What's the buzz

What's the buzz

How veggies protect against cancer

A new research by scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown how vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage help reverse or prevent cancers and other aging-related diseases.

“Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, and she was right,” says co-author Trygve Tollefsbol. “But now we better understand why she was right — compounds in many of these foods suppress gene aberrations that over time cause fatal diseases.”

Epigenetics is the study of the changes in human gene expressions with time, changes that can cause cancer and Alzheimer’s, among other diseases. In recent years, epigenetics research worldwide, including numerous studies conducted at UAB, have identified specific food compounds that inhibit negative epigenetic effects.

Those foods include soybeans, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Green tea, fava beans, kale, grapes and the spice turmeric round out the diet.

“The epigenetics diet can be adopted easily, because the concentrations of the compounds needed for a positive effect are readily achievable,” says lead author Syed Meeran.

Exposure to sunlight helps fight multiple sclerosis

Scientists have suggested that people with multiple sclerosis should lie in the sun to fight the disease.

This was said after a new research shows that patients with higher levels of vitamin D — mainly derived from exposure to sunlight — have fewer attacks and develop the disease at a slower rate.

The auto-immune condition is caused by the loss of nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord.

Colleen Hayes and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believe vitamin D3 helps to control cells known as T lymphocytes which are responsible for MS.

“MS is currently incurable but environmental factors, such as vitamin D3, may hold the key to preventing MS and reducing its impact,” Hayes said.

All-in-one cardiac catheter to make heart surgeries simpler

A new all-in-one cardiac catheter developed by researchers from Northwestern University is set to make cardiac ablation therapy simpler. It has all necessary medical devices printed on a standard balloon catheter: a device for eliminating damaged tissue using heat, temperature and pressure sensors, an LED and an electrocardiogram (EKG) sensor.

The stretchable electronics developed by Yonggang Huang and John Rogers make it possible to have a minimally invasive technique for heart surgery.

“The use of one catheter to achieve all these functions will significantly improve clinical arrhythmia therapy by reducing the number of steps in the procedure, thereby saving time and reducing costs,” said Huang.