Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the prophylactic use of the antiviral d...

While there are many methods for preventing HIV transmission that work in principle (abstinence, safe sex, monogamy to some extent), in practice efforts to prevent new HIV infections have reached a plateau - about 50 thousand new cases are reported every year in the United States and no progress has been made on reducing this number for at least 15 years, with the overall rate of infection remaining stable since at least 2004. In response to the almost complete lack of effective prevention methods, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has now approved the prophylactic use of the anti-retroviral combination drug Truvada, to reduce the risk of people acquiring HIV.  Read More

A new cancer treatment targeting cellular 'protein factories' is set to begin clinical tri...

Researchers at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum (Peter Mac) Cancer Centre are set to begin clinical trials of a cancer treatment they say represents a major shift in molecular approaches to treating the disease. The treatment, which has proven successful in the lab against lymphoma and leukemia cells, targets the production of proteins within the heart of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively unaffected.  Read More

The computer model uses “similarity ensemble approach” (SEA), to detect similarities betwe...

A team of scientists from the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) and SeaChange Pharmaceuticals has developed a set of computer models that can predict negative side effects associated with existing drugs. By speeding up the process and increasing accuracy, the software could potentially save billions in research and decrease the number of animals used in toxicity tests.  Read More

Mice injected with human Epo were motivated to exercise more (Photo: Shutterstock)

If listening to Eye of The Tiger at full bore isn’t enough to get you off your backside to blast those glutes and pump those biceps anymore, then drugs might be the answer. A team of Swiss researchers has discovered that raising the levels of the hormone erythropoietin (Epo) in the brains of mice resulted in the rodents being more motivated to exercise. The discovery provides the possibility of developing a pill that can motivate people to want to exercise.  Read More

The core of the jet-injection device, which uses a Lorentz-force actuator to deliver a rna...

Those of us with an aversion to needles can soon go to the doctor with a little less trepidation. That is if a new device developed by a team of MIT researchers becomes available at your local medical facility. The device uses a Lorentz-force actuator to create an adjustable high-pressure jet that is ejected out of a nozzle as wide as a mosquito's proboscis, penetrating the skin to deliver highly controlled doses at different depths.  Read More

The nanobubbles are short-lived events that expand and burst, thus creating a small hole i...

U.S. researchers are developing a promising new approach to the targeting of individual cancer cells. The technique uses light-harvesting nanoparticles to convert laser energy into “plasmonic nanobubbles,” enabling drugs to be injected directly into the cancer cells through small holes created in the surface. Researchers claim that the delivery of chemotherapy drugs in this way is up to 30 times more effective on cancer cells than traditional drug treatments and requires less than one-tenth the clinical dose.  Read More

Gold nanostars like these are able to deliver drugs directly into the nucleus of cancer ce...

While effective at killing cancer cells, chemotherapy is currently a shotgun approach that can also harm healthy cells and cause serious side effects in patients. The ability to deliver drugs directly into cancer cells would provide a more targeted approach to more effectively treat the disease with lower doses of drugs and less side effects. Researchers at Northwestern University are claiming to be the first to develop gold nanostars that provide a much more precise approach by delivering a drug directly to a cancer cell’s nucleus.  Read More

The beta-blocking medication propanol could also block subconscious racist attitudes.

Although racism is widely believed to be a learned behavior, findings from an Oxford University team suggest that taking a heart disease medication may also help mute subconscious racist attitudes in individuals. Researchers gave the drug propranolol to 18 subjects, and placebos to a control group of the same size. Those that received the drug scored markedly lower on a standard test that measures subconscious racial bias. Does this mean we could one day see a pill to counter racist tendencies?  Read More

Adding two new chemical groups to regular aspirin (pictured) results in NOSH-aspirin that ...

What began as an effort to make aspirin safer for regular use may have resulted in a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer. Scientists from The City College of New York (CCNY) have developed a new aspirin compound that is safer than the classic medicine cabinet staple, but also exhibits greatly enhanced anticancer properties.  Read More

Ball and stick model of dextromethorphan - gray are carbon atoms, white are hydrogen, blue...

Sir James W. Black, M.D., F.R.S., the recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine once said, "The easiest way to find a drug is to start with one." Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. obviously subscribe to Black's view as they have recently announced an exclusive license agreement that gives Avanir worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Concert's deuterium-modified dextromethorphan (d-DXM) for the potential treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.  Read More

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