OAK BROOK, Ill. — Jan. 18, 2011 — A study from researchers in Germany showed that magnetic maneuvering of a modified capsule endoscope in the stomach of healthy volunteers under clinical conditions is safe, well-tolerated, and technically feasib…
A new study offers the first molecular explanation of how the body metabolizes and detoxifies cocaine and heroin. “We show for the first time how humans initiate the breakdown and clearance of these dangerous narcotics,” said one of the lead scientists. “This work also has two potential applications. First, our results can be used to generate an efficient treatment for cocaine overdose. Second, the same system we describe can be engineered to detoxify chemical weapons, including sarin, soman, tabun and VX gases.”
To survive and thrive in a decidedly hostile environment, the lowly tapeworm uses a chemical trick to evade the propulsive nature of its intestinal home. Capitalizing on that tapeworm chemistry, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison believe they may have found a way to slow the transit of drugs through the intestine, making them more effective in their delivery and holding out the promise not only of more effective treatment, but also of lowering dosage and cost, and eliminating wasted medicine.
A cell type with the potential for making the four major types of human tissue has been found in the stomach and small intestine by a Medical College of Georgia researcher. These VENT cells have been found in addition to the three sources of cells typically associated with gastrointestinal development, says Dr. Paul Sohal, MCG developmental biologist, who first identified these cells nearly a decade ago. Identification of VENT — ventrally emigrating neural tube — cells within the stomach and small intestine is another piece in Dr. Sohal’s effort to fully define and describe the cells that he first found migrating out from the neural tube of a chick embryo. If Dr. Sohal’s studies are on target, he’s found the first source of new cells identified in the embryo since 1868 and what might be the precursor for adult stem cells.
Results from a new study may lead to the first medical treatment for celiac disease, a hereditary digestive disease that can damage the small intestine and interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac disease sufferers cannot tolerate gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease affects an estimated one in 250 Americans, mostly those of European descent, and there is no known medical treatment or cure.
Researchers have developed the first virtual stomach, a computer-generated model that is providing unique insights into the way medicines are released from pills and capsules. “There’s no other technique to allow you to see flow patterns in a real stomach, animal or human,” said lead researcher James G. Brasseur, Ph.D., a professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Although pills and tablets have become a ubiquitous part of our society, the detail of how the stomach breaks them down to help release their medicine remains unclear. “You can give someone a drug and measure its uptake in tissue,” he said, “but the process between administering the drug and the uptake is largely guesswork.”