what's the buzz.........

what's the buzz.........

Potential stem cell cure for HIV

A team of Australian scientists is advancing towards a cure for conditions including HIV and diabetes using stem cells.

Professor Alan Trounson, a world-renowned Australian stem cell expert and head of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, says their work towards HIV cure is about to progress to human trials.

He said if the trials were successful further research would be needed to modify the technology so it could be affordably used where it is needed most, in Africa.

“I want the HIV work to go globally because it shouldn’t be restricted to patients in Western (countries),” the Herald Sun quoted Prof Trounson, the former director of Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories in Melbourne, as saying. “We’re going to have to modify some of that further research to get it into a suitable treatment that we can use in Africa.

I’m very hopeful that the industry will do that. We have to try and make these as available to people as possible,” he stated.

Prof Trounson said the HIV research uses blood stem cells to mimic a gene mutation found in a small proportion of the population who are immune to the virus.
Novel method for treating depression identifiedScientists have found a novel molecular mechanism responsible for the most important symptom of major depression: anhedonia, the loss of the ability to experience pleasure.

While the Stanford University School of Medicine study was conducted in mice, the brain circuit involved in this newly elucidated pathway is largely identical between rodents and humans, upping the odds that the findings point toward new therapies for depression and other disorders.

Additionally, opinion leaders hailed the study's inventive methodology, saying it may offer a much sounder approach to testing new antidepressants than the methods now routinely used by drug developers.

Robert Malenka, MD, PhD, the Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is the senior author of the new study, which reveals a novel drug target by showing how a hormone known to affect appetite turns off the brain's ability to experience pleasure when an animal is stressed.

Moderate drinking protects women against brittle bones

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle may benefit women’s bone health, lowering their risk of developing osteoporosis, researchers say.

The research assessed the effects of alcohol withdrawal on bone turnover in postmenopausal women who drank one or two drinks per day several times a week.
Researchers at Oregon State University measured a significant increase in blood markers of bone turnover in women after they stopped drinking for just two weeks.

In people with osteoporosis, more bone is lost than reformed resulting in porous, weak bones. About 80 per cent of all people with osteoporosis are women, and postmenopausal women face an even greater risk because estrogen, a hormone that helps keep bone remodeling in balance, decreases after menopause.

Past studies have shown that moderate drinkers have a higher bone density than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers, but these studies have provided no explanation for the differences in bone density.

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