All news from Anaesthesiology

Asthma: Novel Chip Identifies Rhinovirus Strains As Its Cause

Rhinovirus (RV) infections are major triggers of acute exacerbations of severe respiratory diseases such as pre-school wheeze, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The occurrence of numerous RV types is a major challenge for the identification of the culprit virus types and for the improvement of virus type-specific treatment strategies.

Declining Mental Health Among Disadvantaged Americans

According to a study, researchers examine that American adults of low socioeconomic status report increasing mental distress and worsening well-being. Between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, self-reports of mental health declined among disadvantaged Americans ages 24 to 76. However, as socioeconomic status increased, mental health deterioration lessened or, in some cases, even improved.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is among the first to investigate if the psychological health of Americans has worsened over time, as suggested by the "deaths of despair" narrative, linking rising mortality in midlife to drugs, alcohol, and suicide.

Moderate Consumption Of Alcohol Can Protect The Heart

Research has shown that for many people, moderate consumption of alcohol can protect the heart, but the reason for this is poorly understood. They conducted that this cardioprotective mechanism may be associated with activation of ALDH2 (aldehyde dehydrogenase-2), a mitochondrial enzyme that helps rid the organism of both the toxic byproducts of alcohol digestion and a type of reactive molecule produced in heart cells that can suffer major damage, such as that caused by a heart attack.

The study was published in Cardiovascular Research. Our data suggest moderate exposure to ethanol causes minor stress in heart cells, but not enough to kill them. Intracellular signaling is reorganized as a result, and heart cells eventually create a biochemical memory to protect against stress, also known as preconditioning. When the cells are submitted to a higher level of stress, they know how to deal with it.

Artificial Enzyme Activates Gene Switch, New Finding

Complex reaction cascades can be triggered in artificial molecular systems: Scientists have constructed an enzyme that can penetrate a mammalian cell and accelerate the release of a hormone. This then activates a gene switch that triggers the creation of a fluorescent protein. The findings were reported by researchers from the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering, led by the University of Basel and ETH Zurich.