Posts tagged ‘Medicine’
It’s often described as an arms race: the ongoing battle between our immune system and the viruses, bacteria and parasites that try to defeat it. For the past seven decades, we’ve dealt with these infections with antibiotics, antivirals and anti-parasite drugs designed to damage and destroy the pathogen.
These drugs have been wildly successful – people now live longer than ever before. But the incidence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is increasing and our defensive toolkit is getting empty. While some researchers are trying to find or design new antibiotic drugs, others are taking a different approach.
A new focus of research is finding ways to manipulate the body’s own immune system and boost our natural defences.
“Immunotherapies are revolutionizing whole areas of medicine at the moment,” says Georgia Perona-Wright, a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. “It’s an exciting time to be an immunologist.”
McGill University researchers have unlocked a new door to developing drugs to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Collaborating teams led by Dr. Edward A. Fon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, and Dr. Kalle Gehring in the Department of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine, have discovered the three-dimensional structure of the protein Parkin. Mutations in Parkin cause a rare hereditary form of Parkinson’s disease and are likely to also be involved in more commonly occurring forms of Parkinson’s disease. The Parkin protein protects neurons from cell death due to an accumulation of defective mitochondria. Mitochondria are the batteries in cells, providing the power for cell functions. This new knowledge of Parkin’s structure has allowed the scientists to design mutations in Parkin that make it better at recognizing damaged mitochondria and therefore possibly provide better protection for nerve cells. The research will be published online May 9 in the leading journal Science.
Canadian-developed HIV vaccine approved for human testing
Researchers at the University of Western Ontario announced Tuesday that they are beginning clinical trials next month for the first HIV vaccine being developed in Canada, using a groundbreaking technique that relies on the entire virus.
Fascinating. How soon until we can build a complete cyber human being?!
Did you know that the world’s first lung transplant was performed in Toronto? Canada is often on the cutting edge of innovations in medicine and science.
In the following video, Shaf Keshavjee, a Thoracic surgeon and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program mesmerizes the TEDMED audience as he unveils a breathing lung on stage and describes how this technology is saving lives.
Canada Opens Bioinformatics Center in New Brunswick with Translational Medicine Focus
The Canadian government has opened a bioinformatics laboratory in Moncton, New Brunswick, with a remit to create new technologies “to assist health-care providers in diagnosing and treating diseases more quickly and accurately,” according to a statement.
The laboratory is a joint initiative between Canada’s National Research Council, the Université de Moncton, the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, and the University of New Brunswick.
These types of collaborative research projects “increase the competitiveness of a region, creating a dynamic location where companies, government, and universities can network, invest and bring innovative technologies to market,” NRC President Pierre Coulombe said in a statement.