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Health Bytes from Web
Type 2 diabetes: Using coffee for 'glucose control'

Scientists in Switzerland have designed and tested a synthetic gene circuit that responds to beverage concentrations of caffeine. It achieves this by releasing a glucose control compound used to treat type 2 diabetes. The researchers inserted the circuit into cells and implanted them into diabetic mice. They showed that coffee consumption brought down blood glucose levels in line with different doses of caffeine. Once the caffeine had entered the mice's bloodstream, it activated the synthetic gene circuit, causing it to release the compound to bring down glucose levels. The researchers report their findings in a study paper published recently in the journal Nature Communications., June 27, 2018

High Blood Pressure May Be a Factor in Dementia

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as a “silent killer” for the often undetected harm it does to the brain, kidneys, and other internal organs. MRI scans may be able to detect early signs of brain damage caused by high blood pressure. This type of damage is a potential cause of strokes suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Experts say, Vascular risk factors are thought to be a primary cause of dementia — a bigger culprit than genetics. However, treatment for dementia typically occurs only after cognitive symptoms are detected, even among those with known risk factors such as hypertension., June 26, 2018

New Blood Test May Detect Multiple Types of Cancer at Earlier Stages

In early studies, a new blood test shows promise in catching certain types of cancer before symptoms arise. Researchers at GRAIL, a Silicon Valley healthcare company, are working on a DNA test based off a simple blood draw that can screen for multiple types of cancer at early stages. They presented their findings earlier this month at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. Researchers said the test showed encouraging results in detecting 10 different types of cancer, notably ovarian and pancreatic cancer. However, some experts have pointed out the test failed to detect some types of cancer. They said more research is needed before any definitive pronouncements can be made., June 14, 2018

Brain Cancer Vaccine Moves Closer to Reality During Clinical Trial

In an ongoing phase III clinical trial, a brain cancer vaccine has significantly prolonged the life of participants with glioblastoma. A personalized vaccine still in clinical trials may be helping some people with glioblastoma live longer. According to researchers, the five-year survival rate with standard treatment is less than 5 percent. Median survival stands at 15 to 17 months. In the largest glioblastoma vaccine study to date, median survival is currently at 23 months. Among those who were enrolled in the trial for more than three years, 30 percent survived more than 30 months., June 13, 2018

New biomarker helps identify cancer chemotherapy timing

In ray of hope for doctors to identify the tumour normalising period for effective timing of anti-cancer drug treatment, a team of researchers have discovered a new biomarker that can visualise the activity of blood vessels. Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for tumour growth. The team from Osaka University in Japan, in a paper reported in The American Journal of Pathology, described a vascular stabilization biomarker that can visualize blood vessel activity, thus optimising the timing of anticancer therapies including anti-angiogenics., April 10, 2018

Are gut bacteria to blame for anxiety, depression in obesity?

Obesity brought on by a high-fat diet might be accompanied by changes in gut bacteria that alter brain chemistry in such a way as to promote anxiety and depression. This was the conclusion that researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, and colleagues came to after studying the link between gut microbes and brain function in mice with diet-induced obesity. They report their findings in a paper that is now published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.., June 18, 2018

Is Parkinson's linked to bacteriophages?

A recent study concludes that bacteriophages — or viruses that attack bacteria — may play a pivotal role in the development of Parkinson's disease. These findings provide an intriguing new approach to the condition. Bacteriophages are considered to be the most numerous organisms on earth. Wherever bacteria are found, phages will also be present. Before the invention of antibiotics, they were used to combat bacterial infections.., June 18, 2018

Green tea compound may protect heart health

According to a new study, a molecule found in green tea might help to protect against atherosclerosis, which is a common cause of heart attacks and stroke., June 02, 2018

Tuberculosis Vaccine Could Reverse Type 1 Diabetes, Study Shows

The causes of Type 1 diabetes can be significantly reversed over several years with just two injections of a common tuberculosis vaccine injected a few weeks apart, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced in a paper published in the journal Nature., June 21, 2018



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