Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now, researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines.
To be able to move on your own – to be self-moving – is a feature normally seen in living organisms. But also non-living entities can be self-moving, report researchers from Univ. of Southern Denmark and Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, Czech Republic.
Using ecstasy significantly affects a person’s ability to detect faces, shapes and patterns, research has found.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, discovered ecstasy users were poorer than matched controls at detecting patterns through global form processing, a mechanism that helps the brain to detect visual information.
Thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines should be available in the coming months and could eventually be given to health care workers and other people at high risk of the deadly disease, the World Health Organization says.
No vaccine has yet been proved to be safe or effective in humans, says Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general at WHO, who spoke at a press conference in Geneva that was later shared by email. Testing must first be done to ensure they are not harmful to people, some of which has already begun, she says.
Over a 22 year period, more than one in 10 of all antibiotic treatments in a primary care setting have failed. This rate has increased and continues to rise, according to a new study that analyzed almost 11 million antibiotic prescriptions in the UK. Much data has been gathered about antibiotic resistance in hospitals, but virtually nothing is known about the frequency and pattern of antibiotic failure in primary care.
Researchers from Cardiff Univ. therefore set out to assess antibiotic treatment failure rates in UK primary care with particular focus on four of the most common kinds of infection: upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and acute otitis media (AOM – middle-ear infection).
New government-approved labeling on Pfizer’s drug Chantix suggests that the anti-smoking medication may not carry the risks of suicidal behavior that first earned it the Food and Drug Administration’s strongest warning more than five years ago.
The FDA updated the drug’s label this week to include data from a number of recent studies that found little to no evidence of psychiatric problems or suicidal tendencies in patients taking the twice-a-day tablet.
Doctors in many U.S. hospitals are unnecessarily prescribing multiple antibiotics for several days when just one would do the job, a new study released this week suggests.
Health officials have sounded alarms that overuse of antibiotics is helping to breed dangerous bacteria that are increasingly resistant to treatment. Much of the attention has been on doctor offices that wrongly prescribe bacteria-targeting antibiotics for illnesses caused by viruses.
The new study focuses on a different issue — when hospital doctors throw more than one antibiotic at a mystery infection.
Despite being outlawed in 2012 in the U.S., the synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” — which really aren’t meant for your daily bath — are still readily available in some retail shops, on the Internet and on the streets. To help law enforcement, scientists are developing a novel method that could be the basis for the first portable, on-site testing device for identifying the drugs. They report their advance in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.
Craig Banks, in collaboration with Oliver Sutcliffe at Manchester Metropolitan Univ., notes that the high-inducing substances in bath salts, which are synthetic cathinones that also go by “plant food,” “glass cleaner” and a number of other innocuous-sounding names, are derived from a stimulant in a plant called khat. The plant is found on the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
A revolutionary nanotechnology method could help improve the development of new medicine and reduce costs. Researchers from the Nano-Science Center and the Department of Chemistry at the Univ. of Copenhagen have developed a new screening method that makes it possible to study cell membrane proteins that bind drugs, such as cannabis and adrenaline, while reducing the consumption of precious samples by a billion times.
About 40 percent of all medicines used today work through the so-called “G protein-coupled receptors.” These receptors react to changes in the cell environment, for example, to increased amounts of chemicals like cannabis, adrenaline or the medications we take and are therefore of paramount importance to the pharmaceutical industry.
Mimicking Evolution Key to Improving Drug Diversity
A revolutionary new scientific method developed at the Univ. of Leeds will improve the diversity of biologically active molecules, such as antibiotics and anti-cancer agents.
The researchers, who report their findings online in Nature Chemistry, took their inspiration from evolution in nature. The research may uncover new pharmaceutical drugs that traditional methods would never have found.
WikimediaUsing a new modeling approach, the researchers at the Univ. of York estimated the levels of 12 pharmaceutical compounds in rivers across the UK. They found that while most of the compounds were likely to cause only a low risk to aquatic life, ibuprofen might be having an adverse effect in nearly 50 percent of the stretches of river studied.
In what is believed to be the first study to establish the level of risk posed by ibuprofen at the country scale, the researchers examined 3,112 stretches of river that together receive inputs from 21 million people.
Pomegranate Drug May Stem Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
The onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by Univ. of Huddersfield scientist Olumayokun Olajide, who specializes in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.
Now, a new phase of research can explore the development of drugs that will stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s, which affects some 800,000 people in the UK, with 163,000 new cases a year being diagnosed. Globally, there are at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers, with the numbers expected to soar.
Laser Tweezers Reveal How Malaria Infects Blood Cells
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite that invades one red blood cell after another. Little is known about this infection process because it happens so quickly, potentially explaining why there is currently no approved malaria vaccine. In a study published by Cell Press August 19th in the Biophysical Journal, researchers used a tool called laser optical tweezers to study interactions between the disease-causing parasite and red blood cells. The findings reveal surprising new insights into malaria biology and pave the way for the development of more effective drugs or vaccines for a disease that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Doctors and nurses fighting Ebola in West Africa are working 14-hour days, seven days a week, wearing head-to-toe gear in the heat of muddy clinics. Agonizing death is the norm for their patients. The hellish conditions aren’t the only problem: health workers struggle to convince patients they’re trying to help them, not hurt them.
Rumors are rife that Western aid workers are importing Ebola, stealing bodies or even deliberately infecting patients. Winning trust is made harder by a full suit of hood, goggles, mask and gown that hides their faces.
It’s an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: the drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories.
Using plants this way — sometimes called “pharming” — can produce complex and valuable proteins for medicines. That approach, studied for about 20 years, hasn’t caught on widely in the pharmaceutical industry. But some companies and academic labs are pursuing it to create medicines and vaccines against such targets as HIV, cancer, the deadly Marburg virus and norovirus, known for causing outbreaks of stomach bug on cruise ships, as well as Ebola.