HEALTH INFORMATION: Robot ‘fish’ could be used to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into tumors

Fish-shaped ‘microrobots’ could be used to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into tumors, sparing cancer patients some of the worst side effects of the treatment.

Measuring a hundredth of a millimeter in size, the microscopic robots were created by my Chinese scientists using a special 3D printing technique, from a gel that changes shape when exposed to different pH values.

They then bathed the ‘fish’ in an iron oxide solution, which makes them magnetic, before filling its ‘mouth’ with chemotherapy drugs.

It can be injected into a blood vessel and then guide my magnets to the location of a tumor.

Cancer cells cause the pH levels in the fluids around them to become more acidic, and in response, the robot changes shape and opens its ‘mouth’ to release the chemotherapy drugs it contains.

Measuring a hundredth of a millimeter in size, the microscopic robots (pictured) were created by my Chinese scientists using a special 3D printing technique, from a gel that changes shape when exposed to different pH levels

They have only been tested in petri dishes so far, and the experts say the robots would have been made even smaller before being put into use.

Right now, chemo drugs are injected into the body and travel freely through the bloodstream, killing cancer cells but also causing ‘collateral damage’ to healthy cells — and side effects, such as hair loss.

The robots could provide a more precise way to administer these drugs, the researchers said.

Pollution increases blood pressure

Living in areas with a lot of air pollution can cause high blood pressure, a Spanish study suggests.

Researchers from the Biomedical Research Institute of Málaga and other institutes recruited 1,100 volunteers between 2009 and 2010 to undergo physical screening. None of them had high blood pressure at the start of the study.

They also looked at air pollution levels where the volunteers lived and worked – based on measurements taken at air quality stations – specifically at concentrations of compounds called particulate matter 10 or PM10 and particulate matter 2.5 or PM2.5.

Living in air-polluted areas can cause high blood pressure, a Spanish study suggests

Living in air-polluted areas can cause high blood pressure, a Spanish study suggests

In 2016, the study group was reassessed, when 282 had developed high blood pressure or hypertension.

The scientists found that the volunteers who lived in areas where PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations were the highest — indicating that air pollution in general was the worst — were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did. lived in areas with the least pollution.

Lead researcher Gemma Rojo said: “Our data is consistent with a large body of evidence suggesting that air pollution may contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension.”

Nearly eight in ten British medical professionals say they are concerned that other health professionals are discussing matters via social media.

According to a survey of 1,100 medical professionals in the UK, 78 percent said they were alarmed by the use of social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to make medical diagnoses.

More than half of respondents said they had received advice from other medical professionals on one of these platforms, while 54 percent said stricter regulations needed to be put in place about what health professionals could discuss online due to data protection and confidentiality concerns.

The research was conducted by Wondr Medical, a new social media platform designed for medical professionals, which says it will enforce medical prescriptions, such as patient anonymity.

Justin Davies, founder of Wondr Medical said, “Research shows there is a growing concern and need for a regulatory-compliant social network for the medical community.”

More than half of Britons mistakenly believe there is a cure for Parkinson’s, according to a new survey.

The Parkinson’s UK charity surveyed 2,000 British adults and found that 57 percent wrongly believe there are treatments available that can halt or slow the progression of the condition.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.

Symptoms such as involuntary shaking, slow movements and stiff, inflexible muscles.

There is currently no cure for the condition and current treatments only mask the condition.

dr. Beckie Port, Research Communications Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: ‘Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological disorder in the world and at present there is no way to stop, slow down or reverse it.

“Yet this research shows that there is a public misconception that we already have the treatments needed to stop the condition.

“This is really worrying and could hold back progress towards finding a cure.”

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