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— Science

Fluorescent nanotubes used for imaging of internal organs

By - June 25, 2011 1 Picture
Mice are frequently used as lab models when testing new drugs, and fluorescent dyes are sometimes injected into their bodies so that researchers can better see how those drugs are progressing through their systems. Unfortunately, the pictures obtained in this process start to become murky when imaging anything more than a few millimeters beneath the skin. Scientists from Stanford University have now devised a system that utilizes fluorescent carbon nanotubes to produce clear color images of organs that are located centimeters within a mouse's body. Read More
— Medical

Communicating nanoparticles that target tumors more efficiently

By - June 22, 2011 1 Picture
To minimize the toxic effects of chemotherapy, many researchers have been working to develop nanoparticles that that deliver drugs directly to tumors. But researchers at MIT claim that even the best of these nanoparticles are typically only able to deliver about one percent of the drug to their intended target. Now, a team has developed a new delivery system that sees a first wave of nanoparticles homing in on a tumor that then calls in a larger second wave that dispenses the cancer drug. In a mouse study, the new approach was found to boost drug delivery to tumors by over 40-fold. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Johns Hopkins study finds Psilocybin dosage 'sweet spot' for positive and lasting effects

By - June 21, 2011 3 Pictures
The use of mushrooms by man for practical, culinary or recreational purposes is said to date back to at least Paleolithic times, with perhaps the best-known variety in recent times being Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric. Nibbling on one side of this fungus made Alice grow in size and the other made her shrink, leading to some rather bizarre adventures and inspiring one of my favorite songs - White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. The favored psychoactive mushrooms of the drop-out 1960s, though, were members of the Psilocybe genus. Researchers now believe that they have found the optimum dose of the pure chemical found in those so-called magic mushrooms, a level which offers maximum therapeutic value with little risk of having a bad trip. Read More
— Robotics

UC San Francisco hospital integrating robotic pharmacy

By - March 11, 2011 6 Pictures
The University of California at San Francisco Medical Center is now starting to use robots, not humans, to dispense medication from its hospital pharmacy. While robots are often brought into workplaces as a cost-cutting measure, UCSF claims that in this case, it's to minimize the chances of patients receiving the wrong medication. So far, it seems to be working out well – out of 350,000 doses of oral and injectable medication prepared to date, not a single error has occurred. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Sea sponges and the fight against cancer

By - February 27, 2011 1 Picture
Psammaplin A is a naturally occurring chemical found in the sea sponge that has been found to block several components that are involved in the growth and division of cancer cells. Dr Matthew Fucher and his team at Imperial College London have developed a new, and inexpensive way of manufacturing psammaplin A, and is using synthetic variations of the chemical to better understand its anti-cancer properties, which will help them in future efforts to create anti-cancer drugs. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Can testosterone improve cognition in older women?

By - February 17, 2011 1 Picture
For women, the onset of midlife brings with it an array of distressing symptoms related to changes in hormone levels. The risk of dementia increases with age – particularly after the mid-60s – memory loss is a frequent complaint and quality of life is compromised as a result. Using a novel "patchless" patch method of drug delivery, researchers have been investigating whether restoring testosterone levels in older women to those of younger women will improve brain function and ultimately protect against dementia. Read More
— Science

Armor for nano drug release vehicles inspired by plankton

By - February 1, 2011 3 Pictures
One of the promising areas in the field of nanomedicine is the development of vesicles – microscopic polymer sacs, designed to deliver a payload of medication to specific sites in the body. Unfortunately, the body’s immune system often sees these vesicles as intruders, sending antibodies to thwart them in their mission. Now, drawing inspiration from plankton and bacteria, chemists from the University of Warwick are developing armor coatings that should help vesicles to withstand or avoid those attacks. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Would you like statins with that burger?

By - January 27, 2011 1 Picture
A study from researchers at Imperial College London seriously suggests that it may be wise for fast food outlets to provide statin drugs free of charge with the condiments, so that customers can neutralize the heart disease dangers of fatty food. Statins are a class of drugs that can reduce the amount of "LDL" cholesterol in the blood. Some data suggests that this reduction is accompanied by a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke. Read More
— Medical

Magnetic pill could boost body's absorption of drugs

By - January 18, 2011 1 Picture
Many people take pills to help manage or cure serious illness, and some of these life-saving drugs can only be absorbed in very specific parts of the intestine. The problem with oral administration is that pills often don’t dissolve at exactly the right site in the gastrointestinal tract where medicine can be absorbed into the bloodstream. A new drug delivery system developed by scientists at Brown University uses a magnetic gelatin capsule and an external magnet that can precisely sense the force between it and the pill and vary that force, as needed, to hold the pill in place. The team has successfully used the technology with rats and in future it could provide a new way to deliver many drugs to humans, including those with cancer or diabetes. Read More

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