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Technology Safely Delivers Vaccines to the Gut

June 11, 2013 9:53 am | News | Comments

A new technology under development by an academic–industry partnership protects oral vaccines from destruction by the digestive system. From the mouth to the small intestine, the digestive system presents a series of challenges designed to protect us by killing ingested bacteria.

FDA Finds Fungus in Specialty Steroids

June 7, 2013 5:30 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal health officials say they have found bacteria and fungus in drug vials from a Tennessee specialty pharmacy that recalled all of its injectable medicines last month. The Food and Drug Administration said in an online posting Friday that it identified the growths in two unopened vials of a steroid injection distributed by the Main Street Family Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy in Newbern, Tenn.

Anesthesia Effects Depend on Age of Neurons, Not Patient

June 6, 2013 11:07 am | News | Comments

As pediatric specialists become increasingly aware that surgical anesthesia may have lasting effects on the developing brains of young children, new research suggests the threat may also apply to adult brains. Researchers recently reported that testing in laboratory mice shows anesthesia’s neurotoxic effects depend on the age of brain neurons– not the age of the animal undergoing anesthesia.

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Novel Compound Kills Cancer Cells, Stops Metastasis

June 6, 2013 9:51 am | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting development and successful lab tests on the first potential drug to pack a lethal one-two punch against melanoma skin cancer cells. Hit number one destroys cells in the main tumor, and the second hit blocks the spread of the cancer to other sites in the body.

J&J Recalls 32M Contraceptive Packages

June 4, 2013 1:28 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Johnson & Johnson is conducting a voluntary recall of millions of oral contraceptive packages in 43 countries outside the U.S., but says there's a "very low" risk that the flawed tablets could cause unplanned pregnancies. It's the latest in a series of about 40 product recalls announced by the U.S.-based company since 2009.

New Method Can Mass-produce High-quality DNA

June 4, 2013 10:47 am | News | Comments

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods. The new method can be of value to both DNA nanotechnology and the development of drugs consisting of DNA fragments.

Ketamine Cousin Lifts Depression Without Side Effects

May 31, 2013 11:02 am | News | Comments

GLYX-13, a molecular cousin to ketamine, induces similar antidepressant results without the street drug side effects, reports a new study. Major depression affects about 10 percent of the adult population and is the second leading cause of disability in U.S. adults.

Supercomputer Helps Build HIV Capsid Structure

May 30, 2013 11:55 am | News | Comments

Researchers report that they have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the virus’s genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The capsid has become an attractive target for the development of new antiretroviral drugs.

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Gene Therapy Protects Against Pandemic Flu Strains

May 30, 2013 11:21 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new gene therapy to thwart a potential influenza pandemic. Investigators demonstrated that a single dose of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) expressing a broadly neutralizing flu antibody into the nasal passages of mice and ferrets gives them complete protection and substantial reductions in flu replication when exposed to lethal strains of H5N1 and H1N1 flu virus.

Nanoparticles Shape-shift in Response to Tumor Signal

May 29, 2013 11:28 am | News | Comments

Scientists have designed tiny spherical particles to float easily through the bloodstream after injection, then assemble into a durable scaffold within diseased tissue. An enzyme produced by a specific type of tumor can trigger the transformation of the spheres into netlike structures that accumulate at the site of a cancer.

Liquid-repelling Paper May Yield New Biomedical Diagnostics

May 29, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

Paper is known for its ability to absorb liquids, making it ideal for products such as paper towels. But by modifying the underlying network of cellulose fibers, etching off surface “fluff” and applying a thin chemical coating, researchers have created a new type of paper that repels a wide variety of liquids– including water and oil.

Lab-based Skin Test Predicts Adverse Drug Reactions

May 28, 2013 11:46 am | News | Comments

A simple lab-based skin test which eliminates the risk of adverse reactions to new drugs, cosmetics and household chemicals has been developed by team of researchers. It uses real human skin and immune cells to show any reaction such as a rash or blistering indicating a wider immune response within the body. 

Protein Fusion May Yield Universal Influenza Vaccination

May 23, 2013 11:47 am | News | Comments

A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine concept represents an important step forward in the quest to develop a universal influenza vaccine.

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Addiction-blocking Drug Under Development

May 22, 2013 12:50 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have unraveled the molecular foundations of cocaine’s effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice. The compound, already proven safe for humans, is undergoing further animal testing in preparation for possible clinical trials in cocaine addicts.

Researchers Closer to Alzheimer's Prevention, Treatment

May 22, 2013 11:10 am | News | Comments

Imagine a pharmaceutical prevention, treatment or even cure for Alzheimer’s disease. It is almost impossible to overstate how monumental a development that would be and how it would answer the prayers of millions. Though science isn’t there yet, a new study offers a tantalizing glimpse of potential solutions.

One-step Genetic Engineering Technology Developed

May 22, 2013 10:06 am | News | Comments

A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. The method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.

Vitamin C Kills Drug-resistant TB

May 21, 2013 12:00 pm | by Einstein | News | Comments

Researchers have determined that vitamin C kills drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) bacteria in laboratory culture. The finding suggests that vitamin C added to existing TB drugs could shorten TB therapy, and it highlights a new area for drug design.

A New Way to Open Clogged Arteries

May 21, 2013 11:03 am | News | Comments

Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments has drawbacks, including the risk of side effects.

UK Measles Surge Years After Vaccine Scare

May 20, 2013 6:00 am | by MARIA CHENG - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease. This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year.

WHO says single yellow fever shot is enough

May 17, 2013 3:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The World Health Organization says a yellow fever booster vaccination given 10 years after the initial shot isn't necessary. The U.N.'s global health agency said Friday that its expert group on immunization believes a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer lifelong immunity against the disease.

Nanogel Secretes Insulin on Demand

May 16, 2013 11:49 am | News | Comments

Injectable nanoparticles developed at MIT may someday eliminate the need for patients with Type 1 diabetes to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels and inject themselves with insulin. The nanoparticles were designed to sense glucose levels in the body and respond by secreting the appropriate amount of insulin, thereby replacing the function of pancreatic islet cells, which are destroyed in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

New Drug Slows Alzheimer's

May 15, 2013 10:17 am | News | Comments

A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in humans.

India to Offer $1 Rotavirus Vaccine

May 14, 2013 7:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Indian government announced the development of a new low-cost vaccine proven effective against a diarrhea-causing virus that is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths across the developing world. The Indian manufacturer of the new rotavirus vaccine pledged to sell it for $1 a dose, a significant discount from the cost of the current vaccines on the market.

Medicinal Plant Can Treat Anxiety

May 13, 2013 10:17 am | News | Comments

A world-first completed clinical study by an Australian team has found Kava, a medicinal South Pacific plant, significantly reduced the symptoms of people suffering anxiety. The study revealed Kava could be an alternative treatment to pharmaceutical products for those who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD).

Study Reveals How Nerve Axons Self-destruct

May 10, 2013 10:29 am | News | Comments

Many medical issues affect nerves, from injuries in car accidents and side effects of chemotherapy to glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. The common theme in these scenarios is destruction of nerve axons, the long wires that transmit signals to other parts of the body, allowing movement, sight and sense of touch, among other vital functions.

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