Wonder Drug Cures Eczema, Hair Loss & Arthritis

A newly discovered ‘wonder cream’ could help millions of patients with eczema, arthritis and a form of alopecia.

All three conditions are caused by an issue which causes the immune system to target the body’s healthy cells. Scientists looking for a way to help blood cancer patients have stumbled on a way to switch off that response.

Dr Aurore Saudemont, of the Anthony Nolan Research Institute, said: “This ­accidental discovery could offer a major breakthrough.

“These findings could eventually lead to treatments that eradicate ­symptoms of eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and even alopecia areata without causing major side effects.”

Over six millions Britons have eczema, four hundred thousand suffer crippling joint pain with rheumatoid arthritis and over a million have alopecia areata.

The Anthony Nolan experts were looking for a way to cure a complication that affects 80% of stem cell transplant patients. It happens when donated cells see existing cells as foreign and start to attack them. Researchers made a breakthrough when they found a protein in umbilical cord blood that stops a pregnant mum’s immune system attacking the unborn baby.

They studied cord blood donated by new mums, while stem cells were harvested from the umbilical cords.

Dr Saudemont added: “It is very exciting to discover that a product usually discarded could be so valuable.”

Image credit: Betsy Jons

The 1000 Year Old Cow Bile & Garlic Remedy That’s Killing MRSA

Microbiologists have been amazed to find a 1000 year old Anglo-Saxon remedy has the power to kill antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

The British Library in London holds an old leather-bound volume that is known as Bald’s Leechbook, that experts say is one of the world’s earliest medical manuscripts.

Bald’s Leechbook contains not only medical advice, but also recipes for various medicines, treatments and ointments, including one for a salve that was used to treat eye infections. It is this eye ointment that proved to kill antibiotic-resistant MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Scientists at Nottingham University made four separate batches of the salve using fresh ingredients – garlic, onion, wine and cow bile – as well as a control treatment using the same quantity of distilled water and brass sheeting to mimic the brewing container but without the vegetable compounds. The salve was then strained and left to set for 9 days before testing commenced.

“Take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together…take wine and bullocks gall, mix with the leek…let it stand nine days in the brass vessel…” the medieval recipe instructs.

None of the individual ingredients alone had any measurable effect, but when combined according to the recipe, the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) populations of bacteria, were almost totally obliterated – only about one bacterial cell in a thousand survived.

Image credit: Dirk-Jan Kraan

 

First Antibiotic for 30 YEARS Discovered

Scientists have created the first new antibiotic in 30 years – and say it could be the key to beating superbug resistance.

The new antibiotic is extracted from soil bacteria and can kill a huge range of disease-causing microbes, with scientists claiming it appears to be as good, or even better, than many existing drugs with the potential to work against a broad range of fatal infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Laboratory tests have shown the new antibiotic, teixobactin, can kill some bacteria as quickly as established antibiotics and can cure laboratory mice suffering from bacterial infections with no toxic side-effects.

Studies have also revealed the prototype drug works against harmful bacteria in a unique way that is highly unlikely to lead to drug-resistance – one of the biggest stumbling blocks in developing new antibiotics.

With fears that the world is running out of effective antibiotics given the rapid rise of drug-resistant strains of superbugs, this development could represent a huge boost for medicine. Clinical trials could begin in two years.

Image credit: marlo

Kinetica’s New LinkedIn Careers Page

Kinetica is proud to introduce to you our brand new LinkedIn Careers page!

Our Careers page showcases a host of live job roles from within science and healthcare industries – from graduate laboratory jobs to senior, high-profile sales and marketing vacancies. The Careers page also simplifies how you apply for jobs, even allowing for your LinkedIn profile to compensate for a CV!

Visit our LinkedIn Careers page today to see our latest roles, or alternatively visit our website for a full list of all vacancies.

In addition, follow Kinetica’s company page on LinkedIn to keep up to date with news, insights and jobs from within the industry you work in.

Stem Cell Treatment Successfully Restores Sight

Patients with macular degeneration are having their sight partially restored using human embryonic stem cells. This marks the first medium-term demonstration of the safety of embryonic stem cells, with implications for a host of other conditions.

Stem cell science is promising to replace everything from hearts to kidneys, with some hopes for diseases like MS as well. However, debate has raged over whether treatments should involve human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or adult pluripotent stem cells from the patient themselves. The debate is partly about whether the use of hESCs is ethical, but there are also questions of safety.

Many attempts to use ESCs in animals have produced tumours, and rejection by the immune system can also be a problem. So the fact that 18 patients have had hESCs implanted without negative effects an average of 22 months later is big news.

Half the patients have Stargardt’s macular dystrophy and the other half have atrophic age-related macular degeneration, two of the most common causes of blindness in the developed world. Doses of 50,000-150,000 cells were applied. By treating one eye in each patient and leaving the other untouched, the researchers had the perfect control to establish the extent to which any changes were the result of the transplanted cells.

Ten of the patients experienced noticeable improvement in the visual acuity of their treated eye, while seven remained the same and only one got worse. On the other hand, none of the untreated eyes showed any improvement, although the researchers admit that one cannot rule out placebo effects since “both examiner and patient were aware of [which] eye underwent surgery.”

An App Better than Doctors at Detecting Jaundice?

Researchers have reported data from a trial with 100 newborns for an app that can detect jaundice.

It was found that the app had greater accuracy in detecting jaundice than visual exams performed by doctors. It also matched the accuracy of blood tests for bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin can indicate that that the liver isn’t functioning properly and signifies jaundice.

The app works by using a smartphone with a camera and flash to take pictures of the newborn’s chest with a colour calibrator – a sheet about the size of a business card with eight different colours. The software processes the images and creates a report.

The University of Seattle team working on the app, dubbed BiliCam, believe it will someday be useful in calming parent anxiety and reducing healthcare costs

The BiliCam research was funded in part by Coulter Foundation and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

The smartphone application is still in development but may someday help parents and healthcare providers screen for jaundice in newborns.

Can This Machine Detect Heart Attacks BEFORE They Occur?

If someone shouts ‘Code Blue’ in a hospital it usually means that a patient needs immediate help. Code Blue events can include cardiac or respiratory arrests and can be hard to anticipate. However, an algorithm may be able to make that call 4 hours earlier to head off dangerous situations, and researchers have developed exactly that.

Doctors use a scorecard, known as the Modified Early Warning Score, to estimate the severity of a patient’s status by looking at vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. Knowing that certain patients are at high risk helps hospitals to lower rates of arrest and shorten hospital stays.

Sriram Somanchi of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his colleagues wanted to see if a computer could predict when emergencies were imminent. “We had to understand what happens in Code Blue patients before they enter Code Blue,” Somanchi says.

The researchers have trained a machine-learning algorithm on data from 133,000 patients who visited the NorthShore University HealthSystem, a partnership of four Chicago hospitals, between 2006 and 2011. Doctors called a Code Blue 815 times. By looking at 72 parameters in patients’ medical history including vital signs, age, blood glucose and platelet counts, the system was able to tell, sometimes from data from 4 hours before an event, whether a patient would have gone into arrest. It guessed correctly about two-thirds of the time, while a scorecard flagged just 30 per cent of events.

Peter Donnan at the University of Dundee, UK, says it may be difficult for the system to work in hospitals that don’t collect such detailed patient data. The advantage of the scorecard, he says, is that it relies on a small number of parameters. “When we look at it from a statistical point of view, a small model is better.”

Image credit: tacade.com

New Hope for Detecting Alzheimer’s

Researchers have identified a set of proteins present in the blood which can be used to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s with almost 90% accuracy. The team believes that this discovery could not only be used to improve clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs, but it may also eventually lead to a blood test for Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, usually affecting people over the age of 65. Currently, 44 million people worldwide have dementia; this is predicted to rise to 135 million in 2050. Unfortunately, there are no effective drug treatments for Alzheimer’s.

Researchers wanted to find a way to identify patients presenting mild cognitive impairment that will likely develop Alzheimer’s in order to enroll them into clinical trials. It is hoped that this will speed up the discovery of drugs that can prevent or treat the condition.

For the study, researchers from Oxford University and King’s College London analyzed the blood of over 1,000 individuals; 476 had Alzheimer’s, 220 had mild cognitive impairment and 452 were elderly controls without dementia. The team was interested in the levels of 26 proteins that were previously found to be associated with Alzheimer’s.

They discovered that of these proteins, 10 were strongly associated with disease severity and progression. Furthermore, these proteins in combination could be used to predict whether individuals with mild cognitive decline would develop Alzheimer’s within one year with a high level of accuracy (87%).

“A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease,” said lead researcher Simon Lovestone in a news-release. “The next step will be to validate our findings in further sample sets, to see if we can improve accuracy and reduce the risk of misdiagnosis, and to develop a reliable test suitable to be used by doctors.”

Image credit: Cardinal Senior Care

Kinetica Goes Mobile!

Kinetica has now launched its new mobile website! This means that anyone visiting our website from their smartphone will automatically see an optimised, mobile friendly version of the site which is easier to navigate on small screens.

You can now access all our information and online services quickly and easily via your mobile – in just a few clicks you can apply for a new job role, read our blog or get in touch with one of our offices!

Though smartphones will automatically show the mobile site, iPads and other tablets will show the main site by default. If you’d rather view the full site on your smartphone, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the “Desktop Site” option.

With our website now mobile friendly, it is now even easier to search and apply for your perfect job role on the move. With a wealth of scientific and medical vacancies and new roles being constantly added, you are sure to find your ideal job with Kinetica.

European Sales / Customer Service Vacancies

At Kinetica, we currently have a wealth of sales / customer service job vacancies based across three major European countries – Germany, Ireland and Italy. These roles are based with a major medical devices client, and require candidates  to have fluency in the native language of the country the role is based in, plus command of another European language, as specified below.

GERMANY

  • x1 Associate Sales Manager – needs to be fluent in German, English and ideally Italian – apply here
  • x4 Account Sales Representatives – need to speak fluent German and Swiss – apply here
  • x3 EMEA Customer Service Representatives – need to be fluent in German and Swiss – apply here

ITALY

  • x1 Associate Sales Manager – needs to be fluent in English, Italian and ideally German – apply here
  • x4 Account Sales Representatives – need to be fluent in Italian and ideally Spanish and / or French – apply here
  • x3 EMEA Customer Service Representatives – all need to be fluent in Italian and ideally Spanish and / or French – apply here

IRELAND

  • x1 Associate Sales Manager – needs to be fluent in English and German and / or Italian – apply here
  • x5 Account Sales Representatives – need to be fluent in English and ideally German, Italian, Spanish or French – apply here
  • x3 EMEA Customer Service Representatives – need to be fluent in English and ideally one other European Language – apply here

These demanding vacancies are based with a major European medical devices company, and offer attractive and negotiable salary packages. If you feel you are a suitable candidate for any of these office-based roles, then please do not hesitate to apply online or contact our office for further information.