what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Obesity drugs to help lose mid-age weight

Researchers from University of Aberdeen have come up with a way to lose weight and keep fit in one’s middle-age with the help of obesity drugs. The study has paved a way for the creation of obesity drugs that might re-ignite the appetite controlling signals that become less efficient with age.

 Lead scientist Professor Lora Heisler said that the research focused on the cells in the area of the brain that made important brain hormones called pro-­opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides, which controls one’s appetite.

 Heisler further added that as people approach mid-life these cells slow down and become lazier in sending these signals, which leads to a misjudgment of how much food their body needs.
‘Trojan horse’: A potential fighter of brain tumours

Scientists have come up with a technology called ‘Trojan horse’, which involves inserting nano-particles into brain in order to beat the tumour cells.

 The ground-breaking technique, which has been successfully tested, could eventually be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most common and aggressive brain tumour in adults, and notoriously difficult to treat.

 The research led by University of Cambridge scientists involved engineering nanostructures containing both gold and cisplatin, a conventional chemotherapy drug, which were released into tumour cells that were taken from glioblastoma patients and grown in the lab.

 Once inside, the ‘nanospheres’ were exposed to radiotherapy, which caused the gold to release electrons that damaged the cancer cell's DNA and its overall structure, thereby enhancing the impact of the chemotherapy drug. It has proven to be so successful that 20 days later, that the cell culture showed no evidence of any revival.
Metabolic change in mouth bacteria during sickness

In what could lead to better ways to prevent or even reverse the gum disease periodontitis and diabetes, researchers at University of Texas have found that bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you are sick.

“The main thing that they change when they go from health to disease is their metabolism,” said Marvin Whiteley, a professor. In other words, a species of bacteria that ate fructose for example can switch to a different kind of sugar to feed on if one is ill. “The thing that we found in this paper,” said Whiteley, “is that this sharing, and how they interact with each other changes quite drastically in disease than it does in health.”

For the study, the researchers chose 60 different species of bacteria and analysed more than 160,000 genes, yielding 28 to 85 million reads of RNA snippets, including about 17 million mRNA reads for each sample. The RNA samples were a memory image or 'core dump' to reveal the processes of the as-yet unknown bacterium it came from.
Hand sanitisers in schools ineffective in curbing illness

Hand sanitisers in the classrooms does not help reduce the rate of school absences in children owing to illnesses, says a significant study.

In a randomised trial at 68 city primary schools in New Zealand, researchers asked children to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers after coughing or sneezing and on the way out of the classroom for morning break or lunch.  Researchers found that the provision of a hand sanitiser did not reduce the number of absences due to a specific illness (respiratory or gastrointestinal), the length of illness and length of absence from school. School attendance records from all 2,443 children in the participating schools, showed that the number of absences for any reason and length of absence episode did not differ between the intervention and control schools. The trial was undertaken during an influenza epidemic.

“The provision of hand sanitisers in addition to usual hand hygiene in primary schools in New Zealand did not prevent disease of severity sufficient to cause school absence,” authors noted.