BioLineRx announced that it has licensed an experimental immunotherapy drug from Yissum Research Development Company Ltd which is the business side of Hebrew University of Jerusalem(Israel).

The drug is currently known as “BL-7040” & BioLineRx has plans to further develop & commercialize the drug worldwide. BL-7040 is an experimental drug that is still in testing, but it has already passed Phase Ib & Phase IIa clinical trials. Officially it won’t be known how well BL-7040 works until it’s subjected to Phase IIb clinical trials. However, Prof. Hermona Soreq sounds optimistic on the drug’s efficacy:

The efficacy of BL-7040 in these [earlier] studies was shown to be highly significant and comparable to that of dexamethasone, a steroid used routinely for IBD that has multiple side effects. Continue reading “BioLineRX’s TLR-9 Immunotherapy For Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

Comedian Julian McCullough finds out when your appendix fails it’s not funny business, sorta…

A segment of this weeks This American Life had a rather funny story where comedian Julian McCullough discusses the ordeal he had when his appendix burst, sending him to the emergency room.

The appendix is the only organ in our body that doesn’t have a job to do, but it’s the first one to be like “screw this” {poof}.

Listen to the story on This American Life’s website.

It is important to say that research is showing that the appendix is most likely a hang out spot for beneficial bacteria when there is a problem in the intestinal tract. Basically a safe house while the body tries to flush out invaders. Once the problem is resolved the healthy bacteria can repopulate the intestinal tract. So, the appendix is not entirely useless ;).

Research mapping the digestive system’s bacterial flora seems to suggest that most people fall into one of only three different “gut types”.

A recent study published in Nature has found that our gut’s bacterial flora may not be as diverse or unique as once thought. Researchers deciphered the microbial life within each test subject’s fecal samples. What they found was that the test subjects fell into one of three different “enterotypes” (microbe ecosystems). Factors such as age, weight or nationality did not matter as far as who ended up with what enterotype. Essentially what this means is that it appears the life forms living inside of us aren’t as random as we might have thought in the past. Continue reading “Knowing Your “Gut Type” May Soon Be Like Knowing Your Blood Type” » has reported a story about a 55 year old Chinese farmer who, until recently, had lived his entire life without an anus. He suffered from a condition called “imperforate anus”, essentially meaning that his anus was not connected to his digestive tract correctly. An “imperforate anus” is typically corrected when someone is still an infant, at least in what are considered “first world” countries. Given that his parents didn’t have the money for the proper surgery when was born, the solution at the time was for him to receive a small colostomy near his scrotum. This was an imperfect a solution as he had to manually, “massage out” bowel movements using his hand. He also had to be careful about what he ate & used laxatives on a regular basis.

He recently finished saving enough money to get the proper surgery done & is now able to have normal bowel movements. There are many people who have to deal with colostomies, perhaps the thing that’s shocking about this story is that his condition is somewhat easy to fix by first world standards & the amount of time he had to endure with such a embarrassing & inconvenient condition. Despite the struggles he faced, he still got married & even had kids… Impressive.

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