Steroids seem so last-decade, now that gene therapy has caught the eye of athletes looking for a competitive edge. But scientists warn that gene therapy still represents a high-risk, experimental practice even within medicine, and that athletes could endanger their lives by giving it a try.
Google has quietly put millions of dollars' worth of resources into a biotech startup that creates targeted antibody drugs that single out diseased targets among healthy cells. The Internet search giant ultimately hopes that computer models alone could identify the best antibody for particular targets for testing in human clinical trials.
In 1922, Canadian scientists isolated insulin for the first time. Now, over 80 years later, our neighbors to the north are helping diabetics again by devising the cheapest way yet to produce insulin. This advance could significantly reduce the expense of treating the disease, which currently costs the US $132 billion dollars a year.
People who suffer massive blood loss automatically go into shock as a stopgap measure, but can eventually die if their bodies stay in shock for too long. Now a drug used to treat epilepsy could reverse all that and boost survival rates for horrifically injured people, especially wounded soldiers far from any extra blood supplies. New Scientist reports on a new study of the drug that involved porkers.
For years, scientists have attempted to construct new bacterial genomes from scratch, in the hope of genetically engineering a microbe that produces biofuels or drugs. Turns out, they've been doing it the hard way. A new study finds that editing existing genomes down to only the desired genes works far better than creating new genomes from the ground up.
There's a lot of misinformation blowing around out there concerning the medical benefits, and detriments, of smoking marijuana, but two UK researchers are making an argument for why you should perhaps pass on the puff-puff -- as well as why recreational use should not be outlawed in the future.
Simply put, pills are stupid. They don't know what's going on in your body when you take them, they don't know the optimal time to release their medication, and they certainly can't vary their own dosage levels on the fly. But thanks to the blinking E. coli created by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, that's all about to change.
Apparently, outer space isn't high enough for some folks over at NASA. Earlier today, NASA confirmed that a small baggie of cocaine was found in the hangar housing the space shuttle Discovery. A shuttle maintenance worker found the dime bag outside the men's room, and reported it to security. So far, no one knows who brought the bag into the Kennedy Space Flight Center.
Successfully navigating a complex maze is the basic lab test for intelligence. Rats can do it. Cuttlefish can do it. And now, inanimate droplets of oil can do it. By creating a pH gradient, scientists induced the an oil drop to navigate a maze, an advance with important applications in drug delivery, urban planning, and computer modeling.
Over the last decade, the advances in neuroscience that led doctors to view addiction as a disease, rather than a desire or personal failing, raised the natural question of whether or not addicts could be vaccinated against drug use as if it were a virus. While the theory remains valid, the recent clinical trial of one of those vaccines, called TA-CD, highlights the complexity of the issue.
TA-CD works by preventing cocaine from entering the brain, thus stopping the user from getting high. It does not, however, stop cravings, leading some test participants who received the vaccine to take 10 times as much cocaine in the hopes of overriding the vaccine and getting high, or to bankrupt themselves while trying to do so.