Cures and Implants. A Good Weekend for Medicine.
The antibody is to be administered orally, the peptide is dispensed via nasal spray. The good news is that individually each of these drugs are already undergoing human clinical trials. The team of scientists that developed the cocktail are anxious to begin human testing on the combination treatment. However they are at the mercy of various government drug safety regulators. Including the Food and Delay Agency, who must first decide of taking the cocktail is safer than being diabetic. The researchers hope, FDA willing, to be testing in human trials as early as the end of this year. There more than 200 million people world wide living with diabetes, and one out of every ten medical dollars spent in the US is spent on diabetes and it's complications on the 20+ million American sufferers. Diabetes complications include seizures, coma, organ failure, loss of lower limbs, blindness and death. Let's fast track this one folks, there are alot of good people waiting for it. [via news-medical.net ]
For those that have already lost their sight, there is new hope to be found as well. Laxman Saggere of the University of Illinois at Chicago has developed an electronic implant that may restore vision the the blind. It works by replacing damagedphotoreceptors in the eye with a sensor that picks up light, and then transmits corresponding stimulation to retinal cells in the eye. Other such implants are in development, but they require proportionately large and deletable batteries. Also, the other implants deliver signals to the rental cells electrically, causing the cells to heat up, and over time become damaged.
Dr. Saggere's implant is a chip of different color. For one it is solar powered. It will run strictly off the light that enters the eye. And this implant doesn't use electrical signals. It actually sprays the retinal cells with neurotransmitters, mimicking the behavior of functionalphotoreceptors . An array of the tiny actuators on a single implanted chip would send pixel information to the retina similar to the way images are created on a computer screen. Allowing the blind to see. At this point the device is merely a prototype. Theere is no word as to when viable implants using this technology will hit the market. But we are now one step closer to throwing out the orange tipped canes and dark glasses. Kudos Dr. Saggere. [via New Scientist Tech ]
"If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke