All news from Science and Technology

Alcohol Disorders Prevented by Cutting Societal Alcohol Use

Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, to University of Otago academic says. Dr. Charlene Rapsey, of the Dunedin School of Medicine's Department of Psychological Medicine, says while alcohol is commonly enjoyed by many people and only a minority of people develop an alcohol use disorder, the negative consequences of such a disorder can be severe and long- lasting

Moths and Magnets Could Help Treat Genetic Diseases, Technology

A new technology that relies on a moth-infecting virus and nanomagnets could be used to edit defective genes that give rise to diseases like sickle cell, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. Rice University bioengineer Gang Bao has combined nanoparticles with a viral container from a particular species of moth to deliver CRISPR / Cas9 payloads that modify genes in a specific tissue or organ with spatial control.

Light-transducing Nanoparticles: Scientists Succeed in Increasing Stability, Biocompatibility

A team of scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), in collaboration with researchers from Monash University Australia, has succeeded in significantly increasing the stability and biocompatibility of special light-transducing nanoparticles.

The team has developed the so-called "upconverting" nanoparticles that do not only convert infrared light into UV-visible light, but also are water-soluble, remain stable in complex body fluids such as blood serum, and can be used to store medications. They have created a tool that could potentially make the fight against cancer significantly more effective. The researchers recently published their results in the journal  Angewandte Chemie

Mucus: Can Scientists Change its Properties to Limit Harm to Lungs?

For healthy people, mucus is our friend. It traps potential pathogens so our airways can dispatch nasty bugs before they cause harm to our lungs. But for people with conditions such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), mucus can get too thick and sticky; coughing alone can not clear it Infections develop, leading to severe chronic disease and early death.

Now, for the first time, scientists at the UNC School of Medicine and Duke University demonstrated why coughing often can not tear mucus apart and away from the airway lining. And they showed how to make mucus thinner and less sticky so coughing can become a therapeutic aid.

Tarloxotinib Against HER2 Barrier in Lung Cancer, Study

The HER2 gene is a well-known driver of breast cancer, where changes in this gene are found in about 1-in-5 cases of the disease. HER2 also contributes to about 3 percent of lung cancers, representing about 6,500 patients per year. But while drugs like trastuzumab and lapatinib have proven effective in silencing the action of HER2 in breast cancer, there are currently no approved HER2-targeted therapies for the treatment of lung cancer.

Impossible Zika Eradication as it Circulates Among Wild Animals in the Americas, Study

Researchers report that wild monkeys in the Americas are transmitting the Zika virus to humans via mosquitoes, making complete eradication of the virus in the Americas very unlikely. A collaborative group of researchers reports that wild monkeys in the Americas are transmitting the Zika virus to humans via mosquitoes, making complete eradication of the virus in the Americas very unlikely. The paper is currently available in  Scientific Reports.