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Medicine Roundup

May 6, 2011

A long-lasting gel can be injected directly into joints to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (Host):

Relief from a gel. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Relief from the pain of arthritis could come in the form of an injectable gel that would release medicine right at the joint. At the annual meeting of the Society for Biomaterials, researchers said the gel could deliver anti-inflammatory drugs right where they’re needed, and last for several months. The gel would be triggered by the presence of enzymes the body secretes as a result of inflammation, so the worse the arthritis, the more drug would be released. The scientists say that the idea of injecting drug-secreting gels into diseased parts of the body could be applied to a variety of illnesses.

In other news, scientists have discovered over 79 germ-killing compounds in the brains of giant fire-bellied toads, threatened amphibians native to China. They report that 59 of these compounds are totally new to science. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.