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.
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute infused antibody-studded iron nanoparticles into the bloodstream to treat heart attack damage. The combined nanoparticle enabled precise localization of the body’s own stem cells to the injured heart muscle.
The study, which focused on laboratory rats, was published today in the online peer reviewed journal Nature Communications. The study addresses a central challenge in stem cell therapeutics: how to achieve targeted interactions between stem cells and injured cells.
Attending work while suffering a depressive illness could help employees better manage their depression more than taking a sickness absence from work, a new study has found.
The collaborative study between the Univ. Melbourne and the Menzies Research Institute at the Univ. of Tasmania is the first to estimate the long-term costs and health outcomes of depression-related absence as compared to individuals who continue to work among employees with depression in Australia.
Treatment at the earliest age when symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear – sometimes in infants as young as six months old – significantly reduces symptoms so that, by age three, most who received the therapy had neither ASD nor developmental delay, a UC Davis MIND Institute research study has found.
The treatment, known as Infant Start, was administered over a six-month period to six- to 15-month-old infants who exhibited marked autism symptoms, such as decreased eye contact, social interest or engagement, repetitive movement patterns and a lack of intentional communication. It was delivered by the people who were most in tune with and spent the most time with the babies: their parents.
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.
The American aid agency has announced it will donate $75 million to fund 1,000 more beds in Ebola treatment centers in Liberia and buy 130,000 more protective suits for health care workers.
West Africa’s struggling health systems have buckled under the pressure of an Ebola outbreak that has already killed about 1,900 people. Nurses in Liberia are wearing rags over their heads to protect themselves from the dreaded disease, amid concerns that shortages of protective gear throughout the region are responsible for the high Ebola death toll among health workers.
Cancerous brain tumors are notorious for growing back despite surgical attempts to remove them — and for leading to a dire prognosis for patients. But, scientists are developing a new way to try to root out malignant cells during surgery so fewer or none get left behind to form new tumors. The method, reported in the journal ACS Nano, could someday vastly improve the outlook for patients.
Moritz Kircher and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center point out that malignant brain tumors, particularly the kind known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), are among the toughest to beat. Although relatively rare, GBM is highly aggressive, and its cells multiply rapidly.
A team of researchers at Louisiana Tech Univ. has developed an innovative method for using affordable, consumer-grade 3-D printers and materials to fabricate custom medical implants that can contain antibacterial and chemotherapeutic compounds for targeted drug delivery.
The team comprised of doctoral students and research faculty from Louisiana Tech’s biomedical engineering and nanosystems engineering programs collaborated to create filament extruders that can make medical-quality 3-D printing filaments. Creating these filaments, which have specialized properties for drug delivery, is a new concept that can result in smart drug delivering medical implants or catheters.
‘Chili-pepper Receptor’ May Be Key to Treating Pain
As anyone who has bitten into a chili pepper knows, its burning spiciness — though irresistible to some — is intolerable to others. Scientists exploring the chili pepper’s effect are using their findings to develop a new drug candidate for many kinds of pain, which can be caused by inflammation or other problems. They reported their progress on the compound, which is being tested in clinical trials, in ACS’ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
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.
Jell-O-like Substance Attracts, Kills Cancer Cells
Chasing cancer cells with chemotherapy drugs can save lives, but there’s no guarantee that the treatment will kill every run-away cancer cell in the body.
What if, instead of hunting those metastatic cells, a treatment could lure them out of hiding — every last one of them — and eliminate them in one swift blow? Yong Wang, associate professor of bioengineering at Penn State, has created such a therapy — a tissue-like biomaterial that attracts cancer cells, like bits of metal to a magnet, and entraps them.
Queen’s Univ. researcher Richard Oko and his co-investigators have come up with a promising method of treating male infertility using a synthetic version of the sperm-originated protein known as PAWP.
They found this protein is sufficient and required to initiate the fertilization process. Oko’s research promises to diagnose and treat cases of male factor infertility where a patient’s sperm is unable to initiate or induce activation of the egg to form an early embryo.
'Dimmer Switch' Possible Key to Tackling Schizophrenia
Discovery of a new mechanism of drug action could lead to the next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia. Affecting one percent of the world’s population, schizophrenia is a major health condition. It affects a person’s ability to think, feel and act and is associated with distressing symptoms including hallucinations and delusions.
A Monash Univ. study’s findings, published in Nature Chemical Biology, offer hope of a new class of drug that can act as a “dimmer switch” to control schizophrenia, without causing some of the common side effects associated with current anti-psychotic medicines.
Bee, snake or scorpion venom could form the basis of a new generation of cancer-fighting drugs, scientists say. They have devised a method for targeting venom proteins specifically to malignant cells while sparing healthy ones, which reduces or eliminates side effects that the toxins would otherwise cause.
The report was part of the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). “We have safely used venom toxins in tiny nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory,” says Dipanjan Pan, from the Univ. of Illinois, who led the study. “These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue.”