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From Scorpion Toxins to Drug Discovery

Scorpion toxins provide interesting insights in the lab

When a scorpion stings someone, its toxins attack specific regions in the human body, interrupting electric signals to the brain.

Depending on the type of toxin, the victim either suffers paralysis or seizures.

What makes scorpions dangerous in the wild, though, provides interesting insights in the lab.

Scorpion toxins and diseases like epilepsy affect the body in fairly similar ways. Scientists have studied how toxins work for years.

That knowledge is now paving the way toward discovering drugs that treat epilepsy and similar diseases better, with fewer side effects.

Scientists at Aix-Marseille University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have collaborated in this field since 2008. They made an...

Cancer: A game of clones

A game theory model explains social interactions between cancer cells.
What comes to mind first when you think of game theory? Probably political science, economics, computer science, logic etc. but certainly not biology...

Why does smoking make you slim?

Study shows link between Body Mass Index and heavy smoking
In developed countries, public health is threatened by unhealthy lifestyles: stress, little physical activity, smoking and binge drinking. As a result...

New Disease Points to Arab Bats

Egyptian tomb bat (Taphozous perforatus)
A new mysterious disease made its first appearance last summer in the Arabian Peninsula and has been baffling health experts since. Until now, there...

Arabian Bats May Harbour New Deadly Virus

A new mysterious disease made its first appearance last summer in the Arabian Peninsula and has been baffling health experts since. Until now, there...

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine causes cancer

Credit: beggs/everystockphoto
Two new studies show that a natural compound found in many Chinese herbal medicines triggers genetic mutations that may cause cancer.


Nerve growth triggers prostate cancer

Tissue sample of a prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma, a common type of prostate cancer (credit: wikipedia commons)
New research suggests that the formation of new nerve fibers in and around prostate tumors increases cancer growth and spreading. With more than...

Want to quit smoking, ladies? Sync it with your period!

A new study reveals gender specific regimen to quit smoking
Female smokers crave cigarettes with greater intensity than men do. They are quicker to become dependent smokers, have shorter periods of abstinence...

Don´t let me forget you, cocoa!

Flavanols present in natural cocoa helps memory on aged adults
It is probably a safe assumption to make that most of us are not immune to the temptations of cocoa. New study published by researchers in New York...

Nuts and Guts For A Long And Healthy Live

Three recent studies look at gut microbiota, the Mediterranean diet and nuts and their effects on health and lifespan Put your gut microbes on a diet...

LMU Munich Creates World's First MERS Vaccine

In the event of a MERS epidemic, the vaccine is ready for production and distribution
LMU researchers, led by Dr. Gerd Sutter, have developed the first vaccine against the MERS virus, responsible for the recent outbreak in the Middle...

Antioxidants don't improve fertility, study shows

Credit: furryscaly/everystockphoto
Researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Auckland, New Zealand, have shown that there is currently no evidence that...

Economic incentives increase blood donations

Blood transfusion is critical to save lives, but often the availability of safe blood at the time when is needed is scarce. Recent research suggests...

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