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Drugs

— Health and Wellbeing

Smartphone tech battles drug abuse and depression

By - February 10, 2012 2 Pictures
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
— Health and Wellbeing

New drug could be the first to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease

By - December 18, 2011 1 Picture
Anyone who has watched as Alzheimer’s disease robs a friend or family member of their memories and faculties before ultimately claiming their life knows just what a truly horrible disease it is. According to the World Health Organization, it is the fourth leading cause of death in high-income countries and, due to an aging worldwide population, it is predicted to affect one in 85 people worldwide by 2050 – unless a treatment can be found. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have high hopes for a new drug they have developed that has improved memory and prevented brain damage in mice and is a promising candidate for the first drug capable of halting the progression of Alzheimer’s in humans. Read More
— Science

Prototype device detects drug use via fingerprints

By - November 10, 2011 1 Picture
Fingerprints have been used to confirm or determine peoples' identities for over one hundred years now, but new technology is allowing them to be put to another use - drug testing. Intelligent Fingerprinting (a spin-off company affiliated with the UK's University of East Anglia) has just unveiled a prototype portable device that can detect the presence of illicit drugs or other substances in a person's system by analyzing the sweat in their fingerprints. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

AeroShot delivers aerosol caffeine hit without the calories or coffee breath

By - October 23, 2011 9 Pictures
Science fiction movies would have us believe that, in the future, pills (or possibly green wafers) will meet all our nutritional needs, but Harvard professor David Edwards sees things a little differently. Having already introduced the Le Whif chocolate inhaler, Edwards has now turned his attention to the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug - caffeine. The AeroShot Pure Energy delivers a fine powder containing vitamin B and 100 mg of caffeine that dissolves instantly in the mouth. That's around the same amount of caffeine found in one large cup of coffee ... without the calories or coffee breath. Read More
— Medical

New treatment triggers cancer cells to produce their own anti-cancer medication

By - September 25, 2011 1 Picture
We’ve previously looked at the development of cancer treatments that deliver drugs directly into cancer cells before releasing their chemotherapeutic payload to reduce the damage done to healthy cells. But a new protein “switch” approach developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University changes the game again by instructing cancer cells to produce their own cancer medication, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy tissue. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Ecstasy could be redesigned as potent cancer treatment

By - August 23, 2011 1 Picture
Six years ago, researchers at the University of Birmingham discovered that more than half of the cancers of white blood cells they looked at responded in the test tube to the growth-suppressing properties of psychotropic drugs, including amphetamine derivatives such as ecstasy and weight-loss pills, and antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac). Building on this previous work, the researchers have now discovered a modified form of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, they claim has 100 times more cancer-busting properties than the designer drug itself. Read More
— Science

MIT microparticle-making technique opens up biomedical possibilities

By - August 22, 2011 1 Picture
Whether you want to deliver medication to specific cells or create scaffolds for building artificial tissues, currently one of the best media for doing so are polymer microparticles filled with drugs or cells. Traditionally, it has only been possible to make such particles in a few shapes, out of a few materials, and/or with only one layer of “cargo” inside. A new technique developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), however, could see multilayered microparticles being made in many shapes, from a wider variety of materials. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New antiviral drug could cure nearly any viral infection – including the common cold

By - August 10, 2011 1 Picture
While not delivering a knockout blow, the discovery of penicillin in 1928 provided a potent weapon in the fight against a wide range of bacterial infections. The quest to develop a similarly broad-spectrum drug to fight viral infections has proven more difficult but now researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory have designed a drug that has so far proven effective against all 15 viruses it has been tested on. These include rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever. Read More
— Science

Researchers develop pocket-sized “date rape” drug detector

By - August 9, 2011 1 Picture
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, around 200,000 women were raped in the U.S. in 2007 with the aid of a “date rape” drug – and because so many cases go unreported, the actual figure is believed to be 80 to 100 percent higher. GHB is one of the most commonly used drugs because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible when dissolved in water. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences have developed an easy-to-use sensor that, when dipped into a cocktail, can instantly detect GHB and another commonly used date rape drug, ketamine. Read More
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