Possible antiatherogenic effects of the commonly used spice and flavoring agent, ginger

By Yingnan Lei1, Dongdong Wang1, 2, 3*

Contribution participating in the INPST 2018 Science Communication Awards contest.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading causes of disability and mortality worldwide. So, it is very interesting to develop novel treatment strategies as well as drugs against CVDs. Many natural products have been proven to be safe for human consumption throughout the world, and still represent an enormous pool for the discovery and development of new drugs. In recent decades, multiple research teams investigated the possible benefits of natural products and their active components against CVDs. Our group mainly focused on screening of natural products (including ginger [1]), among others) to prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases. Recently we published results linking ginger and macrophage cholesterol efflux, which is an important event in CVDs [1]. In this blog contribution, we will briefly present some highlights and major findings in our study.

Possible antiatherogenic effects of the commonly used spice and flavoring agent, ginger

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Malaria eradication: The untapped natural products goldmine

By Nasir Tajuddeen*

Contribution participating in the INPST 2018 Science Communication Awards contest.

Every year, malaria continues to cause severe morbidity and mortality. Therefore, scientists are actively collaborating with the World Health Organization towards an eradication of the disease. One of the main pillars of the eradication agenda involves killing the transmissible forms of the parasite that causes malaria, using drugs. This will, in turn, curtail the spread of the disease. However, there is a lack of compounds that can kill the transmissible form of the parasite. This blog post underlines that natural products might hold the key towards discovering the needed transmission-blocking compounds and calls for their joint exploration. Indeed, the historical link between natural compounds and the battle against malaria supports this argument.

Malaria eradication The untapped natural products goldmine

Figure 1: Stopping the spread of Plasmodium from infected humans to mosquitoes will eradicate malaria.

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Pomegranate for heart health and the science behind it

By Dongdong Wang*

Contribution participating in the INPST 2018 Science Communication Awards contest.

Together with my academic associates, recently I have systematically reviewed the scientific research linking pomegranate intake with cardiovascular benefits in consumers and patients [Ref. 1]. Here I will briefly present some highlights and major findings from our analysis of the existing scientific literature on this topic.

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Recent progress in natural drug development

By Prof. Marc Diederich and James Bowers PhD

 1. Antique anti-coagulants may hold the key to a new lung cancer treatment

 Genetic variations in patients can render lung cancer medicines ineffective. Prof. Marc Diederich and his colleagues ascertained a biscoumarin-derivative to target patients that are resistant to other treatments.

 Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world and, with such a crucial role of this organ in the human body, it’s easy to understand the importance of finding an effective cure. Current research into finding new treatments aims at seeking molecules that can attack specific cancer cells. However, not every patient or cancer are the same due to genetic variation and this means that we are unlikely to find a one-size-fits-all medicine. A simple difference in the genetic code can make cancer cells resistant to treatments.

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