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Aspirin and salicylic acid in the combination with inhibition of PI3K promote cell death in malignant melanoma
Aspirin – acetylsalicylic acid and salicylic acid are anti-inflammatory drugs. Because of their acts on cyclooxygenases and NF-kappaB, aspirin and salicylic acid are recently tested as a cure for various types of cancer. Malignant melanoma is a very dangerous type of cancer responsible for 75 % of death realted to skin cancers. There is still a lack of effective treatment of melanomas. We decided to try the ability of these drugs to suppress the proliferation of melanoma cell lines. Tests of cell viability and Western blot assays showed that aspirin or salicylic acid could be used to trigger apoptosis in malignant melanoma cells when they are combinated with Gossypol, an inhibitor of PI3K. These results can help in finding a treatment for malignant melanoma in future.
Extraction of arsenic and its metabolites after ingestion of contaminated mineral water
Extraction of arsenic and its metabolites after ingestion of contaminated mineral water The purpose of research was to find out how fast is the excretion of inorganic arsenic and which are the main metabolites of inorganic arsenic in urine. In first step of the experiment I was consuming contaminated water and collecting samples of urine for later analysis. In time of collecting my urine I had to be careful about my nutrition and I had to write down everything that I ate that was possibly contaminated with organic arsenic. For urine analysis I used the technique of liquid chromatography on HPLC column Hamilton PRP-X100 coupled on-line with hydride generation and atomic fluorescence spectrometry. After processing the data I realized that arsenic excretes relatively quickly and that its influence on organism in such low concentrations is very small. I assume that if concentrations were bigger the effects would be stronger and if body would be chronically exposed to arsenic the consequences could be fatal.
How can protein networks help the design of drugs having less side effects?
The best drug targets against infectious agents and cancer are usually the central nodes of protein-protein interaction networks (interactomes). However, in other diseases influencing central proteins may cause severe adverse effects. In this study, I investigated how network-based methods can help the identification of drug targets having potentially few side-effects. Based on the perturbation analysis of the human interactome of 12.439 proteins and their 350.528 connections, which started from 3,926 drug targets with 99,423 known side effects, I developed a new, network-based screening method to select drug target candidates with potentially less side-effects. I found that the ideal drug targets are those proteins that propagate information either very quickly or very slowly in the human interactome.
Impregnation of hydroxyapatite with growth factors for the osteogenesis
Lisa Corti, Lucia Ronchetti, Mila Roncoroni
Damage to human bones caused, either by the surgical removal of tumours, or through serious trauma requires the bone structure to be reconstructed via osteogenesis. In our work we developed a process which permits the impregnation of synthetic porous materials or denatured sponge with BMP proteins without triggering immunoactivity, under conditions that ensure the sterility of a surgeon implantable product.
Is knee joint degeneration predetermined by the shape of the patella?
I analyse data from 21,124 knee joint arthroscopies and find, that the most frequent location of articular cartilage degeneration (ACD) in the knee joint is a patella region. In the studied sample, there are 28 % cases of severe, 60 % – of mild, and 12 % – of normal type anatomic dysplasia of the patella shape. I show that the anatomic shape of the patella has strong influence on ACD in the knee joint. The patients with ACD in the patella region, possessing severe dysplasia of the patella shape, have larger areas of ACD and lower physical activity levels, compared to the patients with normal or mild dysplasia of the patelpa shape.
LOCUS OF THE FOCUS
Myopia (short-sightedness) occurs when the eye is too long for its focusing structures so that light rays converge in front of, rather than on the retina, producing a blurry image. Hannah investigated a recent theory that maintaining clear peripheral vision is important for slowing the progression of myopia. She studied rapidly growing chicks rather than human beings, fitting diffuser lenses over one eye of each to blur their central vision, their peripheral vision or both. The uncovered eyes of each chick were used as controls. After 3 days of these treatments the lenses were removed and she measured the focusing error, corneal curvature and the length of each eye in order to quantify the progression of myopia. Hannah found that the control eyes without the lenses were not myopic, but all eyes covered by a diffuser lens developed myopia. The degree of myopia was greatest in the eyes where both central and peripheral vision was blurred, followed by the eyes where the central vision was blurred. Myopia development was least, but still significant, where only the peripheral vision was blurred. These results indicate that form deprivation in any part of the retina contributes to myopia development, but unlike previous studies Hannah's suggests that the blurring in the central retina has a much greater effect than in the peripheral region. She goes on to suggest that it is the number of photoreceptors exposed to blurring rather than their location that matters in the development of myopia - an hypothesis now under test at the University of Auckland. Hannah's results have considerable relevance to the question of whether peripheral defocus caused by wearing glasses might accelerate myopia progression in children.
Mustard Oil as an Apicomplexan-targeting Drug Therapy for Plasmodium falciparum
Half of the global population is susceptible to malarial infection, with over one million annual deaths occurring as a result of the disease. Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, contains a vital plastid-organelle homologous to the chloroplasts of plants, known as the apicoplast. It was determined in previous studies that allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is able to inhibit plant growth in a variety of species through effects on photosynthetic function. The purpose of this experiment was thus to examine the antimalarial properties of mustard oil, a natural form of AITC used as cooking oil in developing countries. A one-step fluorescence assay used for antimalarial drug screening was employed throughout the experiment; resulting in the discovery that a 2μg/mL solution of pure mustard oil is able to significantly reduce Plasmodium falciparum infection in human red blood cells. Results of an MTT assay and light microscopy indicate that mustard oil exhibits equivalent mammalian toxicity to the common antimalarial drug Doxycycline. AITC is currently sold as an antibiotic, where clinical studies indicate that oral administration results in 90% absorption and rapid urinary drug recovery. With no organic solvent necessary, pure mustard oil (purchased from a local grocery) inhibits over 94% of parasite growth. Thus, the necessary dose of 10mg has potential to be taken orally, a treatment costing one million times less than the next leading antimalarial. Mustard oil production already occurs in malaria-endemic regions such as Brazil and India, making this cooking oil an inexpensive, accessible and effective alternative to current treatments.
Research on the fungicidal Activity of Silver-Nanoparticles embedded into hybrid materials
Recently, examinations of hybrid materials with a low concentration of silver nanoparticles included in a polymer matrix have shown a distinct activity in the fight against multi-resistant clinical strains. The exact silver concentration remains to be reported. Hybrid materials with thermally reduced silver nanoparticles (AgNps) were used. The first one is a hybrid film. Disks from chromatography paper FN7 were impregnated before the polymerisation . In order to obtain silver nanoparticles embedded into a PVA/APTEOS matrix, the disks were heated at 100 °С. Testing of the fungicidal properties by the Disk Diffusion Method (DDM) is conducted with control and clinical yeast strains. The same strains were also tested with the liquid hybrid material (PVA/AgNps) through macrodilutions. The main goal is to determine quantitatively the Minimal Fungicidal Concentration (MFC) and the circumstances under which the hybrid material exhibits its fungicidal properties. It is also necessary to determine the quantitative correlation and the concentration of the components. The obtained results, especially those from the synergetic experiments, are effective and very promising. Possible fields of application are pharmacy, microelectronics, biomarking, nano- and biotechnology. The materials might be effective against some of the most persistent multi-resistant fungal strains.
Soraia Gaspar, Jessica Santos, Jéssica Marques
SMARTKIT is an INNOVATIVE concept to support people during the process of medication – especially the ones having limitations to do it. SMARTKIT is an equipment which gives back AUTONOMY to patients during their medication process. SMARTKIT has 6 pills containers per day (6 different daily moments of medication), for a range of 7 days. It provides visual and sound alerts to inform the patient about the RIGHT moment and RIGHT medication. Can be programmed using a laptop or a Smartphone providing also feedback concerning the medication process.