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  • May 7, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 308 views

Turning Back the Clock: Arteries

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

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  

  • May 6, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 314 views

Testosterone and your Heart: Don’t believe the hype

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

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 »

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  

  • May 6, 2014
  • 03:49 AM
  • 345 views

Formulating low dose naltrexone into a cream

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3]. 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 [4] and (ii) anti-opioid drugs such as naltrexone also seem to have some effects on immune function [5].On the back of this very long introduction, I'm talking today about an interesting piece of work [6] 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 [7], fibromyalgia [8] and multiple sclerosis [9]. 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 [10]. 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...)----------[1] 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.[2] Elchaar GM. et al. Efficacy and safety of naltrexone use in pediatric patients with autistic disorder. Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Jun;40(6):1086-95.[3] Cass H. et al. Absence of urinary opioid peptides in children with autism. Arch Dis Child. 2008 Sep;93(9):745-50.[4] Zhang EY. et al. Depletion and recovery of lymphoid subsets following morphine administration. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;164(7):1829-44.[5] 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 »

  • May 5, 2014
  • 05:42 PM
  • 454 views

Switch From Ethanol to Gasoline Causes Ozone Levels to Drop 20%

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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 »

  • May 5, 2014
  • 12:35 PM
  • 253 views

New Method to Make Conductive Film for Solar Cells Cheaper

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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  

  • May 4, 2014
  • 02:55 PM
  • 297 views

Researchers Print Tiny, Efficient Multilayer Solar Cells

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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 »

  • May 1, 2014
  • 03:21 PM
  • 323 views

Novel Gold-Based Superconductor Discovered

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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 »

Isobe, M., Yoshida, H., Kimoto, K., Arai, M., & Takayama-Muromachi, E. (2014) SrAuSi: A Noncentrosymmetric Superconductor . Chemistry of Materials, 26(6), 2155-2165. DOI: 10.1021/cm500032u  

  • May 1, 2014
  • 02:01 PM
  • 971 views

Search for life on exoplanets more difficult than thought

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

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 »

  • April 30, 2014
  • 03:48 PM
  • 314 views

Shaping Our Future - Thorium Energy

by J B Sheppard in Antisense Science

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  

  • April 30, 2014
  • 10:25 AM
  • 247 views

Thin-Film Flexible Energy Storage Device Created

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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  

  • April 29, 2014
  • 06:32 PM
  • 409 views

New cell on the block: dopants and improved efficiency in perovskite halide solar cells

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

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  

  • April 29, 2014
  • 09:39 AM
  • 292 views

Nature-Inspired Catalyst to Make Hydrogen Fuel Cells Cheaper

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

The first view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells.... Read more »

  • April 28, 2014
  • 02:37 PM
  • 318 views

Nanoreporters Gather Intel on Oil Before Pumping

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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  

  • April 25, 2014
  • 09:11 AM
  • 363 views

Material That Prevents Plastic From Aging to Benefit Energy Industry

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

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 »

Lau, C., Nguyen, P., Hill, M., Thornton, A., Konstas, K., Doherty, C., Mulder, R., Bourgeois, L., Liu, A., Sprouster, D.... (2014) Ending Aging in Super Glassy Polymer Membranes. Angewandte Chemie. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201402234  

  • April 24, 2014
  • 03:50 PM
  • 473 views

Quantum Dots Open Way For Solar Windowpanes

by Whitney Campbell in Green Screen

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 »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 01:42 PM
  • 322 views

Most Efficient Thermoelectric Material Created

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Northwestern University scientists have discovered a material—tin selenide—that is, according to a press release, “the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity.”... Read more »

Zhao, L., Lo, S., Zhang, Y., Sun, H., Tan, G., Uher, C., Wolverton, C., Dravid, V., & Kanatzidis, M. (2014) Ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit in SnSe crystals. Nature, 508(7496), 373-377. DOI: 10.1038/nature13184  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:22 AM
  • 401 views

Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

No matter how rough a winter you think you had, it was nothing compared to what a wood frog survives every year. Some of these little amphibians are still waiting for spring, when they’ll thaw out and turn from frog-shaped blocks of ice back into animals. Recently, scientists took a close look at wood frogs […]The post Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Larson DJ, Middle L, Vu H, Zhang W, Serianni AS, Duman J, & Barnes BM. (2014) Wood frog adaptations to overwintering in Alaska: New limits to freezing tolerance. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 24737762  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 243 views

Alzheimer's? Forget about it!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A possible cure for Alzheimer's may be on the way!... Read more »

Acharya S., Safaie B. M., Wongkongkathep P., Ivanova M. I., Attar A., Klarner F.-G., Schrader T., Loo J. A., Bitan G., & Lapidus L. J. (2014) Molecular Basis for Preventing  α-synuclein Aggregation by a Molecular Tweezer. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(15), 10727-10737. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.524520  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 247 views

Biofuels better for Nature? Maybe not!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As it turns out biofuels may not be the answer we were hoping for in the fight against global warming... Read more »

Liska Adam J., Yang Haishun, Milner Maribeth, Goddard Steve, Blanco-Canqui Humberto, Pelton Matthew P., Fang Xiao X., Zhu Haitao, & Suyker Andrew E. (2014) Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2187  

  • April 20, 2014
  • 06:03 AM
  • 569 views

The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L, & Yuan J. (2014) Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(4), 287-91. PMID: 24647211  

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