Normally the health news roundup will be posted on Fridays, but I got busy yesterday and ran out of time. Why am I doing these news roundups, anyway? I’m not homeschooling … my children are all grown. I have time to read the news, and I figure other homeschooling moms don’t. I can sift through it all and post what is of interest to us as moms, homeschoolers, and Christians, thus making keeping up with the news much less time-consuming and more interesting for homeschooling moms. My first time using smilies!
My mother and brother both have cancer, so I am always on the lookout for cancer-related news. Tiny man-made nanoparticles have been used to successfully smuggle a powerful cancer drug into tumor cells – leaving healthy cells unharmed – in one of the first therapeutic uses for nanotechnology in living animals. And a common virus that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy, U.S. researchers said last Tuesday. Woo hoo!
Scientists in Hong Kong have shed new light on why cell repair is less efficient in older people after a breakthrough discovery on premature aging (Broken link, active July 2, 2005), a rare genetic disease that affects one in four million babies. Not to be outdone, Dutch researchers have shown that high-dose folic acid pills — providing as much of the nutrient as 2.5 pounds of strawberries — might help slow the cognitive decline associated with aging (Broken link, active July 2, 2005).
Here’s yet another reason to breast-feed babies: a new study finds it may reduce a child’s likelihood of growing up to need eyeglasses. It has been discovered that nutrients in breast milk help in early eye development (Broken link, active July 2, 2005). Even more good news for babies: in a ground-breaking study, scientists in Pittsburgh say they’ve discovered that adult stem cells have the same ability to multiply as embryonic stem cells (Hat tip: Glenn Beck).
On the infectious disease battlefront, a West Nile virus survivor discusses ways to combat the disease’s spread (Broken link, active July 2, 2005), while on Capitol Hill the speculation is that Avian flu could become the top issue facing the country in ’08 – seriously.
And on the sci-fi frontier of medical breakthroughs, scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans. The eventual hope is to use the same procedure in cases of accident or battlefield trauma, to preserve a person’s life until they can be transported to a qualified medical facility. And, a bionic man has moved his artificial arm with his brain (hat tip: Glenn Beck again!). This breakthrough technology could change the lives of amputees and patients with spinal cord injuries.