Latest research news

August 16, 2006

'Magic bullet' cancer team wins £2m grant boost
Scientists from the universities of St Andrews and Dundee have won a £2 million research grant to develop a drug-delivery system which uses a "magic bullet" to destroy cancer cells. Researchers demonstrated in the laboratory last year that cancer cells could be destroyed by a single targeted pulse of ultrasound, using a "sniper rifle" approach developed from military technology. The magic-bullet technology could eventually end the need for traumatic surgery and debilitating drug treatments for cancer patients.
The Scotsman

Simple skin test may spot Alzheimer's early
A simple skin test that enables doctors to diagnose the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease could be available within five years, researchers say. The test could allow doctors to intervene early on and prevent major brain damage, they say. Researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute in Rockville, Maryland, US, have identified chemical changes that distinguish early Alzheimer’s from other neurodegenerative disorders. Significantly, the chemical signal is produced in skin cells as well as brain tissue, which would make for a safe and convenient diagnostic test.
New Scientist

Asthma breakthrough raises hope
A radical treatment for asthma that promises to transform the lives of millions of patients is being developed after British scientists discovered a key mechanism in the cause of attacks. Researchers believe that, if successful on asthmatics, the new treatment could be extended to prevent the common cold and even help to combat bird flu. Hope of a breakthrough in treating the condition comes after a team led by Imperial College, London, discovered that a shortage of antiviral proteins contributes to most severe asthma attacks.
The Times , The Independent , The Guardian

Mammoths may roam again after ,000 years
Bodies of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday. Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out.
The Times , Daily Telegraph , Daily Mail , The Independent

Chocs boost circulation
Eating chocolate may reduce the risk of blood clots by improving blood circulation through the heart and brain, new research shows. Cocoa, an essential ingredient in chocolate, contains flavonols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent cancer and heart disease by mopping up free radicals that can damage arteries and blood vessels. The new research shows flavonol-rich cocoa improves blood flow which, scientists say, also lowers the risks of clotting.
Daily Mail

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