October 31, 2006
The molecule TW545 can recognise a carbohydrate-containing bacterial toxin.
A molecule that can recognise carbohydrates could further the fight against infections. The carbohydrate-containing compound lipid A is found in certain bacteria and can cause septic shock, a serious condition that may lead to organ failure and death. Ben Miller at the University of Rochester, New York, US, said molecules that selectively bind lipid A could be used to diagnose infection or to treat septic shock.
Molecular recognition of carbohydrates is a challenging problem,said Miller.
Carbohydrates look a lot like bulk solvent, and are more complex than other biopolymers because they have a lot of branching points.Despite these problems Miller and his University of Rochester co-workers succeeded in designing a molecule, called TW545, that recognises lipid A.
Miller describes TW545 as a 'stepping stone' towards new strategies for molecular recognition of carbohydrates. He is particularly interested in using carbohydrate-binding molecules for diagnostic purposes. Many proteins relevant to human health contain carbohydrate groups, said Miller, so molecules that recognise these could be put to good medical use.
October 24, 2006
State Senator Joseph Robach and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman today announced $3 million in state funding for the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics at the University.
October 19, 2006
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have received a $7.8 million grant to speed the conversion of basic bone science into new treatments that prevent arthritis, improve fracture healing and save limbs. In one case, the research aims to confirm preliminary findings that a handful of patients, previously confined to wheelchairs by fractures that would not heal, were able to walk again after receiving a drug treatment that finally healed the bone.
One of the research areas, led by Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., professor of Orthopaedics, will test a new method for replacing large segments of bone that are too shattered to heal, or are simply missing, to prevent amputation. Bone loss is an urgent issue for car crash victims, bone cancer patients and troops injured in the Middle East. Dead bone donated from cadavers is currently used to replace large portions of missing bone in trauma patients.
June 2, 2006
David Pinto, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering, will receive $590,000 for his research during the next five years, as part of NSF's program to support promising scientists early in their careers.
April 24, 2006
An early study has demonstrated for the first time that laser light can target gene therapy right up to the edge of damaged cartilage, while leaving nearby healthy tissue untouched, according to the April edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. True repair of injuries to articular cartilage would enable millions of patients, currently consigned to worsening arthritis and joint replacement, to return to athletic exercise.
For years researchers have been trying to turn on gene therapy precisely within areas of damaged tissue without harming surrounding healthy tissue,said Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., professor of Orthopaedics within the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Our study shows that we can use our cellular defenses against, of all things, sunlight, to finally achieve safe, precise control over tissue repair.