Botulinum toxin (“botox”) is a very powerful and often fatal poison produced by a rare type of food poisoning bacteria. The toxin blocks the activity of ‘cholinergic’ nerves which control muscles and glands, causing glands to stop secretion and muscles to become paralysed.
But in tiny doses and applied to specific structures, “botox” has many medical uses. Lim and Seet’s paper describes the early medical use of botulinum toxin in treating eye-squint, then its wider role in treating pain, excess glandular secretion and muscle spasm disorders, and its best-known use as a wrinkle remover in cosmetic surgery.
The authors go on to suggest a wide range of possible uses for “botox” such as calming restless legs, improving breathing in asthma, reducing sweating, and performing a ‘chemical liposuction’ by removing excessive fat. In theory, botulinum toxin might be used to treat a broad range of pain syndromes, and to reduce activity for all types of glands and muscles that receive their nerve supply from the cholinergic system.
This judge for this year’s prize was the internationally famous neuroscientist VS Ramachandran of the University of California at San Diego, USA. Professor Ramachandran described the paper as: "A scholarly overview containing many suggestions for potentially valuable new directions of research"
The £1,000 prize was launched in 2004 and is awarded annually by Elsevier, the publisher of Medical Hypotheses. It is named in honour of Dr. David Horrobin, the renowned researcher, biotechnology expert and founder of Medical Hypotheses, who died in 2003.
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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