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Health & longevity news archive: Nov-Dec 2007

cancer cell dividing
Drug target to stop cancer spread
(Dec 29, 2007)

UK scientists have uncovered a vital clue to stopping cancers spreading around the body. A protein called Tes is able to block a second protein, Mena, from helping cancer cells "crawl" away from the initial tumour. The London Research Institute team says this knowledge should help in the design of new drug treatments to anchor a tumour in one site.

Read more. Source: BBC

Sperm clue to 'disease immunity'
(Dec 15, 2007)

Sperm could provide a vital clue to how diseases like cancer and HIV spread through the body, a study suggests. UK researchers have identified markers on the surface of human sperm which prevent them being attacked by the female immune system. The markers are also found on cancer cells and HIV-infected blood cells and may help the diseases to take hold.

Read more. Source: BBC

fried potatoes
'Burned foods' linked to cancers
(Dec 3, 2007)

Women who eat crisps or chips every day may double their chances of ovarian or womb cancer, say scientists. The fears surround acrylamides, chemicals produced when you fry, grill or roast a wide range of foods. Dutch researchers quizzed 120,000 people on their eating habits, and found that women who ate more acrylamide appeared more at risk.

Read more. Source: BBC

skin cells
Skin ageing 'reversed' in mice
(Nov 30, 2007)

Scientists have reversed the effects of ageing on the skin of mice by blocking the action of a specific protein. In two-year old mice, Californian researchers found that they could rejuvenate skin to look more youthful. Further analysis published in the journal Genes and Development showed the skin had the same genetic profile as the skin of newborn mice.

Read more. Source: BBC

nematode worms
Lifespan link to depression drug
(Nov 26, 2007)

An antidepressant drug lengthens tiny worms' lives and offers hope of humans living longer too, US scientists say. In the study, detailed in journal Nature, nematode worms were exposed to 88,000 chemicals in turn and mianserin extended lifespan by almost a third. The drug seems to mimic the effects on the body of the only known animal long-life regime – virtual starvation.

Read more. Source: BBC

stem cell
Human skin 'reprogrammed' to form stem cells
(Nov 20, 2007)

At last, a milestone in stem-cell technology has been reached that could enable patients to be treated with new tissues made from their own cells. Crucially, the tissues can be generated without having to extract cells from human embryos, a major ethical objection that has obstructed stem cell research until now.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

cloned embryo
Breakthrough in primate cloning
(Nov 14, 2007)

Experts have for the first time created cloned embryos from an adult monkey – a technical breakthrough that could bring efficient human cloning a step closer. A team in the US created dozens of cloned embryos from a 10-year-old male macaque, the journal Nature reports. This could make it easier to clone human embryos for use in research.

Read more. Source: BBC

carrots and fish
Healthy diet 'cuts dementia risk'
(Nov 13, 2007)

More evidence that a diet rich in oily fish and vegetables can reduce the chances of dementia later in life has been uncovered by scientists. Studies published in US journals suggested that a "Mediterranean diet" or long-term beta-carotene supplements could ward off the illness. Both contain anti-oxidants, which could protect the brain from damage.

Read more. Source: BBC

Vitamin D 'may help slow ageing'
(Nov 8, 2007)

A vitamin made when sunlight hits the skin could help slow down the ageing of cells and tissues, say researchers. A King's College London study of more than 2,000 women found those with higher vitamin D levels showed fewer ageing-related changes in their DNA. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study stops short of proving cause and effect.

Read more. Source: BBC

Onions 'cut heart disease risk'
(Nov 4, 2007)

Eating a meal rich in compounds called flavonoids reduces some early signs of heart disease, research shows. An Institute of Food Research team focused on one of the compounds, quercetin, which is found in tea, onions, apples and red wine. The Atherosclerosis study examined the effect of the compounds produced after quercetin is broken down by the body.

Read more. Source: BBC

The mouse that shook the world
(Nov 2, 2007)

Scientists have been astounded by the creation of a genetically modified "supermouse" with extraordinary physical abilities – comparable to the performance of the very best athletes – raising the prospect that the discovery may one day be used to transform people's capacities. The mouse can run up to six kilometres (3.7 miles) at a speed of 20 metres per minute for five hours or more without stopping.

Read more. Source: The Independent


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