Tag Archives: heart attack

More accurate readings of the heart

Almost everyone has had their blood pressure measured with an inflatable cuff around the arm. But as useful as this is, it can differ from the reading at the heart itself.
Using a mathematical model to transform how we measure blood pressure. Credit: Mark Butlin
Using a mathematical model to transform how we measure blood pressure. Credit: Mark Butlin
Twenty years ago Sydney scientists found a way to get that extra information. They created a model that gives the pressure at the main artery of the heart, using the wrist’s pressure pulse (the shape of the ‘waves’ that both travel along arteries when the heart pumps blood, and travel back to the heart as it fills with blood). The model wasn’t applicable to children, since their limbs are still growing – so now they’re adapting it to fit. Continue reading More accurate readings of the heart

Clues to switching off your blood clots

Our blood has a built-in system for breaking up heart attack-inducing clots—and we’re a step closer to drugs that could switch that system on at will.

The molecular structure of plasminogen Credit: Prof James Whisstock/Australian Synchrotron
The molecular structure of plasminogen. Credit: Prof James Whisstock/Australian Synchrotron
Australian researchers have won the decades-long race to define the structure of plasminogen—a protein whose active form quickly dissolves blood clots. The current crop of clot-busting drugs have many side effects, including bleeding and thinning of the blood, so harnessing the body’s own mechanism for clearing clots could offer a better way. Continue reading Clues to switching off your blood clots