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Vaccines

A very promising vaccine candidate for HIV/AIDS has shown the ability to completely clear the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a very aggressive form of HIV that leads to AIDS in monkeys. Developed at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), the vaccine proved successful in about fifty percent of the subjects tested and could lead to a human vaccine preventing the onset of HIV/AIDS and even cure patients currently on anti-retroviral drugs. Read More
While it’s vitally important to bring vaccines for diseases such as tuberculosis to developing nations, getting them there is only part of the challenge. Because these countries often have unreliable infrastructures, it’s entirely possible that the vaccines can’t consistently be kept as cold as is required. As a result, they could be rendered ineffective. Now, however, scientists from King’s College London have succeeded in containing a dried live vaccine in a microneedle array, that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Read More
Taking a two-month-old in for vaccination shots and watching them get stuck with six needles in rapid succession can be painful for child and parent alike. If the work of an MIT team of researchers pans out, those needles may be thing of the past thanks to a new dissolvable polymer film that allows the vaccination needle to be replaced with a patch. This development will not only make vaccinations less harrowing, but also allow for developing and delivering vaccines for diseases too dangerous for conventional techniques. Read More
A familiar news topic during the flu season is the difficulties that the authorities face in producing enough flu vaccine fast enough to control the outbreak. That’s a serious enough problem, but when the influenza outbreak turns out to be the start of a global pandemic, then hundreds of millions of lives could be at risk. To combat this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a new way of making vaccines that has turned out 10 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine in a month, in a recent test run. Read More
Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. Read More
Taking the “ouch” out of injections is a worthy endeavor, but what if they could be avoided entirely? New research conducted at Royal Holloway, University of London offers the hope of achieving just this, by using a bacterium to deliver a vaccine which can be administered via nasal spray, oral liquid, capsule, or small soluble film placed under the tongue, thus reducing the risk of spreading infectious diseases like HIV. Read More
Despite the misgivings that many people have surrounding cow’s milk, it is a good source of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Now, thanks to scientists at Melbourne University, special milk may also be used to protect people from HIV. Working with the Australian biotechnology company Immuron Ltd, a team led by Dr. Marit Kramski has vaccinated pregnant cows with an HIV protein – the first milk that those animals produced after giving birth contained HIV-disabling antibodies. Read More
Although some medications just don’t work when taken orally, the fact is that nobody likes getting injections. Research being conducted at MIT, however, could lead to a new painless method of drug delivery via the skin. Harsh though it might sound, it involves using ultrasound to blast off the outer layer of skin, so that drugs can then get into the bloodstream. Read More
Nobody likes getting their shots, but whether childhood immunization, annual flu vaccination, or whatever else, we're required to undergo the uncomfortable sensation of needle piercing skin multiple times throughout our lives. However, a new laser-based system promises to take the “ouch” out of injections by delivering shots as painlessly as being struck by a puff of air. Read More
Most people probably know that plaque buildup in the arteries surrounding the heart is one of the major causes of heart disease. The reason that the plaque does accumulate, however, is often due to an inflammation of the artery walls. Recently, scientists from California’s La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology were able to identify the type of immune cells responsible for that inflammation. With this knowledge in hand, they now hope to be able to develop a vaccine for heart disease. Read More
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