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  • January 12, 2016
  • 12:07 AM

Incomplete Follow Up Rates Exceed 10% in Oral Antithrombotic Trials

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Victor Serebruany, MD, PhD HeartDrug Research, Towson, Maryland Department of Neurology Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Serebruany: Missing data are common challenges to the validity of … Continue reading →
The post Incomplete Follow Up Rates Exceed 10% in Oral Antithrombotic Trials appeared first on
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Victor Serebruany, MD, PhD. (2016) Incomplete Follow Up Rates Exceed 10% in Oral Antithrombotic Trials. info:/

  • January 8, 2016
  • 08:47 AM

Opioid Drugs for Mental Anguish: Basic Research and Clinical Trials

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The prescription opioid crisis of overdosing and overprescribing has reached epic proportions, according to the North American media. Just last week, we learned that 91% of patients who survive opioid overdose are prescribed more opioids! The CDC calls it an epidemic, and notes there's been “a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin.” A recent paper in the Annual Review of Public Health labels it a “public health crisis” and proposes “int........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2016
  • 03:38 PM

A famous fungal family born of war, fruit markets, and deadly radiation

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

During World War II, while physicists and chemists worked to develop the atomic bomb and improve synthetic rubber, microbiologists at the newly established Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL) in Peoria, Illinois were tasked with figuring out how to mass-produce penicillin.This drug, prized for its high toxicity to bacteria (at least those not resistant to it) and low toxicity to humans, was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. He isolated it from a blue-green mould (essentially........ Read more »

  • January 4, 2016
  • 06:32 PM

Second Protein Target of Aspirin Metabolite Identified

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Prof. Daniel F. Klessig Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Cornell University, Ithaca, New York  MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Prof. Klessig: Acetyl salicylic acid, commonly called aspirin, … Continue reading →
The post Second Protein Target of Aspirin Metabolite Identified appeared first on
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Prof. Daniel F. Klessig. (2016) Second Enzyme Target of Aspirin Metabolite Identified. info:/

  • December 30, 2015
  • 11:15 AM

One Myrrh-aculous Christmas Gift

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

In years gone by, myrrh made a great gift. It was known to be anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It was woven into mythology, as Myrrha, turned into a myrrh tree, gave birth to Adonis. What the ancients didn’t know was that 2000 years later we would find that constituents of myrrh would be important in curing cancer.... Read more »

  • December 29, 2015
  • 08:04 AM

Social Pain Revisited: Opioids for Severe Suicidal Ideation

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Does the pain of mental anguish rely on the same neural machinery as physical pain? Can we treat these dreaded ailments with the same medications? These issues have come to the fore in the field of social/cognitive/affective neuroscience.As many readers know, Lieberman and Eisenberger (2015) recently published a controversial paper claiming that a brain region called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC, shown above) is “selective” for pain.1 This finding fits with their long-time narr........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2015
  • 08:20 AM

The Resin For the Season

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Frankincense was important in many religions, recent evidence indicates that frankincense contains a psychoactive agent that increases feelings of well-being, this may be the key to the resin’s use in sacred rites and rituals. We are finding that other components of the resin are powerful anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents. Unfortunately, overharvesting, climate change, and even low genetic diversity are threatening the species that gives us this special resin. ... Read more »

  • December 9, 2015
  • 09:05 AM

Snow Saves Lives

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

It may be warm for December, but the snow is coming. Recent studies are showing the unique ways that organisms depend on and use snow in order to survive. An antifreeze protein from snow fleas may lengthen the time that organs can be stored for transplant. More amazing, reindeer use the UV rays that bounce of the snow to see predators – they are the only mammals that can see in the UV range.... Read more »

Hogg C, Neveu M, Stokkan KA, Folkow L, Cottrill P, Douglas R, Hunt DM, & Jeffery G. (2011) Arctic reindeer extend their visual range into the ultraviolet. The Journal of experimental biology, 214(Pt 12), 2014-9. PMID: 21613517  

Kondo H, Hanada Y, Sugimoto H, Hoshino T, Garnham CP, Davies PL, & Tsuda S. (2012) Ice-binding site of snow mold fungus antifreeze protein deviates from structural regularity and high conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(24), 9360-5. PMID: 22645341  

  • December 7, 2015
  • 12:38 PM

That time we used a blue bacterium to kill its relatives

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

In the time before penicillin or sulfa drugs, people used natural substances such as honey or plant oils to combat bacterial infections. I've written about a couple of these already, but it turns out I missed an important one. It's important because it represents one of the earliest efforts to turn the antibacterial weapons possessed by microbes against themselves, an approach that has yielded most of the antibacterial drugs we depend on today.Way back in the 1890s, researchers discovered they c........ Read more »

Poindexter HA. (1947) Status of subtilin and pyocyanine as antibiotics. Journal of the National Medical Association, 39(6), 241-248. PMID: 18896048  

  • December 2, 2015
  • 12:20 PM

The dancing eyes of coal miners and deuterium drinkers

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I once took an overnight bus from Toronto to NYC. While certainly an inexpensive means of transport, it's crap having to disembark at the border and be shuffled through security just as you're settling in for the ride. Yet, if you're like me, the worst is still to come. I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to sleeping while travelling. Transatlantic flight? No problem, I'll just pack my inflatable neck pillow, pop a Benadryl, and snooze the time away. In practice, this of course doesn't work an........ Read more »

  • November 30, 2015
  • 08:01 AM

How Spicy Would You Like That Chemotherapy?

by Shane Caldwell in Helical Translations

A molecule from chili peppers can be modified to bind to a protein involved in cancer progression. How would a molecule similar to hot pepper spice be used to fight cancer?... Read more »

  • November 29, 2015
  • 02:41 PM

It is possible to develop successful HIV vaccine

by B V Waghmare in HIV virus and antiretroviral drugs and antiAIDS vaccine research and developmets

Antibodies developed in HIV infected individuals do not protect them against further proliferation of HIV, but protect proliferation of HIV in animals.
That means it is possible to develop a vaccine which will completely protect human from HIV infection.... Read more »

B V Waghmare. (2015) HIV Vaccine heading toward success. Combination of HIV neutralizing antibodies and Nanoparticle protien eOD-GT8 60mer are good hope for getting a effective anti HIV vaccine. info:/

  • November 26, 2015
  • 02:25 PM

Gobble Up Some Facts About Turkeys

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Be the highlight of Thanksgiving dinner conversation after you learn these fascinating facts about turkeys!... Read more »

  • November 25, 2015
  • 11:15 AM

The Fatal Flaw in Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

This is not a study that has a valid control group to determine if there is any benefit from ventilation. There is no group that does not receive ventilations, so it is like a study of one type of blood-letting vs. another type of blood-letting with the researchers taking for granted that blood-letting does improve outcomes. That is not a problem if blood-letting actually improves outcomes.

Should we take it for granted that blood-letting improves outcomes and that the only hypothesis worth s........ Read more »

Nichol, G., Leroux, B., Wang, H., Callaway, C., Sopko, G., Weisfeldt, M., Stiell, I., Morrison, L., Aufderheide, T., Cheskes, S.... (2015) Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1509139  

Alldredge BK,, Gelb AM,, Isaacs SM,, Corry MD,, Allen F,, Ulrich S,, Gottwald MD,, O’Neil N,, Neuhaus JM,, Segal MR,.... (2001) A Comparison of Lorazepam, Diazepam, and Placebo for the Treatment of Out-of-Hospital Status Epilepticus. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(25), 1860-1860. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200112203452521  

  • November 24, 2015
  • 01:35 PM

The blue dye that helped turn a woman green

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

When a person is unable to eat, a tube may be inserted down their throat in order to get nutrient-rich goop into their stomach. Dyes are often added to the goop to help healthcare workers ensure it doesn't accidentally end up in a patient's lungs. This situation, otherwise known as pulmonary aspiration, can lead to pneumonia or, worst case, death by asphyxiation.In one rather remarkable case, a woman being treated for multiple organ failure acquired an intense green skin colour while being tube ........ Read more »

Wang J, Jackson DG, & Dahl G. (2013) The food dye FD. The Journal of General Physiology, 141(5), 649-56. PMID: 23589583  

  • November 11, 2015
  • 04:29 AM

Obesity Is Not Like Being "Addicted to Food"

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto UniversityIs it possible to be “addicted” to food, much like an addiction to substances (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, opiates) or behaviors (gambling, shopping, Facebook)? An extensive and growing literature uses this terminology in the context of the “obesity epidemic”, and looks for the root genetic and neurobiological causes (Carlier et al., 2015; Volkow & Bailer, 2015).Fig. 1 (Meule, 2015). Number of scientific publications on food addiction (1990-2014........ Read more »

  • November 9, 2015
  • 12:46 PM

Killing microbes with copper and silver

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Copper and silver have a lot in common. Unlike most metals, they occasionally occur on their own (i.e. in a native metallic form) in nature. This easy access meant they were among the first metals we used to make stuff. Being easy to work, fairly resilient, and nice to look at, they've been shaped into decorative items, coins, and musical instruments. Both metals are great at conducting electricity and can readily be stretched into wires. During WWII, the extensive use of copper in the paraphern........ Read more »

  • November 2, 2015
  • 03:16 PM

Natural antibacterial agents from the time before penicillin

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Penicillin was a game changer. It ushered in a class of drugs collectively able to treat pretty much any bacterial illness. Relative to the other antibacterials available at the time of its widespread introduction, penicillin was safe to use and cheap to produce. Prior to penicillin, antibacterial drugs were mostly developed by stringing together a bunch of slightly different compounds in a laboratory and then screening them for the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. Orga........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2015
  • 03:41 PM

Superlative Terms May Be Overused When Describing Cancer Drugs

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Vinay Prasad, MD MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Hematology Oncology in the Knight Cancer Institute Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Senior Scholar in the Center for Health Care Ethics Oregon Health and Sciences University … Continue reading →
The post Superlative Terms May Be Overused When Describing Cancer Drugs appeared first on
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Vinay Prasad, MD MPH. (2015) Superlative Terms May Be Overused When Describing Cancer Drugs. info:/

  • October 26, 2015
  • 02:47 AM

On the Long Way Down: The Neurophenomenology of Ketamine

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Is ketamine a destructive club drug that damages the brain and bladder? With psychosis-like effects widely used as a model of schizophrenia? Or is ketamine an exciting new antidepressant, the “most important discovery in half a century”?For years, I've been utterly fascinated by these separate strands of research that rarely (if ever) intersect. Why is that? Because there's no such thing as “one receptor, one behavior.” And because like most scientific endeavors, neuro-pharmacology/psyc........ Read more »

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