Vermont, not quite the armpit of the United States, but not a place I would live [personally speaking of course]. Still, looking at history Vermont was the first to ban […]... Read more »
McFadden Brandon R. , & Lusk Jayson L. . (2014) Cognitive Biases in the Assimilation of Scientific Information on Global Warming and Genetically Modified Food. Agricultural Economics Association. DOI: http://purl.umn.edu/162532
Bees, who needs them? They are scary, they sting and they seem to find magical ways into your securely locked home. I’m not bias, even though I run screaming like […]... Read more »
Lu Chensheng . (2014) Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder. Bulletin of Insectology, 125-130. DOI: 1721-8861
Rogers Shelley R., Tarpy David R., Burrack Hannah J., & Blenau Wolfgang. (2014) Bee Species Diversity Enhances Productivity and Stability in a Perennial Crop. PLoS ONE, 9(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097307.s001
New technique uses infrared synchrotron light and atomic force microscopy to study batteries, cell membranes, stardust, and other complex systems on the nanoscale.
News release May 07, 2014 By Kate Greene Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read more »
A new absorbing material from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) could be of assistance in future oil spill accidents. This chemically modified nanocellulose sponge absorbs the oil spill, remains floating on the surface and can then be recovered.... Read more »
Zhang, Z., Sèbe, G., Rentsch, D., Zimmermann, T., & Tingaut, P. (2014) Ultralightweight and Flexible Silylated Nanocellulose Sponges for the Selective Removal of Oil from Water. Chemistry of Materials, 26(8), 2659-2668. DOI: 10.1021/cm5004164
Northwestern University researchers are the first to develop a new solar cell with good efficiency that uses tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light. The low-cost, environmentally friendly solar cell can be made easily using “bench” chemistry—no fancy equipment or hazardous materials.... Read more »
Hao, F., Stoumpos, C., Cao, D., Chang, R., & Kanatzidis, M. (2014) Lead-free solid-state organic–inorganic halide perovskite solar cells. Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.82
In what appears to be Fountain of Youth month here at Lunatic Laboratories, we have yet another way to turn back the clock, this time specifically for your arteries — […]... Read more »
Gioscia-Ryan Rachel A., LaRocca Thomas J., Sindler Amy L., Zigler Melanie C., Murphy Michael P., & Seals Douglas R. (2014) Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant (MitoQ) ameliorates age-related arterial endothelial dysfunction in mice. The Journal of Physiology. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.268680
Testosterone, the “big T”, you can’t turn on the TV without someone talking about it. In fact, despite the bad [and almost completely false] press about the effects of testosterone, the […]... Read more »
Miller Mark J. S. (2013) Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: A Cautionary Tale of Diet–Microbiome Interactions. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(2), 75-78. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.799982
Eisenegger C., Naef M., Snozzi R., Heinrichs M., & Fehr E. (2009) Prejudice and truth about the effect of testosterone on human bargaining behaviour. Nature, 463(7279), 356-359. DOI: 10.1038/nature08711
Wang C. (1996) Testosterone replacement therapy improves mood in hypogonadal men--a clinical research center study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology , 81(10), 3578-3583. DOI: 10.1210/jc.81.10.3578
Corona G., Rastrelli G., Monami M., Guay A., Buvat J., Sforza A., Forti G., Mannucci E., & Maggi M. (2011) Hypogonadism as a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality in men: a meta-analytic study. European Journal of Endocrinology, 165(5), 687-701. DOI: 10.1530/EJE-11-0447
Shores Molly M., Moceri Victoria M., Gruenewald David A., Brodkin Kayla I., Matsumoto Alvin M., & Kivlahan Daniel R. (2004) Low Testosterone Is Associated with Decreased Function and Increased Mortality Risk: A Preliminary Study of Men in a Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52(12), 2077-2081. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52562.x
The opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone has been on the periphery of my autism research career for as long as I can remember. As unusual as it might sound, some of the early interpretations for example, on why installation of a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet seemed to correlate with changes to behavioural presentation for some on the autism spectrum, relied heavily on the notion of opioid-excess  as a function of the proposed bioactivity of gluten and casein derived peptide species. This allied with a body of evidence more directly linking administration of naltrexone as affecting some peripheral facets observed in cases of autism  touched upon in a recent post (see here).No, not that type of cream... @ Herrick @ Wikipedia This line of thought of excess opioid activity being related to cases of autism has not been without its critics down the years . Certainly I'd be the first to admit that a degree of naivety existed in terms of appreciating the complexity of autism (sorry, the autisms) in those early times. That being said, I'm not yet ready to consign the opioid-excess theory to the scientific trash-heap just yet, as one of the other parts of the theory - abnormal gut permeability (leaky gut) - enjoys some well deserved research attention (see here and see here).The connection made between autism, opioid-excess and naltrexone has also evolved as time as gone on. Accepting the anti-opioid power of naltrexone, there has at the same time been a shift in our understanding of naltrexone as also being an immunomodulating agent. I can't readily provide you with the full picture of how naltrexone affects immune function because there is still more to be done on this topic. What I can say is that (i) opioids can have effects on immune function  and (ii) anti-opioid drugs such as naltrexone also seem to have some effects on immune function .On the back of this very long introduction, I'm talking today about an interesting piece of work  which I had a very, very small part in, looking at the formulation of low doses of the drug naltrexone into a cream and some of the chemistry behind it. You'll note the addition of the words 'low dose' to naltrexone indicating an increasing body of evidence discussing, well, low doses of naltrexone (LDN), for all manner of health issues including Crohn's disease , fibromyalgia  and multiple sclerosis . Indeed, I've mentioned this topic in an earlier blog post (see here).So what did we do and why did we do it?Well discussions about this project began some years back. Quite a few of the medications suggested for tackling facets of autism and other developmental conditions generally tend to rely on the oral route of administration i.e. swallowing pills. Whilst this is a good way of getting the active part of a drug into the body, there are a few issues surrounding this method including having the ability and desire to want to swallow a tablet or capsule and sticking to a regime of tablet swallowing often over quite a long period of time. Little things that people take for granted such as drinking water when swallowing a tablet might not necessarily be so implied for everyone. And then there are the various biological processes that any orally administered medication needs to go through before producing a therapeutic effect, even the possibility of an effect from those trillions of bacteria in our gut which call us home... In short, oral drug delivery is not necessarily always the best drug delivery route for everyone.As it happens, there are lots of other ways of getting medication into the body such as through the skin (transdermal) or under the tongue (sublingual) (and erm, other routes) provided you can formulate your medicine appropriately. We had quite a few discussions about what medicines were out there and how we could formulate them into something a little more versatile when it comes to administration. Naltrexone was an obvious candidate because it has quite a nice chemical structure and also, as I've discussed, there is growing interest in its usefulness for various different conditions not just for cases of autism.It was then a case of making a cream containing naltrexone which our collaborators are pretty good at doing based on their other work formulating things like transdermal patches . Our part (the Royal 'We') involved testing said cream using our Q-ToF mass spectrometer for how well the cream performed in terms of releasing naltrexone and its metabolite 6-β-naltrexol. In short, it did pretty well: "It was concluded that the cream may be an effective formulation for the sustained transdermal delivery of LDN".On this occasion, we stopped short of actually testing the cream on real people with real conditions in terms of things like safety and effectiveness simply because clinical trials are a whole other ballgame. That being said, I'd like to think there might be other groups who would be willing to have a look at our formulation and perhaps take up the research gauntlet too (hint, hint).Music to close. Something lively I think, so how about Icona Pop and 'I Love It' (with a parental advisory for some of the lyrics...)---------- Shattock P. & Whiteley P. Biochemical aspects in autism spectrum disorders: updating the opioid-excess theory and presenting new opportunities for biomedical intervention. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2002 Apr;6(2):175-83. Elchaar GM. et al. Efficacy and safety of naltrexone use in pediatric patients with autistic disorder. Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Jun;40(6):1086-95. Cass H. et al. Absence of urinary opioid peptides in children with autism. Arch Dis Child. 2008 Sep;93(9):745-50. Zhang EY. et al. Depletion and recovery of lymphoid subsets following morphine administration. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;164(7):1829-44. Boyadjieva NI. & Sarkar DK. Opioid-like activity of naltrexone on natural killer cell cytolytic activity and cytokine production in splenocytes: effects of alcohol. J Interferon Cytokine Res... Read more »
Dodou K, Armstrong A, Kelly I, Wilkinson S, Carr K, Shattock P, & Whiteley P. (2014) Ex vivo studies for the passive transdermal delivery of low-dose naltrexone from a cream; detection of naltrexone and its active metabolite, 6β-naltrexol, using a novel LC Q-ToF MS assay. Pharmaceutical development and technology. PMID: 24785567
A Northwestern University study by an economist and a chemist reports that when fuel prices drove residents of São Paulo, Brazil, to mostly switch from ethanol to gasoline in their flexible-fuel vehicles, local ozone levels dropped 20 percent. At the same time, nitric oxide and carbon monoxide concentrations tended to go up.... Read more »
Salvo, A., & Geiger, F. (2014) Reduction in local ozone levels in urban São Paulo due to a shift from ethanol to gasoline use. Nature Geoscience. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2144
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have succeeded in developing a method of producing transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films that is not only cheaper, but also simpler and more environmentally friendly.... Read more »
Hagendorfer, H., Lienau, K., Nishiwaki, S., Fella, C., Kranz, L., Uhl, A., Jaeger, D., Luo, L., Gretener, C., Buecheler, S.... (2014) Highly Transparent and Conductive ZnO: Al Thin Films from a Low Temperature Aqueous Solution Approach. Advanced Materials, 26(4), 632-636. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201303186
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign use a printing process to assemble tiny cells into multilayer stacks for extraordinary levels of photovoltaic conversion efficiency.... Read more »
Sheng, X., Bower, C., Bonafede, S., Wilson, J., Fisher, B., Meitl, M., Yuen, H., Wang, S., Shen, L., Banks, A.... (2014) Printing-based assembly of quadruple-junction four-terminal microscale solar cells and their use in high-efficiency modules. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat3946
Scientists at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have created a novel superconductor, SrAuSi3, which contains gold as a principal constituent element.... Read more »
A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought.
The study, authored by a team of international researchers led by UTSC Assistant Professor Hanno Rein from the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive result.
News release Apr 29, 2014 By Don Campbell University of Toronto Scarborough... Read more »
Rein, H., Fujii, Y., & Spiegel, D. (2014) Some inconvenient truths about biosignatures involving two chemical species on Earth-like exoplanets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1401816111
The technology for the fission of Thorium fuel has brooded unnoticed for almost 50 years, and yet this technology has the potential to grant energy independence for the entire planet with negligable impacts, truly the next major breakthrough in human society. ... Read more »
Peter McIntyre, Akhdiyor Sattarov. (2010) Accelerator-driven thorium-cycle fission: Green nuclear power for the new millenium. Beyond the standard models of particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics. DOI: 10.1142/9789814340861_0011
Rice University lab creates a thin-film flexible battery for portable, wearable electronics.... Read more »
Yang, Y., Ruan, G., Xiang, C., Wang, G., & Tour, J. (2014) Flexible Three-Dimensional Nanoporous Metal-Based Energy Devices. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ja501247f
New research has found that doping perovskite halide solar cells with chlorine can improve efficiency due to lower recombination rates!... Read more »
Suarez, B., Gonzalez-Pedro, V., Ripolles, T., Sanchez, R., Otero, L., & Mora-Sero, I. (2014) Recombination Study of Combined Halides (Cl, Br, I) Perovskite Solar Cells. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 1628-1635. DOI: 10.1021/jz5006797
The first view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells.... Read more »
Liu, T., Wang, X., Hoffmann, C., DuBois, D., & Bullock, R. (2014) Heterolytic Cleavage of Hydrogen by an Iron Hydrogenase Model: An Fe-H⋅⋅⋅H-N Dihydrogen Bond Characterized by Neutron Diffraction. Angewandte Chemie. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201402090
Scientists at Rice University have created a nanoscale detector that checks for and reports on the presence of hydrogen sulfide in crude oil and natural gas while they’re still in the ground.... Read more »
Hwang, C., Ruan, G., Wang, L., Zheng, H., Samuel, E., Xiang, C., Lu, W., Kasper, W., Huang, K., Peng, Z.... (2014) Carbon-Based Nanoreporters Designed for Subsurface Hydrogen Sulfide Detection. ACS Applied Materials , 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/am5009584
A new material that prevents plastic from aging has been developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia (CSIRO)—offering significant environmental and cost savings for the energy industry.... Read more »
Recently scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca showed how, some day with the same surface, we may be able to see the sun and glean it too. By redesigning a light-grabbing nanocrystal, these material researchers devised a technique that could change sheer Plexiglas sheets into large-area solar concentrators.1... Read more »
Meinardi, F., Colombo, A., Velizhanin, K., Simonutti, R., Lorenzon, M., Beverina, L., Viswanatha, R., Klimov, V., & Brovelli, S. (2014) Large-area luminescent solar concentrators based on ‘Stokes-shift-engineered’ nanocrystals in a mass-polymerized PMMA matrix. Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.54
Semonin, O., Luther, J., Choi, S., Chen, H., Gao, J., Nozik, A., & Beard, M. (2011) Peak External Photocurrent Quantum Efficiency Exceeding 100% via MEG in a Quantum Dot Solar Cell. Science, 1530-1533. DOI: 10.1126/science.1209845
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