Week in Health (1 – 7 May 2021)

Health News related to Head and Neck Cancers, Applying UV Light To Common Disinfectants, Sealing Up Broken Blood Vessels, Natural Immunity to Malaria, Green Vegetables – Risk of Heart Disease, 3D Printing – Tissue Replacement, Gene Mutation Detection in Blood, Secret to Fighting Obesity, 3D ‘Bioprinting’ To Create Nose Cartilage, Sleep – Elevated Heart Risks, Sugar-Sweetened Drinks – Risk of Colorectal Cancer, Online Learning – Student Sleep Habits

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Restricting Growth, Spread of Head and Neck Cancers

Source: University of California - Los Angeles 3 May 2021

Researchers have discovered a key molecule that allows cancer stem cells to bypass the body’s natural immune defenses, spurring the growth and spread of head and neck squamous cell cancers. Their study, conducted in mice, also demonstrates that inhibiting this molecule derails cancer progression and helps eliminate these stem cells. The findings could help pave the way for more effective targeted treatments for this highly invasive type of cancer, which is characterized by frequent resistance to therapies, rapid metastasis and a high mortality rate.

Original written by: Brianna Aldrich

2. Applying UV Light To Common Disinfectants Makes Them Safer to Use, And in Higher Concentrations

Source: University of Waterloo 3 May 2021

Over 400 common disinfectants currently in use could be made safer for people and the environment and could better fight the COVID-19 virus with the simple application of UVC light, a new study shows. Researchers discovered that the chemical, benzalkonium chloride’s (BAK) toxicity could be fully neutralized using ultraviolet light (UVC) when tested on cultured human corneal cells.

3. An Electrifying New Way to Seal Up Broken Blood Vessels

Source: Nanyang Technological University 3 May 2021

A team of researchers has developed a device that offers a quicker and less invasive way to seal tears and holes in blood vessels, using an electrically-activated glue patch applied via a minimally invasive balloon catheter. This device could eventually replace the need for open or keyhole surgery to patch up or stitch together internal blood vessel defects.

4. Natural Immunity to Malaria Provides Clues to Potential Therapies

Source: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute 3 May 2021

Researchers have identified how natural human antibodies can block malaria parasites from entering red blood cells, potentially indicating how new protective therapies could be developed against this globally significant disease. The research provides greater insight into how antibodies block the entry of Plasmodium vivax malaria parasites into young red blood cells called reticulocytes. It builds on an earlier discovery that the P. vivax latches onto the transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) to enter cells.

5. One Cup of Leafy Green Vegetables A Day Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Source: Edith Cowan University 4 May 2021

New research has found that by eating just one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables each day people can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease. The study investigated whether people who regularly ate higher quantities of nitrate-rich vegetables, such as leafy greens and beetroot, had lower blood pressure, and it also examined whether these same people were less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease many years later.

6. Researchers Advance 3D Printing to Aid Tissue Replacement

Source: Washington State University 4 May 2021

Researchers are looking to a future someday in which doctors can hit a button to print out a scaffold on their 3D printers and create custom-made replacement skin, cartilage, or other tissue for their patients. The researchers have developed a unique scaffolding material for engineered tissues that can be fine-tuned for the tricky business of growing natural tissue.

Original written by: Tina Hilding

7. Research Team Takes Gene Mutation Detection in Blood to the Next Level

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine 4 May 2021

Next-generation gene sequencing (NGS) technologies —in which millions of DNA molecules are simultaneously but individually analyzed— theoretically provide researchers and clinicians the ability to noninvasively identify mutations in the blood stream. Identifying such mutations enables earlier diagnosis of cancer and can inform treatment decisions. Researchers developed a new technology to overcome the inefficiencies and high error rates common among next-generation sequencing techniques that have previously limited their clinical application.

To correct for these sequencing errors, the research team developed SaferSeqS (Safer Sequencing System), a major improvement to widely used technologies based on a previous technology called SafeSeqS (Safe Sequencing System) that the investigators invented a decade ago. The new SaferSeqS technology detects rare mutations in blood in a highly efficient manner and reduces the error rate of commonly used technologies for evaluating mutations in the blood more than 100-fold.

8. Your Stomach May Be the Secret to Fighting Obesity

Source: Indiana University School of Medicine 4 May 2021

Scientists believe a stomach-specific protein plays a major role in the progression of obesity, according to new research in Scientific Reports. The study could help with development of therapeutics that would help individuals struggling with achieving and maintaining weight loss.

9. Researchers Successfully Use 3-D ‘Bioprinting’ To Create Nose Cartilage

Source: University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry 4 May 2021

A team researchers has discovered a way to use 3-D bioprinting technology to create custom-shaped cartilage for use in surgical procedures. The work aims to make it easier for surgeons to safely restore the features of skin cancer patients living with nasal cartilage defects after surgery.

Original written by: Ross Neitz

10. Too Much, Too Little Sleep Linked to Elevated Heart Risks in People Free from Disease

Source: American College of Cardiology 5 May 2021

People who clock six to seven hours of sleep a night had the lowest chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke when compared with those who got less or more sleep, according to a study. This trend remained true even after the research team accounted for other known conditions or risk factors for heart disease or stroke.

11. Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Linked to Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women Under 50

Source: Washington University School of Medicine 6 May 2021

Colorectal cancer diagnoses have increased among people under age 50 in recent years, and researchers are seeking reasons why. A new study has found a link between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer in women under age 50. The findings suggest that heavy consumption of sugary drinks during adolescence (ages 13 to 18) and adulthood can increase the disease risk.

Original written by: Julia Evangelou Strait

12. Online Learning Doesn’t Improve Student Sleep Habits, Research Suggests

Source: Simon Fraser University 6 May 2021

New research suggests that students learning remotely become night owls but do not sleep more despite the time saved commuting, working or attending social events. The study compared self-reported data on sleep habits from 80 students enrolled in a 2020 summer session course at Simon Fraser University with data collected from 450 students enrolled in the same course during previous summer semesters.

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