New test helps fight cervical cancer
A recent study shows that a new DNA test for detecting the human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is far more effective than the Pap smear test that is commonly used to detect the virus.
The results were based on a eight-year study conducted on 130,000 women in India. This is the first study to show that just one screening with the DNA test is better than all other methods at preventing cancer and death. Right now, the test is funded by the Gates Foundation and costs $5. Qiagen, the company that manufactured the tests, believes that the price could go down with increasing demand for the test.
Scientists believe that women over 30 could stop having the Pap smear test every year and could just have the DNA test once in three, five, or 10 years.
Source: The New York Times
Doctors carry out face transplant
Doctors at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have performed the country’s second face transplant. This is also the seventh face transplant performed in the world.
The surgery took 17 hours, and the skin of the face, the nose, the muscles of the face, the upper lip, and the palate of the patient were replaced by transplants from a deceased donor. Unlike usual transplants, the patient had not undergone immunosuppressant therapy before the surgery. The immunosuppressants are necessary to prevent the patient’s body from rejecting the organ transplants. However, the use of these drugs weakens the body’s immune response and increases the risk for infections. The patient was put on immunosuppressant therapy after the surgery was performed and will have to take the medicines for the rest of his life.
Source: ABC News
Multivitamins show faulty composition
According to a study of multivitamins conducted by ConsumerLab.com, a New York-based company, more than 30 percent of tested products contained different proportions of components from those reported, and also contained traces of lead.
The vitamins tested included three that were used by children. These products contained more than the tolerable amounts, as issued by the Institute of Medicine, of components like vitamin A, folic acid, niacin, and zinc. One product for men contained excess amounts of folic acid, which in large quantities can lead to prostate cancer, while another product contained lead. Of the products tested for women, one provided less than the claimed amount of vitamin A.
Researchers find fat that burns calories
Brown adipose tissue (also known as brown fat) is found in young children, babies, and small mammals, and keeps them warm by burning calories when triggered by low temperatures. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that adults also have brown fat. The results showed that people who were thin had a higher proportion of brown fat than those who were obese. Scientists believe that brown fat can help determine how the body reacts to food and how fat is used in the body.