- Parent Category: Chemistry
- Category: Medicinal
A drug from a parasitic mushroom that lives on caterpillars could become an effective new painkiller for people with osteoarthritis within the next six years.
Scientists at The University of Nottingham are exploring the painkilling potential of cordycepin, a compound found in cordyceps mushrooms, which are widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, thanks to funding from Arthritis Research UK.
Dr Cornelia de Moor and her team have a three-year grant of £260,000 from the medical research charity to investigate cordycepin as a new type of drug that has potential to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, a common joint condition that affects more than eight million people in the UK.
They will test the effectiveness of the compound, given as food pellets to rats and mice, to find out if cordycepin can prevent pain occurring after an injury to a joint, and also whether it relieves existing pain.
- Parent Category: Cancer
- Category: Treatments
Stimulating both major branches of the immune system halts tumor growth more effectively.
The human immune system is poised to spring into action at the first sign of a foreign invader, but it often fails to eliminate tumors that arise from the body’s own cells. Cancer biologists hope to harness that untapped power using an approach known as cancer immunotherapy.
Orchestrating a successful immune attack against tumors has proven difficult so far, but a new study from MIT suggests that such therapies could be improved by simultaneously activating both arms of the immune system. Until now, most researchers have focused on one of two strategies: attacking tumors with antibodies, which activate the innate immune system, or stimulating T cells, which form the backbone of the adaptive immune system.
By combining these approaches, the MIT team was able to halt the growth of a very aggressive form of melanoma in mice.
- Parent Category: Microbiology
- Category: Medical
A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections which originates from a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA in an unusual research collaboration at The University of Nottingham.
Dr Christina Lee, an Anglo-Saxon expert from the School of English has enlisted the help of microbiologists from University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences to recreate a 10th century potion for eye infections from Bald’s Leechbook an Old English leatherbound volume in the British Library, to see if it really works as an antibacterial remedy. The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments.
- Parent Category: Nanotechnology
- Category: News
Is it possible to design a material to fulfil current methane storage goals?
This is the question that a multi-disciplinary research team set out to answer by rapidly screening hundreds of thousands of possible methane storage materials in a computational study. Methane could reduce global dependence on oil so the search is on for nanoporous materials to act as fuel tanks for this tricky-to-store gas; but things are not looking promising.
‘Natural gas storage in porous materials provides the key advantage of being able to store significant natural gas at low pressures than compressed gas at the same conditions,’ explains engineer Mike Veenstra of Ford Motor Company, US, who was not involved in the research. ‘The advantage of low pressure is the benefit it provides both on-board the vehicle and off-board at the station. On the vehicle, low pressure reduces the tank attributes along with the other components. At the station, low pressure reduces the compressor stages along with the attributes of other components.’
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