what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Shark’s blood may cure breast cancer

Researchers have claimed that a type of antibody found only in the blood of sharks could help tackle breast cancer.

It is thought that the unique IgNAR antibodies could be used to prevent the growth of cancer cells and research into them could lead to the development of new drugs to fight one of the most common form of the disease, News.com.au reported.

Biologists from the University of Aberdeen have been awarded 345,660 Australian dollars by Scottish cancer research charity the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) to carry out a three-year study. Their work will focus on two molecules, HER2 and HER3, found on the surface of cancer cells which, when they pair-up, are responsible for signalling cancer cells to grow and divide. Potentially, IgNAR antibodies could be used to stop these molecules from working and sending the signal.

 Dr Helen Dooley who is from the university’s School of Biological Sciences and will lead the study sais that IgNAR antibodies are interesting because they bind to targets, such as viruses or parasites, in a very different way to the antibodies found in humans.

Sore throats may be pre-cursers to heart diseases

Raising community awareness by emphasising that untreated sore throat caused by group A streptococcal (GAS) infection can lead to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) or rheumatic heart disease RHD, is a huge part of the battle.

According to Dr Liesl Zühlke, University of Cape Town and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa, and Dr Mark E Engel, University of Cape Town, South Africa, the importance of creating awareness of the disease and its sequelae cannot be underestimated, especially in resource-limited conditions.

They said that the importance of these efforts needs to be recognised and barriers to awareness and education understood and overcome while health promotion research for acute rheumatic fever and RHD is prioritised. Maximised case detection within a community dictates that all members of that community are aware of the presentation and diagnosis of the disease, with the highest awareness needed amongst health care workers at primary health care level.

With increased awareness of the potential effects of sore throat, the authors believed that more families will be encouraged to seek medical help and prevent further cases of ARF or RHD.

“School and educational institutions should be targeted as the most vulnerable population for GAS infections are school-aged children. These have tremendous potential to improve the reach of primary and secondary prevention and case-detection,” the authors said.

Seven portions of fruit, veggies daily can cut risk of early death

It is a well documented fact that eating atleast five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is the key to stay healthy, however a new study has revealed that by increasing the servings to seven portions we could decrease our risk of dying early.

Researchers have found people, who eat 569g a day- the equivalent of 7.1 portions- slash their risk of premature death by 10 per cent and live on average one year and 44 days longer, the Daily Express reported. The Spanish research suggested that fruit and vegetables rich diet reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 15 per cent.

While eating vegetables alone significantly cuts the risk, eating just fruit doesn’t. It was revealed that raw veggies are more effective and can help reduce the risk of premature death by 16 per cent.

The study by Maria Jose Sanchez Perez, director of the Andalusian School of Public Health’s Granada Cancer Registry, concluded that a combined fruit and vegetable consumption of more than 569g a day reduces the risk of mortality by 10 per cent and delays it by 1.12 years compared with a consumption of less than 249g a day.