Research & Development News Channel
Does the emperor have clothes£
Discovered more than two decades ago, the hormone leptin has been widely hailed as the key regulator of leanness. Yet, the pivotal experiments that probe the function of this protein and unravel the precise mechanism of its action as a guardian against obesity are largely missing. These are the conclusions in a commentary published in Cell Metabolism by Harvard Medical School metabolism experts Jeffrey Flier and Eleftheria Maratos-Flier.
Systems pharmacology modelers accelerate drug discovery in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's is a chronic neurodegenerative disease which leads to the senile cognitive impairment and memory loss. Every third person older than 70 years suffers from it. Such changes are caused by functional disorders and subsequent death of neurons. However triggers of processes resulting in brain cell death are still remain unknown. That's why there is no effective therapy for Alzheimer's disease.
Vaccine that lowers cholesterol offers hope of immunizing against cardiovascular disease
A vaccine to immunise people against high levels of cholesterol and the narrowing of the arteries caused by build-up of fatty material (atherosclerosis) may be possible following successful results in mice. Now, a phase I trial in patients has started to see if the findings translate to humans. The study, which is published today in the European Heart Journal [1], is the first to show that it is possible to immunise genetically modified mice with a molecule that causes the body to produce antibodies
Targeting immune cells that help tumors stay hidden could improve immunotherapy
Researchers at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC have discovered a clue that could unlock the potential of immunotherapy drugs to successfully treat more cancers. The findings, published in Cell, were made in mice and showed that targeting a sub-population of immune cells called regulatory T cells could be an effective approach to treating cancers.
Study shows pharmacists knew more about penicillin allergy than MDs
If you have gone through life avoiding certain antibiotics because you think you're allergic to penicillin, you'd probably want to know if you're not actually allergic. A new study shows many physicians who treat patients with "penicillin allergy" listed in their charts may not fully understand important facts about penicillin allergy. They may not be aware penicillin allergy can resolve over time and they don't fully understand the importance of allergy testing to make sure a penicillin allergy currently exists.
Drug costs vary by more than 600% in study of 10 high-income countries
In a study of 10 high-income countries with universal health care, costs for prescription drugs in 6 of the largest categories of primary care medicines varied by more than 600%, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). All countries except Canada offered universal coverage of outpatient prescription drugs.
Type of sugar may treat atherosclerosis, mouse study shows
Researchers have long sought ways to harness the body's immune system to treat disease, especially cancer. Now, scientists have found that the immune system may be triggered to treat atherosclerosis and possibly other metabolic conditions, including fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. Studying mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that a natural sugar called trehalose revs up the immune system's cellular housekeeping abilities.
Red onions pack a cancer-fighting punch, study reveals
The next time you walk down the produce aisle of your grocery store, you may want to reach for red onions if you are looking to fight off cancer. In the first study to examine how effective Ontario-grown onions are at killing cancer cells, U of G researchers have found that not all onions are created equal. Engineering professor Suresh Neethirajan and PhD student Abdulmonem Murayyan tested five onion types grown in Ontario and discovered the Ruby Ring onion variety came out on top.
Take a coffee or tea break to protect your liver
Chronic liver diseases rank as the 12th cause of death worldwide and many of these disorders are associated with unhealthy lifestyles. Conversely, a healthier lifestyle can help prevent or reverse liver disease. Liver-related mortality is closely related to the development of cirrhosis, the final consequence of progressive fibrosis, i.e. scarring of the liver resulting from chronic inflammation. According to a new study published in the Journal of Hepatology, researchers found that drinking coffee and herbal tea may protect against liver fibrosis, estimated as the degree of liver stiffness, which is high in extensive scarring of the liver.
How killer cells take out tumors
The promising drug is known as F8-TNF. When injected into the bloodstream, it lures killer cells from the body's immune system towards sarcomas. The killer cells then destroy the tumours. Researchers from ETH Zurich, led by Professor Dario Neri at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, developed F8-TNF four years ago. Since then, they have been able to show that it can completely cure sarcomas in mice when combined with a chemotherapeutic agent.
Bacteria used as factories to produce cancer drugs
Researchers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Denmark have developed a method of producing P450 enzymes - used by plants to defend against predators and microbes - in bacterial cell factories. The process could facilitate the production of large quantities of the enzymes, which are also involved in the biosynthesis of active ingredients of cancer drugs.
Internet withdrawal increases heart rate and blood pressure
Scientists and clinicians from Swansea and Milan have found that some people who use the internet a lot experience significant physiological changes such as increased heart rate and blood pressure when they finish using the internet. The study involved 144 participants, aged 18 to 33 years, having their heart rate and blood pressure measured before and after a brief internet session.
Clinical trial shows experimental drug's ability to knock down pancreatic cancer's defense
By adding an experimental drug to a standard chemotherapy regimen, a subset of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer had a significantly longer period before the cancer progressed as compared with those who received the standard treatment, according to a Phase 2 clinical trial led by an investigator at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Some heart attack patients may not benefit from beta blockers
New research challenges established medical practice that all heart attack patients should be on beta blockers. The study - by a research team at the University of Leeds - looked at patients who had a heart attack but did not suffer heart failure - a complication of a heart attack where the heart muscle is damaged and ceases to function properly. It found that heart attack patients who did not have heart failure did not live any longer after being given beta blockers - yet around 95% of patients who fall into this category end up on the medication.
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