Scientists from the University of Alabama (UA) have invented a new and bizarre technique to discover novel natural compounds in cells. It involves human, “zombie-like” cells that are technically no longer alive but their membranes continue to bind different and potentially useful compounds in samples. This technique may allow scientists to screen natural products for drugs at a faster pace.
Scientists hope an end to the Aids epidemic could be in sight after eight years long study found men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by antiretroviral drugs had no chance of infecting their partner. Not a single one of the HIV-negative men contracted the virus from their partner. The success of the medicine is notable and raises hope. If everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections.
Researchers from the University of California have modified brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to manufacture cannabis compounds including the psychoactive chemical THC in a world’s first. This technology could soon provide researchers with cheaper, more efficient and reliable access to medicinal cannabis compounds that are found in trace amounts in nature.
Humans are social beings and loneliness can have a lasting impact on our physical well-being. According to scientists from the Brain Dynamics Lab, modern life is leading people toward greater isolation which can trigger many disorders. Their plan is to tackle loneliness with medication, and doing so, prevent the onset of harsher psychological problems that may follow.
Researchers have taken an interest in a euphorbia plant growing in Marocco as a possible painkiller. The plant’s active ingredient, resiniferatoxin (RTX), is extremely spicy, a 10,000 times hotter than the world’s hottest pepper. RTX is a potent analog of capsaicin, the active ingredient in chilli peppers, and has numerous benefits over existing painkillers. It doesn’t require frequent dosing, targets only the areas causing pain, and doesn’t produce a potentially addictive high. All this makes it a promising candidate for the clinics.
An international team of researchers detected a vast sixty-nine pharmaceutical compounds in stream insects. When these insects emerge as flying adults, they can pass these drugs further to spiders, fish, birds, bats, and other streamside foragers. This way, drug pollution moves up food webs and in some cases exposes even top predators to therapeutically-effective doses.
A group of major American hospitals established a nonprofit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to battle long-lasting shortages of critical medicines and their high prices. Their goals are providing stable supplies for 14 generic drugs used in hospitals and price transparency. This will allow hospitals to save time and money while providing patients with better health care.
Men are still limited to only a few forms of birth control. Scientists are making constant progress but the birth control pill or any other hormonal contraceptives for men are still years away from being safe, reversible, and broadly available. In the past, low demand and focus on women contraceptives partly limited development. Now, more and more men want to take control over their own fertility.
Researchers from Indiana University (IU) have made the first direct visual observation of bacteria taking up foreign DNA from its surrounding. It is a key step in their process of rapidly evolving new traits, including troublesome drug resistance. The new methods developed by the researchers provided them with the ability to catch this mechanism on film.
The class of drugs currently prescribed to treat male erectile dysfunction has the potential to be repurposed for use in cancer treatment. Cancer specialists would like to prescribe existing medications like Viagra and Cialis since they are affordable and approved for use, thus save significant research money otherwise spent on expensive drug discovery.