Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • The results of one of the largest placebo-controlled trials into the beneficial effects of vitamin D and fish oil ever conducted are out and, despite some hyperbolic media releases, found both supplements were no better than the placebo in lowering incidences of cancer or cardiovascular events.
  • Finding ways to stop metastasis is a key way to improve survival rates for cancer patients. Now researchers have found that primary tumors have their own mechanism for slowing the growth of secondary cancers – which could be tapped into as a new potential treatment option.
  • Caffeine may be a “catalyst” that turns us from sleepy zombies into functioning members of society, but now that may be more literal. Scientists have used caffeine to replace the metal catalysts normally used in creating polymer materials, opening the door for drug delivery via chewable gels.
  • ​There's a problem with using antiretroviral drugs to treat or prevent HIV – because multiple drugs need to be taken on a daily basis, many patients simply don't bother to keep doing so. What if they just had to take one capsule once a week, though? Scientists are working on making that a reality.
  • When it comes to electronic devices that are designed to stay in the digestive tract for long periods of time, battery life is a potential issue. Scientists may have the solution, in the form of a system that allows power to be wirelessly transmitted to those devices, from outside the body.​
  • ​Thanks to research being conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, men may soon be able to perform fertility tests in their own homes. Researchers are developing a smartphone-based device that can assess sperm concentration and motility based on a semen sample.
  • We start out with only about 15,000 sound-processing hair cells in each cochlea, and once any of them are gone, they're gone for good. There may now be hope for restoring that lost hearing, however, as scientists have reported a new method of regrowing hair cells in substantial numbers.​
  • ​Tiny, ingestible electronic devices are proving to be better for drug delivery or invasive procedures, but powering them can be a challenge. Now researchers at MIT have designed electronics powered by acids in the stomach, making for a cheaper and safer alternative to other batteries.
  • Many people don't remember to take their medicine every day, or they simply don't bother. That's why scientists have developed a new type of capsule. It only has to be taken once, after which it delivers medication from the stomach for up to two weeks.​
  • Science
    It’s no secret that diet has an impact on health, but a new study suggests that what we eat might play a role in brain inflammation. The findings suggesting that changes in diet might influence neurodegeneration in the brain, and potentially even providing researchers with new targets for treatment.
  • We’ve seen drugs capable of turning white fat-storing tissue into brown, fat-burning tissue, but a new nanoparticle delivery system could significantly improve how such treatments are delivered, avoiding unwanted side effects often associated with such therapy.
  • There's currently no method for detecting whether a tumor is reacting to medication until numerous cycles of therapy have been completed, but new research could change that, with a new nanoparticle treatment providing the information in as little as eight hours.