Pharmacology

FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP51) is an Hsp90 co-chaperone and regulator of the glucocorticoid receptor, and consequently of stress physiology. It regulates acute and chronic effects of treatment with antidepressants via autophagic pathways (processes by which cells break down and recycle their components) in mice and is linked to the clinical response to antidepressants in humans, according to a new paper. 


Named after the location of first documented outbreak (Norwalk Ohio in 1968) norovirus, aka the "Stomach Flu," "Winter Vomiting Bug," or the "Cruise Ship Virus" is an evil little demon that spares no one. There are few, if any of us, who haven't experienced its misery; it infects 21 million people annually in the US every year—second only to the common cold. It is the leading cause (up to 80 percent) of gastroenteritis in the western world.   

Will the medicines you take make their way back into your food?  They might, especially of you take your cue from an old Yorkshire song which deals with human recycling in the food chain, via worms and ducks.  Now, research [1] from the university of York (where else?) has studied one step of this process in detail.

Olaparib, an experimental twice-daily oral cancer drug, produces an overall tumor response rate of 26 percent in several advanced cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to results of a Phase II study.


Fast testing for bacterial infections may help to reduce excessive antibiotic use, finds a systematic review. When doctors tested for the presence of bacterial infections, they prescribed fewer antibiotics.


Over 200,000 United States troops who fought in the 1990-1991 campaign to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi invaders have been diagnosed with a set of chronic health problems dubbed Gulf War Syndrome. The symptoms range from fatigue, muscle pain and weakness to decreased cognitive function and gastrointestinal and skin problems, even decades after the conflict. 



Chocolate as brain food? Credit: John Loo/Flickr

By Meredith Knight, Genetic Literacy Project

Scanning headlines last week, one may have been persuaded that chocolate consumption preserves and improves memory functions for aging brains. In reality, this news should not inspire the purchase of an extra bag of Halloween candy.

Resveratrol has long been touted in news outlets and health blogs as a 2000s miracle product, with little evidence it helps people. It instead benefited from a kind of 'Glaxo would not paid $720 million if it didn't work' veneer.

One of the claims is that it should be used  as a complement to exercise and to enhance performance but it not only may not enhance the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), it may hurt it.



The risk to the Australian community from doctors and nurses returning from Ebola-affected countries is minimal. Credit: EPA/ARIE KIEVIT

By Grant Hill-Cawthorne, University of Sydney and Adam Kamradt-Scott, University of Sydney

Governments have a duty to protect their citizens but the plan to impose mandatory detention on health-care workers being suggested by some Australian states is excessive and unwarranted.

As the death toll of Ebola continues to rise, especially in the hard-hit West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the need for a viable cure is growing more and more urgent. Even more concerning is the possibility that once approved, vaccines may not be widely available for several months.

As often happens in times of medical crises, fringe groups come out from hiding–in this instance, organic activists in the form of the most high profile organic lobby group in the United States.