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Spray to Stop Scarring in Development

29.10.2004


A spray that halves the healing time of burns and wounds is being designed for immediate use. Marina Murphy explains how the spray could be the difference between having a disfiguring scar or not in Chemistry & Industry magazine.



Tissue Therapies of Brisbane, Australia are developing an active ingredient that could help avoid the need for skin grafting sheets, significantly reduce scarring in children and help in healing chronic diabetic ulcers. ‘Our aim is to reduce healing time in children to 10-14 days’, says Zee Upton, the company’s consulting chief scientific officer. Scars in children are particularly damaging because the scarred region cannot keep up with the child’s natural growth. This causes areas of restriction, which are painful and often require surgery.

Also in Chemistry & Industry: Down’s Syndrome Treatment in the Womb


Scientists are working on a treatment that could be used to treat the retardation associated with Down’s Syndrome while the baby is still in the womb, reports Marina Murphy in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

Roger Reeves and his group at Johns Hopkins University in Pennsylvania, USA had earlier shown that there are changes in the cell content of the cerebellum - part of the brain located at the nape of the neck - in individuals with Down’s Syndrome. Reeves’ group is now trying to determine when neurons in the cerebellum are generated and when they differentiate. ‘The individual neurons may not be defective, but it may be that there are not enough of them and they may not be hooked up correctly,’ he said.

Reeves points out that, if a Down’s Syndrome-related problem is detected before birth, it makes sense to intervene then. But, because the cerebellum develops mainly after birth, it may also be possible to develop post-natal treatments.

Last year, William Mobley at Stanford University reported that retardation caused by the degeneration of neurons in the basal forebrain of adults with Down’s might also be reversed (C&I, 2003, 21, 10-11).

Lizzy Ray | alfa
Further information:
http://www.chemind.org
http://www.soci.org

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