Monthly Archives: March 2016

Glucosamine reduces the need for pain medications in osteoarthritis, but the correct formulation is essential

For osteoarthritis, drugs that can delay disease progression have the potential to reduce the need for additional pain medications. But be careful which drug you chose: this effect is only shown with the prescription patented crystalline glucosamine

A harvestman penis in amber

In this paper, my co-authors and I described a remarkable fossil specimen of a harvestman which belongs to the arachnid order Opiliones. It was discovered in Burmese amber which comes from Myanmar in South-east Asia and dates

Progress in macromolecular crystallography

The importance of crystallography was recently highlighted by the declaration by UNESCO of the Year of Crystallography 2014. This presented a good occasion to recall the advances of macromolecular crystallography achieved since its birth, more than half

App to help COPD patients to become more physically active

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic lung disease, are generally less physically active compared to healthy controls. However, being physically active is important for these patients. Being inactive results in a higher risk of

Looking to lose weight in 2016? Step on the weighing scales

Using the latest connected-health technology, research from The University of Manchester indicates that the more often people engage with digital weighing scales, the more weight they lose. The more often people engage with digital weighing scales, the

Are there special routes for signals and drugs to reach every organ and cell after acupuncture stimuli?

Traditional Oriental medicine has 5000 years of history. The meridian system is lying on the base of medical treatment using oriental medicine techniques as different acupuncture stimuli. But, through all Oriental medicine history, visualizing of meridian system’s

Graphene: a nonlinear two-dimensional spring network

Graphene is one of the strongest materials in the world, which has an elastic modulus of 1.0 TPa and an intrinsic strength of 130 GPa (about 100 times of steel). Due to its nanoscale thickness, Graphene can

Who will speak for me?

People generally don’t like to think about how their life may end and few consider the possibility of dying in a hospital intensive care environment connected to tubes and monitors where they are unable to express their

Reconstruction of chromosomal structures

Under a certain approximation, the following simplified format can be adopted. DNA is considered as a very long sequence in the {A,C,T,G} alphabet. Certain regions of the sequence with specific positions have a particular role and are

Animal-free platforms for the efficient and accurate prediction of kidney toxicity in humans

Tens of thousands of chemicals are used in food, cosmetics and consumer products. In addition, humans are exposed to drugs and environmental toxicants. Safety testing based on animals is too slow and too costly for screening the

A promising novel drug for breast cancer

The reason cancer is so difficult to treat is that cancer cells are our own cells running wild, which means that they generally do not make any protein or other molecule that normal cells don’t make.  This

Enhanced absorption or transparency in hybrids of nanoparticles and graphene

The appealing side of nanotechnology lies in the fact that ordinary materials show surprising properties when their size is reduced to billionths of meters (nanometers). For example, we all know that silver is gray and gold is

Songbirds transport disease-carrying ticks

Every spring people love to see the birds return with their cheerful song. Surprisingly, some of these songsters transport tiny, disease-carrying ticks. These bird-feeding ticks are sometimes infected with disease-causing microorganisms that cause serious illnesses in humans

The social trauma of treatment resistant tuberculosis

The treatment of a man named Xiang for Treatment Resistant Tuberculosis (TRD) was previously reported within the scientific Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.  Xiang’s direct medical expenses were quoted to be in excess of $250,000 and his inability

New potential approach to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as one of the most common chronic liver disease, affecting up to 30% of the general population worldwide. NAFLD is characterized by hepatic fat accumulation exceeding 5% of liver weight,

Promoting positive results; Ignoring the negative ones: The story of spinal cord injury treatment press coverage

This is a story about the power of journalism. About how deliberate reporting changes medical opinions of experts and has a long lasting effect on the treatment of injured patients. Spinal cord injured patients are usually young

Heat shock protein as a novel druggable target in angiogenesis?

Angiogenesis is a physiological process that involves formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels for efficiently providing oxygen and nutrients during growth and development, as well as during wound healing. Under pathological conditions, angiogenesis is regulated

Screening breast MRI in patients with personal history of breast cancer

This study looked at patients who had a personal history of breast cancer diagnosed at a premenopausal age to see if having screening breast MRI provided a benefit to the patient. Patients with a personal history of

Possible mechanisms of amyloid growth

At present there is no consensus whether a protofilament is formed by joining oligomers or by adding monomers. The following questions can be posed: How many different mechanisms exist in the literature to describe the protein aggregation?

Systematic triangulation in evaluation

Data scarcity or unreliability and complexities of comparing and cross-checking information from diverse domains are among the most common challenges evaluators face. Systematic triangulation is a viable option to address such limitations. Used to identify key evaluation