Lead author Arnold Melman, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Urology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, says, “This is an exciting field of research because current treatments for men with erectile dysfunction, whether pills or minimally invasive therapies, must be used ‘on demand’, thereby reducing the spontaneity of the sexual act.”
Erectile dysfunction affects more than 50 percent of men aged 40 to70 and 70 percent above age 70, according to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.
Dr. Melman and two study centers worked with 11 men and administered various doses of a transfer gene called hMaxi-K. “While this phase 1 safety trial was not designed to provide efficacy answers, one patient in each of the higher dose groups (5000 and 7500 micrograms) reported clinically significant and sustained improvements in ED. And, there have been no adverse effects with the patients in the study, so it has been proven to be safe,” he adds.
Because there has been widely publicized adverse results using viruses as agents to transfer genes into humans, Dr. Melman has chosen to transfer the hMaxi-K gene using “naked DNA,” a form of circular DNA which remains independent and does not integrate with chromosomal DNA in the muscle cells.
“The hMaxi-K stimulates potassium ion transfer in the smooth muscle cells of the penis,” says Dr. Melman. The hMaxi-K gene works by creating additional potassium channels (the chemical symbol for potassium is ‘K’) in the smooth muscle cell of the penis. This relaxes the muscle and allows blood flow required for an erection.
“Because this novel therapeutic approach of ion channel therapy works on smooth muscle, it is also promising for overactive bladder disease,” adds Dr. Melman.
Dr. Melman, with George Christ, PhD, developed the process for ion channel therapy at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which owns the patents. Montefiore is the academic medical center for Einstein. Einstein has granted licensing rights for the patent to a company called Ion Channel Innovations, which was founded by Dr. Melman, and under whose sponsorship the clinical trials are being conducted. The two study centers in the trials were Mount Sinai Medical Center and NYU Medical Center.
Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy