Chief Technology Officer

Shark Cartilage Does Not Treat Lung Cancer, Study Shows

Scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that an extract of shark cartilage, AE-941, is not a beneficial therapeutic agent for those with advanced non-small cell lung cancer when used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy. The results, which principal investigator Charles Lu presented this week at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, contradict both preclinical studies and popular belief.

Heavy Snoring Affects Neurotransmitter Involved in Alzheimer's

Are you a heavy snorer? You could be affecting your own health in addition to your partner's beauty sleep. Researchers from the University of Leeds in Great Britain recently discovered that a build-up of glutamate, a neurotransmitter, in brain cells called astrocytes, contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease, as well as the cellular process that allows the chemical to collect. Glutamate forms when the brain does not have access to enough oxygen, such as during a stroke or even during heavy snoring. The team published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Laser Technique Shows Cancer on Inner Layers of Skin

Summer beach-goers soaking up the sun without wearing sunscreen can rest a little easier. Scientists at Duke University have developed a device which uses two lasers to obtain high-quality images up to a millimeter under the skin. Both researchers and doctors hope to use the device to make diagnosis of cancerous skin cells, or melanomas, a non-invasive process.

Self-exploding capsules enable timed drug delivery

Researchers at Ghent University and the Université catholique de Louvain have developed "self-exploding" microcapsules which release drugs at a desired time after ingested. Now one can inject drugs and vaccines weeks or months before the body needs its activity. These findings appear in the January 9, 2006 issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Biomacromolecules.

New Research Provides Clues to Eliminating Cancer Permanently

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered a thorough way to target and beat cancer in patients by not only attacking the majority of the tumor and the rapidly proliferating cells, but also by eliminating the small group of tumor-initiating, drug resistant cells that survive current cancer treatments, known as "cancer stem cells." This research provides clues to why cancer patients, after being treated with current therapies, still experience relapses.

Got Allergies? Don't Try to Wash Them Away!

Most people have heard of one form or another of the "hygiene hypothesis," whereby the cause of allergies is linked to our high degree of cleanliness and our immune system's resulting oversensitivity to infection. However, researchers at University College London's Institute of Child Health have uncovered another piece of the allergy puzzle--the overuse of harsh soap and skin care products may be a more direct cause of allergic diseases such as eczema. According to research published in the journal Trends in Immunology, these products remove a protective layer of skin and increase people's vulnerability to allergic diseases.

Virus Able to Transmit Genes in Deafness Therapy

Scientists are one step closer to correcting hearing disorders like deafness using genetic engineering. Last week, researchers at the University of Virginia, led by Dr. Jeffrey Holt, published a report in the journal Gene Therapy which outlined a method for potentially repairing damaged hair cells, the cells in ears responsible for converting sound into electrical signals, by using a virus.

Influence of protein VIVID on Circadian clocks

The capability of proteins to capture photons and convert the signals to longer duration and greater amplitude changes has captured the interest of Cornell University and Darthmouth College scientists. Studies on the fungus Neurospora crassa have proven how minute changes in one's genetic makeup could stimulate a series of protein modifications that ultimately account for noticeable difference in behavior in correspondence to altered biological rhythms.

Growing Body Parts: Artificial Blood Vessels from Muscle-Derived Stem Cells

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed artificial blood vessels that may revolutionize the way patients with heart and kidney disease receive treatment. The findings, which were presented at a conference of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) on June 15, move away from traditional vessel grafting procedures to reveal a novel technique utilizing muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs).

Balance Organ Indicates How Extinct Species Moved

Researchers have discovered a relationship between an animal's style of locomotion and the dimensions of the semicircular canals of its inner ear, an organ that controls balance. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could allow scientists to predict more accurately how extinct species moved and develop a more complete history of the evolution of different forms of movement.

Genes May Determine Asthma Medication

Researchers from the University of Dundee have identified the gene which produces the protein filaggrin. Defects in this protein are known to cause asthma and eczema, and now scientists have found that such defects could affect the day-to-day amount of treatment needed for children or young adults with asthma, potentially greatly reducing the medications patients need.

Researchers Study Arctic Hydrothermal Vents

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) will embark on a forty day voyage to the Arctic Ocean next week in an attempt to study a mid-ocean ridge recently discovered to have hydrothermal vents. Using newly-designed, underwater, unmanned vehicles, they hope to be the first scientists to find signs of life in the seemingly uninhabited Gakkel Ridge, close to the geographic North Pole. If successful, their research could provide another dimension to the biodiversity that exists on Earth.

The World through a Whisker: Brain Plasticity in the Wake of Sensory Loss

Neuroscientists have long been fascinated by the brain's remarkable ability to adapt to traumatic changes in body structure,the loss of a limb, for instance. New findings show that the brain can also respond to the loss of sensory organs, and in unexpected ways. This finding could have a profound impact on the way doctors treat patients suffering from sensory damage following a stroke or other brain injury.

MDMA - The Ecstasy

MDMA - The Ecstasy

MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, has rapidly become one of the four major illicit drugs in the U.S.,along with marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. During the 1990s, its use spread from the rave subculture to a more general high school and college audience. Despite its reputation as a relatively benign drug, data from animal and human studies suggest that MDMA may cause brain damage after just a few doses,unlike 'harder' drugs like cocaine and heroin, which take years to damage brain tissue.