"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Treatments 

You never know where you'll find the next treatment for a disease. Many drugs are discovered by accidental synthesis, some by design, and sometimes, an old drug has an interesting side effect. D-cycloserine (DCS), an antibiotic often used to treat tuberculosis, has been previously shown to stimulate learning (remind me of this for my first exam period!), seems also to help in overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder. I'll be very interested to learn about its mechanism of action here, especially given the various links between stress, anxiety, and learning.

A group at UIUC has successfully synthesized and characterized the antibiotic nisin in test tube. This is a major step, promising faster development of new antibiotics (as opposed to stumbling upon them in nature), which could help treat antibiotic-resistant disease strains. Cool!

Researchers have found that overweight people seem to have higher levels of sE-selectin, an inflammatory protein produced by artery vessel walls. Blood vessel inflammation can contribute to many serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, but it's possible that anti-inflammatory treatments might help people who are unable to lose weight. Interesting.

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