Blood is a complex, dynamic mixture of cells, proteins, ions, sugars, hormones, nutrients, gases and more. The composition of blood constantly varies in response to our diet, exercise status, hydration, time of the day, injury and challenges from pathogens. As well as its role in mammals, blood products such as serum and albumin are important reagents for cell culture. What are the components of blood? Where do these components of blood come from?
For a drug to be successful, just as important as what the drug does to the body, is what the body does to the drug. Not only is it important to transport therapeutic drugs effectively to where they are needed, but once it is there, they have to remain long enough to have an effect. Studies to understand a drug's journey through the body are in the domain of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, usually abbreviated to DMPK.
From 1957 to 1961, Thalidomide, a small molecule drug, was prescribed to treat a range of conditions in pregnant women including morning sickness. The developmental abnormalities that it caused in the developing foetus made the drug synonymous with pharmaceutical negligence. Despite this, in 1988, thalidomide was approved for the safe treatment of leprosy and cancer.
Rapidly increasing public and private research funding is increasing our understanding of the ageing process. This is starting to yield results that could allow therapeutic intervention. Surprisingly, it seems a single cytokine could modulate brain ageing. Could we be on the verge of therapies that will extend the limits of human health?