LGC, Europes leading independent analytical laboratory providing advanced chemical, biochemical and forensic analysis, has announced an exclusive agreement with King’s College London to offer the first pharmacogenetic screening service which will predict whether a patient with schizophrenia will respond positively to the antipsychotic drug clozapine. Developed following 13 years of research by Professor Robert Kerwin and Dr Maria Arranz from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s, the test will help clinicians tailor the management of medication for schizophrenia to the needs of the patient.
Schizophrenia is considered the most chronic, debilitating and costly mental illness and affects between 1-2% of all populations. There is no permanent cure, but symptoms of the illness can be controlled by antipsychotic drugs. However, not all patients benefit from treatment and up to 40% of patients do not show a complete response - this is known as Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia (TRS).
Although clozapine is the only licensed drug with proven efficiency in the treatment of TRS its treatment can cause potentially serious side effects. It is therefore commonly only prescribed to patients when other medicines have failed. On average patients currently progress through four different antipsychotic medications over a period of five years before being treated with clozapine.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
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