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Kidney transplants may benefit from a slightly chilled donor

Transplanted kidneys appear to function better when an organ donor’s body is slightly cooled after death and before transplantation.  

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Cooling an organ donor’s body after death might improve kidney function in transplant recipients.

Scientists compared the function of kidneys from 150 organ donors whose bodies were cooled to between 34˚ and 35˚ Celsius (93.2˚ to 95˚ Fahrenheit), and those from 152 donors whose bodies were kept warm at between 36.5˚ and 37.5˚ C (97.7˚ to 99.5˚ F). Doctors kept the bodies at those temperatures from the time a doctor declared the organ donor dead until the donor’s organs were recovered. About 39 percent of the patients receiving kidneys from the donors whose bodies were kept warm experienced delayed function in their new kidneys, with the transplanted organs failing to work right away. These patients required dialysis within a week of their surgery. But only 28.2 percent of the patients who got kidneys from a slightly cooled donor had delayed function in their transplants, researchers report July 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The results could lead to more successful kidney transplants from deceased donors, which could benefit the over 100,000 patients currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the United States. 

Immune Science

Experimental MERS vaccine battles virus in mice and monkeys

By Sarah Schwartz 6:30am, July 30, 2015
Select viral proteins and DNA can combat the MERS virus in mice and monkeys.
Animals,, Physiology

Stink bug moms are color conscious when it comes to their eggs

By Sarah Schwartz 5:36pm, July 24, 2015
P. maculiventris moms control the color of their eggs, seemingly pairing darker eggs with darker surfaces.

Stretchy fiber keeps electrons flowing

By Andrew Grant 5:04pm, July 23, 2015
Folded layers of carbon nanotubes allow an elastic fiber to conduct electrical current when stretched.

Boas kill by cutting off blood flow, not airflow

By Ashley Yeager 6:00pm, July 22, 2015
Boas actually kill by constricting blood flow of their prey, not suffocating them, as scientists previously suspected.
Oceans,, Climate

Blooming phytoplankton seed clouds in the Southern Ocean

By Beth Mole 2:00pm, July 17, 2015
Booming phytoplankton populations spark cloud formation in the Southern Ocean.
Health,, Microbes,, Microbiology

Mosquitoes can get a double dose of malaria

By Tina Hesman Saey 11:44am, July 17, 2015
Carrying malaria may make mosquitoes more susceptible to infection with a second strain of the parasite that causes the disease.
Neuroscience,, Human Development

Bundles of cells hint at biological differences of autistic brains

By Sarah Schwartz 9:20am, July 17, 2015
Using miniature organoids that mimic the human brain, scientists have identified developmental differences between autistic children and their non-autistic family members.

How screams shatter the brain

By Laura Sanders 12:00pm, July 16, 2015
The acoustical properties of screams make them hard to ignore, a new study suggests.

Exploding star breaks record for brightest supernova

By Christopher Crockett 9:53am, July 9, 2015
A recent supernova shines with the light of 600 billion suns.

How dinos like Triceratops got their horns

By Ashley Yeager 3:24pm, July 8, 2015
A new dino named Wendiceratops pinhornensis gives hints about how Triceratops and other relatives got their horns.
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