Candy With Benefits: An Anesthetic Lollipop

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that is often administered intravenously or by subcutaneous injection. Recently, however, researchers from the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in Lebanon found a more delectable way to package lidocaine,in a lollipop. For patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy procedures, lidocaine lollipops were found to completely eliminate the need for additional sedation. Previously, patients undergoing upper endoscopy procedures were anesthetized with a lidocaine spray. Although lidocaine lollipops have been used previously in children, they have never been reported for use by adults.

Protein Mimics Trap HIV Virus in a Cellular Box

HIV has killed over 25 million people since its emergence in late 1981. The virus' resilience comes from mutations – there could be thousands of different HIV strains in a single patient, each with their own resistance to treatments. Research teams from the University of Zurich and the University of Washington have potentially developed a new class of drugs to treat the pandemic Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Einstein's "Blunder" is Right, After All

An international research team is currently working to test Einstein's long-ago dismissed theory of a cosmological constant, noted by Einstein himself as being his "biggest blunder." In the project ESSENCE, this group of scientists is studying supernovae to see whether the accelerating force of the universe, known as "dark energy," is related to Einstein's postulation.

Fragile X Syndrome Mechanism discovered

Dr. Nissim Benvenisty and Dr. Rachel Eiges from the Hebrew University Department of Genetics in Jerusalem, Israel, and Dr. Dalit Ben-Yosef from the in vitro fertilization unit at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have determined the order of events that lead to Fragile X syndrome early in development by using a line of embryonic stem cells carryiwwwng the mutation for the syndrome. The results are published in the November issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Schizophrenia Genes Favoured by Natural Selection

Schizophrenia is commonly known as one of the most horrific mental illnesses, but new research has suggested that it is also the inevitable outcome of human creativity. According to data published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B earlier this month, genes which predispose to schizophrenia may have been favoured by natural selection. Lead author Bernard Crespi, professor of evolutionary biology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and his colleagues concluded that "schizophrenia represents, in part, a maladaptive by-product of adaptive changes during human evolution".

The emergence of the robot brain

The first artificial mind is closer than we think: it is already here. Many researchers have built many different types of thinking machines, and none so far have come to become the thinking, feeling, song-singing machines that we might expect. But scientist have given the next generation of robot new, remarkable features, the foremost being the ability to remember and to guess. These abilities, though are present in even the most simplistic mammal, have already made improvements to the functions and performance of today's robots.

Improving the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Advances in the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) are giving hope to physicians, patients, and family members for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Researchers led by Dr. Howard Feldman, Head of the Division of Neurology at the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine, have developed new guidelines for the diagnosis of AD based primarily on the structure of the brain. AD may now be diagnosed when patients are experiencing only slight to mild degrees of cognitive impairment; an improvement on current guidelines which often delay treatment until severe dementia has already set in.

DECEMBER : AIDS AWARENESS MONTH - HIV/AIDS: Yesterday, Today, and Beyond

DECEMBER : AIDS AWARENESS MONTH - HIV/AIDS: Yesterday, Today, and Beyond

Despite twenty-six years of research, activism, and education, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to affect the lives of millions worldwide. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), estimates that by the end of 2006, approximately 32.7 million adults and 2.3 million children were living with HIV. Sadly the same year, UNAIDS also estimates that 4.3 million people were newly infected with HIV, and that about 2.9 million people died from AIDS. (1) Although, the treatment and prevention plans of today offer hope to some, there is still much to be done to combat this deadly disease.

Recent advances in solar energy and potential applications

Recent advances in solar energy and potential applications

Oil prices near $100US per barrel, and home heating this winter makes a significant dent in your wallet. The rising demand for fossil fuels has driven a surge in the cost of oil, and has forced consumers to look for ways to reduce their energy utility bill. Aside from energy conservation practices, alternative energy sources could mean lower energy bills in the long run.

Snail offers clues to improve anesthetics

Evolution has been very conservative. For example, it is hard to believe how closely our nervous system resembles that of marine snails, tiny slimy creatures. The marine snail, has approximately 20,000 neurons in its central nervous system; humans have approximately one trillion. The large brain cells of this animal make it easy to study the effects of one cell in relation to another. Taking advantage of this simplicity and similarity at the cellular level, scientists have relied on the snail as a model to learn about anesthetics.

The Role of Streptococcus mutans And Oral Ecology in the Formation of Dental Caries

Although it is one of the most common ailments on the planet, dental caries, more a complex interplay of factors, especially patient diet and the presence commonly known as cavities, remains a poorly understood disease. Caries are caused by of the bacteria Streptococcus mutans on the teeth. In spite of the fact that poor dental health has been linked to multiple full-body conditions and diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Heart Disease, and that eighty percent of all American adolescents will be diagnosed with caries, there are still few successful preventative treatments. Rampant caries diseases are especially common among lower-income populations, such as the devastating pediatric disease Early Childhood Caries, which has reported rates of as high as ninety percent in some subpopulations. Recent research into the intricate microbial ecology of the mouth and the other risk factors that may play a role in caries formation has provided insight into new treatment and prevention possibilities for this extremely common infectious disease.

Can Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Enhance α-synuclein Toxicity in a Yeast Model of Parkinson's Disease?

Can Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Enhance α-synuclein Toxicity in a Yeast Model of Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is characterized by the progressive death of dopaminergic neurons in the human brain. The misfolding and aggregation of α-synuclein, as well as the presence of reactive oxygen species, are thought to contribute to this cellular toxicity. The mechanism of interaction between these two pathways is unknown. Mitochondrial dysfunction, specifically, incomplete respiratory metabolism and loss of antioxidant enzymes, has long been implicated as the culprit for oxidant accumulation.