April 17, 2007


Aspirin reduces overall cancer and mortality rates - Reuters Health, by Megan Rauscher.   This is a story on findings reported Apr 16 at the annual gathering of American Association for Cancer Research by Dr. Aditya Bardia of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
    It should be pointed out this is a study of 22,507 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women's Health Study who were followed for up to 12 years.
"The regular use of aspirin, but not other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer-related death, particularly among former smokers and those who never smoked.

NSAIDs include commonly used analgesic drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, that are usually available over-the-counter.

'Our ... study ... looked at the association between aspirin and non-aspirin use, and overall cancer incidence and mortality, in a comprehensive fashion, and also evaluated the results by smoking status,' the lead researcher said.

Regular aspirin use, compared with no aspirin use, was associated with a 16-percent lower risk of cancer and a 13-percent lower risk of cancer death, the team reported.

The inverse association between aspirin use and the risk of cancer and cancer-related death was strongest among former smokers and those who never smoked compared with current smokers, although this fell short of statistical significance.

Aspirin use also appeared to protect patients against coronary heart disease and the overall mortality rate.

NSAID use, on the other hand, was not associated with cancer incidence or death, heart-disease death, or mortality from any cause. ...

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April 15, 2007

Sibling non-rivalry: Kandy and sister, Hamburg

Elephant Kandy(L) checks on her new born half sister at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany.
    (AFP/DDP/Roland Magunia)

I can't resist these.  Found on Yahoo news but scrolled of now.

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Mobile phones, disappearing bees, and our lifespans

{See later story debunking the following.}

Here's an alarming news bit, not to mention the un-cited study results at the end, but I will. [And I've added an article from The Scotsman, which includes discussions of the info in the article.]
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? - by Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross for The Independent (UK), Apr 15, 2007.
". . . some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.
. . . The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.
. . . The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast. [ Europe is affected too. ]

. . . The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, 'man would have only four years of life left.'

[No cites for the following]
    Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.
    Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.
    Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts.

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Golf Ace, at age 102, a hole-in-1

I love stories like this.
102-year old Calif. Woman hits hole-in-1 - AP
"Because of the slope of the green, McLean and her partners couldn't see where her ball landed after she teed off.

'Where's my ball?' McLean asked. . . .

McLean, who has been featured in golf magazines before, will appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on April 24 to celebrate her accomplishment.

'For an old lady," she said, "I still hit the ball pretty good.' "

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Brain cells can grow extensions - Nature News

Nature News, Apr 11, 2007
"[UPI] -- U.S. scientists have discovered some mature brain cells can grow new extensions when the amount of three particular proteins on their surface increases. Ohio State University medical researchers studied the three related receptor proteins -- GPR3, GPR6 and GPR12 -- on nerve cells in the brains of rats.

When researchers increased the amount of the three proteins, the cells grew extensions that were up to three times longer than those on nerve cells with normal levels of the proteins. The extensions grew four to eight times faster than in control cells.

'Our findings suggest that these three proteins could be important targets for treating stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries and also neurodegenerative diseases,' said principal investigator Yoshinaga Saeki.

The study is published in the April 6 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry."

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