The aim of the University of Bristol study, published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, was to confirm whether a humanoid chewing robot could assess medicated chewing gum. The robot is capable of closely replicating the human chewing motion in a closed environment. It features artificial saliva and allows the measurement of the xylitol released from chewing.
Saliva and artificial saliva solutions respectively were collected after five, ten, 15 and 20 minutes of continuous chewing and the amount of xylitol released was recorded. Dr Kazem Alemzadeh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the research, said: “Bioengineering has been used to create an artificial oral environment that closely mimics that found in humans. Our research has shown the chewing robot gives pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to investigate medicated chewing gum, with reduced patient exposure and lower costs using this new method.”
Nicola West, Professor in Restorative Dentistry in the Bristol Dental School and co-author, added: “The most convenient drug administration route to patients is through oral delivery methods. This research, utilising a novel humanoid artificial oral environment, has the potential to revolutionise investigation into oral drug release and delivery.”
Their most important finding is that the greatest amount of xylitol was released from the chewing gum within the first five minutes.
‘Prayer Girl’ painting in the museum is secretly in love with the curator. One day, when a picture is sold and she is about to leave the museum, she finally decides to confess her mind to the curator.
Scientists have found in a study that reveals young dogs might be “older” than previously thought, suggesting that a one-year-old puppy is actually about 30 in the human years equivalent.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego’s school of medicine describe how they focused on epigenetic changes to DNA – modifications that don’t change the DNA sequence but can switch genes on or off. The team looked at the way particular molecules, called methyl groups, accumulated in certain areas of the human genome over time and compared them with how they accumulated in similar areas in the dog genome.
The results, which draw on genetic data from about 100 labrador retrievers from puppies to elderly animals, reveal every dog year is not equivalent to seven human years. Instead, dogs show far more rapid accumulation of methyl groups in their genome than humans within their first year or so, suggesting they age at a much faster rate. However, as time passes, the rate of ageing in dogs, compared with humans, slows down. The relationship is described by the formula:
human age = 16 ln(dog_age) + 31
The findings suggest a one-year-old dog would have a “human age” of about 30, while by the age of four they’d be about 54 in “human years”, and by 14 they would be on a par with a human in their mid-70s.