Archive for July, 2010
It might be more real than not. Scientists working at the biotech giant Geron Corporation have isolated a molecule, TA-65, which has the ability to increase telomerase activity (It is important to note that his find has not been evaluated in published peer reviewed studies as of yet). This is an exciting breakthrough for telomerase is an enzyme that adds DNA sequence repeats to the 3′ end of DNA strands in the telomere regions, which are found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. The telomeres contain condensed DNA material, giving stability to the chromosomes. These telomere DNA sequences shorten with More >
We are in the midst of a media explosion surrounding the possibility of a vaccine for HIV. For years this has seemed a hopeless situation, so a great deal of effort and money has been spent on the campaign to educate people about transmission and prevent infection. Unfortunately, according to recent reports (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-07-12-hiv-vaccine-the-only-real-answer), the number of new infections is still an alarming 7400 per day! In addition, less than half of the 9.5 million people in low-middle income households infected with HIV have access to anti viral treatments.
These staggering statistics demonstrate very clearly that efforts to help infected individuals are available More >
So-called “designer babies” have generated fervent discussion in recent weeks, sparked by the latest online dating trend: a sperm and egg bank with the goal to make beautiful people. For some, genetic manipulation is a moral necessity, for others it is an ethical outrage. We are reminded of the eugenics movement.
“Better Babies” contests, originally conceived to promote child welfare and physical development, were the first eugenics contests run at a state fairs (the first held in 1908). By 1920, “Fitter Families” contests were also held at state fairs, where human “stock” was judged alongside cows, pigs, and produce. Contestants completed More >
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating, ultimately fatal neurological disorder which affects more than 5 million Americans. The disease has no cure, but the recent decade has seen many promising treatments which all depend upon diagnosing Alzheimer’s as early as possible.
Typically, Alzheimer’s is diagnosed through cognitive testing. Family members or health care professionals may realize that a person is experiencing forgetfulness, disorientation, or other symptoms. Unfortunately, by the time these symptoms are apparent and a diagnosis is made, the patient may have already experience a great deal of brain damage.
A new method to test for Alzheimer’s at a much earlier stage More >