Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Miracles or technology?, 11,2009

First, two links for you. Two very interesting articles, that I think will bring hope to many people.
British girl's heart heals itself after transplant

British doctors designed a radical solution to save a girl with major heart problems in 1995: they implanted a donor heart directly onto her own failing heart.

After 10 years with two blood pumping organs, Hannah Clark's faulty one did what many experts had thought impossible: it healed itself enough so that doctors could remove the donated heart.

Hand transplant patient hopes to feel wife's touch
The nation's first double hand transplant patient can wriggle his new fingers a little bit now and grab a tennis ball, but what he really wants to do is be able to feel his wife's hands when he holds them.
The Second Coming of Gene Therapy
Unbelievable article about a gene therapy that WORKED! What a wonderful news! (and here, genetic treatment of eyes)

  1. Tumors Feel the Deadly Sting of Nanobees
  2. Multiple sclerosis successfully reversed in animals
  3. New silver nanoparticle skin gel for healing burns
  4. Tick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazilian scientists
  5. A Squirt of Stem Cell Gel Heals Brain Injuries

Tumors Feel the Deadly Sting of Nanobees

August 28th, 2009

When bees sting, they pump into their victims a peptide toxin called melittin that destroys cell membranes. Now, by encapsulating this extremely potent molecule within a nanoparticle, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have created a potential new type of anticancer therapy with the potential to target a wide range of tumors.

Samuel Wickline, M.D., principal investigator of the Siteman Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, and his colleagues developed their so-called nanobees to deliver toxic peptides such as melittin specifically to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells from the otherwise nonselective havoc these molecules cause.

Melittin was of special interest to the investigators because the mechanism by which it kills cells is not likely to trigger the drug resistance that often develops with conventional anticancer therapies.

The scientists tested nanobees in two sets of mice with malignant tumors. One set of mice was implanted with human cells, the other with melanoma tumors. After four to five injections of the melittin-carrying over several days, growth of the breast tumors slowed by nearly 25%, and the size of the melanoma tumors decreased by 88% compared with untreated tumors.

The researchers note that the nanobees accumulated in these solid tumors because the nanoparticles are small enough to escape the leaky blood vessels that surround tumors. The researchers also developed a nanobee that actively targets tumors.

The core of the nanobee is composed of perfluorocarbon, an inert compound used in artificial blood. source

My comment:Wow, that's a great. I just hope they really can target cancer cells so well, because otherwise, with such a dangerous substance it could become ugly. And I didn't get what happens with the carriers after they deliver the substance and also what happens with them if they don't deliver it-how long are they supposed to stay in the body and how you take them out. And what's the effect of them while they're in.They are small, but still, they exist.

Multiple sclerosis successfully reversed in animals

( -- A new experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) completely reverses the devastating autoimmune disorder in mice, and might work exactly the same way in humans, say researchers at the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and McGill University in Montreal.

MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune response attacks the , leading to progressive physical and cognitive disability.

The new treatment, appropriately named GIFT15, puts MS into remission by suppressing the immune response. This means it might also be effective against other like Crohn's disease, lupus and arthritis, the researchers said, and could theoretically also control immune responses in patients. Moreover, unlike earlier immune-supppressing therapies which rely on chemical pharamaceuticals, this approach is a personalized form of cellular therapy which utilizes the body's own cells to suppress immunity in a much more targeted way.

This effect, explained Galipeau, converts B-cells -- a common form of white blood cell normally involved in immune response -- into powerful immune-suppressive cells.

"And when we gave them back intravenously to mice ill with , the disease went away."

MS must be caught in its earliest stages, Galipeau cautioned, and clinical studies are needed to test the treatment's efficacy and safety in humans. No significant side-effects showed up in the mice, he said, and the treatment was fully effective with a single dose.


My comment: That news also sounds great. I just wonder if the immune-suppressant effect will leave the body vulnerable to infections-because that's not very nice thing to happen to you. Unfortunately, the article doesn't comment this, but since MS is one of the really disturbing disease I think this new treatment will give hope to many many people. (ok, according to some of the comments at physorg, this therapy will leave some immunity since it leave the T-cells intact)

New silver nanoparticle skin gel for healing burns

Scientists in India are reporting successful laboratory tests of a new and potentially safer alternative to silver-based gels applied to the skin of burn patients to treat infections. With names like silver sulfadiazine and silver nitrate, these germ-fighters save lives and speed healing. The researchers describe gel composed of silver nanoparticles — each 1/50,000th the width of a human hair — that appears more effective than these traditional gels.

Kishore Paknikar and colleagues note that antimicrobial silver compounds have been used for decades on burn patients, whose damaged skin is highly vulnerable to bacterial infections. However, topical silver agents now in use can loose effectiveness in the body, cause , and damage cells. Drug-resistant bacteria can make these treatments less effective.

The scientists demonstrated that their gel killed a broad range of harmful bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the most common causes of burn infections, as well as several drug-resistant microbes. The gel, which contains 30 times less silver than silver sulfadiazine, did not have any apparent toxic effects when applied to the healthy of test animals.

My comment: I don't really get what is the difference compared to colloidal silver gel except for the nanoparticles, but if they say it's veeery promising, I guess it is. But I'm always suspicious towards stuff containing nano-particles. It might sound very good, but the effects have to be studied very carefully. I don't want silver in my brain.

Tick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazilian scientists

SAO PAULO (AFP) – It may be one of nature's repulsive little blood-sucking parasites, but the humble tick could yield a future cure for cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas, Brazilian researchers have discovered.

They have identified a protein in the saliva of a common South American tick, Amblyomma cajennense, that apparently reduces and can even eradicate cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi said she stumbled on the properties of the protein, called Factor X active, while testing the anti-coagulant properties of the tick's saliva -- the way it stops blood thickening and clotting so the tick can keep gorging itself on its host.

The protein shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth.

A theory that the protein might have an effect on cancerous cells led to laboratory tests on cell cultures -- which exceeded all expectations.

"To our surprise it didn't kill normal cells, which were also tested," Chudzinski-Tavassi said. "But it did kill the tumorous cells that were being analyzed."

The results have been more than promising.

"If I treat every day for 14 days an animal's tumor, a small tumor, this tumor doesn't develop -- it even regresses. The tumor mass shrinks. If I treat for 42 days, you totally eliminate the tumor," the scientist said.

Producing a medicine from the find, though, will require years of clinical tests and a significant financial investment -- neither of which Brazil is geared to provide.


My comment: I'd like to remind you that recently, there were many articles on scorpion poison, having similar effect on tumors. So maybe this article isn't that surprising, but still, it's very interesting. The most interesting thing however is how after discovering so many substances that kill cancers and how we have those cool nano-stuff that could deliver the substance on the right place and still there isn't even ONE ready treatment to help people that have cancer! That is horrible and verrry suspicious. After all, this type of treatments require say 42 days, what's to compare with months and months of expensive chemotherapy!

A Squirt of Stem Cell Gel Heals Brain Injuries

By Sandeep Ravindran Posted 09.04.2009 at 10:59 am

Scientists have developed a gel that helps brains recover from traumatic injuries. It has the potential to treat head injuries suffered in combat, car accidents, falls, or gunshot wounds. Developed by Dr. Ning Zhang at Clemson University in South Carolina, the gel is injected in liquid form at the site of injury and stimulates the growth of stem cells there.

Brain injuries are particularly hard to repair, since injured tissues swell up and can cause additional damage to the cells.

Dr. Zhang's gel, however, can be loaded with different chemicals to stimulate various biological processes at the site of injury. In previous research done on rats, she was able to use the gel to help re-establish full blood supply at the site of brain injury. This could help create a better environment for donor cells.

In a follow-up study, Dr. Zhang loaded the gel with immature stem cells, as well as the chemicals they needed to develop into full-fledged adult brain cells. When rats with severe brain injuries were treated with this mixture for eight weeks, they showed signs of significant recovery. The new gel could treat patients at varying stages following injury, and is expected to be ready for testing in humans in about three years. source

My comment: What I really, really cannot understand is why the gel needs 3 years before it can be ready for human testing. Anyway, as a person with fresh head trauma, I think this discovery is absolutely cool. When I think of how little we're able to do to help the brain, it's very sad. The next good thing to consider is how to make the brain surgeries less invasive for the head. Like do it with something micro! But if I must be honest, my doctors so far seem to have done a great job, I just hope that both my brain and my skull (and my hair if possible) will recover completely.

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