News Briefs

Today's top news stories for November 22, 2007.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Eye-opening research facility
Eyes stressed by too many hours of staring at textbooks and computer screens?

Luckily, three professors from Western have teamed up to create a first-of-its-kind experimental eye research facility in London.

Dr. Cindy Hutnik, a clinical ophthalmologist and associate professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, explained the project.

“We’re taking a multi-disciplinary approach to eye diseases, designing new drugs and treatments to improve the condition of individuals who suffer from them,” she said.

In particular, the group will focus on glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, both of which steal people’s sight.

Dr. Hutnik has joined efforts with Kathleen Hill, a biology professor and Tim Newson, an associate engineering professor, to provide this multifaceted foundation.

“The vision is to have all the people involved interacting together,” Dr. Hill said. “This is a unique approach.”

Currently the group’s research is dispersed across their labs on campus and across hospitals in London.

“We are looking to have everything under one roof,” Hutnik added.

Despite different backgrounds and training, the team is united by their approach to literally eye-opening research.
"Clay Dasilva

Hooray for eyelash-growth for women
Finally an eyelash lengthening product has been designed for women.

Allergan Inc., a California drug manufacturer, has discovered a side effect in a drug it sells; Lumigan, which treats glaucoma, also increases eyelash growth.

After this discovery, cosmetic companies are now in a rat race to produce eyelash-lengthening products containing prostaglandin analogs " an active ingredient in glaucoma drugs that causes eyelashes to grow.

Prostaglandin analogs have been reported to increase eyelash length, thickness, pigmentation and number of eyelashes.

In order to sell the product without harassment from the Food and Drug Administration, the product must be considered to be solely cosmetic " not a drug.

If a product is promoted to change the structure or function of the body, it is considered to be a drug and must prove to be safe in human tests.

Jan Marini Skin Research is promoting its new innovation, Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner, as a cosmetic product.

A spokesperson for the company said, “[We are using] a prostaglandin analog that is not on any drug label.

“Thousands of physicians sell the product and stand behind its safety.”
"Dale Williams

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