What's the buzz.

What's the buzz.

Gene mutation behind  leukaemia identified

Describing how the most common gene mutation found in acute myeloid leukaemia starts the process of cancer development, they suggested that three critical steps are required to transform normal blood cells into leukaemic ones, each subverting a different cellular process.

By charting the route towards cancer, the study identified the processes that might serve as targets for new treatments to halt the cancer’s development in its tracks and even reverse it. The new research has shown that mutation in NPM1 is a key event in the development of a large proportion of cases of acute myeloid leukaemia and that it exerts its effect by helping cells to self-renew, a process that can be thought of as the first step towards leukaemia. The team also identify two subsequent events that are required to cooperate with NPM1 to drive cells to become cancerous.

Drink tea daily to keep you hydrated

A new study has found that drinking four to six mugs of tea daily is as good as a litre of water for keeping yourself hydrated. The finding disproves the idea that regular tea drinking can dehydrate the body because of its caffeine content.

The research also found no negative health effects from drinking that amount of tea. In the high quality UK clinical trial, 21 volunteers drank either four 240ml mugs of tea over a 12-hour period - equivalent to just under one litre of tea in total - or a similar amount of plain, boiled water served warm. The tea included 20ml of semi-skimmed milk but no sugar. The test was also repeated using six cups of tea or plain water, equivalent to nearly 1.5 litres of fluid.

DNA repair brings hope  to cancer patients

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have developed a model of how a powerful DNA repair complex works – a finding that may give hope to various treatment of disorders ranging from cancer to cystic fibrosis.

They said that the complex's motor molecule, known as Rad50, is a flexible protein that can change shape and even rotate depending on the task at hand. The finding solves the long-standing mystery of how a single protein complex known as MRN (Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1) can repair DNA in a number of different, and tricky, ways that seem impossible for ‘standard issue’ proteins to do, said team leaders Scripps Research professors John Tainer and Paul Russell.