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Mircobology In The News Essay

536 words - 3 pages


Unit 1. Assignment 1: Microbiology in the News
December 15, 2014
Microbiology SC2730
ITT Technical Institute

There is a team of researchers, Neurobiologist Ryan Watts and his colleagues at the biotechnology company Genentech in South San Francisco, who has discovered a way to move anti-bodies through the blood brain barrier by transferrin in monkeys. This could one day be used to help prevent Alzheimer’s. One of the major issues with treatment for Alzheimer’s has been the ability to get the medication passed the blood brain barrier via the blood stream, this may just be the solution. The blood brain barrier is the body’s way of keeping pathogens out of the central nervous system. This ...view middle of the document...

The researcher’s report that in tests with monkey’s and mice, administration of the antibodies reduced amyloid-β levels by 50 percent and didn't appear to cause any harm to blood cells, a problem that had occurred in earlier efforts. While the project so far has proved successful, it's still not known if the approach will work in humans, however, because monkeys don't develop Alzheimer's disease or experience a buildup of amyloid plaque the way humans do. More testing will have to be done before trials in humans can be started.
When first tested in 2011 on monkeys one injection of the anti-body knocked out 47% of the amyloid concentrations in the brain. Then the project was set back in 2013, when the researchers discovered that the antibody attacked immature red blood cells that have transferrin on the outer surface of their membranes, suggesting that the treatment could be harmful. In their most recent study the researchers adjusted the strength with which the antibody binds to transferrin. Now the anti-body has been produced to a strong enough strength for human testing. It is currently being tested on healthy adults with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, in hope that this will keep the plague from accumulating that causes Alzheimer’s and damage to the human brain. Only time and more researcher will show if this is affective or not.
Reardon, S. (2014, November 5). Alzheimer's drug sneaks through blood–brain barrier. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from
Yirka, B. (2014, November 6). Biotech company develops way to carry antibodies across blood-brain barrier to treat Alzheimer's. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from

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