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Fast Way to Measure DNA Repair

April 22, 2014 2:57 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a test that can rapidly assess several DNA repair systems, which could help determine individuals’ risk of developing cancer and help doctors predict how a given patient will respond to chemotherapy drugs.   

'Molecular Tweezer' is a Step Toward Parkinson’s Treatment

April 21, 2014 2:43 pm | Videos | Comments

The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing. Research shows that a small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from clumping, the first step of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

Drawing a Ring Around Antiviral Immunity

April 15, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

If you follow cancer biology, then you’ve probably heard of ubiquitin before. In a recent paper researchers provided a structural rationale for how ubiquitin helps RIG-I do its job— and how that might help keep the immune system from getting out of hand.

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Regenerating Muscle in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Age Matters

April 14, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists published details of how a class of drugs called “HDACis” drive muscle-cell regeneration in the early stages of dystrophic muscles, but fail to work in late stages. The findings are key to furthering clinical development of HDACis for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an incurable muscle-wasting disease.

US Jury Hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with $9B Penalty

April 8, 2014 9:19 am | by Yuri Kageyama - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A U.S. jury ordered Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and its U.S. counterpart, Eli Lilly and Co., to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer. The drug companies said Tuesday they will "vigorously challenge" the decision. The U.S District Court in western Louisiana ordered a $6 billion penalty for Takeda and $3 billion for its business partner and co-defendant Eli Lilly.

Caffeine Can Target Tau Deposits in Alzheimer's

April 7, 2014 12:33 pm | News | Comments

A research team was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer's disease. Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. 

FDA OKs 1st Hay Fever Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet

April 2, 2014 12:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots. Oralair, a tablet that dissolves quickly under the tongue, is approved for patients aged 10 through 65. It's to be...

Using Light-Heated Water to Deliver Drugs

April 1, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with materials scientists, engineers and neurobiologists, have discovered a new mechanism for using light to activate drug-delivering nanoparticles and other targeted therapeutic substances inside the body.

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Tamiflu-resistant Influenza: Parsing the Genome for the Culprits

March 31, 2014 2:43 pm | News | Comments

It doesn’t take long for the flu virus to outsmart Tamiflu. EPFL scientists have developed a tool that reveals the mutations that make the virus resistant, and they have identified new mutations that may render ineffective one of the few treatments currently available on the market.

Relaxed Blood Pressure Guidelines Cut Millions from Needing Medication

March 31, 2014 2:20 pm | News | Comments

New guidelines that ease the recommended blood pressure could result in 5.8 million U.S. adults no longer needing hypertension medication. The findings are the first peer-reviewed analysis to quantify the impact of guidelines announced in February by the Eighth Joint National Committee. In a divisive move, the committee relaxed the blood pressure goal in adults 60 years and older to 150/90, instead of the previous goal of 140/90.

UV Exposure Found to Lower Folate Levels in Young Women

March 21, 2014 2:02 pm | News | Comments

Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant and taking a folic acid supplement may be at risk of reducing their folate benefit through sun exposure, a new QUT study has warned. A study of 45 young healthy women in Brisbane aged 18 to 47, showed high rates of sun exposure accounted up to a 20 per cent reduction in folate levels.

Switching an Antibiotic On and Off with Light

March 21, 2014 1:43 pm | News | Comments

Scientists of the KIT and the University of Kiev have produced an antibiotic, whose biological activity can be controlled with light. Thanks to the robust diarylethene photoswitch, the antimicrobial effect of the peptide mimetic can be applied in a spatially and temporally specific manner. This might open up new options for the treatment of local infections, as side effects are reduced.

Cholesterol Transporter Structure Decoded

March 21, 2014 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Scientists in Göttingen have solved the high-resolution structure of the molecular transporter TSPO, which introduces cholesterol into mitochondria. This protein also serves as a docking site for diagnostic markers and different drugs, such as Valium. The detailed knowledge of its three-dimensional shape and function opens up new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.

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Half of US Adults 40 to 75 Eligible for Statins

March 19, 2014 5:17 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Almost half of Americans ages 40 to 75 and nearly all men over 60 qualify to consider cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new heart disease prevention guidelines, an analysis concludes. It's the first independent look at the impact of the guidelines issued in November and shows how dramatically they shift more people toward treatment.

Fast Synthesis Could Boost Drug Development

March 19, 2014 10:38 am | News | Comments

Small protein fragments, also called peptides, are promising as drugs because they can be designed for very specific functions inside living cells. Insulin and the HIV drug Fuzeon are some of the earliest successful examples, and peptide drugs are expected to become a $25 billion market by 2018. However, a major bottleneck has prevented peptide drugs from reaching their full potential: Manufacturing the peptides takes several weeks.

Study to Test 'Chocolate' Pills for Heart Health

March 17, 2014 2:16 am | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It won't be nearly as much fun as eating candy bars, but a big study is being launched to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.                 

Heart Scans Only Useful in Prescribing Statins Under Certain Conditions

March 13, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

As long as inexpensive statins, which lower cholesterol, are readily available and patients don’t mind taking them, it doesn’t make sense to do a heart scan to measure how much plaque has built up in a patient’s coronary arteries before prescribing the pills, according to a new study.

In First Moments of Infection, a Division and a Decision

March 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer-lasting vaccines against microbial pathogens or cancer.

Immune System-based Therapy Produces Lasting Remissions in Melanoma Patients

March 4, 2014 12:59 pm | News | Comments

A drug that unleashes the immune system to attack cancer can produce lasting remissions and hold the disease in check – for more than two years, in some cases – in many patients with advanced melanoma, according to a new study. The study provides the longest-term look so far at how melanoma patients have fared since receiving the drug, nivolumab, in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Ancient Chinese Medicine Put Through its Paces for Pancreatic Cancer

March 3, 2014 11:29 am | News | Comments

The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.

Study Pinpoints Protective Mutations for Type 2 Diabetes

March 3, 2014 11:03 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers identified mutations in a gene that can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even in people who have risk factors such as obesity and old age. The results focus the search for developing novel therapeutic strategies for type 2 diabetes; if a drug can be developed that mimics the protective effect of these mutations, it could open up new ways of preventing this devastating disease.

Experimental Treatment Eradicates Acute Leukemia in Mice

February 27, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.

Use of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children

February 25, 2014 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Acetaminophen provides many people with relief from headaches and sore muscles. When used appropriately, it is considered mostly harmless. Over recent decades, the drug has become the medication most commonly used by pregnant women for fevers and pain.  Now, a long-term study by UCLA, in collaboration with the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has raised concerns about the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.

An Essential Step Toward Printing Living Tissues

February 20, 2014 11:55 am | Videos | Comments

A new bioprinting method creates intricately patterned 3D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. The work represents a major step toward a longstanding goal of tissue engineers: creating human tissue constructs realistic enough to test drug safety and effectiveness.

Robot May Accelerate Trials for Stroke Medications

February 12, 2014 12:12 pm | News | Comments

The development of drugs to treat acute stroke or aid in stroke recovery is an endeavor that only rarely pays off in the form of approval. Drug companies spend years testing safety and dosage in the clinic, only to find in Phase 3 clinical efficacy trials have little to no benefit. A robot developed at MIT may help speed up drug development, letting companies know earlier in the process whether a drug will work in stroke patients.

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