Volume 1, Number 1 - 3, July - September, 2012


About the Cover

About two thousand years ago, Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician traveling throughout the Roman Empire with Emperor Nero's army, would collect samples of the local medicinal herbs everywhere he went. He turned his passion for plants and other medicinal substances into a monumental reference work on herbs and pharmacy that remained the supreme authority on the subject for over 1500 years. In 70 A.D., Dioscorides published De Materia Medica, or, "On Medicinal Substances" in five volumes. Translated into several languages both ancient and modern, and later supplemented with commentary by European, Middle Eastern, and Indian authors, it has been the prime authority and source work on herbs and other medicinal substances in the history of Western Civilization, and quite possibly in the history of the world. Pedanius Dioscorides was born around 30 A.D. in the town of Anazarbius in Asia Minor, in present day Turkey. He started work on De Materia Medica around 50 A.D. and published it in 70 A.D. Although he wrote his herbal in Greek, it was quickly translated into Latin, and subsequently into Arabic and other languages. Dioscorides died aroung 90 A.D. Dioscorides' great herbal is one of the most popular medical reference works in the history of mankind. Unlike other medical works by classical authors, De Materia Medica wasn't rediscovered in the Renaissance because it had never really left circulation. In sheer scale and thoroughness, De Materia Medica vastly surpassed all previous herbals. It discusses the medicinal properties of over one thousand natural medicinal substances; most of these are botanical in origin, but drugs of animal and mineral origin were also included. To put things in perspective, the entire Hippocratic Corpus only mentions about 130 different medicinal substances. Dioscorides listed over 4,740 different uses for the materia medica in his herbal, and lists over 360 varieties of medicinal actions. Dioscorides' herbal was qualitatively superior as well. In writing nd compiling De Materia Medica, Dioscorides wanted to avoid the faults of his predecessors: incomprehensiveness, mistaken information, confusion of drug identities, too little testing and verification of drug properties, lack of emphasis on experimental data, and poor organization. Dioscorides was the first to organize themateria medica into therapeutic groupings of drugs, based on similarities of medicinal action. This organizational format linked the science of pharmacy with the science of medicine. It also provided for the orderly placement of future drugs, once discovered, within this therapeutic organizational framework. Dioscorides also maintained that his organizational format, once learned, woud faclitate the learning and retention of pharmacological knowledge. When we consider that even the traditional Chinese herbal materia medica is organized according to similar therapeutic groupings of herbs, we can see exactly how influential and far-reaching were Dioscorides' revolutionary new ideas.


Emerging polymers and chemistry of Camptothecin derivatives in nanoparticle drug delivery system

Balasubramanian J, Narayanan N, Shahul Hameed Maraicar K, Magendran R, Muruganand R

The purpose of the study is to investigate various polymers used along with camptothecin and its derivatives in which it examines the engineered polymers used along with the camptothecin derivatives. Polymers have been utilized for developing nanoparticle drug delivery systems combination with camptothecin derivatives.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(1), 3-14

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Drug Design: Signature of Drug Discovery

Seenivasagam R

Drug is the primary key and drug discovery is the program of pharmaceutical-art for disease management. The scenario of designing potential-drugs based on identification of therapeutic targets through pathogenesis and screening of active principles by lead identification and optimization. Final stage of existing drug discovery processes brings only less than 1% of drug candidate to market research and its results shown the economic impact of drug discovery program. Hence drug designing is the most vital curriculum to save the expenditure of drug discovery and development process. The extensive perceptions of drug design in addition to the knowledge and skills in attendance have structured by the role of countless experts. Still, some fascinating confronts yet to be enlightened. Here, I summarize the significance and need of drug design.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(1), 27-34

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Characteristic Study of sul3 gene expression, protein profiling and multi resistance in Salmonella typhi

Sudhin AS, Brindha V

Salmonella can be found worldwide, although the distribution of serovars may vary. Salmonella are well known pathogens, highly adaptive and potentially pathogenic for humans and animals. Salmonella infections are capable of producing serious infections that are often food borne and present as gastroenteritis. Serotypes adapted to men, such as Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi, usually cause severe diseases in humans as a septicaemictyphoidic syndrome (enteric fever)

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(1), 21-26

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Hepatoprotective activity of Andrographis paniculata on lipid peroxidase, antioxidant enzymes and liver enzymes in Thioacetamide intoxicated rats

Anitha P, Jai kumar S, Devaki T

The efficacy of Andrographis paniculata (AP) extract was studied on thioacetamide induced hepatic damage in rats. Treatment with aqueous extract of A. Paniculata (20mg/100gm body weight) was found to protect the rat from hepato-toxic action of thiacetamide as evidenced by significant reduction in the level of lipid peroxidation and increased the anti oxidant defense system activity in the thioacetamide intoxicated rats. Histopathological studies show marked reduction in fatty degeneration and patchy focal necrosis in animals receiving A. paniculata along with thioacetamide as compared to the control group.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(1), 15-20

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Dendrimer based nanotechnology

Balasubramanian J

The word dendrimer comes from the Greek word “dendron” which means “tree”, thus indicating its tree-shaped structure. They are highly branched, with many arms held on a central core, symmetric and three-dimensional. Synthesis includes two major strategies: in the first one (divergent method) which was introduced by Tomalia and colleagues, synthesis begins from the core. Then synthetic or natural substrates are added according to several rules. In the second strategy (convergent method) Hawker and Frechet began the synthesis from what will become the surface of the dendrimer and proceeded to the core. Both methods include a multi-step polymerisation process. In each step, a layer of monomeric molecules is added and the number of layers defines the generation of the dendrimer. Their size is of nanoscale diameter (10-9 m) because of their controlled synthesis strategy.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(2), 37-39

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Effect of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) on follicle stimulating hormone receptor gene

Pillai Pooja S, Jonathan Biswas

Poly cystic ovarian syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. It is one of the major factors causing infertility and hence this syndrome is a major cause of concern for women in this society. In South India especially, where infertility is a major cause of psychological stress for women, study of such a common problem is highly relevant and necessary. Blood sample was collected from two individuals who fall between the ages of 19 and 22. One individual was affected by PCOS while the second individual was chosen as control (having regular menstrual cycles). The DNA was isolated from the blood samples and amplified using Polymerase Chain Reaction. A primer for the Follicle stimulating Hormone Receptor (FSHR) gene sequence was used for amplification. Upon amplification, the test sample DNA appeared as a very clear band after Agarose gel electrophoresis while no band was seen in the control sample. This could mean that FSHR gene is expressed more in the individual affected by Poly cystic ovarian syndrome, hence implying that gene therapy to correct this over expression may prove useful as a treatment for this condition.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(2), 40-42

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Isolation and characterization of multiple drug resistant bacteria from rhizospheric soil and checking antimicrobial activity of medicinal plants against them

Datta A, Singh MK, Khushboo, Chatterjee P, Nirwal K

The occurrence of the multiple drug resistance among some of the important disease causing microbes (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas spp. etc) has increased many folds during the last decade. Improper disease management, incorrect and incomplete dosage of antibiotics could put in to acquire multiple drug resistance along with the fact that some are naturally resistant microbes, thereby increasing the likelihood of drug resistant microbes in the environment. The present study aims at the isolation and identification of several opportunistic pathogenic bacteria from Rhizospheric soil sample followed by testing the susceptibility pattern to various conventional antibiotics. Several MDR strains were isolated and examined for the antimicrobial activity of various medicinal plants, using well diffusion method. The methanolic extracts of chosen medicinal plants demonstrate potent antimicrobial activity on the different MDR strains isolated, especially on gram positive bacteria. Henceforth, the active components of the chosen medicinal plant extracts could be used in medication with no or less side effects

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(2), 43-48

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Is Chocolate Preventing Strokes?

Brithvi V

Research from Sweden claiming that moderate chocolate intake can reduce a man’s risk of stroke. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed over 37,000 men for an average of ten years. The results showed that compared to men in the lowest quartile of chocolate consumption, those in the highest quartile had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke.

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(3), 51-52

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Thalidomide: Past and Present

Thatchaini N

THALOMID® (thalidomide), α-(N-phthalimido) glutarimide, is an immunomodulatory agent. The empirical formula for thalidomide is C13H10N2O4 and the gram molecular weight is 258.2. The CAS number of thalidomide is 50-35-1. It affects the immune system. It helps promote immune responses to prevent inflammation in the body. It is used to treat and prevent the debilitating and disfiguring skin sores caused by erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL), an inflammatory complication of leprosy. It is also used together with another medicine called dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer).

Discovery Pharmacy, 2012, 1(3), 53-54

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