this case, diagnostic accuracy exceeded 95%. One of the main advantages is that the method doesn't lose sensitivity even if the virus mutates," said Melo's supervisor Rodrigo Ramos Catharino, principal … [Read more...] about Platform Uses Artificial Intelligence to Diagnose Zika and Other Pathogens
Conducted immunity test equipment
If you think getting paid more than $3,000 to stay at a hotel sounds too good to be true, well, there is a catch — you might get the flu. To better study flu vaccines, researchers at Saint Louis University (SLU) created the "Extended Stay Research Unit," a.k.a. "Hotel Influenza." The facility will house volunteers who are intentionally exposed to the flu in order to test the effectiveness of flu vaccines, according to a statement from the university. The so-called challenge studies work like this: Volunteers will be given a flu vaccine or a placebo vaccine, and then they will be intentionally exposed to a strain of the flu virus, the statement said. Volunteers are then quarantined in the hotel for about 10 days and monitored to see if they get sick. The studies give researchers information about how well the vaccines really work, and allow them to get this information more quickly than if they conducted a traditional flu vaccine study, which only looks at a person's immune … [Read more...] about Would You Stay At Hotel Influenza?
Swiss researchers aboard plane. Photo: University of Zurich Scientists from two Swiss universities on Tuesday launched zero-gravity experiments in a specially equipped Airbus A310 plane that took off from Dübendorf air base in the canton of Zurich. The three-hour test flight, in a zone over the northern Mediterranean, allowed researchers from the University of Zurich and the Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL) to conduct tests in a weightless atmosphere. The plane flew elliptical or parabolic flight patterns, alternating steep ascents and steep descents, at a high altitude to create brief periods of “zero-gravity” sensation, the University of Zurich said in a news release. The flight marked the first of its type from Swiss soil. Researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH) continued research begun in the International Space Station on the effect of weightlessness on the cells of the human immune system, among other experiments. The plane, … [Read more...] about First zero-gravity plane launches from Swiss soil
By Gretchen VogelMar. 7, 2018 , 9:00 AM The toddler on her mother's lap is listless, her eyes dull. She has a fever, little appetite, and a cough. Her journey to the health clinic took an hour by bush taxi, and she had to wait two more hours to be examined. When it's finally her turn, the nurse practitioner pricks her finger and blots a drop of blood onto a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria. In 15 minutes the answer is clear: The child has malaria. She receives antimalarial drugs, which will most likely vanquish the parasites from her bloodstream within days, and she is sent home to recover. If the test is negative, however, things get complicated. If malaria isn't making her sick, what is? Is it pneumonia, typhoid, or Lassa fever? Meningitis? Or more than one infection at the same time? If she has bacterial meningitis, the right antibiotic could save her life. If she has Lassa fever, antibiotics won't help. Until recently, nearly every child with a temperature above 38.5°C … [Read more...] about Malaria-free but still sick: What’s giving millions of kids fevers?