Engineered miniature kidneys come of age

A research team has now removed a major barrier for the use of kidney organoids as a tool to model kidney diseases, test drug toxicities and eventually for the creation of organ replacements, the lack of a pervasive blood vessel system (vasculature). The team solved this problem with a powerful new approach that exposes stem cell-derived kidney organoids to fluidic shear stress and thus enables them to vascularize and mature further than they could before.

Gory, freaky, cool: Marine snail venom could improve insulin for diabetic patients

Researchers detailed the function of cone snail insulins, bringing them one step closer to developing a faster-acting insulin to treat diabetes.

A High-Tech Pill to End Drug Injections

Engineers have developed a tiny robotic capsule that injects insulin once it lands in the stomach.

New tool predicts kidney stone recurrence

Despite the prevalence of kidney stones, it is still difficult to predict who will experience recurrence. A new tool promises to make prediction easier.

Hypertension: Home-based care may be the future

Controlling high blood pressure can be challenging. A recent study tests a more cost-effective, home-based approach, and the results are promising.

When organs start to scar: Connective tissue on the wrong road

The increased deposition of connective tissue is a problem in chronic diseases of many organs such as the lungs (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), liver (cirrhosis), kidneys (kidney fibrosis), gut (graft versus host disease), and the skin (systemic sclerosis). Up to 40 percent of all deaths in industrial nations are caused by the deposition of connective tissue with subsequent tissue scarring. In spite of this, there are currently very few effective treatments available.


Among kidney failure patients on hemodialysis, those who consumed higher amounts of fruits and vegetables had lower risks for dying prematurely—both from cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular causes.

Kidney function worsens as people get more obese

(Reuters Health) - With or without existing kidney disease, kidney function is more likely to decline over time the more severely obese a person is, a large study suggests.

Rotavirus Vaccine May Protect Against Type 1 Diabetes

An Australian study found that in children up to 4 years old, the rate of Type 1 diabetes decreased by 14 percent in the years following the rotavirus vaccine’s introduction.

New blood thinners better than warfarin for atrial fibrillation

(Reuters Health) - Patients with atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder, should take newer blood thinners to prevent stroke instead of the old standby drug warfarin, U.S. doctors recommend.

TMVR Benefits Hold Firm in Post-Market Registry (CME/CE)

(MedPage Today) -- Do data point to a future 'transcatheter toolbox' for mitral disease?

Multivessel PCI Not Best in Cardiogenic Shock

(MedPage Today) -- Trial data show mortality disadvantage versus treating culprit lesions only

ASN 2017: The Future of Personalized Nephrology

(MedPage Today) -- Tissue engineering, drug discovery challenges among highlight topics

10 Questions to Challenge Your Medical News Savvy

(MedPage Today) -- Weekly News Quiz: October 20-26

Surgical Weight Loss; Low hs-cTNT Still Risky; VAD Before Pediatric Transplant

(MedPage Today) -- Cardiovascular Daily wraps up the top cardiology news of the week

EndoBreak: T1D and Vitamin D; VA's T2D Guideline; Oral Acromegaly Drug

(MedPage Today) -- News and commentary from the endocrinology world

For SAVR, Afternoon Tops Morning for Surgical Safety (CME/CE)

(MedPage Today) -- Circadian genes appear to interact with ischemia-reperfusion injury effects

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Adds Time, Costs Without Affecting Outcomes (CME/CE)

(MedPage Today) -- No improvements compared with laparoscopic procedures in kidney removal and rectal cancer

RAS Blockade After TAVI Tied to Better Outcomes (CME/CE)

(MedPage Today) -- Patients with severe aortic stenosis see reduced all-cause mortality

Borderline Pulmonary Hypertension Tied to Mortality Risk

(MedPage Today) -- Small increases in pressure might signal left heart failure, not early PAH

What causes dark urine?

A variety of issues can cause dark urine, including foods, medication, and dehydration. Learn more about the potential causes and their treatments in this article.

What causes cloudy urine?

Cloudy urine can result from many different issues, including dehydration, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Learn more about the causes and treatments here.

New tool predicts kidney stone recurrence

Despite the prevalence of kidney stones, it is still difficult to predict who will experience recurrence. A new tool promises to make prediction easier.

Bladder cancer: What to know about BCG treatment

Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) treatment can help prevent cancer from returning following surgery for early-stage bladder cancer. Doctors deliver BCG directly to a person’s bladder using a catheter. Learn more about what BCG is, and what to expect during the procedure, here.

How long can you detect marijuana in the body?

The body processes marijuana at varying rates, which may change depending on dose, hydration, body fat percentage, and, sometimes, the sensitivity of the test. Learn more here.

These immune cells renew themselves after acute kidney injury

A new study in mice finds that after acute kidney injury, kidney-resident macrophages reprogram to a state that is similar to those in newborn mice.

Chlamydia in men: Everything you need to know

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection that affects both males and females. In this article, learn about the symptoms and complications in males.

What causes bladder pain?

Bladder pain may occur due to interstitial cystitis, a bladder infection, bladder cancer, or kidney stones. In this article, we look at the causes and treatment of bladder pain.

Drinking soda after exercise could damage kidneys

A recent study concludes that drinking soda following physical exertion might cause further dehydration and could even cause kidney damage.

Uses and types of urinary catheter

A person may need to use a urinary catheter if they have problems passing urine. There are several types of catheter, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Learn more about urinary catheters, and what to expect when using them, here.


Hypertension: Home-based care may be the future

Controlling high blood pressure can be challenging. A recent study tests a more cost-effective, home-based approach, and the results are promising.

Is fenugreek good for you?

Fenugreek is an herb with many potential health benefits, including improving cholesterol and blood pressure. It may also cause some unwanted effects. Learn more about fenugreek here.

High blood pressure linked to zinc deficiency

A new study finds that zinc deficiency can play a role in high blood pressure. The researchers examine how zinc's impact on the kidney might be to blame.

Mild cognitive impairment: Reducing blood pressure can lower risk

Controlling systolic blood pressure to below 120 mm Hg significantly lowered the risk of mild cognitive impairment in older adults.

What to know about amlodipine

Doctors mainly prescribe amlodipine (Norvasc) to treat people with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and angina. It is generally a safe and effective drug, but it may cause side effects in some people. Learn more here.

What role does the immune system play in hypertension?

Researchers have found that a type of immune cell can help regulate blood pressure. They explain the mechanism and identify drugs that may affect it.

Metoprolol tartrate vs. metoprolol succinate

Metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are different salt forms of metoprolol. Both drugs are beta-blockers that doctors prescribe to treat several cardiovascular conditions. However, despite being similar, they do have some different uses. Learn more here.

Health benefits of mung beans

Mung beans are a healthful source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some research also suggests that they may have a range of other health benefits. Learn more here.

Spirulina: Could eating these bacteria reduce blood pressure?

Spirulina — a blue-green algae used as a supplement — appears to reduce blood pressure. A recent study pins down the molecular mechanisms involved.

Can exercise lower blood pressure as effectively as drugs?

The most common treatment for high blood pressure consists of taking specific medication, but could regular exercise bring the same benefits?


Alzheimer disease linked to brain infection by gingivitis bacteria.

New Scientist: Multiple research teams have been investigating P. gingivalis, and have so far found that it invades and inflames brain regions affected by Alzheimer’s; that gum infections can worsen symptoms in mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s; and that it can cause Alzheimer’s-like brain inflammation, neural damage, and amyloid plaques in healthy mice.

Bone mass increased by 800% in a mouse model

Medical News Today: A groundbreaking set of studies has found that blocking certain receptors in the brain leads to the growth of remarkably strong bones. Could a new osteoporosis treatment be on the horizon?

Harvard Intensive Review of Nephrology 2018 now available

Intensive Review of Nephrology................ Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital Board Review Prep for ABIM Nephrology exams, expand your knowledge and integrate the latest guidelines into your daily practice................. Video Online - $1,395.00.......... Online + USB* - $1,495.00 ...............Audio MP3s: CDs - $1,495.00 ............USB* - $1,495.00...............Combo: Online Video + Audio MP3 CDs + USB - $2,095.00.

Randomized PIVOT trial published in NEJM suggests more IV iron is better.

NEJM (Macdougall): Conclusions: Among patients undergoing hemodialysis, a high-dose intravenous iron regimen administered proactively was noninferior to a low-dose regimen administered reactively and resulted in lower doses of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent being administered.

Increased mortality with citrate-containing dialysate - HDF fluid in France.

LeMonde: (in French -- paste this link into Google translate) ...les patients traités par un liquide de dialyse (ou dialysat) au citrate présenteraient une surmortalité de 40 % par rapport à ceux traités avec d’autres produits plus anciens à l’acétate ou à l’acide chlorhydrique (HCl).........Tel est le principal constat d’une étude rétrospective pilotée par Lucile Mercadal (Inserm, CESP 1018 et hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière) réalisée avec une équipe de néphrologues et de biostatisticiens français (REIN-Agence de la biomédecine, ABM), à partir des données du registre national REIN. Elle a été présentée le ­3 octobre lors du congrès de la Société francophone de néphrologie, dialyse et transplantation ; elle n’est pas encore publiée.

Test detects presence of cancer in blood samples based on DNA methylation.

Medical Device Network: Researchers at University of Queensland in Australia have created a new diagnostic test that can identify the presence of a tumour in the body based on a unique, DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all types of cancer.

Akkermansia gut bacteria and their role in insulin resistance and aging.

Orlando Sentinel: First, they documented that the guts of older animals had markedly smaller populations of A. muciniphila than the guts of young animals, and that as A. muciniphila became more scarce, so did butyrate, one of the gut’s key protectors. The deficiency of these two substances caused the mucous walls of the of the aged animals’ intestines to thin and grow leaky. That corrosive process unleashed a chain of events that touched off inflammation, prompted an immune response and, in a final step, increased insulin resistance.

KidneyX prize competition now open: Application deadline Feb 28, 2019

Phase 1 submission period open now..................... Phase 1 submission period ends: February 28, 2019, 5:00 p.m. ET.............. Phase 1 Awardees announced by: April 30, 2019............................. Phase 2 begins: April 15, 2019................................... In Phase 1, we are looking for designs of solutions that will address at least one of the following areas:......................... Replicating Kidney Functions (Blood Filtration, Electrolyte Homeostasis, Fluid Regulation, Toxin Removal and Secretion, and/or Filtrate Drainage and Connectivity).................................. Improving Patient Quality of Life (e.g., minimizing burden on the family and care partner(s), reducing disease and treatment complications, increasing mobility and physical activity)...................................... Improved renal replacement therapy access (vascular or peritoneal access) Addressing engineering challenges (e.g., preventing clotting, bleeding, and infection in vascular circuit and associated devices)............................ Ancillary technologies................... Biomaterials development.................... Biological and Immunological modulation..................... Biosensor development and other safety monitoring functions................

AKI and CRRT 2019 Conference, Feb 26 -- March 1, 2019, San Diego, CA

The learning objectives for this conference are as follows: 1. Describe the recent advances in the pathophysiology and management of critically ill patients with a focus on sepsis, multi-organ failure, infections, lung and kidney injury in different settings..................................... 2. Discuss the best ways to identify, treat and follow up patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) resulting from different causes utilizing biomarkers, imaging and lab studies and applying educational tools to raise awareness of AKI......................... 3. Describe the principles and practice of renal replacement techniques including CRRT, IHD and plasma exchange and demonstrate how to setup and use these techniques for managing critically ill patients.

Donate to easy water for African villages using hollow-fiber technology

Easy water: Providing clean drinking water in rural areas with contaminated water sources and no power: repurposing reprocessed hemodialyzers. Easy Water for Everyone (EWfE), a US NGO, brings an innovative water-purifying device to isolated villages that have no electricity or other power supply to filter the villages’ contaminated water from rivers, streams, lakes, wells and boreholes, and changes it into pure water ready to drink!

Children carry evidence of toxins from home flooring and furniture

(Duke University) Children living in homes with all vinyl flooring or flame-retardant chemicals in the sofa have significantly higher concentrations of potentially harmful semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in their blood or urine than children from homes where these materials are not present, according to new Duke University-led research. The researchers presented their findings Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

Stable ischemic heart disease in the older adult

(Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications) In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, Juan R. Vilaro from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., USA considers stable ischemic heart disease in the older adult.

Diabetes mellitus and stable ischemic heart disease

(Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications) In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, Cody Schwartz and David Winchester from the Malcom Randall VAMC, Gainesville, Fla., USA consider diabetes mellitus and stable ischemic heart disease.

Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and therapeutic targets in stable ischemic heart disease

(Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications) In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, C. Richard Conti from the University of Florida Medical School, Gainesville, Fla., USA considers epidemiology, pathophysiology, and therapeutic targets in stable ischemic heart disease.

Contemporary management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease

(Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications) In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, Radmila Lyubarova, Joshua Schulman-Marcus and William E. Boden from the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Albany Medical Center, Albany, N.Y., USA and VA New England Healthcare System, Boston, Mass., USA, consider contemporary management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease.

Large-scale window material developed for PM2.5 capture and light tuning

(University of Science and Technology of China) A research team from University of Science and Technology of China develops a simple and economical process to fabricate large-scale flexible smart windows.

Drinking contexts associated with early onset of alcohol intoxication among adolescents

(Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation) New research by scientists at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has begun to identify these circumstances by examining relationships between early age of first intoxication (less than 15 years), drinking in different contexts such as one's own home, at friends' homes, or outdoor settings, and problems that arise in those contexts.

Art Institute of Chicago unveils key findings in African art thanks to medical technology

(The Art Institute of Chicago) On Feb. 16, the Art Institute of Chicago announced the results of significant new research on five terracotta sculptures -- so named Bankoni after a village in present-day Mali where they were found. The objects date from between the 12th and 15th centuries.

Drug combination may become new standard treatment for advanced kidney cancer

(Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) A combination of two drugs -- one of them an immunotherapy agent -- could become a new standard, first-line treatment for patients with metastatic kidney cancer, says an investigator from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reporting results from a phase 3 clinical trial.

PET/CT imaging agent shows promise for better diagnosis of acute venous thromboembolism

(Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging) Researchers report that a new nuclear medicine tracer may allow better diagnosis of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE). Acute VTE is a disease that includes deep-vein thrombosis and its complication, pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. The research is featured in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.