FEMALE INFERTILITY HAS MANY FACTORS

Infertility means being unable to get pregnant after at least one year of trying (or six months if the woman is over age 35). Infertility results from female factors about one-third of the time and male factors about one-third of the time. If a woman keeps having miscarriages, this is also called infertility. Female infertility contributes to nearly 50 percent of all infertility cases.

….FULL ARTICLE

UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION IN WOMEN

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It reveals itself through symptoms such as hopelessness, pessimism, irritability, guilt, helplessness and decreased energy or fatigue lasting at least two weeks or longer. About twice as many women as men experience depression. Several factors may increase a woman’s risk of depression.

….FULL ARTICLE

RECOVERING FROM A HEART ATTACK

What happens now?  That is a question you could ask after surviving a heart attack.  How do you take care of yourself afterwards so that there is no repeat?  According to Family Doctor (www.familydoctor.org), a heart attack happens when part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies because it does not receive enough oxygen. The blood in the coronary arteries carries oxygen to the heart muscle. Most heart attacks occur when a blockage slows down or stops the flow of blood through these arteries.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Yeast has already given us bread, wine and beer, but in the very near future it may be a new painkiller.

 

Researchers at Stanford University have genetically engineered baker’s yeast to act on sugar so that in three to five days the sugar is converted to hydrocodone. In the same general way yeast can work on sugar and turn it into alcohol, the engineered yeast can take sugar, break it down and reassemble it into an opioid drug, according to the researchers.


Hydrocodone is an opioid class drug whose chemical cousins, oxycodone and morphine, can take more than a year to produce from poppies grown on licensed farms around the world. The poppies must be harvested, processed and shipped to pharmaceutical factories around the world. Speeding up the process would be valuable, as would removing the need for poppies.


In this new process, DNA is introduced into yeast cells that instruct it to create a chemical assembly line. Genes from plants, bacteria and rats are included in the genetic engineering.


“When we started work a decade ago, many experts thought it would be impossible to engineer yeast to replace the entire farm-to-factory process,” said senior study author Christina Smolke, a Stanford

YEAST TRANSFORMS QUICKLY INTO HYDROCODONE

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

associate professor of bioengineering. The experiment yields thus far have been too small for practical application as yet; it takes a whopping 4,400 gallons of bioengineered yeast to produce just a single dose of hydrocodone. The success is the proof of concept: It can be done. It just needs to produce more.


Smolke says there’s no possibility this technique, as it currently stands, could be used to produce illicit drugs such as heroin. “It’s definitely the case that no one could take these strains now and use them for commercial production or abuse them for nefarious purposes,” Smolke says. “You could get more of these compounds from eating a poppy seed bagel.”


While confirming genetically engineered yeast can produce hydrocodone and thus eliminate the use of poppies and the farm-to-factory process, there is still much more work needed to begin employing these methods. “This is only the beginning,” Smolke said. “The techniques we developed and demonstrate for opioid pain relievers can be adapted to produce many plant-derived compounds to fight cancers, infectious diseases and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and arthritis.”