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The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been promoted as a potential treatment for COVID-19, is known to have potentially serious effects on heart rhythms. Now, a team of researchers has used an optical mapping system to observe exactly how the drug creates serious disturbances in the electrical signals that govern heartbeat.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its rapid spread, the scientific community has been working on developing an effective treatment for the virus responsible for the disease. Finding drugs that can inhibit the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 is an essential step to finding the vaccine that can definitively bring the spread of the virus to an end.
Every year there are ten million new cases of cancer in the world and the World Health Organisation estimates that the number of annual deaths associated with this disease will reach 13 million by the year 2030. There are various treatments for cancer but in many cases they cause toxicity in some patients or lead to the development of resistance in others. This has led in recent years to an increase in the use of bioactive compounds (BAC) such as polyphenols and flavonoids in these medical treatments because of their proven anti-carcinogenic properties based on their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating components.
The biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, known as "big pharma", are American and European. The top five are Pfizer (US), Roche, Novartis (both Swiss), Merck (US) and GlaxoSmithKline (UK). Yet these companies—and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole—rely on global supply chains. And China and India play key roles in the supply of both ingredients and finished drugs.
The coronavirus has the world in its grip. Finding a cure has never been more important. Unfortunately, the development of new drugs for treatment of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and development of a vaccine are complex, lengthy, and above all costly processes. With the help of computer models, this can be accelerated. Researchers at the Center for Computational Life Sciences (CCLS) are researching these models in order to reduce costs and speed up the process of drug development.

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