NIH and Non-profits Sign Research and Development Agreement

The National Institutes of Health today announced an agreement with two non-profit organizations to accelerate the development of potential clinical therapies for rare blood cancers.

The cooperative research and development agreement has been established as a shared commitment to move therapies for rare blood cancers into clinical proof-of-concept studies so that promising treatments can eventually be commercialized. The agreement is among the University of Kansas Medical Center, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program and the Hematology Branch within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The Learning Collaborative

Moderate Levels of Secondhand Smoke Deliver Nicotine to the Brain

Exposure to secondhand smoke, such as a person can get by riding in an enclosed car while someone else smokes, has a direct, measurable impact on the brain — and the effect is similar to what happens in the brain of the person doing the smoking. In fact, exposure to this secondhand smoke evokes cravings among smokers, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Secondhand smoke

The study, published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, used positron emission tomography (PET) to demonstrate that one hour of secondhand smoke in an enclosed space results in enough nicotine reaching the brain to bind receptors that are normally targeted by direct exposure to tobacco smoke [1]. This happens in the brain of both smokers and non-smokers.

New Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research Seeks to Curb Epidemic

To combat the obesity epidemic, the National Institutes of Health is encouraging diverse scientific investigations through a new Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research.

More than one-third of adults in the United States and nearly 17 percent of the nation’s children are now obese, which increases a person’s chance of developing many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and some cancers. Although American obesity rates leveled off in 2007, in 2008, obesity-related medical costs were an estimated $147 billion. Government, nonprofit and community groups, businesses, health care professionals, schools, families, and individuals are taking action to address this public health problem — and research can provide the foundation for these efforts.

New Strategic NIH Plan to Fight Diabetes

A new strategic plan to guide diabetes-related research over the next decade was announced recently by the National Institutes of Health. The plan, developed by a federal work group led by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), identifies research opportunities with the greatest potential to benefit the millions of Americans who are living with or at risk for diabetes and its complications.