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Compound May Prevent Neuron-Degeneration

Nagoya, Japan (UPI) Sep 14, 2005
Scientists from Japan's Nagoya University School of Medicine say they've found a chemical compound that prevents a neuron-degeneration process.

The researchers, writing in the journal Nature Medicine, said the compound known as 17-AAG might be used as a molecular targeted drug, the Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

"The concept of molecular targeted drugs is an important one for developing new drug therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease," said Gen Sobue, who led the research team.

Neuron degeneration is linked to the accumulation of mutant proteins in nerve cells and experiments have confirmed 17-AAG has a special effect on such proteins, the newspaper reported.

The researchers said the compound lies dormant when there is nothing unusual about a certain part of the protein receptor. But when abnormalities develop the compound functions to inhibit and degrade the suspect protein, Asahi Shimbun said.

Molecular targeted drugs are a focus of research in cancer prevention, and 17-AAG has been considered a possible chemical compound for use in such drugs.

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Croatia Zoo Opens Cages For World's Most Dangerous Species - Humans
Zagreb (AFP) Sep 13, 2005
Visitors to Zagreb zoo can now experience what it feels like to be a caged animal, zoo management announced Tuesday.

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