Sampling the science behind frozen desserts, hope for neuro-tumor patients and could komodo dragon blood save your life?

FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment

(NY Times, 7/12/2017, Denise Grady)

The first gene therapy drug to reach the market might not be too far off.  A Food and Drug Administration panel unanimously recommended that the agency approve anovel treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, transforming them into what scientists call “a living drug” that powerfully bolsters the immune system to shut down the disease.  At the meeting, the panel of experts did not question the lifesaving potential of the treatment in hopeless cases. But they raised concerns about potentially life-threatening side effects.

 

The Chemistry of Frozen Desserts

(C&EN, 7/12/2017, Andy Brunning)

Can you tell the difference between ice cream and gelato? Well – there is more to it than just taste.  If you have ever made ice cream, you already know what goes into it, ingredients such as milk, cream, and sugar. But there is one main ingredient that you may not have thought about, probably because you can’t see it—air. Chemical educator Andy Brunning breaks down the science behind ice cream and other icy treats. 

 

Komodo Dragon Blood Could Save Your Life

(Gizmodo, 7/13/2017, Rae Paoletta)

It’s no secret that the blood of horseshoe crabs helps saves lives. But the cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) found in komodo dragon blood also have antibacterial properties that could possibly help humans combat illness.  The American Chemical Society just released a neat Reactions video explaining the whole thing, in addition to other useful chemicals from sponges and horseshoe crabs. While the results are promising, there’s so much more research that needs to be done. Komodo dragons might save your life one day but if you happen to see one in the street, the best thing to do is still to run—fast!

 

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola