Drug

Hydrogel acts like Velcro at molecular level

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 6, 2012   View Article

At some point in the future, ripped contact lenses may heal themselves, thanks to a new stretchy material that behaves like Velcro at the molecular level, bioengineers reported today.

For now, the so-called self-healing hydrogel only works in highly acidic environments, such as our stomachs, where it can be used as a medical suture or a high-tech drug delivery device.

Computer software helps engineer organisms

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 21, 2011   View Article

A computer software program is outfitting biotechnology companies with the ability to determine the genetic plans they need to engineer microorganisms for the production of products such as building materials, drugs and biofuels.

Companies routinely use microorganisms such as E. coli to manufacture products such as insulin. This has primarily been done by cutting and pasting DNA found in nature into organisms that can be grown in the lab, explained Howard Salis, a synthetic biologist at Pennsylvania State University.

Heart Drug May Block Stress of Traumatic Memories

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 29, 2005   View Article

Memories of wailing sirens, mangled bodies, and smoldering debris in the wake of this month’s terrorist attacks in London and Egypt will produce widespread distress in thousands of people.

Can a common drug snuff out the debilitating emotions these memories trigger?

Researchers say the beta-blocker propranolol, commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, disrupts the way the brain stores memories.

Toxic Snail Venoms Yielding New Painkillers, Drugs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 14, 2005   View Article

In chronic pain? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at a corner pharmacy filling a prescription for synthetic snail venom sometime soon.

Last December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first painkiller derived from a cocktail of potent chemicals produced by cone snails.

Wonder Drugs Waiting in the Weeds?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 3, 2005   View Article

It’s often said that plants hidden in the tangle of the Amazonian rain forest may harbor an undiscovered cancer cure. John Richard Stepp thinks the same can be said for the world’s weeds.

Stepp is an enthobiologist, a scientist who blends anthropology and biology to study plant use by different cultures.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach