Running Head: UNIT 1. ASSIGNMENT 1: MICROBIOLOGY IN THE NEWS
Unit 1. Assignment 1: Microbiology in the News
December 15, 2014
ITT Technical Institute
There is a team of researchers, Neurobiologist Ryan Watts and his colleagues at the biotechnology company Genentech in South San Francisco, who has discovered a way to move anti-bodies through the blood brain barrier by transferrin in monkeys. This could one day be used to help prevent Alzheimer’s. One of the major issues with treatment for Alzheimer’s has been the ability to get the medication passed the blood brain barrier via the blood stream, this may just be the solution. The blood brain barrier is the body’s way of keeping pathogens out of the central nervous system. This barrier only lets certain substances in by attaching to proteins through a process of transferrin. The research has found a way to trick transferrin into carrying an antibody with two ends. One end binds loosely to transferrin and uses the protein to transport itself into the brain. Once inside the brain, it releases a chemical that targeted an enzyme that is responsible for the production of amyloid-β, the buildup of which is behind the plague that causes Alzheimer's disease. The researcher’s report that in tests with monkey’s and mice, administration of the antibodies reduced amyloid-β levels by 50 percent and didn't appear to cause any harm to blood cells, a problem that had occurred in earlier efforts. While the project so far has proved successful, it's still not known if the approach will work in humans, however, because monkeys don't develop Alzheimer's disease or experience a buildup of amyloid plaque the way humans do. More testing will have to be done before trials in humans can be started.
When first tested in 2011 on monkeys one injection of the anti-body knocked out 47% of the amyloid concentrations in the brain. Then the project was set back in 2013, when the researchers...