Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Big Lottery to Fund Scientific Research

05.11.2008
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have received £500,000 to develop a treatment for the rare, genetic disease Alkaptonuria.

Patients being treated for the disorder do not have enough of the enzyme, homogentisic acid oxidase, which causes acid to build up in the body. Some of this acid is eliminated in the urine, but the remainder is deposited in body tissue where it is toxic. The result is ochronosis; the formation of a black pigment which binds to bone, cartilage, and skin.

The research at Liverpool will be funded by the Alkaptonuria (AKU) Society following the organisation’s successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund. The research will use models of ochronosis that have been developed at the University. Tissue samples donated by Alkaptonuria patients undergoing joint replacement surgery will also be analysed.

There is no known cure for the disease which affects one in 200,000 people worldwide and can leave sufferers with crippling osteoarthritis in their spine and large joints, heart disease and in need of joint replacement surgery.

Head of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, Professor Jim Gallagher, said: “The black pigment that leaks into the bloodstream and attaches itself to joint cartilage is the main cause of illness. What is interesting is that the pigment only attaches itself to certain areas of cartilage, whilst other sections remain pigment-free.

“If we can find out why it does this we could prevent the pigment from binding altogether. This would dramatically reduce the risk of arthritis in the joints of Alkaptonuria sufferers. Only by understanding the basic mechanisms of the development of ochronosis will we be able to develop strategies to prevent it.”

Scientists will use their ochronosis models to provide a fundamental understanding of the development of the condition and to develop potential therapies.

Laura Johnson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.liv.ac.uk

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>