Pseudomonas aeruginosa (see figure 1) is a human pathogen that colonizes the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, where it can cause life-threatening infections in patients with a compromised immune system, such as cancer or cystic fibrosis patients. P. aeruginosa is resistant to many antibiotics. Current treatments comprise antibiotic chemotherapy and bacteriophage therapy. However, There are some setbacks to these therapies. The chemotherapy kills many kinds of bacteria, upsetting a healthy human microbiome, and the bacteriophage therapy relies on the use of a virus, which has a limited therapeutic potential as the host can develop specific antibodies against the virus.
Cancer, diabetes, stroke and transplant patients can all get benefit from one common thing; frog skin.
An international research project is collecting proteins from our amphibian friends (no frogs were harmed in the writing of this article or in the research) and adding to a growing bank of biological data needed to build up our understanding of the naturally occurring medicines in frogs.
They have already found that the peptides (mini-proteins) collected from the Waxy Monkey Frog and the Giant Firebellied Toad can be used in a controlled and targeted way to regulate 'angiogenesis', the process by which blood vessels grow in the body.
Millions of people are suffering from back pain, making it a major continuous source of physical discomfort for many. Normally, each vertebra in the spine is cushioned by intervertebral discs (see figure 1). But these discs can degenerate due to age or injury, potentially pinching nerves, causing pain and impeding movement. The normal course of treatment for degenerated discs, is the administration of painkillers, physical therapy and steroid injections to ease inflammation. As a last resort, surgery to fuse two vertebra together can be done, limiting back flexibility. Artificial discs have been developed in the past few years, but these are all made of plastic or metal, and they can wear out and don’t provide a full range of motion.
Habituation is when people lose interest in something after being repeatedly exposed to it (insert your favorite joke about being married here).
When it comes to diet, it is hypothesized that habituation can decrease caloric intake. That also means caloric intake will increase if you get a lot of variety. Of course, habituation is a no-no in the modern world of nutritional variety. We're not 19th century Irish peasants, we shouldn't just eat potatoes every day in order to stay thin.
Growing human, perfectly matching organs inside a pig and then transplanting them into humans is not a new idea - it may revolutionize medicine - but a new discovery may also allow pig tissue to be transplanted directly into humans. The research in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology may lead to filling the short term lack of organs for human transplantation.
Altering or overexpressing the human programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) molecule in the endothelial cells of pig arteries reduced the conditions that lead to rejection, it says. This strongly suggests that successful Xenotransplantation means humans could receive altered porcine organs with fewer complications.
The three conditions mentioned in the title, malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, are responsible for about 5 million deaths per year and thus constitute some of the most compelling challenges in biomedical research. Slowly but surely, new knowledge is being gathered about these conditions, improving the odds of developing a functional vaccine.
The recent rise of systems biology might also provide an important tool, according to Rappuoli and Aderem (2011). Through using systems biology to analyze data sets obtained during proof-of-concept trials, correlates of protection or signatures of immunogenicity could be identified, thereby aiding the acceleration of large scale clinical trials.
A new study finds that stress does not appear to increase a person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS).
Researchers studied two groups of women nurses from the Nurses' Health Study. The first group of 121,700 nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 were followed starting in 1976. The second group of 116,671 nurses between the ages of 25 and 42 were followed from 1989. Participants were asked to report general stress at home and at work, including physical and sexual abuse in childhood and as teenagers. Of the first group, 77 people developed MS by 2005.
The question whether all human clinical trials undertaken in India are
conducted ethically has been answered. The final report of the
three-member committee appointed by the central government to go into
the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the human papilloma virus
(HPV) vaccine trial reveals gross ethical violations.
Clinical trials are a set of procedures in medical research conducted to allow safety (or more specifically, information about adverse drug reactions and adverse effects of other treatments and safety and efficacy
data to be collected for health interventions (e.g., drugs,
diagnostics, devices, therapy protocols). These trials can take place
only after satisfactory information has been gathered on the quality of
the non-clinical safety, and Health authority/ethics committee approval is granted in the country where the trial is taking place.
What helps can sometimes hurt.
ERBB4, a gene known to be important in cardiac development, has been associated with congenital heart malformations that result in obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract.
Left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) malformations, including aortic valve stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Shone complex and interrupted aortic arch type A, are responsible for a major portion of childhood death from congenital heart malformations. Yet it is often unclear how these defects develop.