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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It is a great irony that alcohol has been almost universally legislated into becoming man's most commonly used recreational drug, as it's also the ONLY drug that causes more harm to others than to the user. This is most evident on our roads, where even in supposedly civilized first world countries with low road tolls, alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of all road deaths and injuries. Now France is attempting a bold solution - from July of this year, it will become law in France to have a working breathalyzer in every car on the road. Don't laugh! The world is fast running out of tolerance for the road toll and tougher laws everywhere are inevitable. Read More
Crabs and lobsters ... they're not just for eating, anymore. Chitin, one of the main components of their exoskeletons, has recently found use in things such as self-healing car paint, biologically-compatible transistors, flu virus filters, and a possible replacement for plastic. Now, something else can be added to that list. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology are developing a technique in which chitin is being used to cheaply produce a currently very-expensive source of antiviral drugs. Read More
Some day, perhaps soon, it's possible that your smartphone could stop you from shutting yourself off from the world, or turning to illicit substances to deal with the stresses of life. Two separate studies are currently under way, looking at how smartphone-enabled technologies could be used to monitor peoples' levels of stress or depression, and then take action to keep them from making the wrong choices. Read More