Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tree Nut Research May Unexpectedly Lead to Medical Advances

08.10.2012
Prescription drugs that today help patients fight severe fungal infections might tomorrow be even more effective, thanks to unexpected findings from agriculture-based, food-safety-focused studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their colleagues.

Petri-dish experiments conducted by now-retired Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research leader Bruce C. Campbell, ARS molecular biologist Jong H. Kim, and their co-investigators suggest that pairing conventional antifungal medicines with natural, edible compounds from plants—such as thymol, extracted from the popular herb thyme—can boost the healing effects of some of these drugs. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

Campbell and Kim's work at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., with species of Aspergillus mold, for example, has attracted the attention of medical and public health researchers. Found worldwide in air and soil, Aspergillus can infect corn, cotton, pistachios, almonds and other crops, and can produce aflatoxin, a natural carcinogen.

Aflatoxin-contaminated crops must be identified and removed from the processing stream, at times resulting in large economic losses. Since 2004, Campbell, Kim, and colleagues have carefully built a portfolio of potent, plant-based compounds that kill a target Aspergillus species, A. flavus, or thwart its ability to produce aflatoxin.

Further research and testing might enable tomorrow's growers to team the best of these natural compounds with agricultural fungicides that today are uneconomical to use, according to Kim.

A. flavus and two of its relatives, A. fumigatus and A. terreus, may impact the health of immunocompromised individuals exposed to the fungus in moldy homes. In a 2010 article in Fungal Biology, the team reported that thymol, when used in laboratory tests with two systemic antifungal medications, inhibited growth of these fungi at much lower-than-normal doses of the drugs.

A related study provided new evidence to support earlier findings, at Albany and elsewhere, which had suggested that plant compounds such as thymol may sabotage a target fungi's ability to recover from oxidative stress triggered by antifungal drugs. A 2011 article published by Kim, Campbell and others in Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials documents this research.

Using plant-derived compounds to treat fungal infections is not a new idea, nor is that of pairing the compounds with antifungal medicines. But the Albany team's studies have explored some apparently unique pairs, and have provided some of the newest, most detailed information about the mechanisms likely responsible for the impact of powerful combinations of drugs and natural plant compounds.

Read more about this research in the October 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Marcia Wood | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/121005.htm

Further reports about: ARS Agricultural Research Aspergillus Medical Wellness Tree Frog USDA fungal infection nut

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>