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Showing posts from April, 2015

Two is Better than One, Cancer Drug Could Cure HBV

A promising cure has been found which uses an anti-cancer drug along with an anti-viral drug to treat hepatitis b, and within phase 1/2a trials and has achieved 100% success. Hepatitis-B is a chronic viral disease that is currently incurable.  Over two billion people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and approximately 400 million have a chronic HBV infection, unimaginable numbers. The virus infects liver cells and can lead to complications including cirrhosis and liver cancer, resulting in more than 780,000 deaths annually. Hepatitis B patients in Australia are the first people who will have access to the potential treatment. The scientists from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researched the combination of the anti-viral drug and the anti-cancer drug (developed by a US company-TetraLogic pharmaceuticals). Dr Marc Pellegrini and Dr Greg Ebert and their colleagues at the institute utilised their research on the behaviour of Hep-B in infected cells as

This Is How Anti-Vaxxers Sound to Normal People (video)

Even though there are thousands of studies proving the efficiency of vaccines and that there is n o association found between MMR vaccine and autism, even among children at higher risk there are still people who believe in anti-vaccination and they are currently putting everyone's lives at risk.  This humerous video shows you how anti-vaxxers sound to normal people (pro-vaxxers). 

Scientist of the Week 5: Elsie Widdowson

This weeks #SOTW is  Elsie Widdowson CBE CH FRS . The well-known British chemist and dietitian. Famous for her research on food composition tables and setting the limits of dietary intake of food, vitamins & minerals in World War 1. Biography  Elsie was born in Surrey, United Kingdom. Her schooldays were spent in south east London where her favourite subject was Zoology. But she had a dedicated chemistry teacher how encouraged her to study chemistry at university instead.   Elsie studied chemistry at Imperial College London and graduated in 1928. She was one of the first females to graduate with a Bachelors of Science from Imperial College (there were only 3 women in her year of a group of 100 students). Elsie took her final exam after only 2 years of studying however had to continue at university for another year before her degree was awarded. In her final year, she spent time in the biochemistry lab presided over by Prof. Sammy Schyver.   Elsie received an offer fo

GUEST POST: Let’s Talk Anti-Vaccination

The debate around vaccines has seen a surge in recent years, with many choosing not to vaccinate their children as a result. While anti-vaxxers might not be breaking any laws, those for vaccination have pointed out that they’re putting their own kids at risk and those around them. Why wouldn’t you vaccinate your kids? There’s always been a resistance to vaccines, with numerous studies being done to find a link between inoculation and debilitating conditions such as autism. Anti-vaxxers have used research such as one published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry to link vaccinations to hepatitis B, among others. As a result, a growing number of parents have taken a stance against immunization in fear of the supposed dangers the treatment presents to their children. Although the findings of such research has been inconclusive, it hasn’t deterred anti-vaxxers from their staunch opposition to the treatment. In fact, many influential people such as Jenny McCarthy,

Hay Fever Makes Your Brain Go Out of Control; So Don't Drive When You Have An Allergic Reaction

(Image: Aldo Sperber/picturetank - from  New Scientist  ) Thirty per cent of the adult population experience seasonal allergies, especially hay fever. The eyes start watering and reddening and noses start running, making you looking and feeling like a big mess. But did you know that these are not the only effects of allergies? Did you know that it affects your brains reaction time to driving too? Hay fever or allergic rhinitis can be aggravated by anything from pollen, mould, dust, fungal spores or animal dander; they aggravate the immune system inappropriately to harmless substances / allergens.  False Alarms... When a pollen grain lands on the damp lining of the nose and throat, its tough outer coat can burst, releasing its contents, including allergenic proteins. These come into contact with immune cells called mast cells, which are the body's first line of defence against invaders.  In most people, these harmless proteins are ignored, but those with allergi

Stem Cells Do What They Do Because They Discriminate

Stem cells are the clean slates of the human body. They're the cells (usually found in bone marrow) that are stored till they have a significant job. Stem cells remain stem cells until they need to differentiate into a specific type of cell i.e  a heart cell, a kidney cell or even a skin cell. New research goes into the way stem cells differentiate and what goes into the process. The study (conducted by the Institute of Biotechnology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) suggests that asymmetric apportioning of old cellular components during cell division may represent an anti-aging mechanism utilized by stem cells. They focus on tissue stem cells, that continuously renew our tissues which divide asymmetrically to produce 2 types of daughter cells: one a new stem cell, the second one will become the differentiating cell of a tissue. Stem cells undergo this technique to prevent cellular damage. Extra damage can cause stem cell fatigue and less tissue regeneration an