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Curry spices can combat breast cancer

A breast cancer sufferer, who turned down a powerful drug and used a special low fat diet including curry spices to combat the disease, is at the centre of a research project to study how lifestyle can be used to help other victims of the disease.

Vicky Sewart from Plymouth, Devon, said she was worried about the side-effects of the medicine offered to her and so opted to treat her condition with a health regime involving exercise and special foods. She used a range of ‘superfoods’ including the spice turmeric used in curries that she claims “makes cancer cells commit suicide”.

She said she used the spice in dishes including curries, stir-fry and a range of other food.
Now, four years on after she was first diagnosed with the cancer, Sewart has no sign of the cancer coming back.

Biodegradable artery graft  enhances bypass surgeries

 University of Pittsburgh has developed a cell-free, biodegradable artery graft that will revolutionise coronary artery bypass surgeries.

With Pitt’s biodegradable artery graft, the patient will have a regenerated artery within 90 days after surgery, leaving behind no trace of synthetic graft materials in the body.
This new approach is a philosophical shift from the predominant cell-centered approaches in tissue engineering of blood vessels.

“The host site, the artery in this case, is an excellent source of cells and provides a very efficient growth environment. This is what inspired us to skip the cell culture altogether and create these cell-free synthetic grafts,” said principal investigator Yadong Wang, a professor in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.
Stimulation during sleep can enhance skill learning

If you want to nail that tune that you’ve practiced and practiced, then you should take a nap with the same melody playing during your sleep, suggests a new provocative Northwestern University research.
The research grows out of exciting existing evidence that suggests that memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be strengthened in the process.
In the Northwestern study, research participants learned how to play two artificially generated musical tunes with well-timed key presses. Then while the participants took a 90-minute nap, the researchers presented one of the tunes that had been practiced, but not the other.
“Our results extend prior research by showing that external stimulation during sleep can influence a complex skill,” said Ken A. Paller, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

“We also found that electrophysiological signals during sleep correlated with the extent to which memory improved. These signals may thus be measuring the brain events that produce memory improvement during sleep,” said lead author James Antony.

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