Monday, July 18, 2016

Rosalyn Yalow : Developer of Radio Immuno Assay

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow
Born: 19 July 1921, New York, NY, USA
Died: 30 May 2011, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Veterans Administration Hospital, Bronx, NY, USA
Prize motivation: "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones"
Field: diagnostic techniques, endocrinology, metabolism
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1977
Roger Guillemin, Andrew V. Schally, Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow was a stubborn and single-minded child. Her parents wanted her to become a schoolmistress, but instead they became a physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Rosalyn Yalow grew up in and lived almost her entire life in New York. Her parents came from humble backgrounds, but that did not stop Rosalyn and her brother, Alexander, from striving for something greater. Rosalyn began to read before she began preschool. Her 7th-grade chemistry teacher aroused her interest in science, and when at university, she took a liking to nuclear physics. Rosalyn Yalow was married with two children.
Rosalyn Yalow was a nuclear physicist. She developed radioimmunoassay (RIA) together with doctor Solomon Berson. RIA is used to measure small concentrations of substances in the body, such as hormones in the blood. Rosalyn Yalow and Solomon Berson tracked insulin by injecting radioactive iodine into patients' blood. Because the method is so precise, they were able to prove that type 2 diabetes is caused by the body's inefficient use of insulin. Previously it was thought that the disease was caused by a lack of insulin.

Source :
  "Rosalyn Yalow - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 18 Jul 2016.

Rosalyn S. Yalow   

(From  Encyclopædia Britannica)

Rosalyn S. Yalow, in full Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (born July 19, 1921, New York, New York, U.S.—died May 30, 2011, New York) American medical physicist and joint recipient (with Andrew V. Schally and Roger Guillemin) of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, awarded for her development of radioimmunoassay (RIA), an extremely sensitive technique for measuring minute quantities of biologically active substances. Yalow graduated with honours from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1941 and four years later received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois. From 1946 to 1950 she lectured on physics at Hunter, and in 1947 she became a consultant in nuclear physics to the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, where from 1950 to 1970 she was physicist and assistant chief of the radioisotope service.
With a colleague, the American physician Solomon A. Berson, Yalow began using radioactive isotopes to examine and diagnose various disease conditions. Yalow and Berson’s investigations into the mechanism underlying type II diabetes led to their development of RIA. In the 1950s it was known that individuals treated with injections of animal insulin developed resistance to the hormone and so required greater amounts of it to offset the effects of the disease; however, a satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon had not been put forth. Yalow and Berson theorized that the foreign insulin stimulated the production of antibodies, which became bound to the insulin and prevented the hormone from entering cells and carrying out its function of metabolizing glucose. In order to prove their hypothesis to a skeptical scientific community, the researchers combined techniques from immunology and radioisotope tracing to measure minute amounts of these antibodies, and the RIA was born. It was soon apparent that this method could be used to measure hundreds of other biologically active substances, such as viruses, drugs, and other proteins. This made possible such practical applications as the screening of blood in blood banks for hepatitis virus and the determination of effective dosage levels of drugs and antibiotics.
In 1970 Yalow was appointed chief of the laboratory later renamed the Nuclear Medical Service at the Veterans Administration Hospital. In 1976 she was the first female recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Yalow became a distinguished professor at large at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in 1979 and left in 1985 to accept the position of Solomon A. Berson Distinguished Professor at Large at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988.

Source : 
"Rosalyn S. Yalow". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 18 Jul. 2016

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015

The Nobel Prize for medicine has been jointly awarded this year to three scientists for their work on parasitic diseases.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was divided, one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura "for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" and the other half to Youyou Tu "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria".

Campbell and Omura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which "have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, Today the Avermectin-derivative Ivermectin is used in all parts of the world that are plagued by parasitic diseases," the Nobel Assembly said.   "The importance of Ivermectin for improving the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals with River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, primarily in the poorest regions of the world, is immeasurable. Treatment is so successful that these diseases are on the verge of eradication."

Youyou Tu is honored for tackling malaria using traditional herbal medicine. Using the plant Artemisia annua, she discovered a purification procedure that rendered an active agent called Artemisinin, the Nobel Assembly said.
"Artemisinin represents a new class of antimalarial agents that rapidly kill the Malaria parasites at an early stage of their development, which explains its unprecedented potency in the treatment of severe Malaria," the assembly said.

(  and

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cell Phone turns into Microscope to diagnose Malaria with a new technology : MOPID

Cell Phone turns into Microscope to diagnose Malaria using a New technology : MOPID

A new low-cost technology that transforms a cellphone into a powerful, mobile microscope could significantly improve malaria diagnoses and treatment in developing countries, scientists say, reports PTI.
The technology includes an add-on device, which is similar in look and feel to a protective phone case. It makes use of a smartphone’s camera to produce high-resolution images of objects 10 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, said Gerard Cote, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems.

Cote developed the instrument, known as a mobile-optical-polarisation imaging device (MOPID), which is capable of accepting a small cartridge containing a patient’s blood-smear sample.

“What we’ve achieved with MOPID is the design of a polarized microscope platform using a cell phone, which can detect birefringence in histological specimens infected with the malaria parasite,” Coté says. “It’s a simple, low-cost, portable device that we believe is more sensitive than the standard microscope that uses white light and just as accurate as the more costly and complex benchtop version of a polarized microscope.”

The MOPID Device : 

The Team with MOPID : 

 Watch Video from Youtube :

MOPID, Coté explains, is capable of accepting a small cartridge containing a patient’s blood-smear sample. The sample is then imaged using polarized light in order to detect the presence of hemozoin crystals, Coté notes. Hemozoin crystals are the byproduct of the malaria parasite, and they occur in the blood of an infected host. As polarized light bounces off of these crystals, they appear as tiny bright dots when observed through the phone’s camera lens – enabling an instant, accurate diagnosis.

While polarized light has been the preferred option for malaria detection due to its increased sensitivity, its implementation into mainstream microscopy has been hindered by its complex configurations, maintenance, size and cost – up until now.

“What we’ve achieved with MOPID is the design of a polarized microscope platform using a cell phone, which can detect birefringence in histological specimens infected with the malaria parasite,” Coté says. “It’s a simple, low-cost, portable device that we believe is more sensitive than the standard microscope that uses white light and just as accurate as the more costly and complex benchtop version of a polarized microscope.”

MOPID could represent a significant advancement in the detection methods for malaria, a disease that the World Health Organization estimates was responsible for 584,000 deaths in 2013, along with an estimated 198 million new cases in that span of time. Given those numbers, a dire need exists for a low-cost, accurate and portable method of detection, particularly in areas of the world with few resources, Coté says. Many of these regions, he notes, suffer from misdiagnoses due to inadequate or even nonexistent medical infrastructures – and the consequences can be devastating. While failure to treat malaria can be fatal, the administering of unnecessary malaria medications as a result of misdiagnoses can results in new, drug-resistant strains of the disease in addition to increasing costs for malaria medications, Coté notes.

Coté’s solution takes advantage of existing mobile phone technology and networks – something to which a whopping 75 percent of the world has access. This ever-increasing access to mobile networks and the fact that most mobile phones are equipped with advanced camera features make mobile phones the ideal platform for advanced imaging applications such as MOPID, Coté says.

The MOPID system has demonstrated both the resolution and specificity to detect malaria with both iOS- and Android-based devices and requires less user expertise than traditional microscopy, Coté says. That user-friendly aspect, coupled with the system’s portability and expected low cost of about $10 per unit, makes it an easily adoptable technology in low-resource areas ravaged by malaria, he adds. 

(Resources :;    )