Pharmacology

Almost 90 percent of the world’s population will not have timely access to affordable supplies of vaccines and antiviral agents in the current influenza A (H1N1) pandemic but inexpensive generic drugs that are readily available even in developing countries could save millions of lives, according to the conclusion reached by an extensive review and analysis by immunization expert Dr David Fedson within hours of the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic.
Most people won't eat two cups of blueberries a day but tell them a cup of red wine will make them healthier and they seem downright happy.   Red wine has cultural and historical mystique blueberries lack so it has a psychological edge.

Red wine contains a complex mixture of bioactive compounds, including flavonols, monomeric and polymeric flavan-3-ols, highly colored anthocyanins, as well as phenolic acids and the stilbene polyphenol, resveratrol. Some of these compounds, particularly resveratrol, appear to have health benefits.

But look at the PubMed citations and you'd think red wine is curing cancer and halting global warming.
A new, international study found that the combination of two drugs delays disease progression for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results from the Phase III “ATLAS” trial were presented today by Dr. Vincent Miller of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008 the estimated number of new lung cancer cases (non-small cell and small cell combined) was 215,000 and the number of deaths was 161,840. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common among all lung cancers and is usually associated with a history of tobacco use.

Practically every month in my Chemistry World there appears an article where a group of workers has synthesized some natural product with amazing ingenuity. But why, to use a Hogwartsian analogy, does one go to such great effort when the greenhouse is only a walk away from the potions department? So let us join Professor Sprout for a walk around the Hogwarts greenhouses.

Some plant families, such as the Cruciferae and the Labiatae are remarkably free from poisonous plants, whereas others such as the Araceae all seem to come with a toxic hazard warning sign.

A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators say they have cracked one of clinical medicine's enduring mysteries – namely, why the once-effective tuberculosis vaccine no longer prevents the bacterial lung infection that kills more than 1.7 million people worldwide each year. 

The solution could lead to an improved TB vaccine and also may offer a novel platform for vaccines against other pathogens. 

The current TB vaccine, known as BCG (bacille Calmette-Guérin), has been around since the 1920s. It was made by weakening (attenuating) a strain of bacteria that causes tuberculosis in cows and that genetically is 98 percent identical to the human TB germ. 
Scientists at South Dakota State University are exploring the mechanisms by which a substance derived ultimately from Red Sea coral could help treat skin cancer.

The study built on earlier work by SDSU distinguished professor Chandradhar Dwivedi’s lab looking at the chemopreventive effects of sarcophine-diol, made from a substance called sarcophine that can be isolated from soft coral found in the Red Sea. The new study carried the work beyond looking at sarcophine-diol’s possible use in prevention of skin cancer to consider its potential as a tool in therapies to actually treat skin cancer.

“We are finding that sarcophine-diol could be used both for chemoprevention and as a chemotherapeutic agent,” Dwivedi said.
Smoking is bad for you, but it can also help with allergies, according to a new study which says that cigarette smoke can prevent allergies by decreasing the reaction of immune cells to allergens.

Smoking can cause lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and can even affect how the body fights infections but along with many harmful effects, smoking cigarettes has a surprising benefit: cigarettes can protect smokers from certain types of allergies.  The new study says that cigarette smoke decreases the allergic response by inhibiting the activity of mast cells, the major players in the immune system's response to allergens.
New research sheds light on how cocaine regulates gene expression in a crucial reward region of the brain to elicit long-lasting changes in behavior. The study in Neuron provides insight into the molecular pathways regulated by cocaine and may lead to new strategies for battling drug addiction.

It is well established that addictive drugs induce persistent changes in the brain's reward circuits. Previous research has indicated that addiction to drugs such as cocaine is associated with altered gene expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region of the brain that is involved in motivation, pleasure, and reward.
Laboratory experiments have demonstrated the immunological effects of ginseng, say researchers writing in the Journal of Translational Medicine.  Their studies show that the herb, much used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicine, does have anti-inflammatory effects.

The scientists treated human immune cells with different extracts of ginseng. They found that of the nine ginsenosides they identified, seven could selectively inhibit expression of the inflammatory gene CXCL-10. Allan Lau concludes, "Further studies will be needed to examine the potential beneficial effects of ginsenosides in the management of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in humans."
"The method we have developed means we can simultaneously detect various kinds of antibiotic residues (macrolides, tetracyclines, quinolones and sulfonamides) in honey", Antonia Garrido, lead author of the study and the researcher in charge of the UAL's Contaminants Analytical Chemistry Research Group, told Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas (SINC).

In order to develop this method, the results of which have been published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers employed ultra performance liquid chromatography, a technique that makes it possible to separate the components of a sample, together with mass spectrometry, which permits the simultaneous identification of up to 17 antibiotics.