Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wow. New Basis for Alzheimer's Treatment?

Cancer drug reverses Alzheimer's symptoms in mice, study says

A drug that has been approved for the treatment of a type of skin cancer since 1999 appears to reverse Alzheimer's symptoms -- in mice.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine neuroscientist Gary Landreth and colleagues reported Thursday that bexarotene quickly cleared away beta-amyloid plaque, believed to cause the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease, from the brains of genetically engineered mice.

Mice who received bexarotene treatment regained memory and cognitive function, including improvements in their sense of smell, the authors said. Bexarotene worked by helping to increase levels of a protein called Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), which helps remove beta-amyloids. Its effects took hold quickly, with half of plaques removed within 72 hours, the authors reported.

Still years before something for humans could hit the market. As the article notes, it's not common for there to be a 1:1 match between drugs efficacious for mice and humans.

Joke I heard today

Joke I heard today:

A conservative, a moderate, and a liberal walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Hi, Mitt!"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

3 Topical Links Makes a Post

Broken Promises Fuel a New Wave of Anti-Mining Protests in Panama

Since 30th January, demonstrators have been positioned at various points along the international Interamerican highway using branches, pieces of wood, metal and rocks to block the road. They are protesting against the government's decision to remove a law that would provide environmental protection to their lands. The police continue to deny that there has been any violence, although on Thursday 2nd January there were reports of up to 7 people injured in attacks involving tear gas.

Interviewees Sought for Climate Change Project on Flathead Reservation

Selected methods will incorporate knowledge and opinions of current Flathead Reservation residents and tribal natural resource managers about how the landscape has changed over time, the causes of those changes, and challenges to achieving desired future conditions.

A Secretarial Order issued by the Department of Interior in March 2009, regarding climate change adaption planning, requires the coordination of science-based response to impacts of climate change on land, water, wildlife, cultural heritage, and tribal lands and resources.

Peru: Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Call For Action Against Oil Companies

The Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO in Spanish) has called for collective action in the Peruvian city of Iquitos on February 1st.In an official statement, ORPIO condemns the situation of "our comrades that are suffering the negative effects of mining on the Coast and in the Andes. After 40 years of extraction, the oil companies have damaged our fish, our streams, our lagoons, our land and the water that gives us life. The basins of the Corrientes, and the rivers Tigre, Pastaza, Chambira and MaraƱon are all currently suffering from the effects of oil exploitation. The consequences of these operations are deplorable and fill us with rightful indignation."