Archive for the ‘Interesting Studies’ Category
One of the tragic realities of cancer is that the drugs used to treat it are highly toxic and their effectiveness varies unpredictably from patient to patient. However, a new “tumor-in-a-dish” technology is poised to change this reality by rapidly assessing how effective specific anti-cancer cocktails will be on an individual’s cancer before chemotherapy begins.
A team of biomedical engineers at Vanderbilt University headed by Assistant Professor Melissa Skala has developed the technique, which uses fluorescence imaging to monitor the response of three-dimensional chunks of tumors removed from patients and exposed to different anti-cancer drugs.
Soda consumption may shorten your life. Sensationalist title? It certainly is. However, while there have been many studies demonstrating that a sugar-rich diet is harmful to your health, a unique study out of UCSF has actually measured a correlation between sugary soda consumption and shortened telomere length. When considered in conjunction with findings from other lab that have shown short telomeres to be associated with the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, the story becomes much more worrisome.
According to the study’s principal investigator, Elissa Epel
This is the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness.This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level. Telomere shortening starts long before disease onset. Further, although we only studied adults here, it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children, as well.
Based on the way telomere length shortens on average with chronological age, the UCSF researchers calculated that daily consumption of a 20-ounce soda was associated with 4.6 years of additional biological aging. This effect on telomere length is comparable to the effect of smoking, or to the effect of regular exercise in the opposite, anti-aging direction.
The full paper can be found in the American Journal of Public Health.
Another day, another study on the health benefits or detriments of habitual coffee drinking. Good for you. Bad for you. Good for your heart, bad for your kidneys. Good for your kidneys, bad for your heart…You get the drift. It seems like there are two distinct camps that have lined up behind each opinion. In the “coffee is healthy” camp you have the coffee lovers and in the other camp are the non-coffee drinkers. As a coffee consumer, I have ignored much of the negative research and have helped spread the positive findings about the benefits of high caffeine consumption to all of my family and friends. However, according to a new large-scale study led by Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers, the debate can now be settled by genetics.
Read the full story on the Harvard University website.
Watch this very cool video to find out how researcher Nancy Kanwischer used MRI techniques to identify the region of the brain that is responsible for facial recognition. It took years of research and a tremendous amount of self sacrifice, but the results are incredible.