Health

Lettuce, leafy greens and E. coli
September 3, 2007 08:51 AM - Society for General Microbiology

The rise in year-round consumption of fresh leafy greens such as lettuce and baby spinach is increasing the difficulty of keeping produce free from contamination by food poisoning bacteria, according to US scientists speaking today (Monday 3 September 2007) at the Society for General Microbiology’s 161st Meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK, which runs from 3-6 September 2007.

China Vows to Clean Up Toxins Amid Food Scares
September 3, 2007 07:32 AM - Reuters

China will clamp down on foods tainted with illegal and excessive chemicals as it seeks to quell domestic and foreign alarm about toxins in meat, seafood and vegetables, the country's top agriculture official said. China is battling a torrent of warnings and recalls abroad that have shaken international markets' confidence in the "made in China" label on products ranging from toothpaste and toys to food and tires.

Baby Yoga, Made Easy
September 1, 2007 05:27 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

COLUMBUS, Ohio, - It's called Itsy Bitsy Yoga. As the name implies, it's yoga for babies, taught to mom and baby via DVD. The DVD introduces babies to yoga routines that can help them learn to stretch, roll and crawl, while helping moms better understand their babies' physical development and abilities. A recent survey of fitness providers found a 40 percent increase in demand for parent-baby fitness classes(1). Additionally, research shows that having a baby triggers greater attention to health and nutrition issues(2).

WHO confirms five human bird flu cases in Vietnam
September 1, 2007 07:27 AM - Reuters

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed five human bird flu cases in Vietnam, four of them fatal, the U.N. agency said in a statement. The four, including two women, died between June 21 and August 3 while a fifth person, a 29-year-old man, had recovered, it said. All five cases, which had been confirmed earlier by Vietnam-based laboratory tests, were from the country's north. They brought the total human infections in the Southeast Asian country since 2003 to 100 with 46 fatalities.

Malaria Mosquito's Odour-Sensing Systems Mapped
August 31, 2007 04:57 PM - Michael Malakata, SciDevNet

Vanderbilt University - Scientists have mapped a sensory organ that the principal malaria-carrying mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, uses to hunt down humans. They hope this will help in developing better mosquito attractants that will divert them away from humans and reduce the threat of malaria infection.

Scientists have something to chew on:Ancient yucca chaws yield ancient DNA
August 31, 2007 02:06 PM - Harvard University Gazette

In a groundbreaking study, two Harvard scientists have for the first time extracted human DNA from ancient artifacts. The work potentially opens up a new universe of sources for ancient genetic material, which is used to map human migrations in prehistoric times. Before this, archaeologists could only get ancient DNA from relics of the human body itself, including prehistoric teeth, bones, fossilized feces, or — rarely — preserved flesh. Such sources of DNA are hard to find, poorly preserved, or unavailable because of cultural and legal barriers.

Red wine compound shown to prevent prostate cancer
August 31, 2007 02:03 PM - University of Alabama at Birmingham

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found that nutrients in red wine may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. The study involved male mice that were fed a plant compound found in red wine called resveratrol, which has shown anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. Other sources of resveratrol in the diet include grapes, raspberries, peanuts and blueberries.

New Book: The Macho, Homophobic World Of Adolescent Boys; Harassment, Predatory Behavior
August 31, 2007 09:59 AM - Wendy Edelstein, UC Berkley

University of California, Berkeley - Researcher Cheri Jo Pascoe spent a year and a half hanging out in a high-school weight room, auto shop, and drama class, and she learned what frightens adolescent males most. “Being called a fag is the specter that constantly lurks” in the minds of high-school boys, explains Pascoe, a postdoctoral scholar at the Institute for Social Change, UC Berkeley.

Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
August 31, 2007 09:23 AM - Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

A drug that shuts down a critical cell-signaling pathway in the most common and aggressive type of adult brain cancer successfully kills cancer stem cells thought to fuel tumor growth and help cancers evade drug and radiation therapy, a Johns Hopkins study shows. In a series of laboratory and animal experiments, Johns Hopkins scientists blocked the signaling system, known as Hedgehog, with an experimental compound called cyclopamine to explore the blockade’s effect on cancer stem cells that populate glioblastoma multiforme. Cyclopamine has long been known to inhibit Hedgehog signaling.

New technique detects specific chromosomal damage, may indicate lung cancer risk
August 31, 2007 08:26 AM - American Thoracic Society

A new technique could pave the way toward screening people at risk for lung cancer for the genetic changes that may foreshadow malignancies, researchers from the University of Colorado say. “The most successful way to reduce mortality in cancer is prevention,” said researcher Wilbur A. Franklin, M.D., Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “Our goal would be to develop screening techniques for lung lesions that could enable us to identify precancerous changes.”

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