Posts Tagged ‘disease’

Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Posted on June 17th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Us humans are always looking for the easy way out. If we can get someone else to do our dirty work for us, so much the better, which is why drug dealers rely on mules to ship merchandise for them. One of the trickiest things to do in medical science is smuggling drugs or nanoprobes into the body to the specific area they are required. Many of these probes and drugs are considered foreign objects to the body, and as such will be removed by the body’s equivilent of a customs officer – the white blood cells. Many treatments are…

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Top banana fights fungal infection

Posted on May 28th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Top banana fights fungal infection

A new genetically modified strain of banana resistant to a fungal disease may help boost profit yields for some of the poorest farmers in East Africa. For the past 30 years, the humble banana has been under attack from a fungal invader known as Black sigatoga disease. Caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, it causes dark leaf spots which eventually kill the plant, decimating fruit yields. The disease has spread throughout East Africa by airborne spores or from contaminated fruit being exported. The team from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Laboratories Institute added genes for chitinase – a protein that breaks…

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Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Posted on February 26th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

A new type of vaccine for pneumonia based on genetically engineered bacteria has been developed, and may help in the fight against many other infectious diseases. The vaccine, which protects against a virulent form of the bacterium Streptococcus pnuemoniae, works by introducing a modified form of the bacterium that produces less pneumolysin – a toxic protein that damages blood vessels in the lungs and interferes with the immune system. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the genetic sequence that codes for the pneumolysin protein and, using computer algorithms, created a modified gene which would decrease the amount…

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Evolution of antibiotic resistance mapped

Posted on February 3rd 2011 in News with Comments Off on Evolution of antibiotic resistance mapped

The genomes of hundreds of bacterial strains that cause pneumonia have been sequenced and may lead to new antibiotics and vaccines. 240 lineages of multidrug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected from around the world and their genomes sequenced in order to understand how the bacteria came to be so virulent. The research, published in the journal Science this week, compared the genetic sequences with the geographic locations of each specimen to produce a map of the major evolutionary events that have led to the diversity we see today. The team of scientists also pinpointed Europe as the probable birthplace of…

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Research uncovers genetic clues to a multitude of brain disorders

Posted on January 31st 2011 in News with Comments Off on Research uncovers genetic clues to a multitude of brain disorders

New research has revealed the genetic origins of 133 brain disorders, paving the way for new ways of diagnosis and treatment for some of the most common debilitating diseases. The findings come as part of a pioneering study into the genetic and chemical makeup of synapses, the parts of neurons that connect neighbouring cells together. The scientists identified 1,461 proteins that make up the post-synaptic density (PSD) – an area that regulates the flow of information recieved from other nerve cells. Mutations in 199 of these proteins were found to be responsible for a variety of neurological and psychiatric diseases…

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