India developing new TB drug
NEW DELHI, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A molecule discovered by researchers in India is being developed into a new medication that could cure tuberculosis faster than current therapies.
Kapil Sibal, India'a science and technology minister, said the molecule -- called LL 4858-SUBOTERN -- was developed by a public-private partnership between the Centre for Science and Industrial Research and Lupin Ltd. of Bombay.
The Hindustan Times reported Sibal told reporters: "It is a day of pride for us Indians. The discovery will help reduce treatment time (for tuberculosis) from six or eight months to only two months."
Drug Controller General Ashwini Kumar said the drug still would require human clinical testing before it can be widely used.
A spokesman for Lupin told the paper, "LL 4858-SUBOTERN has undergone extensive preclinical studies and has the potential to cure tuberculosis infections in a shorter period as against the existing six to 12 month therapy."
The new molecule reportedly also is effective against multi-drug resistant strains of tuberculosis.
Report: North Pole was once sub-tropical
LONDON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Fossilized algae from beneath the Arctic Ocean sea bed shows the area was sub-tropical 55 million years ago, the BBC reported Tuesday.
Scientists from eight countries working with the Arctic Coring Expedition, or ACEX, said drilled core samples show the sea temperature was once about 68 degrees, instead of the average 29 degrees it is now.
The expedition relied on three icebreakers during its work, and was sailing heading back to Tromso in Norway, the BBC said.
The samples date back to a period known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, a brief period that occurred around 55 million years ago. It was characterized by an extremely warm climate that created a natural greenhouse effect, which caused massive amounts of carbon to be deposited in both sea and air.
"We're seeing a mass extinction of sea-bottom-living organisms caused by these conditions," said Dr. Michael Kaminski, a paleontologist from University College London.
Scottish scientists make 3-D tooth image
GLASGOW, Scotland, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Scottish scientists have developed a technique to let dentists detect and study tooth decay far sooner than is normally possible.
Simon Poland of the University of Strathclyde told a Glasgow conference this week the method is based on an existing imaging technique that creates optical sections, individual images or slices through a 3-D object, using a beam of light in a grid pattern.
Poland and his colleagues applied this technique to human teeth for the first time and succeeded in producing a 3-D image of a diseased area of a tooth.
The scientists took a tooth with an area of known decay and shone a beam of structured infrared light using a halogen lamp. They took sets of three images at different spatial phases and combined them using standard image processing techniques. This produces an optically sectioned image -- many image "slices," which are put together to form a whole 3-D image.
Conventional tooth decay techniques only work when decay has become far more advanced.
FDA approves chewable ADHD drug
ATLANTA, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Alliant Pharmaceuticals Tuesday said U.S. regulators have approved the first chewable tablet medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Alliant's Methylin Chewable Tablets and Methylin Oral Solution and the pediatric specialty pharmaceutical company said the goal is to increase compliance.
Dr. Lyndon Waugh of Emory University said children often have difficulty swallowing pills so the new offerings could help ensure they take their medication. It's estimated up to 26 percent of the general population has difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules and the percentage is considered higher for children.
ADHD is a brain disorder that causes children to exhibit inappropriate impulsivity or inattention. It is estimated that 7 percent of school-age children and 4 percent of adults suffer from ADHD, one of the most commonly reported behavioral problems.
FDA approves drug to manage diabetic pain
ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tuesday said it has approved Cymbalta, a drug for managing pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is associated with long standing diabetes or poor glucose control and is the most common complication of diabetes mellitus, affecting up to 62 percent of Americans with diabetes.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can manifest in a variety of ways, but usually is characterized by burning, tingling, and numbing sensations in the feet and later affecting the legs or hands.
Patients treated with Cymbalta reported a greater decrease in pain compared to taking a placebo -- 58 percent of patients treated with the drug reported at least a 30 percent sustained reduction in pain.
"With this new treatment we will hopefully be able to help relieve the pain associated with this terrible disease," Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement.