Clif Hotvedt's blog

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Changing Patterns in Drug Delivery

0 comments

For decades, the predominant delivery method [[wysiwyg_imageupload:157:]]
for pharmaceutical products has been oral tablets, capsules or liquids, with the fewer, less complicated doses a day the better. 

If a new medication was introduced requiring four doses a day, competitors would strive to develop a drug requiring three or two or even only one dose a day.  If it could be taken any time of day with or without food or other drugs it was even better.  Fewer daily doses were invariably said to improve compliance because there were fewer doses to miss.  It should be noted, though, that these were “small molecule” drugs – ones developed using chemistry that either because of their own properties or through formulation manipulation could be absorbed through the digestive tract into the body.  Not surprisingly, according to a recent article in Drug Development and Delivery, of the medications currently available in the United States, 7,468 are oral and less than 3,000 are injectable.  (Topical, ophthalmic and other routes are far less prevalent.)  Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Conveying the Excitement of Scientific Discovery

0 comments

A challenge we often face in medical [[wysiwyg_imageupload:156:]]
communications is making research come alive for reporters and hence their audiences.  Researchers often seem to think that if they simplify science they’re diluting its intrinsic profundity.

A fine example of how this need not be the case is coming up for auction in April  – a letter the English molecular biologist Francis Crick  wrote to his 12-year old son in 1953 shortly after discovering the structure of DNA with James Watson.  Opening with “Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery,” Crick then proceeds to describe their discovery as a father, not just the co-father of DNA.  Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Is the Future of Lamb "Naturally" Polyunsaturated?

0 comments

If research underway in China ultimately results
in marketable meat, “naturally” [[wysiwyg_imageupload:140:]]polyunsaturated meats such as lamb could indeed become the norm. 

Scientists in a laboratory in China's far western region of Xinjiang have cloned a genetically modified sheep containing a "good" type of fat “found naturally in nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens” that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.  But Peng Peng, as the prototype lamb is called, has an usual gene in its make-up – a gene linked to the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids but that was taken from a common round worm.  When a gene from one species is transferred to another species, the result is called a transgenic plant or animal. Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Belly Button Biodiversity and Medical Communications

0 comments

It sounds like quite a stretch to tie these two [[wysiwyg_imageupload:137:]]
together, but why not?

Research reported recently in Genome Technology describes a project at North Carolina State University that seeks to identify all the bacteria living in human belly buttons.  To the obvious question, “why?” the researchers led by Jiri Huler of the Dunn Lab respond that it’s an isolated area that’s hospitable to bacteria and that’s not fastidiously washed.

What they found was that in the first 95 samples cultured, there were 1,400 strains of bacteria, 662 of which couldn’t be classified.    Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Adermatoglyphia and Editing

0 comments

An August 2011 study from [[wysiwyg_imageupload:107:]]
The American Journal of Human Genetics summarized in Science describes an extended Swiss family (10 members) with adermatoglyphia – or more simply – no fingerprints.  Also known as “Immigration delay disease” (and indeed it caused delay when a family member tried to enter the United States and had no distinguishable fingerprints), adermatoglyphia was found by Janna Nousbeck, Eli Sprecher and colleagues in Tel Aviv and Basel to be caused by a mutation in a gene located in the skin called SMARCAD1.  Read full post »