Thursday, July 2, 2009

And a Few Thoughts Before I Go

I leave on a 12 hour ferry ride tonight to go celebrate Fourth of July with family, so I will be offline for the weekend. I know you'll miss me, but here is some news to keep you company on those long, lonely nights.

- Little kids know to fear two things: needles and ear infections. (Why? Because they hurt.) Good news for the little ones though: new research is paving the way for a vaccine for Otitis media. Not only that, it's completely needle free! Dr. Lauren Bakaletz, (director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital) is working in collaboration with John Clements (Tulane University School of Medicine) to develop the droplet vaccine, which has already had successful trial on chinchillas.
Learn how it works @

- Scientists have uncovered potential hope in Alzheimer medication development. They discovered evidence that a cluster of peptides may be responsible for the devastating disease. The peptide, Amyloid Beta 42, is part of the Amyloid Precursor Protein. It grows to form six unit rings, a pair of which is called a "dodecamer," which over time may rearrange itself into B-sheet structures. These B-sheets lead to the fibrils that form brain plaque, a tell-tale sign of Alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Learn more @

- Alheimer's patients have even more reason to rejoice, as researchers at the University of South Florida and James A. Haley Hospital have discovered a link between memory decline and blood stem cell growth factor. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF) is responsible for stimulating blood stem cell growth in the bone marrow. New evidence indicates that it also seems to reverse memory impairment.
Don't forget to check it out @
And @

- While some researchers are playing with peptides, or stimulating growth factors, Sanford researchers are looking for genes related to schizophrenia. Some diseases, such as Huntingtons, can be traced to a single genetic defect. Schizophrenia is difficult because it is believed to involve various interactions among a multitude of genes. But modern technology has finally pinpointed schizophrenia to a specific chromosomal region.
Follow the maddness @

- Do you love playing in the sun, but fear the deadly wrath of melanoma? Well, with a death toll of nearly 50000 a year, no wonder you're afraid. Hope is right over the horizon though, in the form of a knight in shining armor known as: Herpes!
It sounds like a pretty grim decision - herpes or skin cancer - but researchers are using a modified type of herpes virus in the fight against melanoma. Known as viral-gene therapy, they inject the virus into the tumor to kill it. So far, the results are fairly mixed, and the procedue is still undergoing clinical trials.
Learn more @

- Our poor DNA undergoes so much abuse throughout our life that it has developed an impressive repair system, which even goes as far as telling the cell to commit suicide if it cannot fix the damage. This unique biochemical system holds hope for cancer researchers who hope to learn the secret behind these suicide signals and apply it cancer cells, limiting their reproduction and growth.
To learn more about DNA repair, go to

- While we know that antibiotics disrupt our normal civilization of internal microbes, University of Michigan scientists are studying the extent of the disruption, and finding that it may take up to weeks before our internal microbes return to normal.
Enjoy the science @

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