Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lead Exposure Tied to Brain Cancer

A new study from the University of Rochester’s Medical Center has indicated that prolonged workplace exposure to lead increases a person's risk for brain cancer. Those routinely exposed to lead had a nearly 50% higher chance of dying from the cancer. Despite causing nearly 2.5% of all cancer deaths, a total of approximately 13,000 deaths a year, very little is known about the cause of brain cancer. The only known cause of brain and spinal cord tumors is exposure to radiation.

Lead has long been a known environmental hazard; however studies such as this one have solidified the link. It has been suggested that more studies need to be completed to not only further establish the dangers of lead, but also of other environmental factors and their adverse health affects.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Low Vitamin E in Mother's Linked to Asthma in Offspring

A new study first published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has established a link between the amount of vitamin E present in pregnant mothers and their offspring. Children born to mothers who had low vitamin E were approximately five times more likely to develop asthma and other breathing problems such as quickened shortness of breath and wheezing than children born to mother’s who had received sufficient amount of vitamin E. The scientists from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland also stressed just how important it is for expectant mothers to receive enough vitamin E, particularly in the earlier months of pregnancy.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stem Cell Solution?

One of the most debated issues that have taken place during President Bush's time in the white house is that of stem cells. This debate has stretched far and wide and has reached nearly all American's in one form or another, whether being affected by the potential first hand, or becoming involved through religion or other reasons. Arguments arise not only about the effectiveness of the treatments, but also whether and how much funding the government should provide to a science which, until this week, required the "death" of an embryo. New research has brought the debate to the forefront yet again, this time with a new and unique twist.

The debate over embryonic stem cell research has typically focused on the loss of life associated with the typical extraction of stem cells. A procedure announced this week by a publicly traded company out of California, Advanced Cell Technology, hopes to avoid the question all together. The answer? The study suggests removing single cells from 2-3 day old embryos and growing them into unique stem cell lines, allowing the embryo to survive in most cases. The key reason this research is being completed is due to the lack of government funding available to stem cell processes which destroy embryos.

This process may help stem cell research reconnect with main stream . Up to this point, the use of stem sells has been associated with the loss of life, no matter how small. The use of this process may enable to science to reconnect by using a process deemed acceptable by the general public.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Drug-Resistant Staph Infection Making a Comeback

Emergency rooms have yet another thing to worry about. A once rare form of staph infection is making an unpredicted and astounding comeback and it comes with a twist: It's drug-resistant. The revived strain is responsible for over half of all skin infections that are being treated in the hospital and the number of cases is rising every day. Many victims of the infection don't realize they have anything serious until the virus has had time to progress. To find out more about the situation and what is being done to solve it.

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