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Hormone-based blood pressure pill possible

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            HEALTH TIPS - Tuesday, April 3, 2007
               "News That Keeps You Healthy"   

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Health Tips and Info From EVTV1.com Health Related Videos
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       Hormone-based blood pressure pill possible

ROCHESTER, Minn., -- U.S. researchers have created a 
promising cardiovascular treatment approach based on 
clusters of amino acids called peptides. The Mayo Clinic 
scientists said the study supports the feasibility of 
developing a peptide-based drug that can be given in pill 
form to lower blood pressure and that is based on a hormone 
originating in the heart, called B-type natriuretic peptide.
Our formulation of an oral peptide is a technological 
accomplishment that really can advance the field," said Dr. 
John Burnett Jr., director of the Mayo Clinic's Cardiorenal 
Research Lab, who led both studies. "Prior to this, it was 
unheard of that a peptide could be given orally because it 
is so rapidly degraded by stomach enzymes. Yet we overcame 
this significant constraint. This is the first report 
demonstrating that a peptide -- in this case, BNP -- can 
be developed by innovative technology to be absorbed 
orally." The study was presented last week in New Orleans, 
during a meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
  

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      Breakthrough could end blood shortages

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, -- An international research team led 
by a Danish scientist has developed a process to change 
blood types, which could spell the end of blood shortages.
Henrik Clausen of the University of Copenhagen and his group
used bacterial enzymes to turn blood types A, B and AB into 
the universal donor, type O blood, The Times of London 
reported. Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the 
researchers explain how an enzyme found in fungi can be used
as a kind of biological "scissors" to cut sugar molecules 
from the surface of red blood cells. It is the sugar 
molecules, or antigens, in blood types A, B and AB that 
trigger what can be a fatal immune response if a patient 
is given the wrong blood type. Type O blood doesn't have the
sugar molecules and won't cause an immune response if given 
to people with other blood types. People inherit blood type 
from their parents' genes.

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      A sweet step toward new cancer therapies

ANN ARBOR, Mich.,-- A University of Michigan study suggested 
that a technique that analyzes certain sugars might lead to 
new cancer diagnosis and treatment options. The technique 
developed by University of Michigan analytical chemist 
Kristina Hakansson is based on a growing body of evidence 
that points to assemblies of sugars called glycans attached 
to proteins on cancer cell surfaces as accomplices in the 
growth and spread of tumors. Researchers have been keen to 
characterize such glycans but traditional analytical methods 
have not been sufficient. Hakansson's research group has 
demonstrated a technique that can identify and structurally 
characterize glycans. "The work is in very early stages but 
we hope that by measuring unique sugars it may be possible 
to develop diagnostic tools or therapeutic agents to 
specifically target them," Hakansson said. The research is 
described in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
  

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