Cancer Cells Are Protected By Our Own Immune System
In the early days of developing cancer, our immune system recognizes cancer cells as not to eliminate abnormal cells but as cells in our body to protect. These are the findings of research conducted in mice by a French team (1) (Paris, France). This work is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation of August 3, 2009 (reference below).

"Immunosurveillance" Cancer
Scientists postulate since the early twentieth century that there is a "immunosurveillance" Cancer by which our immune system recognizes as abnormal cancer cells (2) once they are produced by our body can eliminate them. It is only when these cells escape the immune response that would develop cancer. But the team led by David Klatzmann, professor at UPMC, has just revealed that this concept is wrong: there is indeed a "Immunosurveillance" cancers that, in contrast, protects tumor cells at the time of their appearance are protected as any other normal cells of the body.

When immune response is activated by the body, two types of lymphocytes (specialized cells of the immune system) shall be put into play: the regulatory T cells and effector T cells. The first recognize the components from our own body and protects our tissues of an attack by the immune system. In contrast, effector T cells specifically recognize foreign components and serve to destroy them.

First days of the appearance of tumor cells
Most studies on interactions between cancer cells and immune system are made at advanced stage of cancer development, where the cancerous mass is already organized and detectable. The researchers were interested in these interactions, but in the early days of the appearance of tumor cells. They have shown in animal models that the appearance of the first cancer cells triggers an immediate response of regulatory T cells. These cells migrate rapidly to the tumor (3). They recognize the cancer cells of molecules that are also expressed by normal tissues of the body. These regulatory T cells while blocking the action of effector T cells, preventing them from attacking and destroying cancer cells. Permanently activated to protect our tissues, regulatory T cells are mobilized more quickly and strongly than are effector T cells that are resting them before the tumor appears. Researchers have also shown that in the absence of regulatory T cells during the first meeting between immune system and tumor cells, the effector responses of the immune system is put in place and can eradicate the tumor.

Regulatory T cells recognize the tumor, therefore the first and facilitate its development by preventing its elimination by effector T cells. This indicates that the control of regulatory T cells should be an essential component in the development of future therapies against cancer. This discovery also opens other therapeutic approaches such as vaccination preventive anti-tumor.

(1) This result was obtained by the team of Professor David Klatzmann Lab "Immunology - immunopathology - Immunotherapy (UPMC / CNRS / Inserm).

(2) A cancer cell (or tumor) is a normal cell of the body has undergone transformations such as uncontrolled proliferation, invasion of adjacent tissue, colonization of remote organs, genetic instability ...

(3) The term tumor refers, generically, an abnormal proliferation of cells. Malignancy, it is called cancer.

Article: Tumor emergence is sensed by self-specific memory CD44hi Tregs that create a dominant tolerogenic environment for tumors in mice
Authors: William Darrasse-Jezeera, Anne-Sophie Bergot, Aurelie Durgeau Fabienne Billiard, Benoit L. Salomon, Jose L. Cohen, Bertrand Bellier, Katrina Podsypanina et David Klatzmann
Journal Publication: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Source: CNRS



The signs of pregnancy, the beginning of your adventure
Signs of pregnancy must be clearly defined because it is impossible for a woman trying to conceive to wait patiently to discover whether she is pregnant or not. She wants to know as soon as possible. It is therefore very important to carefully monitor your body and identify even the smallest changes occurring there. Although no pregnancy is like any other, some women may experience early signs and symptoms of pregnancy since the early days of conception. Others do not notice any change before the first weeks.

Signs of Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes many physical changes, both internal and external. Some of these changes:

Nausea: The morning sickness and vomiting are frequent harbinger of pregnancy. Most women misinterpret and believe food poisoning or a stomach problem.

Exacerbation of smell and taste: Many women become very sensitive to taste and smell of some foods more common. These foods can cause nausea, while others give rise to unusual cravings. This is a classic sign of pregnancy.

Dizziness and loss of consciousness: Some women avoid eating and skipping meals because of nausea triggered by smells and tastes exacerbated. It follows then their blood sugar too low, and dizziness or fainting.

Constipation: Problems with constipation may occur during pregnancy because of poor nutrition and metabolism idling.

Frequent desire to urinate: You may experience frequent urges to urinate during the first week. It is a sign of pregnancy does not disappoint. The uterus is expanding, it exerts pressure on the bladder and causes frequent urination.

Large breasts and nipples painful: Since the body is already preparing for breastfeeding, the breasts grow and the breasts swell and become painful to touch. This sign of pregnancy can be felt from the first week.

Loss of blood and secretions: Some women may notice slight bleeding 8 to 10 days after ovulation, the time normally corresponding to their next period. This sign of pregnancy is the implantation of the embryo in the uterine lining.

Lack of rules: It is the early sign of pregnancy as classical. Some women experience cramping or pain in the lower back similar to those of the imminent arrival of their rules, but to bleed as much.

Other signs of pregnancy to monitor the early stages of design are the following: irritability, fatigue, cramps, backaches, sallow complexion and weight loss.

A pregnancy test performed at home and a visit to the doctor quickly confirm the pregnancy. The doctor then will schedule a series of prenatal visits weekly, calculate your due date and will ensure your well-being and that of your baby throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Adopt a balanced diet and physical activity at the first signs of pregnancy to have a healthy baby.


Explain the origin of Crohn's disease
25% of patients with Crohn's disease (inflammatory disease of the intestines) carry a mutation in the gene NOD2, the role of this mutation is not yet known. A Canadian stud led by Dr. Marcel Behr, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) partially lifts the veil on this mechanism. The results were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (reference below).

The NOD2 gene encodes a protein, a receptor in our immune system. NOD2 is an intracellular molecule capable of recognizing certain bacterial some special structures and thus act as an orchestrator of the immune response. In this study, researchers have shown that the NOD2 receptor recognizes preferentially a peptide called N-glycolyl-CDM, which is found only in a certain family of bacteria: mycobacteria. Thus, when a mycobacterium invades the human body, it provokes an immune response immediate and very strong through the receptor NOD2.

"Now that we know more about the normal role of NOD2, it is possible to hypothesize that the mutation prevents properly recognize mycobacteria,"

Dr. Behr said.

"Because mycobacteria are not recognized, they are not tackled effectively, and can infect the body so persistent."

The link between the presence of mycobacteria and Crohn's disease was already known to researchers, but whether the presence of bacteria was a cause or consequence of disease. This new discovery helps to involve susceptibility to Crohn's disease with the NOD2 mutation and the presence of mycobacteria: an association that brings together researchers from the mechanism of development of pathology.

Further research is needed to reach a satisfactory explanation. But they probably will open new therapeutic approaches to combat Crohn's disease.

Article: Increased NOD2-mediated recognition of N-glycolyl muramyl dipeptide
Authors: Francois Coulombe, Maziar Divangahi Frederick Veyrier, Louis Leseleuc, James L. Gleason, Yibin Yang, Michelle A. Kelliher, Amit K. Pandey, Christopher M. Sassetti, Michael B. Reed and Marcel A. Behr
Journal Publication: Journal of Experimental Medicine

Source: EurekAlert
Credit: Institut Pasteur



The symptoms of swine flu, precautions and treatments

What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of conventional seasonal influenza, ie a sudden fever, cough, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. The swine flu also seems to cause more diarrhea and vomiting as common influenza.

The seasonal flu each year is between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths worldwide.

The influenza viruses mutate constantly, which explains why the vaccine against the flu changes each year. The last pandemic was in 1968. We then had counted one million deaths.

What are the precautions to take?
In affected areas, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Disease) recall the recommendations to prevent the spread of infectious diseases:

- Wash your hands regularly
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with sick people.

In cases of infection, stay home and limit contact with others.

The virus of swine influenza
Influenza viruses are enveloped viruses, RNA, family Orthomyxoviridae. Depending on internal characteristics, types are defined: A, B, C. Subtypes are defined by 2 surface glycoproteins:

- H for haemagglutinin (that allows attachment to host cells),
- N for neuraminidase.

Structure of Influenza Virus

In influenza type A (common to humans and animals), a total of 15 hemagglutinin (H1 to H15) and 9 neuraminidase (N1 to N9) have been identified.

Low resistance, except in cold weather, Influenza A viruses have a huge global pool: the domestic and wild birds (especially ducks), pigs, many animal species and man.

The same strain that can infect animals and humans because of the flu a zoonosis.

What are the treatment of swine flu?
Tamiflu ® is an antiviral medication proven to treat and prevent flu but experts, including the Directorate General of Health and AFSSAPS in France believe that the vaccine would also be preferable in the case of pandemic flu . But Tamiflu ® has been studied and developed on different strains of influenza and the current strain of swine flu strain H1N1 is constituted for the first time, strains of avian, swine and human. The magnitude of the effect of Tamiflu ® in the treatment and prevention of new strains of influenza is not guaranteed.

Are there any vaccines?
Yes, pigs. Not for humans. Although the vaccine production will be fast enough because it identified the virus is an influenza virus for which we know very well produce antidotes. It takes a little while anyway!

The vaccine against seasonal human influenza do not protect against swine flu.



Sex is good for improving fitness?
Sex is a gift given by God for living organisms in the world. As the blessing of God, why not use it keep you healthy and fit. Nobody can imagine a life without sex. Many people believe that sex as a means of reproduction for the birth of a new life and retain their growing family. Yes, it is true, but we must never forget that sex plays a very important role in our lives. The sex is cited as a better technique to improve your health. Sex improves physical and mental health among men and women.

Sex performed for 15 minutes burns calories similar to the calories burned by running for an hour. It keeps the amount of calories the body control and keeps us safe from heart disease caused by an excess of calories. The latest study to determine the benefits of sex has concluded that implementation of sex three or four times a week reduces the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. Thus, it is said that making more sex and keep your heart healthy.

Sex improves the sense of smell. When you perform the sex, the production of the hormone prolactin is promoted, which causes stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the olfactory bulb, the center of smell in the brain. Sex improves growth hormones that cleans harmful toxins in the human body. Just before orgasm, sex increases the levels of the hormone oxytoxin five times the normal level. In turn oxytoxin releases endorphins, which give relief of pain or inflammation.

In women, sex encourages the production of estrogen, which reduces the pain of premenstrual syndrome. Sex stimulates the immune system in men and women who do sex several times. Sex increases the production of antibodies called immunoglobulin A, which makes men and women more strength and free from infectious diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis. The resistance of cold and flu is to be more among couples who have sex more often than usual. It reduces the chances of suffering from skin rashes, dermatitis, and stains. The sweat produced during sexual activity cleans the pores and make your skin glow.

Sex sometimes free from pressure by relaxing blood vessels in the brain. The sex is considered natural antihistamine. Sex unblock your stuffy nose by increasing air flow in your body. In women, the sex hormone estrogen releases that stops hair loss and helps makes hair healthy and shiny. Women who love sex three or four times a week, see 10 to 12 years younger when compared to other women their age.

Sex is like exercise, which keeps the excessive weight gain control. Sex reduces chances of obesity. During intercourse, the muscles of the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck, thorax and work and, in turn, the body remains in good shape. Sex reduces depression among men and women. Sex enhances self esteem and confidence between men and women and supporting their mental health. The sex, you're away from dangerous diseases such as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis. Sex also improves blood flow in the body and thus the greater the amount of blood is produced in the human body. Ordinary sex gives the best control of the bladder.

Swine Flu: 10,000 Cases Reported in 40 Countries : A Vaccine Under Study


Swine Flu: 10,000 Cases Reported in 40 Countries. A Vaccine Under Study
The hour is grave. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers reasonable production in one year than five billion doses of vaccine (enough to cover whole continents) to overcome a possible pandemic.

This is the fourth consecutive morning that the WHO experts awake on hearing a thousand more people are infected with influenza virus A, influenza swine. The scourge will soon be combined with five digits, because the official count reported today 9,830 confirmed cases and 80 deaths in 40 countries. In this ranking, the United States, which has closed schools in New York after sixth death on their territory, consistently tops, with 5,123 cases. Mexico, home of the epidemic size is always second place, with 3,648 patients and 72 deaths. Also on the podium in third place, moved up on Canada, which shows 496 cases of swine flu, including one death. Fourth and last country where death rode the moment, Costa Rica reported one death, while having identified nine confirmed cases of the virus.

While Panama reported 59 infections, Japan has suffered a sudden bout of fever in almost joining the leaders with 159 confirmed cases. This dramatic burst of influenza in Japan (likely home independently of contamination) could decide the WHO officials to raise the alert level at 6 in the coming days. In Europe, Spain (103 cases) is elbow to elbow with the United Kingdom (102 cases), the British Isles having almost caught the Iberian Peninsula.

A little further down the table, France and Germany (14 cases each) are also in a handkerchief. No other country comes to the time bar of 10 cases. It is at this juncture that the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon has joined the underground headquarters of the WHO in Geneva where the organization specialists prepare an international response to the offensive virus. Officials from major pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Solvay, GSK and Novartis are also present to consult on the nature and amount and type of vaccine that would eventually be produced. While experts agree on the fact that the influenza virus A could mutate to give rise to a strain much more harmful, the pharmaceutical industry is awaiting the green light from the WHO.



Eat less to live longer : the genetic evidence
Drastically reducing the consumption of calories will increases the life span. This phenomenon, observed in many animal species, is known by the scientific community since the 1930s, because of laboratory animals subjected to calorie restriction live longer than their counterparts subjected to a normal diet.

This observation was so far remained unexplained. A U.S. study (Salk Institute) have identified a gene that plays a key role in increasing life expectancy when you eat less.

Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans)
Studies have been done in Caenorhabditis elegans, the nematode, a choice model in biology. Researchers have established a link between the two genes (called DAF-16 and SMK-1) and longevity.

Studies with mut
ants showed that the gene DAF-16 functions together with a gene involved in the development of the digestive system, PHA-4. PHA-4 is crucial for the longevity of the nematodes when they are subjected to nutrient restriction. Its deletion abolishes the ability of nematodes live longer when subjected to a hypocaloric diet.

The PHA-4 gene has a counterpart in mammals, Foxa. The manipulation of this gene could extend longevity in mammals and delay the onset of diseases associated with aging.



Stem cells in the adult spinal cord
Researchers at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) had just demonstrated the presence of stem cells in the adult spinal cord. A "first" that the authors, "could eventually lead to therapeutic use to repair the spinal cord.

The latter, situated in the extension of the brain inside the spine is absolutely essential. It provides in fact both the operation of motor neurons needed to achieve the movements that the transmission of sensory signals or control of the viscera. But now, the injuries that affect the "wiring" of neurons are considered irreversible ...

The significance of this discovery is that it will perhaps from these stem cells to produce cells that will restore the control and operation of neurons! This substantial work is a collaboration between three teams in Montpellier: Jean-Philippe those Hugnot University, Alain Privat at INSERM (Unit 583) and Luke Bauchet (neurosurgeon at UHC).

The road is still long, but this step could in the coming years will turn into hope for many patients. Including victims of spinal cord injury, or patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Source: INSERM - Journal of Neuroscience Research, April 9, 2008

Images: Coronal sections of injured adult spinal cord, anterior to posterior. The labelling shows recombined ependymal cells and their progeny (white) migrating out to the injury area in the dorsal funiculus, as a reponse to the injury (injury is in the image on the right hand corner). The mouse is a FoxJ1-CreER x R26R-LacZ reporter. Image / Konstantinos Meletis



Diagnose endometriosis without surgery, you can!
Belgium - Two research teams, one in Australia and Jordan and one in Belgium and Hungary, are currently developing a rapid test for diagnosis of endometriosis, accurate and avoiding the usual surgery.

Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of cells of the uterine lining outside the uterus. It is a benign disease, but incurable, painful and often causes infertility. It affects 10 to 15% of women of childbearing age. The definitive diagnosis can only be done by laparoscopy, surgical technique, minimally invasive with a low risk of complications.

The team of Australian-Jordanian research has shown that the endometrium had a higher density of nerve fibers in case of endometriosis, and inspiring the creation of a diagnostic tool the least invasive possible.

The other team, Belgian-Hungarian, has analyzed tissue samples from twenty women with this disease. In 90% of them, the researchers found the presence of four nerve fibers distributed in a non-uniform in the mucosa.

With these observations, the researchers were able to determine the efficacy of the combination of three markers to diagnose endometriosis, with a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 100%. This diagnostic technique is the analysis of samples of nervous tissue on the lining of the uterus without surgery.

A validation test of this non-invasive method to take place this fall. However, surgery is inevitable in serious cases of severe endometriosis, when the endometrial cells have colonized other organs and must be removed by laparoscopic or traditional surgery.



Sleep is about genetics
The mutation of a gene could explain the fact that why some people need less sleep than others, say U.S. researchers, whose study published in the journal Science.

A research team led by Ying-Hui Fu, professor of neurology at the University of California (western USA), discovered when she led a major study on sleep, a mutant gene in a mother and daughter, who slept only six hours per night without fatigue. "The team has identified that the mother and daughter throughout their lives had less need of sleep than most people," explains the professor.

The average time of sleep required for an individual is between 8 - 8 1/2 hours or 7 hours 45 minutes after a day not worked.

The analysis of a gene, DEC2, known to regulate sleep cycles, showed a change from these two people.

To confirm their hypothesis, researchers introduced the mutant gene in the body of mice and observed their sleep. "The mice slept less (...) and had less need to recover when they had been deprived of sleep," said Dr. Fu.

She said the DEC2 gene "could be involved in modulating sleep quantity alone or in the process of keeping awake."

"The case of mouse should give us an opportunity to explore more precisely whether there are other behaviors or other physiological conditions associated with this syndrome short sleep," says lead author of the study.

Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen Effective at Reducing Alzheimer’s Risk

Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen Effective at Reducing Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Different types of drugs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, appear to be equally relevant in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the largest study of its kind published in May 28, 2008, online Neurology ®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Experts have debated whether a certain group of NSAIDs that includes ibuprofen may be more beneficial than another group that includes naproxen and aspirin information. Using Six Different studies, the data reviewed by researchers on the use of NSAIDs in 13,499 people without dementia. Over the course of these six studies, 820 participants developed Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that people who used NSAIDs had risk 23 percent less to develop Alzheimer's disease compared to those who never used NSAIDs. The risk reduction did not appear to depend on the type of NSAID taken.

"It is an interesting finding because it seems to challenge a current theory that the NSAID group which includes ibuprofen may work better in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's person," said lead author Peter P. Zandi, PhD study, with the school at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health in Baltimore, MD. "We thought that the NSAID group which includes ibuprofen to target a type of plaque in the brain found in Alzheimer's patients. But our results suggest it may have their other reasons for these drugs which can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's."

The author Chris Szekely, PhD wire out of the review with the medical centre, Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, said the discrepancy between studies such as this one and the negative clinical trials of NSAIDs in the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's need to be explored further.



Hope for diabetes cure with stem cells
Diabetic patients, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, were able to stop insulin injections through treatment with stem cells. The tests, conducted by a team of American scientists and breziliens were conducted on 15 patients recently diagnosed with the disease, they follow the immunosuppressive treatment and were then transfused with stem cells from their blood.

14 of 15 volunteers were no longer resort to insulin injections - some for several years - after treatment. Indeed one of the patients was able to provide injections for 35 months while 4 other patients will be provided for at least 21 months. The treatment was effective immediately after the transfusion of stem cells for 11 of the 15 volunteers who were able to dispense with insulin injections.

This form of therapy is known as the transplantation (or graft) of autologous stem cells. This method already shown encouraging result for the treatment of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease or lupus.

Mechanisms of actions not elucidated
Stem cells, there are several types, are undifferentiated cells which retain the ability to differentiate into different types of adult cells. Stem cells used in this study are called multipotent i.e they are able to generate several cell types. Other types of stem cells are totipotent stem cells (the only ones that can give rise to a whole organism), pluripotent (able to generate most or all tissues of the adult body) and unipotentes (capable of producing a single type of cell ).

The researchers do not know by what precise mechanisms of these cells could act, several hypotheses have been advanced.

The first is that these cells have reconstituted the immune system does not attack cells of the pancreas since insulin production is ensured by this cells.

A second possibility is that cells have reformed new cells of the pancreas to produce insulin.

Finally another possibility is that these cells were able to create a mechanism-unknown-protecting pancreatic cells from destruction.

Preliminary Studies
Take this study with all precautions. It is a small study of volunteers monitoring was not done on a very long period. In addition, the study did not compare patients who received this treatment to patients not receiving treatment or who received an alternative treatment. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University in Chicago who participated in the study points out, it does not cure or breakthrough, this is just a step forward. British experts believe that such therapy requires atleast 5 to 8 years researches before it becomes widespread.

Type 1 diabetes also known as insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes, results from destruction of pancreatic cells (islets of Langherans) producing the hormone insulin. It represents 10% of cases of diabetes is treated with insulin.

BBC Health
Credit image: HowStuffWorks



A clinical trial of a vaccine to combat high blood pressure yielding promising results.
The search for vaccines against infectious diseases has become the rage. These include high blood pressure. The first human clinical trial of a vaccine directed against one of the proteins responsible for this physiological disorder, angiotensin II, has just been published in The Lancet by the team of Martin Bachmann (Cytos Biotechnlogy, Switzerland).

In fact, if there are new generation drugs very effective against the enzyme for
the conversion of an-giotensine or capable of blocking this receptor molecule vital in controlling blood pressure, everything is not so simple in the real world. As against this silent killer, which causes no symptoms, the patient must take capsules and tablets every day without feeling any immediate benefit.

And that is where the shoe pinches, Swiss researchers argue. "Only one third of hypertensive patients in the United States have blood pressure well controlled." This means, because adherence to treatment ordered by the doctor is low. In addition, patients complain more side effects due to the medication they have no symptoms related to hypertension. The search for a vaccine antihypertensive did not yesterday! That Irvine Page, American physiologist of the Cleveland Clinic who, in 1958, had first raised the possibility of acting on small molecules to control blood pressure through a vaccine. Historically, said Professor Joel Menard (former Director General of Health) Immunization began with the simple injection of a slightly modified version of renin (also involved in controlling hypertension, Ed) to generate antibodies in the purpose of lowering blood pressure.

The target: the angiotensin II
The first publications date from the 1950s also. Closer to home, a preclinical test of Cytos vaccine, produced in 2007 on rats and mice (Journal of Hypertension) showed that it is immunogenic (ie the animal developed antibodies) were found safe and effective. The immunization target is chosen angiotensin II: a protein hormone that actually causes intense constriction of blood vessels, and therefore arterial hypertension and an adrenal gland stimulation and increased secretion of aldosterone, which also increases the pressure arteries.

In the study published last week by The Lancet, 72 patients with hypertension, low (but real) to moderate were randomly divided into three groups to receive three injections of 100 or 300 micrograms of the vaccine, or an equivalent dose of placebo over a period of one year. Blood pressure was measured during the 24 hours preceding the vaccine and then 14 weeks later. The researchers found a significant reduction in daytime blood pressure by almost 9 mm Hg (systolic pressure of a normal adult is 130 mm) in the group receiving the high dose vaccine.

Should we continue to make progress in this area? "I feel that our knowledge is too low, estimated in 2007 Professor Menard, for good measure the risk / benefit ratio of such a vaccine," then a daily oral treatment available, it is safe and well tolerated. Dr. Menard knows whereof he speaks: in 1985 he had tested this type of vaccination in the marmoset and the animal had developed an autoimmune disease of the kidney, which led him to stop all testing. A vaccine against hypertension is also urgently need a vaccine against HIV or cancer? "Even if we can draw lessons from a manipulation of the immune system, the safety remains a priority," says Joel Menard.

He nevertheless stressed that this discovery opens a new door that could also have impact on other chronic diseases such as diabetes or atherosclerosis, which require daily medication.



Screening for the early detection of ovarian cancer
Tests for early detection, a blood test and ultrasound, are feasible on a large scale to detect cancers of the ovary, and in almost half the cases, whereas these tumors are in their early stages, according to an essay published by the specialist journal Lancet Oncology. Ovarian cancer is often described as a "silent killer" because it gives little or no symptoms in its early stages. 70% of women are diagnosed at an advanced stage of cancer, with a survival of about 20 to 30% at five years of diagnosis. However, when detected early, it is 90% curable.

Recent progress - on transvaginal ultrasound and the development of a risk score to interpret the results of a blood test tumor marker (test "CA125") suggested that mass screening was possible. Professor Ian Jacobs of London, with colleagues, launched a test to evaluate the effectiveness of both methods and ultimately their effect on mortality due to genital cancer. Participants will be tested until the end of 2012 and followed medically until the end of 2014. Early results are encouraging. Between 2001 and 2005, 202,638 postmenopausal women, aged between 50 and 70 years, the United Kingdom, were distributed by lottery in groups with testing or both methods, with either one. Another group (101,359 women) without these tests, for comparison.

According to the results, the screening program has detected most of the women who developed ovarian cancer. Nearly half of the cancers were detected in early stages (stage I / II). While only 28% of invasive cancers are detected at an early stage according to the studies, screening helped detect 48%. In total 87 cancers were detected through screening with similar results with both methods combined or ultrasound alone.



Insulin produced from GMOs on the market soon?

Insulin produced from genetically modified plants (GMO) (plants in which a human gene has been assigned to a plant gene) could be soon on the market according to the statements made by a Canadian biotech company.

SemBioSys society, based in Calgary, announced in July 2006 to produce a molecule of insulin perfectly authentic and commercially viable from Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius). Insulin is extracted from the seeds of this plant.

Safflower "GMO" is now cultivated on a trial basis, in Chile, the United States and Canada. Culture is made "off season" to limit the risk spread in the environment of the introduced gene. Clinical trials were planned at the end of the year.

Existing commercial insulin production methods typically rely on yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or bacteria (Escherichia coli) were genetically engineered to produce synthetic human insulin. These organisms are grown in large, steel bio-reactors and then insulin is extracted and purified for final formulation.

The demand for insulin will explode
The demand for insulin in the treatment of diabetes, according to SemBioSys, 6,000 kg, representing a market of 3.7 billion dollars. This application should reach 12,000 kg by 2012, since the number of people with diabetes is increasing dramatically. We hesitate to speak of more epidemic or even pandemic. Aging population, overweight, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are the main causes of this increase.

In addition, alternative methods of administration (inhalation, oral) also contribute to increased demand since 5 to 10 times more insulin is needed for a similar efficiency to the injection. But SemBioSys believes reducing the production costs by 40%.

This announcement raises serious criticism from associations and other anti-GMO. The risk of contaminating the food chain and impacts on the environment would be too large compared to the benefits provided.

BBC Health, Sembiosys



The genes of baldness discovered
An international team has demonstrated that the presence of two genetic variants multiplied by seven shows the risk of baldness. Two studies were published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics.

Researchers looked at about 5, 00,000 sites on the genome, respectively 1125 and 296 men suffering from baldness in Europe. This common form of baldness called "androgenic alopecia (AGA)" is an inherited disorder in 80% of cases. Hair loss starts in the temples, forehead and top of the skull. Although it is more common in men, also affect women.

Find the rest of article in vulgarization.

AFP, ScienceDaily



Pregnancy and myopia: A Difficult
Expectant mothers who suffer from myopia will have several inconveniences related to this lack of vision. First, if they wear contact lenses, they may be surprised to no longer support them. A change of the cornea, tears and refraction can cause discomfort or less which leads them to reduce or remove the lens wear.

At birth, the wearing of lenses is not recommended. Myopia can also increase the risk of retinal detachment. It is better to talk to an ophthalmologist who can perform laser correction.

But that's not all. Myopia may increase during pregnancy. That is why an appointment with the ophthalmologist should be scheduled about two months after giving birth (to leave a little time to recover the body, fatigue can skew the medical examination).



What are the ocular changes during pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes changes throughout the body, including eyes. Wearing contact lenses is not against in pregnancy, but the changes may alter ocular comfort.

Corneal changes (or transparent part of the eye) which is placed on the lens
1. The corneal curvature increases, ie the eye is flatter. The lenses can become too tight during pregnancy. This phenomenon is even more significant for carriers that rigid lenses for patients fitted with soft lenses. A flattening of the curvature of the lenses makes it possible to find a good comfort.

2. The sensitivity of the cornea decreases during pregnancy. The pain, in case of complications, may be less intense. More attention must be paid to other signs of intolerance (redness, blurred vision, unusual secretions). You must be especially careful that the decrease in immune defenses during pregnancy may promote the emergence of infections in the lenses.

Changes in tears
Changes in the composition of tears, during pregnancy, partly explain the discomfort that may be encountered carriers lenses.

Changes of refraction
Pregnancy may be accompanied by a slight myopisation (difficulties in seeing far net).

What if we no longer supports the lenses during pregnancy?
First wear less time in the day and alternate with a correction glasses adjusted. If discomfort remains important, it must consult with his ophthalmologist. By changing the lens parameters (material, curvature, correction), to adapt them to new settings of your eyes, it will attempt to restore a comfortable daily wear.

Obviously, do not forget to remove your lenses before delivery. Since, they can undergo anesthesia and the unexpected lens wear is against inappropriate in this case.



A new medical study for breastfeeding!
During the Global Week of breastfeeding, the WHO pointed out that it should be exclusive up to the age of 6 months and ideally persist until the age of 2 years Parallel diversification of food.

This time, researchers looked at mothers.

The authors of this new study analyzed data from more than 60,000 women participating in the study Nurses' Health Study II between 1997 and 2005. About 608 cases of cancer pre-menopause were detected.

Women with a family history of breast cancer have generally also a higher risk of developing one themselves. The data from this study are interesting because they show that among these women at risk, the likelihood of developing breast cancer fall by almost 60% if they have already breastfed in their lives, regardless of duration.

The study were quite numerous, breastfeeding of the mother would allow a reduction in the rate of cancer of the ovaries, vagina and breast. Breastfeeding helps the mother lose weight after pregnancy and prevent obesityas we know from other studies that obesity promotes the development of breast cancer.

According to researchers, this phenomenon come from the process by which the tissues return to their natural state before pregnancy. Some congestion may cause inflammation at the origin of cancers. But study reveals that breastfeeding limit such inflammation.

The study also suggest medications to help stop lactation.



The benefits of breastfeeding:
The literature study demonstrate the benefits of breastfeeding on the health of mothers and also the health, growth and development of children, including premature. Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of several diseases or diminish their severity. Breastfeeding provides nutrients that strengthen the immune system of children which protects infants of different infectious and respiratory diseases. It would also have a protective effect against the syndrome of sudden infant death syndrome, diabetes, insulin, Chrohn's disease and Hodgkin's disease.

A recent study suggests that breastfeeding provides children with inadequate weight to have a faster growth and catch up more quickly than their normal weight when compare to children fed with commercial preparations, as well as, faster brain growth at a critical time of development (Lucas et al, 1997)

WHO recommendations
The breast is irreplaceable. Breast milk is the best milk. Until August 7, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding organizes the Global Week of breastfeeding. 120 countries participated under the auspices of World Health Organization (WHO).

Colostrum, says WHO, secretion and thick yellowish milk produced in late pregnancy, is the perfect food for the newborn who needs to start feeding from the first hour after birth.

The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until the age of six months. According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding, all women can breastfeed. This is the most effective way to preserve health and ensure the survival of the child.

Globally, less than 40% of infants under six months are exclusively breastfed.

Benefits for Mother's
Breastfeeding also has health benefits for mothers. In the short term, it stimulates the secretion of oxytocin, which in turn promotes uterine contraction and decreases the risk of bleeding after childbirth.

Breastfeeding a contraceptive effect in the first 6 months after birth when it is exclusive, it is performed on demand and that the mother is not menstruating, it inhibits the ovulatory function and reduces the risk of a new pregnancy to less than 2%. (EVEN WHEN IT IS NOT A METHOD CONTRACEPTRICE!)

Breastfeeding also has several advantages, since this reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer later in life, which helps women find their faster weight before pregnancy and helps fight against obesity. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture during post menopause. It could also reduce the woman's hormone levels secreted in response to stress, such as cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

Psychological benefits of breastfeeding is to facilitate the strength of attachment between mother and child.

The against-indications to breastfeeding are rare. In fact, breastfeeding is not recommended against in the case of infants with congenital galactosemia and mothers living with HIV in the country industrialized. And for mothers who consume illegal drugs or are alcohol abuse, should conduct an individual assessment to determine whether they can breastfeed.

"If the mothers and families were encouraged to breastfeed, many lives could be saved," says WHO, especially in developing countries where drinking water is scarce. A bottle made with non-potable water may be the transmitter of waterborne diseases and be very harmful even deadly for an infant.

Breastfeeding and work
WHO recommends that any mother who has just given birth at least 16 weeks of maternity leave so that she can rest and nurse her child. Many mothers who return to work abandon exclusive breastfeeding before the elapsed period of six months recommended because they do not have enough time or a place to breastfeed or take and keep the milk on their workplace. Mothers should have access, at their workplace or nearby to a clean and intimate to continue to breastfeed.

Introduction of new foods
When the child reaches the age of six months, in order to meet their needs, introduce new foods.
  • WHO recommends: not to reduce the number of feedings,
  • Food with spoon or cup and also advice not for bottle-feeding,
  • Foods which have every guarantee of hygiene and that can be obtained locally,
  • Allow sufficient time for children to learn to eat solid foods.



Statins may reduce the risk of dementia and loss of memory
Scientists have found that taking statins, drugs anticholesterol, can protect the body against memory loss and dementia (cognitive disorder). The study followed for five years 1674 Mexican Americans aged 60 and older.

A quarter of these patients took a statin and in total there were 130 people who developed dementia. Other risk factors taken into account (including education, smoking and diabetes), the authors calculated that people taking statins had approximately 50% less risk of developing dementia. Another study of different authors also suggests that drugs to reduce blood pressure may also reduce the risk of dementia.

According to the principal author of the research, Professor Mary Haan of the University of Michigan, the result is very important that the prize for five to seven years of statins led to reduced risk of dementia by half.

Statins help to reduce the risk of heart attack by reducing the rate of cholesterol which can clog blood vessels. It is believed that poor blood supply to the brain may be one factor that promotes the development of dementia. Therefore, if statins help keep the vascular health and good blood circulation in the brain may also help prevent dementia.

However the mode of action of statins is not yet entirely clear about the way biochemical involved in dementia. According to Professor Mary Haan One possibility is that statins may help reduce levels of insulin, which was also involved in the development of dementia.

But according to reviewers advice not to use statins in preventing dementia due to the side effects of drug. Other studies broader confirmation must also be undertaken.



Complications and side effects:
Among the biochemical changes that characterize the lipodystrophy syndrome include an increase in lipid levels in the blood. This includes an increase in triglyceride levels and LDL-cholesterol (“bad") and a decrease in the cholesterol-HDL (“good"). This combination may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Changes food (more fibre, fruits and vegetables and less animal fat), the adoption of an exercise program and stopping smoking are a good start for those with the long term is to lower their lipid levels. However, it is not always easy to adopt good habits and it may take time to arrive, so some doctors find it useful to prescribe treatments designed to reduce lipid levels. There are two main types of lipid - lowering drugs or fibrates (ciprofibrate, fenofibrate) and statins (atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin).

Statins and mitochondria
Some researchers fear that statins can affect the parts of cells responsible for energy production, namely the mitochondria (Mt). In people living with HIV / AIDS, it is possible that the Mt is already strained by antiretrovirals and HIV protein called Viral Protein R (Vpr). To learn more about the effect of statins, the researchers Primagen company (specializing in the development and marketing of molecular tests), in Amsterdam, have experimented with two groups of PLWHA. The first group consisted of seven subjects who were examined before and after treatment with simvastatin at 40 mg / day. The six subjects in the second group received ciprofibrate 100 mg / day. All participants had cholesterol and / or triglycerides above normal and were receiving lipid - lowering treatment for two months.

The researchers found that fibrates had no effect on the DNA of white blood cells Mt. However, the rate of DNA has increased significantly Mt. The researchers attribute this change to the fact that statins inhibit not only the natural production of cholesterol but also the antioxidant co-enzyme Q10 (Co-Q10). This plays an important role in energy production in the Mt and also protects them against damage. To compensate for the lower rate of co-Q10, researchers argue that the Mt tried to produce other proteins, hence increasing the rate of DNA.

In the context of laboratory experiments, researchers have grown cells in the presence of anti-HIV drugs dideoxyinosine (ddI) and dideoxydidehydeothymidine (d4T) and simvastatin and ciprofibrate. They found that the combination of nucleoside analogues and statins has caused more toxicity than either class of drugs alone. Studies of longer duration are needed to evaluate the safety of statins in patients with combination antiretroviral therapy.



Advanced technique to a better understanding of infertility.
French scientists have just found a technique to produce human sperm from embryonic stem cells.

A step forward in the understanding of infertility, which raises doubts of some scholars.

A team of British scientists made up of researchers from the University of Newcastle and the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESC) has announced that it succeeded in creating human sperm from embryonic stem cells. They have indeed succeeded in producing laboratory in mid-July, semen quite artificial. Their findings were published in the medical journal Stem Cells and Development.

A better understanding of infertility
This work should shed light on the mechanisms of infertility. According to Professor Karim Nayernia, who led the research teams, it is an "important development, because it will allow researchers to study in detail how the sperm is formed, which should lead to a better understanding of male infertility, why it happens and what the cause. " This discovery should also help to shed new light on the transmission of diseases from one generation to another.

Assistance to fight against future infertility?
According to these scientists, the technique would create a artificial sperm from embryonic stem cells carrying the male XY chromosomes. In accordance with the law currently in force in Great Britain, the semen cannot be used to fertilize the eggs and give birth.

Researchers, however, rely on the development of this legislation so that this technique can serve as a response to male infertility. Although the technique needs further improvement, Professor Nayernia hopes much of this discovery. "This understanding may allow us to develop new ways to help couples with infertility, so that they can have a child that is genetically their own" he says.

Discussion on results
Technically, scientists have taken the embryonic stem cells from embryos produced by in vitro fertilization. According to them, stem cells male XY chromosome carriers, yielded functional sperm continue their cell division. The latter, also called meiosis did not occur in its entirety with the female cells, XX. They have been at the stage of spermatogonia, first stage of sperm. These results show that the Y chromosome is essential to the genesis of a functional sperm.

The announcement immediately sparked reactions from the scientific community.
Doubts about the nature and authenticity of sperm obtained were issued, based on data provided. "Even if the cells could have produced some of the genetic traits and molecular markers of sperm, human sperm have a fully differentiated cell-specific morphology, behavior and activities that are not described here," said Dr. example Allen Pacey, sperm biologist at the University of Sheffield.


My Favorite Links!