Heart Disease remains a leading cause of death in the U.S for both men and women.
- A Heart Attack results from the sudden blockage of blood flow to a portion of the heart. This prevents the heart from receiving enough oxygen, and it begins to die.
- A heart attack most commonly happens when a blood vessel that brings blood to the heart is suddenly blocked by a blood clot.
- Cholesterol and other fat-like substances build up along vein walls, and become coated with tissue called plaque. Eventually, these deposits can slow or stop blood flow to the heart.
- “Clot-busting” medication can be used to treat heart attacks, and is usually effective when symptoms are acted upon quickly.
- Snake venoms contain molecules that can interfere with the body’s clotting cascade. The snakes use these molecules to capture their prey.
- These same molecules may also have applications in the creation of “clot-busting” medications. Venom is extracted from the snakes. Molecules are isolated and characterized to determine heir potential use in biomedical applications.
Strokes affect more than 700,000 Americans each years, killing about 165,000.
- A thrombic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain and cuts off the oxygen supply to parts of the brain.
- Brain tissue that is deprived of oxygen dies within minutes. As a result, the part of the body controlled by those brain cells cannot function properly.
- Treatment for strokes is best when received within one hour from the onset of the stroke, which can be difficult to determine, as not everyone experiences the same symptoms.
- The damage done by a stroke is permanent. Medicine can only be prescribed to prevent another stroke. Certain snake venoms contain Fibrinolase. Ancord Medicine contains Fibrinolase, which can remove the clot.
- Venom is extracted from the snakes.
- The Fibrinolase is isolated.
Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030
- Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide: it accounted for 7.4 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2004. — World Health Organization
- Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
- The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women.
- Cancer arises from a change in one single cell. The change may be started by external agents and inherited genetic factors.
- Integrins are molecules on all cell surfaces
- Integrins affect cell to cell interactions, cell to matrix interaction, and signal transduction
- Disintegrins prevent binding of matrix proteins to integrins
- Disintegrin is an example of platelet aggregation inhibitors Inhibition of platelet aggregation could help stop cancer cells from binding to new locations in the body
- Several disintegrins have been found in snake venoms, and are being characterized, purified and cloned for use in drug discovery