Thalidomide breakthrough at Scottish university

By Ryan Crighton

Published: 12/05/2009

AN INFAMOUS drug which left more than 10,000 babies severely handicapped could be redeveloped to safely treat HIV and leprosy following a historic breakthrough by Scottish scientists.

For the first time, experts at Aberdeen University have uncovered how and why limbs are targeted by thalidomide, which caused serious physical defects in infants whose mothers had taken it to relieve morning sickness.

In Third World countries where thalidomide is used to treat leprosy, it continues to leave babies handicapped.

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