What's the Buzz

What's the Buzz

Chemical in crocuses can kill tumours

Scientists have turned a chemical found in crocuses into a “smart bomb” that targets cancerous tumours.

Research found that the drug derived from plant extracts could wipe out tumours in a single treatment, leaving healthy tissue unharmed, and reducing the odds of debilitating side effects. The drug, based on colchicine, an extract from the autumn crocus, is at an early stage of development, and has so far been tested only on mice. But the University of Bradford researchers are optimistic about its potential in humans.

In some tests of the drug, half of tumours vanished completely after a single injection. “What we have designed is effectively a ‘smart bomb’ that can be triggered directly at any solid tumour without appearing to harm healthy tissue,” the Daily Mail quoted Professor Laurence Patterson as saying.

“If all goes well, we would hope to see these drugs used as part of a combination of therapies to treat and manage cancer,” he added.

Soon, online 3D mannequins to help you find the perfect fit
Shoppers who struggle to find the perfect fit can smile, as they will soon have online 3D mannequins coming to their aid. Designers will soon be able to make sure that they tailor sizes to fit the majority of people by measuring garment designs against thousands of laser-scanned body shapes and then create a computer model to fit these sizes.

Scientists have developed a system that lets clothes manufacturers determine how many sizes of an item they will need by giving them relevant body measurements and the extent to which they can vary based on a database of over 5000 3D scans of body shapes. Using all the relevant data, the system calculates what sizes a designer would need to please their target population.

Excess work out can upset heart rhythm
A Swedish study has found that endurance athletes, who train and race frequently, may experience a high rate of unusual heart rhythms called arrhythmia. It found a higher incidence of arrhythmias in cross-country skiers with a long history of endurance training, the Discovery News reported.

Arrhythmia, which is often harmless, can sometimes lead to strokes and other serious problems. “People who are exercising a lot should probably learn how to identify the symptoms of atrial fibrillation and seek counselling if they get it,” said Johan Sundstrom, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Uppsala University.

Sundstrom emphasized that exercise is essential for overall health and that the vast majority of people would do well to get more of it, not less. “We're looking at extreme amounts of training. Most people need to get off the couch  and exercise a little bit,” he added.

Eat blueberries, cocoa and veggies to beat the blues
Feeling depressed? Include blueberries, cocoa and green vegetables in your daily diet.
Scientists have found how micronutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables can have a rapid impact on brain.

They found that some foods like blueberries, cocoa and green vegetables provide an instant boost to our mental sharpness and mood, and help to ward off depression. “Certain micronutrients can have a big influence on moods,” the Daily Star quoted Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation, as saying.

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