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Showing posts from May, 2004

Drug helps paralysed rats walk again

Jane Sutton Reuters Monday, 24 May 2004 Rats with spinal cord injuries regained 70% of their normal walking function with a three-part treatment aimed at regrowing nerve cells, researchers have shown. The U.S. and Brazilian scientists grafted nerve cells, injected the rats with a special messenger molecule and an antidepressant to produce their results, which were published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Medicine. The researchers said that their approach could one day have implications for treating human paralysis. "[The research produced results] far greater than what we've seen in anything else," said the principal researcher, Dr Mary Bartlett Bunge, from the University of Miami School of Medicine "It opens up a potential new avenue of treatment for human spinal cord injury," said Bunge, who declined to speculate when human trials might be attempted. The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the muscles through a network of nerve cells
SCIENCE NEWS May 10, 2004 Cutting Off Blood Supply to Fat Cells Slims Obese Mice With 65 percent of the U.S. population overweight, the battle of the bulge seems to be one we are losing. Now researchers have unveiled a new method of attack: starving fat cells of their lifeblood in order to destroy them. Findings reported in the June issue of Nature Medicine indicate that the tactic is successful in mice. A team lead by Wadih Arap of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center borrowed a technique from the fight against cancer to develop their antiobesity therapy. One approach to killing tumors is to cut off their blood supply because the proliferation of new cells requires the formation of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Although fat cells are not malignant, they do have the ability to proliferate and expand. In addition, each cell is in contact with a number of capillaries. In the new work, the researchers identified a protein, called pr
Want to be slim? Cut your blood supply Tim Radford, science editor Monday May 10, 2004 The Guardian Scientists have found a new way to make the obese slim again - by cutting off the blood supply to the layers of fat that are a health hazard for hundreds of millions of people. The technique called "molecular liposuction" so far works only in mice. A team at the University of Houston, Texas, report in Nature Medicine today that weeks of treatment by an experimental drug restored the normal weight of mice that had doubled their size on a high-fat "cafeteria" diet. "If even a fraction of what we found in mice relates to human biology, then we are cautiously optimistic that there may be a new way to think about reversing obesity," said Renata Pasqualini, of the University of Texas at Houston. Obesity is now one of the biggest problems in world health. Almost one American in three is seriously overweight. One British male in four is clinicall
Mice fight the flab Cancer strategy could be used to treat obesity. 10 May 2004 NADJA NEUMANN Chubby mice have shaped up with a new slimming aid, based on a technique used in cancer therapy that destroys blood vessels. The researchers say that after clinical trials on humans this may become a useful weapon in the war on obesity. One promising technique for treating cancer involves starving a tumour of the nutrients it needs to grow. The most effective way to do this is by killing off the blood vessels that supply the cancer cells. This technique is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In the same way, each fat cell relies on a network of capillaries to deliver the chemicals it needs to reproduce and grow. So Mikhail Kolonin and his colleagues from the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, reasoned that if they could kill off these blood vessels, the fat cells would die too. To do this, they targeted a molecule called prohibitin. It i
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