Medication

  • Science
    ​The box jellyfish is the world's most venomous creature, with a sting from its trailing tentacles causing intense pain, necrosis of the skin, and in some cases death by cardiac arrest. Now, however, scientists have found an antidote for such stings – and it's an existing cholesterol-lowering drug.
  • If someone is taking medication for something as important as preventing HIV, it goes without saying that they shouldn't be lackadaisical about doing so. A new electronically-augmented swallowable capsule is designed to help, by letting patients and physicians know if doses are missed.
  • ​In the developing world, about 10 percent of medications are actually inferior counterfeits of the real thing. Unfortunately, these same regions often lack the equipment needed for detecting those fakes. An inexpensive new system, however, could remedy that problem.
  • Online consultations with real doctors could be useful, but just talking or texting with a patient often isn’t enough for an accurate diagnosis. To give a telepresence doctor more presence, the new OnMed Station is equipped with cameras and various sensors, and can even dispense drugs as prescribed.
  • ​It was just last month that we heard about a brain implant which dispenses a protein to stop seizures in epileptic rats. An unrelated study now suggests that a brain implant in humans, which delivers that same protein, could be used to treat and even reverse the effects of Parkinson's disease.
  • ​Made by our kidneys, interleukin 37 is a protein that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It's produced in small quantities in the body, but if made externally in larger amounts, it could be used to treat many conditions. Scientists have now developed a way of producing it in tobacco plants.
  • ​It's safe to say that no one likes the thought of getting a needle in the eye. If they have to, therefore, it would certainly be best if the procedure were performed correctly the first time. A new "smart" tissue-sensing needle is designed to help that happen.
  • ​It's a sad fact that past the age of about 35, we begin to lose muscle mass. This can be somewhat offset through exercise, although most people still generally tend to get weaker as they get older. A new drug could help, as it's been shown to increase muscle size and strength in elderly mice.
  • Chemotherapy drugs are effective at killing cancer cells – but they’re also pretty good at killing healthy cells. Making these drugs more selective for tumors is a key area of research, and now a team at ETH Zurich has found a way to keep a common treatment – platinum nanoparticles – on target.
  • Plenty of work has gone into developing an insulin pill as an alternative to injections, but that comes with its own challenges. Now, an MIT team has created a new design for a capsule that houses a microneedle made of insulin, which injects the hormone through the stomach lining.
  • ​​MIT researchers have developed an ingestible pill that swells up to the size of a ping-pong ball upon reaching the stomach, allowing it to remain in the body and take measurements from within – for weeks at a time.
  • Science
    ​Ordinarily, when scientists want to produce proteins for use in medicine, they have to utilize techniques that are costly and complex. Recently, however, Scottish researchers have created genetically-modified hens that simply lay eggs containing significant quantities of such proteins.