10 Promising Medical Research from 2013
AS REPORTED ON http://health.india.com
Shraddha Rupavate December 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm
2013 was a busy year from the perspective of healthcare and medical research. It involved great advances, improvements and developments in medical technology that focused on improved health and longevity. From FDA approval for newer medicines and innovative diagnostic solutions to promising results of clinical trials and major breakthroughs in HIV and cancer research, the year 2013 had a remarkable impact on healthcare that has mounted the expectations of millions worldwide to witness its consequences in 2014.
- Insulin Pills: Just 3 to 5 years away
A revolutionary innovation in diabetes treatment was the recent introduction of insulin pills that promise to replace timely administration of painful insulin injections. Sanyog Jain, the creator of insulin pill, believes that the pill has the ability to overcome the limitations of current therapies as well as reduce the chances of diabetes complications.
- The landmark case of Mississippi baby who was cured of HIV
The year 2013 saw the case of a child being ‘functionally cured of HIV.’ The infant (now, popularly known as Mississippi baby) was diagnosed with HIV at birth and was given rigorous antiretroviral treatment soon after. The reports confirmed that the virus levels rapidly declined after the treatment and were undetectable by the time the baby was a month old.
- Bee venom effective for HIV treatment
A study published in the journal Antiviral Therapy by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrated the potential of nanoparticles loaded with a toxin called melittin, found in bee venom, to destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by damaging its envelope. Researchers believe that the study is a crucial step towards the development of vaginal gel that can prevent the spread of HIV.
- Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to reduce the chances of dengue
Early this year, researchers suggested that genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes, developed by altering specific genes, can be used to reduce the number of mosquitoes transmitting dengue. Their study mentioned that although GM mosquitoes can mate with female mosquitoes, their offspring will not develop into adult mosquito.
- A new imaging technique that can make the brain transparent
CLARITY (Clear, Lipid-exchanged, Anatomically Rigid, Imaging ), a breakthrough imaging technique that was published in the journal Nature, opened up new possibilities for neuroscientists by eliminating the most challenging obstacle to traditional brain imaging procedures. This technique allows the brain tissue to be clearer by rendering it transparent. CLARITY is predicted to pace up studies on brain disorders and ageing.
- A single dose of HPV vaccination found equivalent to 3 doses
A Canadian research suggested that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is as good as three doses of the same vaccine to protect women against HPV infection. It was found that a single dose of vaccine could generate enough antibodies to provide protection, thereby eliminating the need for additional two doses. The study proved to be a promising approach for reducing the cost of HPV vaccination in countries having higher incidences of cervical cancer caused by HPV.
- A new type of antibacterial agent PPMO to combat antibiotic resistance
In the month of October, researchers at the Oregon State University revealed that a new type of antibacterial agent called PPMO (peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer), is effective in blocking certain genes that are essential for bacterial reproduction. Researchers suggested that PPMOs could precisely target the group of antibiotic resistant organisms that have created havoc in spreading infections.
- Stem cells from cloned human embryos to make therapeutic cloning possible
Just imagine the possibility of cloning yourself to replace any of your tissues in future. Yes! It’s now possible. After repeated attempts and years of failure, a milestone in stem cell research was achieved by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, who successfully extracted stem cells from cloned human embryos. The researchers fused skin cells from an infant having genetic disease with donor egg cells to produce embryos genetically identical to the baby. Later stem cells were extracted from those embryos. This research might soon bring therapeutic cloning into reality, where replacement tissues can be developed from the embryos to treat genetic diseases.
- FDA approval to drug Sofosbuvir for Hepatitis C infection
After analyzing the reports of 6 clinical trials, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally approved the drug Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences, Inc) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults. The most astounding aspect of Sofosbuvir is that it promises high cure rates with just 12-week regimens.
- Scientists will soon find a new vaccine to cure tuberculosis
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine highlighted the path towards the development of new vaccines to prevent the hard-to-treat infections. The study showed that every individual infected withMycobacterium tuberculosis has a collection of lesions containing live bacteria and sterile lesions. This indicated that the immune system has the ability to kill the bacteria which can be used for the development of new vaccine.
- Anastrozole drug to prevent breast cancer
A study by Australian researchers showed the drug anastrozole reduced the chances of development of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, having a family history of breast cancer, by 50 percent. The study proves to be beneficial for preventing breast cancer in future generations of women.
- Human MX2 gene effective in inhibiting HIV
A study published in the journal Nature identified the role of human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV, thereby preventing the spread of the virus after entering the body. Researchers suggest that MX2 gene could be used as the new target for developing efficient, less toxic treatments involving the body’s own natural defense mechanism against the virus.