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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Health Research: New class of insecticides offers safer ♦ Ebola virus diagnostic tool developed ♦ Possible progress against Parkinson's

A new class of chemical insecticides has been identified that could provide a safer, more selective means of controlling mosquitoes that transmit key infectious diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and elephantiasis
An emergency medicine physician who treated Ebola-infected patients in Liberia last year used his field experience to create a tool to determine the likelihood that patients presenting with Ebola symptoms will actually carry the virus. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has affected 24,000 persons during the current epidemic, which is the largest recorded outbreak of EVD in history.
Researchers have taken an important step toward using the implantation of stem cell-generated neurons as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Using an FDA approved substance for treating cancer, they were able to grow dopamine-producing neurons derived from embryonic stem cells that remained healthy and functional for as long as 15 months after implantation into mice, restoring motor function without forming tumors
By engineering antibacterial enzymes, investigators are using novel strategies to target the prevalent drug-resistant bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. "Antibacterial enzymes, which kill via catalytic mechanisms, represent promising candidates in the fight against drug-resistant microbes," explained the lead researcher. "Staph infections in hospital settings are a serious problem that has gained widespread public attention, and there's an urgent need to address the threat of antibiotic resistance. Using molecular engineering, we are expanding the pool of antibacterial drug candidates and improving their performance."

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