what's the buzz..

Simple test to identify fake tablets 

Scientists have developed a simple, paper-strip test that people could use to identify counterfeit versions of one of the most-frequently faked medicines in the world. 

Their inexpensive test to identify fake tablets of Panadol is part of a movement to combat against the major problem of counterfeit medicines sold in developing countries, which causes thousands of illnesses and deaths annually. 

Panadol is one of multiple brand names used abroad for the pain-and-fever-reliever acetaminophen, most familiar in the U.S. as Tylenol. The scientists emphasised that no such problem exists with Tylenol or other acetaminophen products marketed in the U.S. 

However, Toni L O Barstis, Ph.D., a chemistry professor and leader of the research team at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., said that ersatz Panadol and other counterfeit brand-name acetaminophen products are the tip of the iceberg in a wider problem of fake drugs sold in developing countries. 

The World Health Organisation estimates that at least 10 per cent of the drug supply in developing countries consists of counterfeit medicines, causing thousands of deaths every year. 

How smallpox virus becomes drug resistant

Scientists including an Indian origin researcher have uncovered how poxviruses including smallpox evolve rapidly against host defences and become drug resistant despite their low mutation rates.

 Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and collaborating institutions provides new insight into how large, double-stranded DNA viruses evade host immunity and become drug resistant.

The study has particular implications for understanding the mechanisms of infectious-disease transmission between animals and humans.

To determine the mechanisms of adaptation, senior author Harmit S Malik, a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Basic Sciences Division, first author Nels C Elde a former postdoctoral researcher in Malik’s lab, conducted an experiment in cell culture using vaccinia virus.

Vaccinia virus is the type of poxvirus used in the smallpox vaccine, to mimic viral adaptation and evolution as it occurs in nature.
Flavours in some foods is like mood-stabilising drug 

A new study has revealed the possibility of mood-enhancing effects associated with some flavours in some foods. 

The study of more than 1,700 substances that make up the flavours of common foods, found some natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to valproic acid, a widely used prescription mood-stabilising drug. 

This effect joins those previously reported for chocolate, teas and some other known comfort foods.  “Molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive effects on mood.

In turn, our studies show that some commonly used flavor components are structurally similar to valproic acid,” said Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D., leader of a research team that has been studying the effects of flavours on mood. 

Comments (+)