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Drugs

Researchers liken their breakthrough to a cluster bomb for cancer (Image: KGH and Shutters...

Although chemotherapy is an effective cancer treatment, it’s shotgun approach also damages healthy cells bringing debilitating side effects such as nausea, liver toxicity and a battered immune system. Now a new way to deliver this life-saving therapy to cancer patients by getting straight to the source of the disease has been developed. The researchers responsible for the breakthrough delivery vehicle liken it to a cluster bomb for cancer because of its ability to deliver the drugs directly into cancer cells before releasing its chemotherapeutic payload.  Read More

Dissolving microneedle vaccines: cheaper, less painful, less dangerous and more effective ...

Doctors have been using hypodermic needles for more than 150 years – but syringe vaccinations could be just about to be replaced by a simple patch you can stick on your arm with no medical supervision. The microneedle patches have an array of microscopic needles on them that penetrate the skin just deep enough to dissolve and deliver a vaccine without causing any pain. There's no sharp hazardous waste left over, they're no more expensive than a syringe, and most importantly, tests on mice are showing that microneedle vaccinations are significantly longer-lasting than deeper injections delivered by syringe.  Read More

Printing pills to order will mean safer and faster-acting medicines

Compressed tablets are the most popular dosage form in use today. About two-thirds of all prescriptions are dispensed as solid dosage forms and half of these are compressed tablets. What may surprise many people is that nearly 99.9 percent of most prescription tablets are actually filler. The active ingredient is usually just one thousandth of a pill, so it has to be mixed with other ingredients to make the medicine big enough to pick up and swallow. The second thing that may surprise you is that the underlying production process has remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years ... though quality assurance is a lot better these days. Now researchers are looking at a fundamental shift in methodology which promises to create safer and faster-acting medicines – "printing" pills to order.  Read More

MIT researchers have developed a new way to tune the frequency of lasers that operate in t...

New research out of MIT could lead to smarter airport scanners able to detect the presence of drugs and explosives. At the heart of the development is a new approach to laser tuning designed to harness terahertz rays so that they can be used to determine an object's chemical composition.  Read More

After 24 hours, the cancer cells have taken up chimeric polypeptide-chemo combination (sho...

Blood vessels that supply tumors are more porous than normal vessels, makes nanoscale drug delivery systems a particularly attractive prospect. If properly engineered, nanoparticles can in fact get inside a tumor, targeting it precisely and allowing much higher drug dosages as they reduce side effects to a minimum. Two recent studies featured in the latest issue of the journal Nature Materials specifically address these issues and give us promising leads in the fight against cancer.  Read More

Nanoscale silver particles help trace even the smallest amounts of bomb-making chemicals a...

Sensors that quickly detect chemicals used to make bombs are being developed by scientists at Queen’s University, Belfast. The devices will use special gel pads to "swipe" a person or crime scene to gather a sample which is then analyzed by a scanning instrument that can detect the presence of chemicals within seconds, much quicker than current analysis methods. This will allow better, faster decisions to be made in response to terrorist threats. The team is also working on devices that detect illegal drugs and will hopefully be deployed by police as roadside drug "breathalyzers".  Read More

When heat is applied the nanogel collapses to let the drug pass through

Researchers have developed a drug delivery solution that combines magnetism and nanotechnology to produce a method that offers all the advantages of the various previous methods combined. The new method developed by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Boston is able to repeatedly turn dosing on and off, deliver consistent doses and adjust doses according to the patient’s needs.  Read More

The IsoFlow Isolation Catheter in action.

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, after watching helplessly through his sister's painful and terminal battle with cancer, has spent the last 9 years working on a system that lets doctors cut off blood flow to tumors, isolating them from the rest of the body and allowing the injection of a targeted dose of high intensity chemotherapy. Since the chemo drugs aren't let loose around the rest of the body, the usual devastating side-effects aren't an issue - and the drug dosage at the tumor site can be safely administered at a much higher concentration than usual. The IsoFlow Isolation Catheter has just received FDA marketing approval in the USA.  Read More

Co-authors Tambet Teesalu and Kazuki N. Sugahara proudly display their laboratory-develope...

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed a biological mechanism that can act as an entirely new means of drug delivery, carrying with it the potential to make treating illness even more effective. Rather than simply circulating in the bloodstream, the laboratory-developed peptide can deliver nanoparticles directly into tissue.  Read More

No need to worry, it's just a nuclear blast

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronoth, US and Israeli researchers have developed a drug that offers protection from the damaging effects of radiation sickness. The medication could not only provide effective protection in the event of a nuclear or “dirty bomb” attack, but it could also enable cancer patients to be treated with more powerful doses of radiation.  Read More

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