Coconut oil could combat tooth decay


07 SEP 2012
Digested coconut oil is able to attack the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It is a natural antibiotic that could be incorporated into commercial dental care products, say scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.

The team from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland tested the antibacterial action of coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion. The oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. They found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibited the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans – an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay.

Many previous studies have shown that partially digested foodstuffs are active against micro-organisms. Earlier work on enzyme-modified milk showed…

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Turmeric compound boosts regeneration of brain stem cells




A bioactive compound found in turmeric promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain, reveals new research published today in the open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. The findings suggest aromatic turmerone could be a future drug candidate for treating neurological disorders, such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study looked at the effects of aromatic (ar-) turmerone on endogenous neutral stem cells (NSC), which are stem cells found within adult brains. NSC differentiate into neurons, and play an important role in self-repair and recovery of brain function in neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies of ar-turmerone have shown that the compound can block activation of microglia cells. When activated, these cells cause neuroinflammation, which is associated with different neurological disorders. However, ar-turmerone’s impact on the brain’s capacity to self-repair was unknown.

Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany, studied the…

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An integrated strategy for the conversion of cellulosic biomass into [gamma]-valerolactone

An integrated strategy for the conversion of cellulosic biomass into [gamma]-valerolactone

Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, 4,3626-3630
DOI: 10.1039/C4CY00717D, Communication
Valerio Molinari, Markus Antonietti, Davide Esposito
A new integrated strategy for the synthesis of GVL from beechwood based on the use of 2-MeTHF and RANEY Ni is presented.

Valerio Molinari,a Markus Antoniettia and Davide Esposito*a

*Corresponding authors
aMax-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Colloid Chemistry, 14424 Potsdam, Germany
E-mail: ;
Tel: (+49) 0331 567 9538
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014,4, 3626-3630
DOI: 10.1039/C4CY00717D

An integrated method for the production of γ-valerolactone from cellulosic biomass is presented here. A combination of acidic water hydrolysis of the biomass followed by extraction with methyltetrahydrofuran is used to generate a levulinic acid feed, which is further hydrogenated into the platform chemical γ-valerolactone using RANEY® nickel as a catalyst.

Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses


September 16, 2014
By Caroline Arbanas

The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

On average, healthy individuals carry about five types of viruses on their bodies, the researchers report online in BioMed Central Biology. The study is the first comprehensive analysis to describe the diversity of viruses in healthy people.

The research was conducted as part of the Human Microbiome Project, a major initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that largely has focused on cataloging the body’s bacterial ecosystems.

“Most everyone is familiar with the idea that a normal bacterial flora exists in the body,” said study co-author Gregory Storch, MD, a virologist and chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “Lots of people…

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Green tea compound shows promise for tackling cancer – 40% of both types of tumour vanished


24 AUG 2012
A compound found in green tea could be a weapon in treatments for tackling cancer, according to newly-published research at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

The extract, known as epigallocatechin gallate, has been known to have preventative anti-cancer properties but fails to reach tumours when delivered by conventional intravenous administration.

However, in initial laboratory tests at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, researchers used an approach which allowed the treatment to be delivered specifically to the tumours after intravenous administration. Nearly two-thirds of the tumours it was delivered to either shrank or disappeared within one month and the treatment displayed no side effects to normal tissues.

The tests are thought to be the first time that this type of treatment has made cancerous tumours shrink or vanish.

In the tests, on two different types of skin cancer, 40% of both types of tumour vanished, while…

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Hydrogenation in flow: homogenous and heterogeneous catalysts using Teflon AF-2400 to effect gas-liquid contact at elevated pressure

New Drug Approvals

Hydrogenation in flow: homogenous and heterogeneous catalysts using Teflon AF-2400 to effect gas-liquid contact at elevated pressure!divAbstract

M. O’Brien, N. Taylor, A. Polyzos, I.R. Baxendale, S.V. Ley, Chem. Sci. 2011, 2, 1250-1257.

A Tube-in-Tube reactor/injector has been developed, based on a gas-permeable Teflon AF-2400 membrane, which allows both heterogeneous and homogeneous catalytic hydrogenation reactions to be efficiently carried out at elevated pressure in flow, thereby increasing the safety profile of these reactions. Measurements of the gas permeation through the tubing and uptake into solution, using both a burette method and a novel computer-assisted ‘bubble counting’ technique, indicate that permeation/dissolution follows Henry’s law and that saturation is achieved extremely rapidly. The same gas-permeable membrane has also been shown to efficiently effect removal of excess unreacted hydrogen, thus enabling further downstream reaction/processing.

Graphical abstract: Hydrogenation in flow: Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis using Teflon AF-2400 to effect gas–liquid contact at elevated pressure
Inline image 1
Homogenous hydn…ABOVE
Inline image 2
Heterogenous hydrogenation
M. Amatore, C. Gosmini and J. Périchon, J. Org. Chem., 2006, 71…

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Spinach extract decreases cravings, aids weight loss



A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95% – and increases weight loss with 43%. This has been shown in a recently published long-term human study at Lund University in Sweden.

Hedonic hunger is another term for the cravings many people experience for unhealthy foods such as sweets or fast food, a common cause of obesity and unhealthy eating habits. The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body’s production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss.

Garlic spinach Garlic spinach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day”, says Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Professor of Medicine and Physiological Chemistry at Lund University.

The study involved 38 overweight women and ran for three…

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