Posted: December 29th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Applied Science, Chemically Engineered, Engineered Life, Medicated | Tags: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Research, ELF5 Protien, Garvin Institute, Protein-to-protein Interaction, RNA, Therapeutic Options | No Comments »
Australian researchers have discovered a key factor explaining the lack of effectiveness of some breast cancer treatments. Associate Professor Chris Ormandy from Sydney’s Garvan Institute says a protein he has been studying for a decade plays a critical role in the development of breast cancer.
The researchers have shown how a ‘transcription factor’ causes breast cancer to develop an aggressive subtype that lacks sensitivity to oestrogen and does not respond to anti-oestrogen therapies such as Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors.
Transcription factors are molecules that switch genes on or off. In this case, the transcription factor known as ‘ELF5’ inhibits sensitivity to oestrogen very early in the life of a breast cancer cell :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 3rd, 2012 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Chemically Engineered, Medicated | Tags: Botox, Botox Eases Multiple Sclerosis Tremors, Medical Research, MS, Multiple Sclerosis | No Comments »
Researchers have found that Botox can significantly reduce the severity of tremors in patients with the debilitating inflammatory disease, Multiple Sclerosis.
Researchers injected 23 patients with either Botox or a placebo over six months during the trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. They then videoed the volunteers to see if the botox made a difference.
Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as “disseminated sclerosis” or “encephalomyelitis disseminata”, is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.
Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: May 20th, 2012 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Applied Science, Biomechanic, Chemically Engineered, Science of Green | Tags: artificial leaf, carbon neutral energy, mit, MITs Artificial Leaf, Photocatalytic water splitting, photosynthesis, solar power | No Comments »
Back in July 2011 we published an exciting little post on MIT’s work with artificial leaves - MITs Artificial Leaf - based on a silicon solar cell.
The leaf consists of a thin, flat, three-layered silicon solar cell with catalysts bonded to both faces of the silicon. Placed in water and exposed to sunlight, silicon absorbs photons of sunlight, generating electrons with enough energy to conduct through the silicon.
The process leaves behind positively charged electron vacancies called “holes” that can also move through the material. The holes migrate to a cobalt-containing catalyst painted on one face of the silicon cell, where they strip electrons from water molecules, breaking them into hydrogen ions (H+), and oxygen atoms. The catalyst then knits pairs of oxygens together to make O2. Meanwhile, the H+ ions migrate to another catalyst on the opposite face of the silicon cell, where they combine with conducting electrons to make molecules of H2. In principle, the H2 can then be stored and either burned or run through a fuel cell to generate electricity.
Professor Daniel Nocera’s work has finally borne fruit. Nocera’s team developed the catalyst three years ago, the first practical artificial leaf has now been developed, and this new technology may help to deliver efficient carbon neutral energy to the world’s poor and developing nations.
Building on their previous research, the researchers at MIT in Boston have created an artificial leaf that, unlike earlier devices is made from inexpensive materials, and employs low-cost engineering and manufacturing processes :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 26th, 2012 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Chemically Engineered | Tags: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, Health Warning, Mad Cow Disease, US Beef Producers, US Cattle, US Herds | No Comments »
The US Department of Agriculture – USDA – has reported the country’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy – BSE – in a Californian dairy cow, but stressed the outbreak was contained and no meat had entered the food chain.
The first reported BSE case in North America was in December 1993 from Alberta, Canada.
Canadian Agricultural Authorities reported another case reported in May 2003. The first known U.S. occurrence of BSE came in December of the same year though it was later confirmed that it was a cow of Canadian origin and imported to the U.S. Canada announced two additional cases of BSE from Alberta in early 2005.
In June 2005 Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the United States Department of Agriculture animal health inspection service, confirmed a fully domestic case of BSE in Texas. Dr. Clifford would not identify the ranch, calling that “privileged information”. The 2005 US BSE case caused the nation’s beef exports to drop by nearly $3 billion the following year. BSE cannot be transmitted through milk.
This latest case of BSE was found in a dairy cow on April 23, in California during a planned Agriculture Department surveillance program. United States health authorities were quick to point out that the animal was never a threat to the nation’s food supply and claim that this is an atypical case of BSE caused by “just a random mutation that can happen every once in a great while in an animal” :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 12th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Chemically Engineered, Medicated | Tags: clinical trial data, drug research, Open Access Drug Trials, Tamiflu, Vioxx | No Comments »
Researchers are pushing for pharmaceutical companies to make full data from their clinical trials publicly available, allowing risks and benefits of drugs to be independently analysed. Currently drug research - clinical trial data – is considered commercial confidential information, not a public, social or philanthropic interest. The researchers have documented a number of cases in which access to full trial data would “radically change public knowledge of safety and efficacy” of widely used drugs, including Vioxx and Tamiflu. The researchers point out that there is insufficient evidence that Tamiflu – stockpiled by governments around the globe in 2009, including the Australian Government, to quarantine swine flu – had any preventative effect.
REPORT: Consider the case of the influenza antiviral Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Prior to the global outbreak of H1N1 influenza in 2009, the United States alone had stockpiled nearly US$1.5 billion dollars worth of the antiviral. As the only drug in its class (neuraminidase inhibitors) available in oral form, Tamiflu was heralded as the key pharmacologic intervention for use during the early days of an influenza pandemic when a vaccine was yet to be produced. It would cut hospitalizations and save lives, said the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – ACIP, the group the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses to form national influenza control policy – said it would reduce the chances of developing complications from influenza. So, too, did the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 5th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Biology, Cankler Science News, Chemically Engineered | Tags: Cannabis, Cannabis Blends, Marijuana, Maryjane, Skunk, Synapses, Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, University of Bordeaux | No Comments »
In their latest übercool posting, the journal Cell is reporting that researchers have discovered how maryjane – marijuana – disrupts short term memory. The researchers have picked-up on previously overlooked brain cells that have a crucial role in memory formation. The drug impairs users’ working memory – the ability to retain and use information over short periods of time. Neuroscientists Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, France, and Xia Zhang of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research now show that this common side effect occurs because of a previously unknown signalling mechanism between neurons and non-neuronal cells called astrocytes.
The psychoactive ingredient of marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol – THC. Using microelectrodes implanted into the brains of anaesthetized rats, the researchers found that the compound weakens the connections, or synapses, between neurons in the hippocampus, a structure that is crucial for memory formation. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Chemically Engineered, Science News | Tags: Censorship, Influenza, Killer Flu, Man Made Flu, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, NSABB, science | No Comments »
The journals Science and Nature are as we type and you read, mulling over whether to publish details of a man-made mutant flu virus with the potential to kill millions.
A US government science advisory committee has urged key details be withheld so people seeking to do widespread harm would not be able to replicate the virus.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) reviewed two scientific papers relating to the findings and recommended the journals considering them “make changes in the manuscripts”, a statement said. Read the full article »»»»