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Anti-fungal drug delivery method created

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            HEALTH TIPS - Wednesday, March 14, 2007
               "News That Keeps You Healthy"   

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     Anti-fungal drug delivery method created

VANCOUVER, British Columbia,-- A Canadian scientist has 
created a drug delivery method to effectively treat fungal
infections that can be lethal in cancer and transplant 
patients. University of British Columbia-Vancouver 
Professor Kishor Wasan developed a liquid preparation that
incorporates drug molecules in a lipid-based formulation
so Amphotericin B, a potent anti-fungal agent, can be taken
by mouth with minimal side effects. The agent, used for
about 50 years, is administered intravenously and has 
significant side effects, notably severe kidney toxicity as
well as serious tissue damage at the intravenous injection
site. Wasan and colleagues discovered the oral preparation
triggers a different molecular interaction than intravenous
delivery. The lipid-based system attacks fungal cells only
while inhibiting the drug's interaction with kidney cells,
thereby boosting effectiveness and dramatically reducing
toxicity. The findings are to appear in the journal Drug
Development and Industrial Pharmacy.

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      Adolescent prefrontal cortex studied

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.,-- U.S. medical researchers have found 
adolescence is a time of change in the prefrontal cortex, a
brain structure dedicated to higher functions. University of
Illinois scientists, in a study involving rats, found both
males and females lose neurons in their ventral prefrontal
cortex between adolescence and adulthood, with females 
losing about 13 percent more neurons than males. The
researchers said their study is the first to demonstrate
the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex decreases
during adolescence and the first to document gender diff-
erences in the number of neurons in that area. Earlier human
studies found gradual reductions in the volume of the 
prefrontal cortex from adolescence to adulthood., said
psychology professor and principal investigator Janice
Juraska. "But the finding that neurons are actually dying is
completely new," said Juraska. "This indicates the brain
reorganizes in a very fundamental way in adolescence." The
research by Juraska, graduate student Julie Markham and 
undergraduate student John Morris, appeared in the journal

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     New path for antibiotic cell death found

BOSTON, March 13 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have identified a
new mechanism by which quinolones -- broad-spectrum 
antibiotics -- induce bacterial cell death. It's known
quinolones inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase -- an enzyme 
essential to DNA replication -- and induce cell death by 
stimulating DNA damage, impeding lesion repair and blocking 
replication processes. Now, using a systems biology 
approach, Jim Collins and colleagues at Boston University 
have discovered, in addition to the expected DNA damage 
response, gyrase inhibition also triggers a genetic program 
characteristic of responses to oxidative stress and promotes
the generation of deleterious hydroxyl radicals. The 
researchers said they confirmed their findings by showing
chemical or genetic prevention of gyrase inhibitor-induced 
oxidative damage protects from the bactericidal action of 
quinolone antibiotics. Collins said his team's work will 
facilitate the identification of antibacterial therapies 
with improved bactericidal activity. The study is published
online in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.

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