Showing posts with label virus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virus. Show all posts

Friday, June 19, 2015

What You Should Know About Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer is everywhere, you find it in almost every store you go to and it’s widely available in hospitals. Hand sanitizing is beneficial to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria and viruses that can make us ill. Most people carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in their bag, especially when travelling (and especially on the London underground). 

I was surprised to see that there is a video, scaring people from using hand sanitizer; featured in IF******LoveScience and DNews. 

Recently new research has been published which tries to oppose the use of hand sanitizer by blaming its use on increased absorption of BPA levels in the body. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. First data has emerged that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using the skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.

Scientists at the University of Missouri tested human subjects who cleaned their hands with hand sanitizer and then held thermal paper receipts. As an added step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper, they then made them eat French fries with their hands; as a result, BPA was absorbed very quickly.

"Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin," vom Saal said. "BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in foetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents. BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health."

Furthermore, the BPA from thermal receipts is only activated if your hands are WET WITH hand sanitizer (which is highly unlikely).

What they fail to reiterate in the video is that the hand sanitizer was used contains triclosan (an antibiotic and anti-fungal agent), the culprit that makes BPA absorb into the body faster and that triclosan is based in non-alcohol hand sanitizers. They also fail to mention that the most popular hand sanitizers are the alcohol based ones. They have no triclosan in it at all. The active ingredient in alcohol based hand sanitizers is: Ethanol (57.6%). 

Why is hand sanitizer utilized in hospitals then?

A study published in 2010 (by researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville and Dial Corporation, Scottsdale, in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy),  suggests that hand sanitizers containing ethanol are much more effective at removing rhinovirus from hands than washing with soap and water. Sanitizers containing both ethanol and organic acids significantly reduced recovery of the virus from hands and rhinovirus infection up to 4 hours following application. Results showed that the ethanol hand sanitizer removed approximately 80% of detectable rhinovirus from hands and was much more effective than no treatment, water alone, or soap and water. Soap and water removed rhinovirus from 31% of hands. Proving that alcohol-based hand sanitizer can is beneficial in preventing illnesses due to viruses such as the rhinovirus.

So what can we take out of this post? That not giving the full information behind any story can lead to misinformation and scaremongering of people. 

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Two is Better than One, Cancer Drug Could Cure HBV

A promising cure has been found which uses an anti-cancer drug along with an anti-viral drug to treat hepatitis b, and within phase 1/2a trials and has achieved 100% success. Hepatitis-B is a chronic viral disease that is currently incurable. Over two billion people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and approximately 400 million have a chronic HBV infection, unimaginable numbers. The virus infects liver cells and can lead to complications including cirrhosis and liver cancer, resulting in more than 780,000 deaths annually.




Hepatitis B patients in Australia are the first people who will have access to the potential treatment. The scientists from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researched the combination of the anti-viral drug and the anti-cancer drug (developed by a US company-TetraLogic pharmaceuticals). Dr Marc Pellegrini and Dr Greg Ebert and their colleagues at the institute utilised their research on the behaviour of Hep-B in infected cells as a foundation to the treatment.


Combination therapy for Hepatitis B...

Their new research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Proceeding the research, Dr Pellegrini said "We were 100 per cent successful in curing HBV infection in hundreds of tests in preclinical models."

"Birinapant enabled the destruction of hepatitis B-infected liver cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Excitingly, when birinapant was administered in combination with current antiviral drug entecavir, the infection was cleared twice as fast compared with birinapant alone. We are hopeful these promising results will be as successful in human clinical trials, which are currently underway in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide."

Birinapant (the anti-cancer drug developed by TetraLogic) targets the cell signalling pathways that the Hep-B virus uses to keep the host liver cells alive. Viruses like the Hep-B virus take over liver cells and live inside them (the liver cells are the host cells) and use the cells internal organelles which makes them able to survive within the body for many months and years. 

Dr Pellegrini adds "Normally, liver cells would respond to infection by switching on a signal that tells the cell to destroy itself 'for the greater good', preventing further infection," he said. "However our research showed that the virus commandeers the liver cells' internal communications, telling the cells to ignore the infection and stay alive. Birinapant flips the cell survival 'switch' used by the virus, causing the infected cell to die."

Treatments that help the host cell to rid itself of the virus, rather than targeting the virus itself may prevent drug-resistant strains of HBV emerging, Dr Pellegrini said. "It is relatively easy for an organism to adapt to a drug, but it is very difficult to adapt to a change in the host cell," he said. "The virus relies on the survival mechanisms of the host, so if it can't exploit them, it dies. Such a monumental change in the virus' environment may be too big a hurdle for it to adapt to."

Dr Pellegrini and his team are now going to be researching whether this same method can be applied to other chronic infectious diseases. "Pathogens that infect and reside inside host cells, including viral diseases such as HIV, herpes simplex and dengue fever, and bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, could all potentially be cured in a similar way," he said.

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References

Kulik LM (2006). Can therapy of hepatitis C affect the development of hepatocellular carcinoma? Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN, 4 (8), 751-7 PMID: 16948953 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150420154819.htm

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 3 Ways to Beat the Cold and Flu this winter!

What is the flu?

Influenza or “flu” for short is a virus. Viruses contain either RNA or DNA but never both in one viral cell. They work by entering human cells via adsorption and exploiting the functions of the nucleus, in the healthy human cell, to replicate the  nucleic acid and place it inside capsules called nucleocapsids  which are then budded off and released out of the cell to go onto infect more healthy cells in the body; a vicious cycle.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Combating E. coli Drug Resistance by Mutation

Bacterial mutation can be caused by a number of factors, such as genetic mutation and genetic transfer. This mutation causes them to become resistant to antibiotics, making life harder for researchers and starting a new strain of resistant bacteria which could potentially be life threatening.


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Should we fear the Ebola virus or not?


“Breaking news: Ebola virus has been declared as an international public health emergency by the World Health organization”

That sentence was the first thing I saw when I logged into Facebook as I’ve started planning and writing this article.

What is the Ebola virus (EBOV)?


The Ebola virus is a very terrible disease and lethal if caught and it has a high fatality rate of 60% (WHO 01/04/2014) [1] Ebola is not an airborne virus but it can be spread via bodily fluids such as sweat and its recommended that you don’t shake hands with anyone who could potential carry the disease or has recovered and still in recuperation period.

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