Latest research news

May 11, 2005

Exercise 'slows growth of cancer'
Vigorous exercise could slow the progression of prostate cancer in older men and help keep them alive, new research suggests. Scientists in the United States looked for links between physical activity and prostate cancer in 47,620 male health professionals who were monitored over 14 years. Participants were asked to report how much time they spent engaging in a variety of activities and sports including walking, running, swimming, playing tennis, cycling and callisthenics.
The Daily Mail

Ovarian cancer test gives hope of early diagnosis
A new blood test could help to diagnose cases of ovarian cancer before major symptoms develop, according to research published today. The test has the potential to save lives by allowing identification of the disease at a stage when it can be effectively treated. But with an accuracy of 95 per cent it is not yet precise enough to be used in national screening programmes. The disease has been called the "silent killer" because by the time symptoms appear it is usually advanced and hard to treat.
The Guardian, The Scotsman

Antibodies fight back against HIV
AIDS is notorious for its ability to deceive and destroy the human immune system. Now researchers have shown that part of that system can fight back: certain antibodies can deliver a short-lived blow against the virus. The result comes with good and bad news. It lends support to the idea that therapeutic vaccines, which are designed to be taken after someone is infected, might work against AIDS. But the effect is so limited, the authors say, that a simple dose of antibodies alone will not do a patient much good.
Nature

Arbiters of research future named by funding body
More than 900 academics have been selected to assess the quality of research in all subjects at every British university as part of the 2008 research assessment exercise. For the next three years they will become some of the most influential scholars in their fields as they sift the papers and books produced by academics in each department - with a view to who should get the most funding for years to come. The list, published today, is dominated by academics from the old universities.
The Guardian

Premature baby study gets £3m
One of the most detailed studies of how very premature babies progress is to be extended with the aid of a £3 million grant. The research may eventually follow them into teenage and young adult life. The Epicure study of babies born at 25 weeks or less has already reported on their development at 2.5 years and 6.5 years. The children, now aged 10, will be assessed again over the next year. In addition a new group of very premature babies will be followed, allowing researchers to measure differences between them and the first group born in 1995.
The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail

On the scent of a sexual match
Sexual orientation may be a matter of following your nose, say new studies. Homosexuals and heterosexuals prefer different kinds of body odour. The new research adds to growing evidence that homosexuality is determined by biology. The results were particularly marked for homosexual men, who were found to have a strong preference for the natural scent of other gay men, which heterosexuals found unattractive.
The Times, New Scientist, The Independent, The Evening Standard

Israeli hospitals used old and mentally infirm as human guinea pigs
Patients in Israeli hospitals, among them the elderly, children and the mentally infirm, have been used as guinea pigs in medical experiments without permission from their legal guardians, according to the country's main government watchdog. Unlicensed drugs and invasive procedures were also used on patients, sometimes by researchers who were not even doctors. In one clear conflict of interest the researcher was employed by the commercial company selling the procedure.
The Daily Telegraph

Hearty source
Cranberries improve the health of pigs’ hearts and may do the same for human beings, researchers have said. In an American study, pigs were genetically engineered to develop high cholesterol and hardened arteries. They were fed cranberry juice powder, which appeared to make their blood vessels relax and open.
The Times

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