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RANKL and RANK: From Mammalian Physiology to Cancer Treatment

RANKL and RANK: From Mammalian Physiology to Cancer Treatment | Drug development | Scoop.it
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor RANK (TNFRSF11A) and its ligand RANKL (TNFSF11)
regulate osteoclast development and bone metabolism. They also control stem cell expansion
and proliferation of mammary epithelial cells via the sex hormone progesterone. As
such, RANKL and RANK have been implicated in the onset of hormone-induced breast cancer.
Recently, RANK/RANKL were identified as crucial regulators for BRCA1 mutation-driven
breast cancer. Current prevention strategies for BRCA1 mutation carriers are associated
with wide-ranging risks; therefore, the search for alternative, non-invasive strategies
is of paramount importance.

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DNA vaccine promises permanent, universal protection against the flu

DNA vaccine promises permanent, universal protection against the flu | Drug development | Scoop.it
New research from the University of Washington School of Medicine could pave the way for a universal flu shot by developing a novel DNA vaccine that targets the genetic components of the virus.

Via Krishan Maggon
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This kind of coding would be really beneficial, hope the team succeeds in the development.
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This 'breakthrough' protein glue could save lives in emergencies

This 'breakthrough' protein glue could save lives in emergencies | Drug development | Scoop.it

Australian and American biomedical engineers have developed a stretchy surgical glue that rapidly heals wounds, a "breakthrough" that has the potential to save lives in emergencies, its designers say.

 

The injectable glue, MeTro, is based on a naturally occurring protein called tropaelastin. It is applied directly to the wound and is then activated with UV light to form a complete seal, eliminating the need for staples or stitches. Its elasticity means it's designed to work well on shape-changing internal organs like the lungs and heart.

 

A study published in journal Science Translational Medicine showed the glue quickly and successfully sealed incisions in the arteries and lungs of rodents and the lungs of pigs.


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Dorothy R. Cook 's curator insight, October 6, 2017 3:19 PM

An emergency fix that really stick to yah!/What's gluing in health tody? 

Victor Jimenez's curator insight, October 7, 2017 4:37 PM
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New wearable predicts if you’re getting flu

New wearable predicts if you’re getting flu | Drug development | Scoop.it
The new way of tracking and predicting flu outbreaks is an example of how hospitals create with technology which can be commercialized. With the new development – a wearable thermometer - the Thermia online health educational tool was developed at Boston Children's Hospital. The system, when tested out, predicted seasonal influenza outbreaks in China one month earlier than ahead of conventional epidemiological tracking.
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EMA/CHMP recommends Spherox (CO.DON AG.) new advanced therapy to repair cartilage defects in the knee

EMA/CHMP recommends Spherox (CO.DON AG.) new advanced therapy to repair cartilage defects in the knee | Drug development | Scoop.it
New advanced therapy to repair cartilage defects in the knee Spherox recommended for marketing authorisation 

 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a marketing authorisation in the European Union (EU) for a new advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) to treat adult patients who have symptomatic articular cartilage defects in the femoral condyle (the ball-shaped end of the thigh bone in the knee) and the patella (knee cap), where the size of the affected area is no larger than 10 cm².

The effects of Spherox were studied in two clinical trials, with patients between 18 and 50 years of age. The first study, a phase II trial, included 75 patients with cartilage defect sizes from 4 to 10 cm² and, the second, a phase III trial, involved 102 patients with defect sizes from 1 to 4 cm². The effect of the treatment was assessed using the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) questionnaire which evaluates patients’ views on their knee-associated problems, such as pain, impact on daily living, sport and recreational activities, and quality of life. Statistically significant improvement of the score was seen in both studies. 

 The most important adverse events reported in the studies were side effects that are often seen after surgery of the knee such as delayed wound healing, joint lock, joint effusion, and joint swelling, as well as very limited or single cases of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

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Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, May 22, 2017 3:44 AM
Spherox is an ATMP composed of spheroids, i.e. spherical aggregates of chondrocytes (cells that are found in healthy cartilage). In this therapy, a small piece of cartilage is excised from the healthy cartilage and chrondrocyte spheroids are produced in a laboratory. These spheroids are then inserted arthroscopically in the patient knee where they form new tissue to heal the defect.

Spherox was assessed by the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT), EMA’s specialised scientific committee for ATMPs, such as gene or cell therapies. At its May 2017 meeting, the CAT recommended a positive opinion for Spherox to the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). The CHMP agreed with the CAT’s recommendation and adopted a positive opinion for the authorisation of Spherox across the EU at its 15-18 May 2017 meeting. The applicant received scientific advice from the Agency during the development of Spherox.

Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, May 22, 2017 3:46 AM
Spherox is an ATMP composed of spheroids, i.e. spherical aggregates of chondrocytes (cells that are found in healthy cartilage). In this therapy, a small piece of cartilage is excised from the healthy cartilage and chrondrocyte spheroids are produced in a laboratory. These spheroids are then inserted arthroscopically in the patient knee where they form new tissue to heal the defect. 

 Spherox was assessed by the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT), EMA’s specialised scientific committee for ATMPs, such as gene or cell therapies. At its May 2017 meeting, the CAT recommended a positive opinion for Spherox to the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). The CHMP agreed with the CAT’s recommendation and adopted a positive opinion for the authorisation of Spherox across the EU at its 15-18 May 2017 meeting. The applicant received scientific advice from the Agency during the development of Spherox. 

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Using data science to beat cancer

Using data science to beat cancer | Drug development | Scoop.it
The complexity of seeking a cure for cancer has vexed researchers for decades. While they’ve made remarkable progress, they are still waging a battle uphill as cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Yet scientists may soon have a critical new ally at their sides — intelligent machines — that can attack that complexity in a different way.

Consider an example from the world of gaming: Last year, Google’s artificial intelligence platform, AlphaGo, deployed techniques in deep learning to beat South Korea Grand Master Lee Sedol in the immensely complex game of Go, which has more moves than there are stars in the universe.

Those same techniques of machine learning and AI can be brought to bear in the massive scientific puzzle of cancer.

One thing is certain — we won’t have a shot at conquering cancer with these new methods if we don’t have more data to work with. Many data sets, including medical records, genetic tests and mammograms, for example, are locked up and out of reach of our best scientific minds and our best learning algorithms.

The good news is that big data’s role in cancer research is now at center stage, and a number of large-scale, government-led sequencing initiatives are moving forward. Those include the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Million Veteran Program; the 100,000 Genomes Project in the U.K.; and the NIH’s The Cancer Genome Atlas, which holds data from more than 11,000 patients and is open to researchers everywhere to analyze via the cloud. According to a recent study, as many as 2 billion human genomes could be sequenced by 2025.

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Scientists develop a cancer-detecting smartphone add-on that's up to 99% accurate - ExtremeTech

Scientists develop a cancer-detecting smartphone add-on that's up to 99% accurate - ExtremeTech | Drug development | Scoop.it
Researchers from Washington State University have come up with a diagnostic rig that can use a smartphone, a prism, and an ELISA plate to detect cancer. In the controlled settings of their lab, with the high-purity reagents they had to work with, the researchers were able to detect the cancer marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) with 99% accuracy.

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THE OFFICIAL ANDREASCY's curator insight, December 26, 2016 6:16 AM

This is HUGE!!

Investors Europe Stock Brokers's curator insight, December 26, 2016 6:38 AM

It is produced in the body, wherever there is inflammation, either acute or chronic. This includes situations such as trauma, burns, cancers and infection. It interacts with interleukin-6 receptor alpha, to induce transcription of inflammatory gene products.

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Wearables in Clinical Trials: It’s About Correlation and Context

Wearables in Clinical Trials: It’s About Correlation and Context | Drug development | Scoop.it
Advances in the sensing technologies that are embedded in wearables have enabled a growing array of available data endpoints, making wearables an increasingly valuable tool in drug development. Many of the early examples of wearables in clinical trials analyzed the exact output: number of steps taken or number of hours slept. However, researchers can glean more valuable insights from wearables data than just the number of steps taken in a day. Wearables data become much more interesting when activity and sleep data are correlated with other data being collected, inside and outside of office visits. This correlation can provide context as to why activity, sleep or heart rate levels may have fluctuated. Sponsors can then uncover important patterns such as a participant being less active on days that a medication dose is missed or a participant sleeping more after taking the medication, indicating drowsiness as a possible side effect.
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Having the Oura-ring on for past 3 months, can tell you there's a lot of data that can be collected. This has helped also to take responsibility of your own health when someone (the app) has pointed it out. Definitely in favor to this direction.
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New anti-cancer gene therapy technique targets microRNAs for the first time

New anti-cancer gene therapy technique targets microRNAs for the first time | Drug development | Scoop.it

A new gene therapy technique being developed by researchers at MIT is showing promise as a way to prevent breast cancer tumors from metastasizing. The treatment, described in a paper published today in the journal Nature Communications, uses microRNAs — small noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression — to control metastasis.

 

The therapy could be used alongside chemotherapy to treat early-stage breast cancer tumors before they spread, according to Natalie Artzi, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the research in collaboration with Noam Shomron, an assistant professor on the faculty of medicine at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

 

“The basic idea is that if the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then in addition to treating the primary tumor with chemotherapy, one could also treat with specific microRNAs, in order to prevent the spread of cancer cells that cause metastasis,” Artzi says. The regulation of gene expression by microRNAs is known to be important in preventing the spread of cancer cells. Recent studies by the Shomron team in Tel-Aviv have shown that disruption of this regulation, for example by genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), can have a significant impact on gene expression levels and lead to an increase in the risk of cancer.

 

To identify the specific microRNAs that play a role in breast cancer progression and could therefore potentially be used to suppress metastasis, the research teams first carried out an extensive bioinformatics analysis. They compared three datasets: one for known SNPs; a second for sites at which microRNAs bind to the genome; and a third for breast cancer-related genes known to be associated with the movement of cells.

 

This analysis revealed a variant, or SNP, known as rs1071738, which influences metastasis. They found that this SNP disrupts binding of two microRNAs, miR-96 and miR-182. This disruption in turn prevents the two microRNAs from controlling the expression of a protein called Palladin. Previous research has shown that Palladin plays a key role in the migration of breast cancer cells, and their subsequent invasion of otherwise healthy organs.

 

When the researchers carried out in vitro experiments in cells, they found that applying miR-96 and miR-182 decreased the expression of Palladin levels, in turn reducing the ability of breast cancer cells to migrate and invade other tissue.
“Previous research had discussed the role of Palladin in controlling migration and invasion (of cancer cells), but no one had tried to use microRNAs to silence those specific targets and prevent metastasis,” Artzi says. “In this way we were able to pinpoint the critical role of these microRNAs in stopping the spread of breast cancer.”


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New material kills E. coli bacteria in 30 seconds

New material kills E. coli bacteria in 30 seconds | Drug development | Scoop.it

A new material that can kill E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR in Singapore.

 

Triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient found in many products such as toothpastes, soaps, and detergents to reduce or prevent bacterial infections, has been linked to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics, with adverse health effects. The European Union has restricted the use of triclosan in cosmetics, and the U.S. FDA is conducting an ongoing review of this ingredient.

 

To find a more suitable alternative, IBN Group Leader Yugen Zhang, PhD, and his team synthesized a chemical compound made up of molecules linked together in a chain (“imidazolium oligomers”), which they found can kill 99.7% of the E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds. The chain-like structure helps to penetrate the cell membrane and destroy the bacteria.


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Electronic device detects molecules linked to cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Electronic device detects molecules linked to cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's | Drug development | Scoop.it
A biosensor developed by researchers at the National Nanotechnology Laboratory (LNNano) in Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil, detects molecules associated with neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer.
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Drugs in Development: Key Things To Know About The Pharmaceutical Process | 33rd Square

Drugs in Development: Key Things To Know About The Pharmaceutical Process | 33rd Square | Drug development | Scoop.it
Drug discovery and development is a long and complicated process, with costly approvals requiring many steps before introduction to the marketplace.
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Cost to Develop New Pharmaceutical Drug Now Exceeds $2.5B

Cost to Develop New Pharmaceutical Drug Now Exceeds $2.5B | Drug development | Scoop.it

A benchmark report estimates that the cost of bringing a drug to market has more than doubled in the past 10 years


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Annick Valentin Smith's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:22 PM

Le Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) estime le coût moyen de développement avant AMM d'un nouveau médicament à 2.6 milliards $ . A ce montant s'ajoutent 300 millions $ pour la réalisation d'études de phase IV.

Cette étude a été réalisée sur 106 médicaments développés par 10 laboratoires.

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Osteoporosis: Romosozumab to rebuild the foundations of bone strength

Osteoporosis: Romosozumab to rebuild the foundations of bone strength | Drug development | Scoop.it

Biologic agents targeting key proteins involved in bone homeostasis are revolutionizing the management of osteoporosis. New clinical data support the use of these novel therapies to rapidly increase bone mass and decrease the risk of fractures.


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Scientists Have Tried First-Ever Gene Editing Directly Inside a Patient's Body

Scientists Have Tried First-Ever Gene Editing Directly Inside a Patient's Body | Drug development | Scoop.it
In a bold first-of-its-kind experiment, scientists have edited a person's genes directly inside living tissue in an ambitious bid to cure a man of a rare, crippling genetic disorder.

While CRISPR has broken ground in things like editing human embryos and injecting patients with genetically edited cells, this alternative technique pioneers a new real-time approach to infusing a person's blood with a gene-editing virus.

"For the first time, a patient has received a therapy intended to precisely edit the DNA of cells directly inside the body," says CEO of Sangamo Therapeutics, Sandy Macrae, whose company is testing the experimental procedure.

"We are at the start of a new frontier of genomic medicine."

The patient on the edge of that frontier is 44-year-old Brian Madeux from Arizona, who has Hunter syndrome (aka mucopolysaccharidosis II) – a serious, progressively debilitating genetic disease caused by the deficiency of an enzyme called iduronate–2-sulfatase (I2S).

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Scientists create world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules

Scientists create world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules | Drug development | Scoop.it

Scientists at The University of Manchester have created the world’s first ‘molecular robot’ that is capable of performing basic tasks including building other molecules. The tiny robots, which are a millionth of a millimeter in size, can be programmed to move and build molecular cargo, using a tiny robotic arm.

 

Each individual robot is capable of manipulating a single molecule and is made up of just 150 carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms. To put that size into context, a billion billion of these robots piled on top of each other would still only be the same size as a single grain of salt.

 

The robots operate by carrying out chemical reactions in special solutions which can then be controlled and programmed by scientists to perform the basic tasks.

 

In the future such robots could be used for medical purposes, advanced manufacturing processes and even building molecular factories and assembly lines. The research will be published in Nature today (21st September 2017).

 

Professor David Leigh, who led the research at University’s School of Chemistry, explains: ‘All matter is made up of atoms and these are the basic building blocks that form molecules. Our robot is literally a molecular robot constructed of atoms just like you can build a very simple robot out of Lego bricks. The robot then responds to a series of simple commands that are programmed with chemical inputs by a scientist.

 

Professor Leigh explains: "Molecular robotics represents the ultimate in the miniaturisation of machinery. Our aim is to design and make the smallest machines possible. This is just the start but we anticipate that within 10 to 20 years molecular robots will begin to be used to build molecules and materials on assembly lines in molecular."


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New method can tell how old your cells really are - Futurity

New method can tell how old your cells really are - Futurity | Drug development | Scoop.it
A new system can consider a wide array of cellular and molecular factors in one comprehensive study to determine the functional age of cells.

The system could eventually help clinicians evaluate and recommend ways to delay some health effects of aging and potentially improve other treatments, including skin graft matching and predicting prospects for wound healing.

These researchers’ results show that the biophysical qualities of cells, such as cell movements and structural features, make better measures of functional age than other factors, including cell secretions and cell energy.

The team of engineers and clinicians examined dermal cells from just underneath the surface of the skin taken from both males and females between the ages of 2 to 96 years.

The researchers hoped to devise a system that through computational analysis could take the measure of various factors of cellular and molecular functions. From that information, they hoped to determine the biological age of individuals more accurately using their cells, in contrast to previous studies, which makes use of gross physiology, or examining cellular mechanisms such as DNA methylation.

“We combined some classic biomolecular hallmarks of aging, and sought to further elucidate the role of biophysical properties of aging cells all in one study,” says Jude M. Phillip, the lead author of the study, who conducted this research while completing his doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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Scientists Have Discovered What Really Happens in The Skin When You Have Eczema

Scientists Have Discovered What Really Happens in The Skin When You Have Eczema | Drug development | Scoop.it
For the first time, scientists have pinpointed a bunch of processes that go wrong in the skin for people who have eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), and it could help us finally figure out how to combat this chronic condition.

Back in 2006, researchers found a strong link between people lacking in a certain skin protein, and the risk of developing eczema. Now scientists have built on those results to show exactly goes wrong, and their results could even take us closer to an eczema cure.

Eczema is a common skin condition affecting up to 20 percent of children and 3 percent of adults worldwide. While there's no shortage of creams and lotions than help alleviate the chronic symptoms of eczema, we still haven't found a cure that can clear it up for good.

For the past decade, scientists have known that eczema is associated with a genetic lack of filaggrin (filament aggregating protein) in the skin. This protein helps shape individual skin cells, and plays an important role in our skin's barrier function.

If a person has a genetic mutation that prevents proper filaggrin supply, they can develop skin conditions such as eczema or ichthyosis vulgaris, where skin cells don't shed, and instead pile up in a pattern that looks like fish scales.

But until now, researchers weren't sure how eczema actually develops when filaggrin is lacking.

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Scientists Have Figured Out How to Make Wounds Heal Without Scars

Scientists Have Figured Out How to Make Wounds Heal Without Scars | Drug development | Scoop.it
Whether it’s from a surgical procedure, clumsy shaving, or that traumatic biking incident that happened when you were five, just about everyone has a scar they wish would just fade away.

And while there’s not a whole lot that can be done for scars that are already there, researchers have figured out how to make fresh wounds heal as normal, regenerated skin, instead of the usual scar tissue - something that was previously thought to be impossible in mammals.

"Essentially, we can manipulate wound healing so that it leads to skin regeneration rather than scarring," said one of the team, George Cotsarelis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.

"The secret is to regenerate hair follicles first. After that, the fat will regenerate in response to the signals from those follicles."

If you've ever wondered why scar tissue looks so different from regular skin, it's because scar tissue doesn't contain any fat cells or hair follicles.

The type of skin that regenerates over a small, superficial cut is filled with fat cells called adipocytes, just like the skin you were born with, which means the two will eventually blend into each other once the wound has healed.

But scar tissue is made up almost entirely of cells called myofibroblasts, and doesn't contain any fat cells at all. So instead of blending into the surrounding skin once the wound has fully healed, it looks completely different - permanently.

The same goes for ageing skin - as we age, we lose our adipocytes, which leads to discolouration and deep, irreversible wrinkles.

But scientists have discovered that existing myofibroblasts can actually be converted into adipocytes, which suggests that as a wound is healing, scar tissue could be converted to regenerated skin instead - something that scientists thought could only be possible in fish and amphibians.

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Aging Is Reversible--at Least in Human Cells and Live Mice

Aging Is Reversible--at Least in Human Cells and Live Mice | Drug development | Scoop.it
New research suggests it is possible to slow or even reverse aging, at least in mice, by undoing changes in gene activity—the same kinds of changes that are caused by decades of life in humans.

By tweaking genes that turn adult cells back into embryoniclike ones, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reversed the aging of mouse and human cells in vitro, extended the life of a mouse with an accelerated-aging condition and successfully promoted recovery from an injury in a middle-aged mouse, according to a study published Thursday in Cell.

The study adds weight to the scientific argument that aging is largely a process of so-called epigenetic changes, alterations that make genes more active or less so. Over the course of life cell-activity regulators get added to or removed from genes. In humans those changes can be caused by smoking, pollution or other environmental factors—which dial the genes’ activities up or down. As these changes accumulate, our muscles weaken, our minds slow down and we become more vulnerable to diseases.

The new study suggests the possibility of reversing at least some of these changes, a process researchers think they may eventually get to work in living humans. “Aging is something plastic that we can manipulate,” says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the study’s senior author and an expert in gene expression at Salk. In their study Belmonte and his colleagues rejuvenated cells by turning on, for a short period of time, four genes that have the capacity to convert adult cells back into an embryoniclike state.

In living mice they activated the four genes (known as “Yamanaka factors,” for researcher Shinya Yamanaka, the Nobelist who discovered their combined potential in 2006). This approach rejuvenated damaged muscles and the pancreas in a middle-aged mouse, and extended by 30 percent the life span of a mouse with a genetic mutation responsible for Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome, which causes rapid aging in children.

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Random DNA + high-tech math = ‘universal microbial diagnostic’

Random DNA + high-tech math = ‘universal microbial diagnostic’ | Drug development | Scoop.it

Rice University scientists have invented a technology that could potentially identify hundreds of bacterial pathogens simply, quickly and at low cost using a single set of random DNA probes. Rice’s “universal microbial diagnostic,” or UMD, uses pieces of randomly assembled DNA and mathematical techniques that were originally pioneered for signal processors inside digital phones and cameras.

 

In a paper online this week in Science Advances, Rice’s research team used lab tests to verify that UMD could identify 11 known strains of bacteria using the same five random DNA probes. Because the probes are not specific to a particular disease, the technology provides a genomic-based bacterial identification system that does not require a one-to-one ratio of DNA probes to pathogenic species.


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Truly Beyond the Pill: Google and GSK Team Up to Launch "Bioelectronics Medicine"

Truly Beyond the Pill: Google and GSK Team Up to Launch "Bioelectronics Medicine" | Drug development | Scoop.it

A partnership between two tech and healthcare juggernauts may soon do their part to end the “better living through chemistry” motto and skip the pills by moving from chemistry to technology.

Google’s parent company Alphabet has partnered with leading British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline to launch a new “bioelectronics medicine” company.

Bioelectric medicine is a new field of research focusing on tiny implanted devices that alter a person’s electrical nerve signal to treat chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and asthma.
Economist Harry S. Dent Jr. now has indisputable evidence of precisely where gold is heading next.

A Pretty Big Bet
Laying their reputations on the line, both companies forecast this new technology will foster the next medical revolution. Called Galvani Bioelectronics, the joint venture will receive $715 million in funding over the next seven years.

Like all good risk-averse companies, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) isn’t putting all their “tech eggs” in one basket solely with Alphabet. GSK announced the day before that they are also partnering with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) to leverage their medical research capability, called ResearchKit.

Apple, along with other traditional tech companies, are starting to diversify their portfolios into the healthcare industry. They’re focusing their deep knowledge of massive IT infrastructures, as well as computing, and applying this expertise to challenging medical issues.

As the healthcare industry goes digital, more medical breakthroughs occur through plain old computer data crunching.


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Pharma Guy's curator insight, August 4, 2016 6:33 AM

Largely through Verily, Google has positioned itself to be a giant in life sciences by marrying technology and big data with science to cure diseases that have, so far, defied the best minds. But its setbacks and prominent scientists’ skepticism call into question this vision of the future of medicine. For more on that read “Scientists Skeptical of Google's "Verily" Life Sciences Technology”; http://sco.lt/6wSc5J

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One pill to rule them all: 3D printing tech combines multiple drugs in a single pill

One pill to rule them all: 3D printing tech combines multiple drugs in a single pill | Drug development | Scoop.it
Remembering to take a pill once daily can be hard enough, but it gets particularly challenging when you have to take several doses throughout the day – especially if you're taking multiple types of medication. To make things easier, scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a new technique that uses a 3D printer to combine multiple doses of different medications in a single time-release tablet.

First of all, it should be noted that other researchers have previously created 3D-printed time-release tablets, which were built up in a printer a layer at a time. According to the university, however, these tablets are limited both in the strength of dosages, and in how continuously they dispense medication once ingested. The NUS system reportedly has neither of these drawbacks, plus it should be relatively quick and inexpensive to use.

Here's how it works – or at least, how it would work in a clinical setting …

The doctor starts by indicating on a computer program what medication(s) the patient needs to take, in what doses and how often. This information is used to generate a computer model of a small multi-pronged template, such as the one being picked up with the tweezers in the photo at the top of the page.

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Electronic devices that melt in your brain

Electronic devices that melt in your brain | Drug development | Scoop.it

Two implantable devices developed by American and Chinese researchers are designed to dissolve in the brain over time and may eliminate several current problems with implants.

 

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed an electrode and an electrode array, both made of layers of silicon and molybdenum that can measure physiological characteristics (like neuron signals) and dissolve at a known rate (determined by the material’s thickness). The team used the device in anesthetized rats to record brain waves (EEGs) and induced epileptic spikes in intact live tissue.

 

In another experiment, they showed the dissolvable electronics could be used in a complex, multiplexed ECoG (intracranial electroencephalography) array over a 30-day period.

 

As the researchers note online in Nature Materials, this new technology offers equal or greater resolution for measuring the brain’s electrical activity, compared to conventional electrodes, while eliminating “the risks, cost, and discomfort associated with surgery to extract current devices used for post-operative monitoring,” according to senior co-author Brian Litt, MD, a professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Bioengineering at the Perelman School of Medicine.

 

Other potential uses of the dissolvable electronics include:

Disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain, and conditions of the peripheral nervous system. “These measurements are critically important for mapping and monitoring brain function during and in preparation for neurosurgery, for assisting in device placement, such as for Parkinson’s disease, and for guiding surgical procedures on complex, interconnected nerve structures,” Litt said.Post-operative monitoring and recording of physiological characteristic after minimally invasive placement of vascular, cardiac, orthopaedic, neural or other devices. At present, post-operative monitoring is based on clinical examination or interventional radiology, which is invasive, expensive, and impractical for continuous monitoring over days to months.Heart and brain surgery for applications such as aneurysm coiling, stent placement, embolization, and endoscopic operations. These new devices could also monitor structures that are exposed during surgery, but are too delicate to disturb later by removing devices.More complex devices that also include flow, pressure, and other measurement capabilities.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Ra's curator insight, May 15, 2016 2:31 AM
Just to repeat...MELT in your BRAIN
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