whats the buzz

Baldness drug curbs alcohol consumption

A researcher at the George Washington University (GW) found that men who used the medication finasteride (Propecia) and developed persistent sexual side effects, are also drinking less alcohol than before.

While robust literature exists on the interaction between finasteride and alcohol in rodents, this is the first study to examine the role of finasteride in alcohol consumption in humans with male pattern hair loss.

The findings from this research are consistent with the findings from research in rodents, identifying that finasteride has the ability to modulate alcohol intake.

“Finasteride use leads to decreased concentrations of important hormones in the brain called neurosteroids. Because this is a preliminary report, further research is needed on the effects of finasteride in the human brain,” said Michael S. Irwig, M.D., F.A.C.E., assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the Center for Andrology at The GW Medical Faculty Associates.

“This is an important step towards better understanding the breadth of side effects in humans from the drug finasteride,” he added.

How mammals evolved to survive longer underwater

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have looked into how diving mammals, such as the sperm whale, have evolved to survive for long periods underwater without breathing.

The team identified a distinctive molecular signature of the oxygen-binding protein myoglobin in the sperm whale and other diving mammals, which allowed them to trace the evolution of the muscle oxygen stores in more than 100 mammalian species, including their fossil ancestors.

Myoglobin, which gives meat its red colour, is present in high concentrations in elite mammalian divers, so high that the muscle is almost black in colour. Until now, however, very little was known about how this molecule is adapted in champion divers.

Proteins tend to stick together at high concentrations, impairing their function, so it was unclear how myoglobin was able to help the body store enough oxygen to allow mammals, such as whales and seals, to endure underwater for long periods of time without breathing.

Growing blood forming cells in petri dish

By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day.

These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy. 

"The cells that we grew in a petri dish are identical in gene expression to those found in the mouse embryo and could eventually generate colonies of mature blood cells," said the first author of the study, Carlos Filipe Pereira, PhD.

"The combination of gene factors that we used was not composed entirely of the most obvious or expected proteins.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry