What's the buzz..

What's the buzz..

New jab could end arthritis pain

Scientists have created a potent new gene therapy technique, which could bring hope to millions crippled by arthritis pain.

Not only does the wonder therapy stop the destruction of the joint, it appears to also protect against damage.

It could pave the way for people known to be at risk of developing osteoarthritis being given the jab years in advance to prevent it from ever striking. Current treatments can only relieve symptoms. There is no cure unless people undergo expensive joint replacement operations, which cost the NHS 1 billion pounds a year.

The new study has uncovered a protein which is thought to be able to protect against osteoarthritis by acting as a lubricant between bones in the joint. It also blocks the loss of cartilage, the Daily Express reported.

Injecting the gene which makes the protein in a single jab into a knee joint has been shown to protect it from going on to develop both age and injury-related osteoarthritis.
Around 10 million people in Britain are blighted by arthritis.

Dwelling on stressful events can increase inflammation

A new Ohio University study has suggested that dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body.

Researchers found that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose.
The study is the first time to directly measure this effect in the body.

“Much of the past work has looked at this in non-experimental designs. Researchers have asked people to report their tendency to ruminate, and then looked to see if it connected to physiological issues. It’s been correlational for the most part,” said Peggy Zoccola, an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University and lead author on the new study.

The research team recruited 34 healthy young women to participate in the project. Each woman was asked to give a speech about her candidacy for a job to two interviewers in white laboratory coats, who listened with stone-faced expressions, Zoccola said. 

Half of the group was asked to contemplate their performance in the public speaking task, while the other half was asked to think about neutral images and activities, such as sailing ships or grocery store trips.

Algorithm to explain how Ayurvedic medicine works

Scientists at the American Chemical Society have made an advance toward overcoming a major barrier to tapping the potential of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and India's Ayurvedic medicine in developing new and more effective modern drugs.

Traditional medicines have a track record in benefiting human health that spans thousands of years. However, gaps in knowledge about how these medicines work in the body, their "mode of action" (MOA) — limit their use today.

Information about a drug's MOA is important for better understanding of both the beneficial effects and side effects of treatments.

Andreas Bender and colleagues from ACS have described an algorithm that can help explain how these substances work in the body, and use of it to help understand the (MOA) of traditional anti-inflammatory medicines.

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure to generally analyze data, which the scientists applied to predicting how the active chemical ingredients in traditional medicines affect biological processes.

"By establishing the MOA of these compounds, the gap between Western and traditional medicine can be reduced," the report concluded.

They explained how TCM has made key contributions to modern medicine.