Tag Archives: Pharmacology

Insecticide treatment of cattle to kill sand flies and combat leishmaniasis

With an estimated 500,000 human infections and 50,000 deaths annually, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the second most prevalent parasitic killer, behind malaria. Leishmania parasites are transmitted through the bite of phlebotomine sand flies. A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases makes the case that fighting the insects by treating cattle with the long-lasting insecticide, […]

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Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice

A team led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The findings will be published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, on July 22, 2016. In this study in an experimental model […]

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Modifying a living genome with genetic equivalent of ‘search and replace’

Researchers including George Church have made further progress on the path to fully rewriting the genome of living bacteria. Such a recoded organism, once available, could feature functionality not seen in nature. It could also make the bacteria cultivated in pharmaceutical and other industries immune to viruses, saving billions of dollars of losses due to […]

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* Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs — mammals closer in size and biology to humans — with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human […]

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* Common colon cancer tumor type blocked in mice

A new scientific study has identified why colorectal cancer cells depend on a specific nutrient, and a way to starve them of it. Over one million men and women are living with colorectal cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates 4.5% of all men and women will be diagnosed with the cancer […]

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Financial cycles of acquisition and ‘buybacks’ threaten public access to breakthrough drugs

New research on the financial practices surrounding a ‘wonder drug’ with a more than 90% cure rate for hepatitis C — a blood-borne infection that damages the liver over many years — shows how this medical breakthrough, developed with the help of public funding, was acquired by a major pharmaceutical company following a late-stage bidding […]

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* Human nose holds novel antibiotic effective against multiresistant pathogens

A potential lifesaver lies unrecognized in the human body: Scientists at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have discovered that Staphylococcus lugdunensis which colonizes in the human nose produces a previously unknown antibiotic. As tests on mice have shown, the substance which has been named Lugdunin is able to […]

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Why is cocaine so addictive? Study using animal model provides clues

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are one step closer to understanding what causes cocaine to be so addictive. The research findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Cocaine addiction is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects more than 700,000 people in the United States alone, according to the […]

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Beware of antioxidant supplements, warns scientific review

The lay press and thousands of nutritional products warn of oxygen radicals or oxidative stress and suggest taking so-called antioxidants to prevent or cure disease. Professor Pietro Ghezzi at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Professor Harald Schmidt at the University of Maastricht have analyzed the evidence behind this. The result is a clear […]

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* Stem cells for Snoopy: pet medicines spark a biotech boom

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Many pets are treated like family members — and that is often reflected in the veterinary care that they receive. Little Jonah once radiated pain. The 12-year-old Maltese dog’s body was curled and stiff from the effort of walking with damaged knees. But after Kristi Lively, Jonah’s veterinary surgeon, enrolled him in a clinical trial […]

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Compound shown to reduce brain damage caused by anaesthesia in early study

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An experimental drug prevented learning deficits in young mice exposed repeatedly to anaesthesia, according to a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published June 22 in Science Translational Medicine. The study results may have implications for children who must have several surgeries, and so are exposed repeatedly to general anaesthesia. Past […]

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Antibody-based drug helps ‘bridge’ leukemia patients to curative treatmen

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In a randomized Phase III study of the drug inotuzumab ozogamicin, a statistically significant percentage of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose disease had relapsed following standard therapies, qualified for stem cell transplants. Inotuzumab ozogamicin, also known as CMC-544, links an antibody that targets CD22, a protein found on the surface of more than […]

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New material kills E. coli bacteria in 30 seconds

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Every day, we are exposed to millions of harmful bacteria that can cause infectious diseases, such as the E. coli bacteria. Now, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, have developed a new material that can kill the E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds. […]

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Resistance mechanism of aggressive brain tumors revealed

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Brain tumors subject to therapy can become resistant to it through interactions with their tumor microenvironment rather than because of anything intrinsic about the tumor itself, a new study in mice suggests. The resistance mechanism outlined in the study involves a particular enzyme and can be overcome using other drugs that target this newly identified […]

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Hundreds of antibiotics built from scratch

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Erythromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic often used to treat infections of the skin, chest, throat and ears. A 64-year-old class of antibiotics that has been a cornerstone of medical treatment has been dramatically refreshed by dogged chemists searching for ways to overcome antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In work described today in Nature, a team of chemists built […]

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Changes in ‘microbiome’ during canine atopic dermatitis could lead to antibiotic-free therapies for human, canine disease

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Atopic dermatitis (AD), a chronic inflammatory skin condition and the most common form of eczema, is estimated to afflict as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population, and is much more common now than it was 50 years ago. Veterinary clinical estimates also show that approximately 10 percent of dogs have atopic dermatitis. How […]

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Superbug infections tracked across Europe

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For the first time, scientists have shown that MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and other antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’ infections can be tracked across Europe by combining whole-genome sequencing with a web-based system. In mBio, researchers at Imperial College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute worked with a European network representing doctors in 450 hospitals in 25 […]

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Targeted missiles against aggressive cancer cells

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Targeted missiles that can enter cancer cells and deliver lethal cell toxins without harming surrounding healthy tissue. This has been a long-standing vision in cancer research, but it has proved difficult to accomplish. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has now taken some crucial steps in this direction. “For several years, we tried […]

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Vitamin stops the aging process of organs

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Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is pretty amazing. It has already been shown in several studies to be effective in boosting metabolism. And now a team of researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Integrated Systems Physiology (LISP), headed by Johan Auwerx, has unveiled even more of its secrets. An article written by Hongbo Zhang, a PhD student on […]

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Dressed to kill: Tailoring a suit for tumor-penetrating cancer medications

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For more than a decade, biomedical researchers have been looking for better ways to deliver cancer-killing medication directly to tumors in the body. Tiny capsules, called nanoparticles, are now being used to transport chemotherapy medicine through the bloodstream, to the doorstep of cancerous tumors. But figuring out the best way for the particles to get […]

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New proteins discovered that link obesity-driven diabetes to cancer

For the first time, researchers have determined how bromodomain (BRD) proteins work in type 2 diabetes, which may lead to a better understanding of the link between adult-onset diabetes and certain cancers. The findings, which appear in PLOS ONE, show that reducing levels in pancreatic beta cells of individual BRDs, called BET proteins, previously shown […]

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Novel small-molecule antiviral compound protects monkeys from deadly Ebola virus

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Rhesus monkeys were completely protected from Ebola virus when treated three days after infection with a compound that blocks the virus’s ability to replicate. These encouraging preclinical results suggest the compound, known as GS-5734, should be further developed as a potential treatment, according to research findings published in the journal Nature. Ebola virus causes severe […]

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Investigators trace emergence and spread of virulent salmonella strain

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Since it first emerged more than half a century ago, a particular strain of multidrug-resistant Salmonella has spread all over the world. Now researchers have figured out why this strain, Salmonella Typhimuriam DT104, has been so successful. This new knowledge could prove valuable in combating other successful pathogens, according to the authors. The study is […]

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Engineers grow 3-D heart, liver tissues for better drug testing

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Researchers at U of T Engineering have developed a new way of growing realistic human tissues outside the body. Their “person-on-a-chip” technology, called AngioChip, is a powerful platform for discovering and testing new drugs, and could eventually be used to repair or replace damaged organs. Professor Milica Radisic (IBBME, ChemE), graduate student Boyang Zhang and […]

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Teaching neurons to respond to placebos as potential treatment for Parkinson’s

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They found that it is possible to turn a neuron which previously hasn’t responded to placebos (placebo ‘non-responder’ neuron) into a placebo ‘responder’ by conditioning Parkinson patients with apomorphine, a dopaminergic drug used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). When a placebo (saline solution) was given for the first time, it induced neither clinical […]

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Researchers create ‘mini-brains’ in lab to study neurological diseases

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Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say they have developed tiny “mini-brains” made up of many of the neurons and cells of the human brain — and even some of its functionality — and which can be replicated on a large scale. The researchers say that the creation of these “mini-brains,” […]

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New experimental test detects signs of Lyme disease near time of infection

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When it comes to early diagnosis of Lyme disease, the insidious tick-borne illness that afflicts about 300,000 Americans annually, finding the proverbial needle in the haystack might be a far easier challenge — until now, perhaps. An experimental method developed by federal and university researchers appears capable of detecting the stealthy culprit Lyme bacteria at […]

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Drug prevents key age-related brain change in rats

As brain cells age they lose the fibers that receive neural impulses, a change that may underlie cognitive decline. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine recently found a way to reverse this process in rats. The study was published Feb. 3, 2016 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers caution that more studies are needed, […]

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* Rooting out doping in racehorses

Doping in the horseracing industry has spurred regulations banning performance-enhancing drugs, as well as calls for an anti-doping agency in the U.S. But as in human sports, testing for certain kinds of prohibited substances has been a challenge. Now scientists report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a new detection method that could help anti-doping enforcers […]

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Bacillus cereus is able to resist certain antibiotic therapies

The pathogenic bacterium Bacillus cereus causes vomiting and diarrhea as well as systemic and local infections. A team of researchers has reported for the first time that B. cereus, following contact with certain antibiotics, can switch into a special slowed-down mode. The bacteria then form small colony variants (SVCs) that are difficult to diagnose and […]

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