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Health & longevity news archive: September-October 2009

Curry spice 'kills cancer cells'
(Oct 28, 2009)

An extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells, scientists have shown. The chemical – curcumin – has long been thought to have healing powers and is already being tested as a treatment for arthritis and even dementia. Now tests by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy gullet cancer cells in the lab.

Read more. Source: BBC

older person with weights
Science to 'stop age clock at 50'
(Oct 20, 2009)

Centenarians with the bodies of 50-year-olds will one day be a realistic possibility, say scientists. Half of babies now born in the UK will reach 100, thanks to higher living standards, but our bodies are wearing out at the same rate. To achieve "50 active years after 50", experts at Leeds University are spending 50m over five years looking at innovative solutions.

Read more. Source: BBC

Learning to juggle grows brain networks for good
(Oct 12, 2009)

Juggling boosts the connections between different parts of the brain by tweaking the architecture of the brain's "white matter" – a finding that could lead to new therapies for people with brain injuries. Jan Scholz and his colleagues at the University of Oxford found that people learning to juggle grew more white matter in a part of the parietal lobe – an area involved in connecting what we see to how we move.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

women conversing
Educated women 'aid long life'
(Oct 6, 2009)

A well-educated woman positively influences both her own and her partner's chances of a long life, Swedish research suggests. A man whose partner had only a school education has a 25% greater risk of dying early than if she had had a university education, it suggests. The authors say educated women may be more likely to understand the various health messages their families needed.

Read more. Source: BBC

fruit and vegetables
Med-style diet 'can battle blues'
(Oct 6, 2009)

The Mediterranean diet, already thought to protect against heart disease and cancer, may also help to prevent depression, Spanish researchers say. They found depression was more than 30% less likely to develop in people who followed a diet high in vegetables, fruit and cereals, and low in red meat. They studied 10,094 healthy adults over four years, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

Read more. Source: BBC

older people jogging
Half of babies 'will live to 100'
(Oct 2, 2009)

More than half of babies now born in the UK and other wealthy nations will live to 100 years, researchers say. The study, published in The Lancet journal, also says the extra years are spent with less serious disability. Data from more than 30 developed countries shows that since 1950 the probability of surviving past 80 years of age has doubled for both sexes.

Read more. Source: BBC

Melon compound 'reduces stress'
(Sep 17, 2009)

Scientists may have uncovered a natural way to combat stress – eat a melon. The key ingredient is an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, thought to have beneficial antioxidant properties which prevent damage to the body's tissues. Volunteers given a capsule containing the enzyme reported fewer symptoms of stress and fatigue than those given a dummy capsule.

Read more. Source: BBC

Alzheimer's brain
Alzheimer's research links three genes to disease
(Sep 7, 2009)

Scientists have discovered a trio of genetic mutations that account for nearly 100,000 cases of Alzheimer's disease in Britain today. Three genes that protect the brain from damage and ensure neurons work properly were found to be impaired in many patients with the disease, in the largest genetic study of the condition yet.

Read more. Source: The Guardian


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