Snakebite at first glance does not seem to be a problem, which should concern a modern human. Despite numerous achievements in the field of pharmacology, it is however among the most neglected diseases of our era.
Grim statistics provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) show that, each year, 5 million bites occur, leading to 150,000 deaths and a striking 400,000 amputations. The lucky ones who manage to avoid a deadly outcome of snakebite envenoming are often mentally and physically scarred for life.
Consciousness has been defined as awareness, a person’s ability to experience and feel, an enigma that defies explanation. The nature of consciousness intrigued philosophers and psychologists for thousands of years. Modern neuroscience is giving some answers that could lighten the physical source of our consciousness and some promising fundamental theories are being established.
European researchers demonstrated that a low dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active substance of cannabis, profoundly reduced age-related cognitive impairment in mice. The drug increased behavioural performance and rejuvenated the elderly brain, closely resembling that of young, untreated animals.
US researchers just discovered a novel gene associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that compromises motor neuron function in mice and zebrafish. The UBQLN4 genetic variant impairs nerve development through the excessive accumulation of beta-catenin, a realization that opens a new window for targeted treatment of ALS.
The future of molecular diagnostics is looking particularly bright as international teams of researchers and entrepreneurs make profound headway in the development of disease-sensing instruments.
Scientists have managed to completely eliminate the HIV virus in living mice using the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. They have demonstrated how it excises the viral DNA from the host animal and prevents further infection, providing hope that it could one day benefit humans.
A new clinical study showed that cannabidiol, a common compound found in cannabis, could help reduce seizures in epilepsy patients by more than 40 percent. The 14 weeks treatment proved very beneficial both in adults and children suffering from severe epilepsy known as LGS.
Researchers at Harvard University developed an effective personalized cancer vaccine that seems to have prevented early tumour relapse in 12 skin cancer patients. The vaccine targeted 20 tumour-specific proteins unique to each of the patients enrolled, keeping all free of cancer over 2 years after the trial.
A group of US researchers proposed a cutting edge alternative for eliminating resilient bacteria in the form of a “CRISPR pill”. The drug can specifically target harmful bugs using a combination of bacteria-seeking viruses and a cocktail of probiotics, making it more potent than most antibiotics.
Researchers at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) have discovered that stevia stimulates a protein that is essential for our perception of taste and is involved in the release of insulin after a meal. These results create new possibilities for the treatment of diabetes.