Saturday, April 26, 2008

HEALTHY CELLS DESTROYED BY RADIATION THERAPY

RADIATION THERAPY CAN DESTROY HEALTHY CELLS
Source: Science 4.11.2008
Radiation therapy is a highly effective treatment for certain cancers but it can also destroy healthy cells in the body, especially bone marrow cells and gastrointestinal cells. Drugs are now being developed to prevent normal cells from being destroyed and yet maintain the antitumor effect of the radiation therapy;.

This new way to protect tissues could improve the outcomes of radiation therapy and even save lives in case of a nuclear catastrophe.

Radiation doe not directly kill healthy cells. It prompts the healthy cells to commit suicide through a process called apoptosis. This cell death program is normally turned on in cells with damaged D NA to prevent them from multiplying.

Tumor cells block apoptosis by activating a nuclear factor kB. Many researchers in cancer fields are trying to block this nuclear factor so the cancer cells themselves would commit suicide.

This is exciting research in that it may work in preventing degenerative disorders and ischemic injuries.

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ANTIBIOTICS KEEP BACTERIA ALIVE

ANTIBIOTICS KEEP BACTERIA ALIVE
SOURCE: SCIENCE 4.11.08

Researcher Dantas isolated bacteria that grow on antibiotics as their only source of carbon. They are very diverse and closely related to bacteria that cause human infections. We always think that antibiotics are our best weapons against bacterial infections. Yet each of these antibiotic eating bacteria are resistant to various other antibiotics at various high strengths.

This phenomenon suggests that this unappreciated reservoir of antibiotic resistance can contribute to the antibiotic resistance we find in human pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria closely resemble human bacteria and were found super resistant in that they tolerated concentrations 50X higher than the concentrations used to define antibiotic resistance.

Pathogenic bacteria can readily use resistant genes originating from bacteria that subsist on antibiotics.

The thought arises: Are antibiotics always the answer to infections or can it actually lead to more bacterial growth?

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BIOTECH LAWYERS HAPPY

BIOTECH LAWYERS HAPPY
Source: Science 4.11.2008

The Virginia courts blocked a proposal from the US Patent office that would have limited the so-called continuations that can prolong the 17-year life of a patent by amendments and appeals. Over 1/3 of today's patents are subject to these amendments and appeal that give patent holders an unfair advantage.

The biotech industry argued that the changes would limit their ability for financing innovations. The Court sided with the biotech industry saying the rules exceeded the patent office's rule making authority.

WOW! Money talks.

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