Health Line

Skin cancer could be hereditary

A study conducted by scientists at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia shows that skin cancer could be hereditary. Previously it was known that patients who had family members with skin cancer were more likely to develop skin cancer themselves. However, researchers were unsure of whether living in similar environmental conditions caused skin cancer or whether it had a genetic link.

The recent study tested the presence of skin cancer in identical twins and in fraternal twins. The results showed that in four out of the 27 tested pairs of identical twins, both the twins developed skin cancer. On the other hand, only in three pairs out of 98 tested pairs of fraternal twins did both develop skin cancer. These results showed that skin cancer has a genetic link.

Source: Reuters

Researchers develop cocaine vaccine

Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine have created a vaccine that could potentially help cocaine addicts. The vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against cocaine.

Thus, when cocaine is ingested by the addicts, the antibodies could destroy the cocaine and prevent it from ever reaching the brain. Thus cocaine consumption will not cause the addicts to become high. The researchers hope that if the users do not get high with cocaine, they will eventually stop taking it.
The researchers later conducted a study with the vaccine and found that 53 percent of the users who had achieved the desired antibody levels reduced their cocaine consumption by half.


Modified stem cells grow blood vessels

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have added some extra genes to stem cells to enhance their ability to produce vascular tissue.

The stem cells were removed from the bone marrow of mice, and, using specially developed nanoparticles, the gene for the vascular endothelial growth factor was inserted into the cells.
In mice, these cells allowed the development of new blood vessels near the site of an injury. The scientists believe that more work needs to be done in this area before human trials can be conducted.

Source: ScienceDaily

H1N1 harms more than seasonal flu

According to a recent study conducted on swine flu, one-fourth of the hospitalized swine flu patients needed intensive care and 7 percent of the hospitalized patients died. These numbers are slightly higher than those of patients with just seasonal flu.

Another fact that makes swine flu different from seasonal flu is that nearly half of the hospitalized patients are children and teenagers. The elderly are not as vulnerable to swine flu as they are to the seasonal flu. Only five percent of the patients admitted in hospitals because of swine flu were above the age of 65. This is very different from ordinary seasonal flu in which the elderly are the worst affected.

Source: Associated Press