Reeling in neuromuscular
Myasthenia gravis is almost sublime in its simplicity, at least
in the context of autoimmune disorders.
Those with the disease produce antibodies
which, acting as a nerve impulse's worst nightmare, attack
acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular junctions. Since these
receptors are in essence the conduit for the nerve impulse,
myasthenia gravis, left untreated, causes double vision, weakness
and fatigue in muscles and joints, and, in severe cases,
sufferers may be unable to swallow, move their arms and legs or
breathe on their own.
Fortunately for those afflicted with
myasthenia, today it is a very treatable disorder because it is
considered the most thoroughly understood of all autoimmune
diseases. Ask 20 medical students about the disease on an exam,
and you're likely to get 20 correct responses.
Both myasthenia patients and med students have
Daniel Drachman to thank.
Biology professor's cancer research focus of
A Singapore businessman plans to make a multimillion-dollar
investment in a groundbreaking new start-up company that will
further develop basic cancer treatment research conducted at
During a visit to the Homewood campus on June
27, Ang Tiong Loi signed a letter of intent to invest in a new
company dedicated to developing a group of naturally occurring
compounds isolated from creosote bushes that have shown some
early signs of promise as cancer treatments.
Ru Chih Huang, a biology professor in the
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and John Gnabre, a
postdoctoral fellow, first identified the compounds as potential
anti-viral medications. Huang; Jonathan Heller, a graduate
student of Huang; and other members of Huang's laboratory have
since found evidence, currently in preparation for publication,
that the compounds might be useful as cancer treatments.
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