Apples come from trees, and as the old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As legend has it, Johnny Appleseed, a.k.a. John Chapman (no relation), planted apple orchards throughout much of the countryside during the 19th century. Much to the delight of pharmaceutical scientists are apples, since they are so rich in pectin, which is a widely used excipient. For many years, pectin’s effects on serum cholesterol have been noted, as well as its other utilities. Continue reading
By David Warmflash
Gene therapy is in a golden age and more and more physicians and laypeople are growing aware of it. There have been stories about it, including on the AAPS Blog, and it’s most obvious application is to correct genetic defects within the human genome. This means genes encoding proteins that we need, where an abnormal or absent protein causes disease. The classic case is an enzyme deficiency. Continue reading
This month’s roundup features stories on bogus cancer cures, the history of opiates, funding of embryo DNA modification, myths of big pharma, new vaccination deliveries, and how Yellowstone National Park relates to biotechnology!
By David Warmflash
Together with the long-term battle against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the various strains of hepatitis virus, and other viral diseases that run rampant in our population, the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa highlights viral disease as one of the major challenges that beckon to 21st century biomedicine. Along with cancers (some of which are known to have viral etiologies), pathogenic viruses generally are more difficult to combat with pharmacologic methods compared with definitive organisms, such as bacteria and protozoan parasites. But like bacterial disease, parasites, fungal organisms, and cancer, the overall strategy with viruses is to find vulnerabilities and attack those with agents that don’t exert similar effects against healthy, human cells. Continue reading
By Stacey May
One of the most exciting parts of my job is working with my skilled colleagues to review all of the breakthrough scientific abstracts being presented at the AAPS annual meetings, workshops, and conferences. This year, we examined over 2,500 abstracts, four of which we will be highlighting on the AAPS Blog this week. Continue reading