The practice of phage therapy, which uses bacterial viruses (phages) to treat bacterial infections, has been around for almost a century. The universal decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics has generated renewed interest in revisiting this practice. Conventionally, phage therapy relies on the use of naturally-occurring phages to infect and lyse bacteria at the site of infection. Biotechnological advances have further expanded the repertoire of potential phage therapeutics to include novel strategies using bioengineered phages and purified phage lytic proteins. Current research on the use of phages and their lytic proteins, specifically against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, suggests phage therapy has the potential to be used as either an alternative or a supplement to antibiotic treatments. Antibacterial therapies, whether phage- or antibiotic-based, each have relative advantages and disadvantages; accordingly, many considerations must be taken into account when designing novel therapeutic approaches for preventing and treating bacterial infections. Although much is still unknown about the interactions between phage, bacteria, and human host, the time to take phage therapy seriously seems to be rapidly approaching.
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Blood proteins such as fibrinogen, plasminogen and thrombin have essential functions in the maintenance of integral vasculature homeostatic processes involved in blood clotting. However, under pathological conditions a weakened blood–brain barrier (BBB) could allow extravasation of plasma proteins into parenchymal regions of the brain. A likely consequence of increased infiltration of proteins is the exacerbation of inflammatory responses mediated by the resident immune responding cells, microglia. At present, limited experimental evidence is available to characterize the links between abnormalities in properties of BBB, increased levels of plasma proteins in parenchyma, microglial inflammatory reactivity and neuronal degeneration and their contributions to chronic brain inflammation.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains are characterized by considerable abnormalities and deficiencies in properties of BBB . Elevated levels of fibrinogen in brain parenchyma, due to extravasation of the glycoprotein through a weakened BBB, have also been reported in AD brain. Recent work has demonstrated fibrin deposition and damaged vasculature in three different transgenic animal models of AD . In these transgenic models, enhanced levels of fibrinogen exacerbated vascular damage whereas inhibition of fibrinogen attenuated neurovascular pathology. Interestingly, reduction of parenchymal fibrinogen was not associated with any efficacy for neuroprotection.
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When an animal or plant dies it is usually completely destroyed — either by another animal eating it or by decaying on the ground or in the water. But sometimes the animal is buried before it is destroyed. And when that happens and conditions are just right, the remains of the animal are preserved as fossils.
Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. The oldest known fossils are from rocks from about 3.5 billion years ago. At Shark Bay, Australia, you can see stromatolites.
Fossil collecting is the collection of fossils for scientific study, hobby, or profit. Professionals and amateurs alike collect fossils for their scientific value. A commercial trade in fossils has also long existed, with some of this being practised illegally.
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