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Development of new cell models that report circadian clock function

Development of new cell models that report circadian clock function

Researchers at the University of Memphis and University of Pennsylvania report the development of robust new liver and fat cell models that report circadian clock function. These models are amenable to high throughput drug screening and could be used to find promising small molecules to resynchronize or help body clocks function normally. The consequences of modern life, eating and staying up later, shift work, cell phone addiction, and travel across time zones, all disturb internal clocks. Continue reading

Bad penny: Cancer’s thirst for copper can be targeted

Bad penny: Cancer’s thirst for copper can be targeted

Drugs used to block copper absorption for a rare genetic condition may find an additional use as a treatment for certain types of cancer, researchers at Duke Medicine report. The researchers found that cancers with a mutation in the BRAF gene require copper to promote tumor growth. These tumors include melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that kills an estimated 10,000 people in the United States a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Continue reading

Non-invasive imaging instead of repeated biopsy in active monitoring of prostate cancer

Non-invasive imaging instead of repeated biopsy in active monitoring of prostate cancer

Date: April 6, 2014 Source: University of Colorado Denver Summary: A novel method to ‘manipulate the lipid metabolism in the cancer cell to trick them to use more radiolabeled glucose, the basis of PET scanning’ is being described by researchers. The current study used the clinically safe drug etomoxir to block prostate cancer cells’ ability to oxidize lipids. Continue reading

Flipping the switch on scleroderma

Flipping the switch on scleroderma

Scleroderma is a rare and often fatal disease, causing the thickening of tissue, that currently lacks a cure and any effective treatments. A group of researchers, including a Michigan State University professor, is looking to change that. “Our findings provide a new approach to developing better treatment options where few have existed,” said Richard Neubig, chairperson of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine Continue reading

Rural versus urban causes of childhood concussion

Rural versus urban causes of childhood concussion

Researchers at Western University (London, Canada) have found youth living in rural areas are more likely to sustain concussions from injuries involving motorized vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, whereas youth living in urban areas suffer concussions mostly as a result of sports. Hockey accounts for 40 per cent of those injuries. Continue reading

Rural versus urban causes of childhood concussion

Rural versus urban causes of childhood concussion

Researchers at Western University (London, Canada) have found youth living in rural areas are more likely to sustain concussions from injuries involving motorized vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, whereas youth living in urban areas suffer concussions mostly as a result of sports. Continue reading

‘Mini heart’ invented to help return venous blood

‘Mini heart’ invented to help return venous blood

George Washington University (GW) researcher Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a ‘mini heart’ to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient’s own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection Continue reading

New advances in study of megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy

New advances in study of megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy

Several forms of leukodystrophies, genetic degenerative disorders that affect the myelin, are associated with vacuolization of myelin sheaths that enwrap axons of central neurons. Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy (MLC), caused by mutations in MLC1 and GlialCAM , is a rare disease that entails this type of vacuoles Continue reading

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

This alternative approach to creating artificial organic molecules, called bioretrosynthesis, was first proposed four years ago by Brian Bachmann, associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Now Bachmann and a team of collaborators report that they have succeeded in using the method to produce the HIV drug didanosine. The proof of concept experiment is described in a paper published online March 23 by the journal Nature Chemical Biology . Continue reading

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

This alternative approach to creating artificial organic molecules, called bioretrosynthesis, was first proposed four years ago by Brian Bachmann, associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Now Bachmann and a team of collaborators report that they have succeeded in using the method to produce the HIV drug didanosine. The proof of concept experiment is described in a paper published online March 23 by the journal Nature Chemical Biology . Continue reading