Friday, December 23, 2011

New Drug Might Kill All Viruses

Doctors may soon be able to prescribe a drug that kills all viruses, according to new research from MIT. DRACO is a novel broad-spectrum treatment that appears to cause virus-infected cells in the body to commit suicide, eventually killing (or at least controlling) the infection throughout the body.

A recent study found that DRACO effectively kills 15 different virus types in both human and animal cells, including polio, dengue fever, a stomach virus, various types of hemorrhagic fever (including the scary-deadly Ebola virus), the H1N1 "swine" flu virus, and even the common cold! According to Todd Rider, DRACO's inventor and a top researcher at MIT:
“In theory, it should work against all viruses."
Basically the new anti-viral drug works by telling an infected cell to kill itself before a virus can replicate inside of it. In effect it manipulates the cell's natural defense mechanisms in a way that wipes out a virus before it can produce many copies of itself.

The best news is that, according to experts, viruses may not be able to become resistant to the effects of DRACO the way they do to many other anti-viral compounds. There is simply no direct pathway to resistance because the drug really acts on the cell, not on the virus itself. Scientists are hoping DRACO will be the virus "cure-all" we've been waiting for for thousands of years!

Learn some mo': New drug could cure nearly any viral infection

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anti-Alzheimer's / Memory Booster Pill Might Be Coming Soon

Scientists may be on the verge of creating a drug that reverses Alzheimer's syndrome and dramatically boosts the memory. New research has identified a powerful gene in mice that gives them "super memory" powers and fights off the negative effects of several degenerative mental illnesses, including Alzheimer's.

Mice brains and human brains are surprisingly similar so some in the scientific community believe a drug could be developed based on harnessing the power of this brain-boosting super gene. Researchers found that it blocks the release of a another gene -- called PKR -- that triggers the beginning of Alzheimer's disease. Aside from protecting the brain it appears to greatly increase the memory recall abilities of mice.

 According to lead researcher Maura Costa-Mattioli:
 "If we were to find an inhibitor, a molecule, a drug that will specifically block PKR, we should be able to do the same [in humans]... And we did. We recognize that PKR plays a dual role, one in regulating simple everyday processes like the way neurons talk to each other [for] memory, but also has a stress response." 
 We say: It seems like by now they should have Alzheimer's cured or at least "contained". And we would LOVE a pharmaceutical memory booster that really works. So get it done science geeks!!

Learn some mo': Could this be the cure for Alzheimer's? Scientists say memory-boosting pill could be coming soon

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Analyst: iPad 3 Release Date Will Be February 2012

People have a lot of questions about the upcoming iPad 3 from Apple. The biggest are: "Should I wait for it? When is the release date? How much better is it compared to the iPad 2?" Now we may have an answer to one of those queries.

There were rumors that it would be available for Christmas 2011 but that obviously is not the case. Then some "insiders" were predicting a March or April 2012 release date. Now Citi analyst Richard Gardner says he knows when the iPad 3 will really be available: February 2012.

In a report filed today he claimed several inside sources have indicated that Apple will launch the 3rd generation iPad sometime in the month of February. Technology-related glitches may have delayed the release of the new tablet but, according to Gardner:
"There do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining [to releasing the iPad 3]."
Apple usually releases new versions of popular products one year apart. But they do occasionally shorten the time frame, as would be the case if the release date is in February (the iPad 2 was release in March of 2011). Apple is currently dominating the tablet computer market but is seeing strong new competition from the Amazon Kindle Fire and other new Android-based tablets like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. They may be anxious to get their best product on the market ASAP.

We say: The best thing about a new iPad being released is that the older version iPads will be available at a deep discount. Cheaper tabs make us happy!

Learn some mo': iPad 3 is Coming in February

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blowfish Hangover Pill: The Next Big Thing?

A new FDA-approved hangover "cure" has hit the market and some think it could be a bestseller for 2012. It's called "Blowfish" and it's basically an alka seltzer with big doses of caffeine, aspirin, and a "stomach-soothing" antacid formula designed to reduce hangover-related discomfort. The supplement is taken the morning after a night of drinking and it claims to be able to remedy a severe hangover within 30 minutes.

The people behind Blowfish say it's the perfect solution for dealing with crazy happy hours and out-of-control holiday parties. According to its creator: "This gets you functioning again quickly!"

A dose of Blowfish currently costs about 3 dollars. 6-packs can be had for about 12 bucks. Some experts say that, if it really works, it could catch on the way energy drink did and sell millions of units within just the first year.

We say: Sound cool but why wouldn't we just drink a Rockstar, take a couple big aspirins, and pop a couple of Tums like we normally do after a long night on Fremont Street??

 Learn some mo': Hangover pill approved by FDA

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Adipotide: A "Dream" Drug for Fast Weight Loss?

Adipotide is a relatively simple drug that may become the "dream" solution for fast weight loss in overweight people. It was created as a novel cancer treatment but, while it was being tested, researchers found that it causes rapid fat loss and even improves metabolic function -- at least in mice and monkeys -- without diet or exercise changes. The good news is that drugs that work in primates usually have similar effects in humans.

The pharmaceutical industry has been desperately trying to find a new weight loss drug that works without a bunch of risky side effects. Experts are saying that adipotide may very well be that drug. It functions by killing the blood supply to adipose cells (aka bodyfat) and in turn reducing their number.

Overweight "couch potato" monkeys who received only about a month's worth of daily adipotide injections lost an average of 11 percent of their total body weight and nearly 40% of their bodyfat stores. That's a HUGE amount of weight and fat loss, especially in such a short time frame! The injections caused the monkeys to eat fewer calories and lose belly fat. They also underwent positive metabolic changes that may prevent Type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.

The researchers behind the unique chemical compound have already applied for FDA approval of human trials and expect them to begin within a year.

According to head researcher Wadih Arap:
"It is incredibly exciting, a dream coming true in slow motion."
We say: A drug that allows couch potatoes to lose 40% of their belly fat in a month without exercising or dieting... are you kidding us?? If this thing gets approved it'll sell about $100 billion in the first week!

Learn some mo': Drug helps monkeys lose weight, are humans next?

The Kindle Fire is the Best-Selling iPad Alternative

Sales of the new Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon are literally on fire, according to new retail statistics. New numbers from IHS iSuppli show that nearly 4 million Kindle Fires will ship during this quarter, making it the number 1 Google Android-based tablet and the number 2 selling tablet overall.

 The Apple iPad 2 still dominates the tablet market. But some experts are predicting that the Kindle Fire will emerge as the top iPad-alternative and steal a large percentage of Apple's market share over the next few quarters. The popular Samsung Galaxy Tab, another Android device, is more powerful than the "Fire" but it's also a lot more expensive... which is probably only 1.4 million are expected to sell his quarter.

 It's interesting to note that the original iPad only sold 3.3 million in its first quarter (Q3 2010) on the market. Kindle Fire sales will easily beat that. As we've already seen, consumers love cheap-but-powerful tablet computers. Plus the 7-inch Kindle Fire is significantly lighter, smaller, and more "portable" than the iPad, allowing it to be more of a go-anywhere content consumption/personal entertainment center device. The question analysts are already asking is this: could the Amazon Kindle Fire outsell the iPad in the near future? We'll just have to wait and see.

 We say: We got our hands on a Kindle Fire and we really like it. Just the right size and weight, plus it's great for watching movies/videos. The only serious problem so far: it doesn't allow you to download all the Android apps yet! What's up with that Amazon??

 Learn some mo': The Kindle Fire Is On Fire

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Type 2 Diabetes "Cure" Diet

Dutch scientists say they may have found a true type 2 diabetes "cure": the calorie restriction diet. They found that diabetes patients who followed a very low calorie (just 500 calories per day!) diet for four months dramatically improved their overall health, reducing dangerous "pericardial" fat and improving the function of their hearts.

Body mass index (BMI), one of the best measurements of overall body fat levels, fell greatly, from 35.3 to 27.5 on average. But probably the biggest surprise of the study was this: volunteers on the calorie-restricted diet were able to stop taking their daily insulin injections! According to study leader, Dr. Sebastiaan Hammer:
"It was very striking to us to see how a relatively simple intervention such as a very-low-calorie diet effectively cures type 2 diabetes mellitus."
We say: This is GREAT news for people who suffer from diabetes! Just basically starve yourself for a few months and you'll cure/treat yourself naturally. Or you could just stick to boring old balanced diet, regular exercise, and smart supplementation... but where's the fun in that??

Learn some mo': Calorie restriction cures diabetes? What study says