Yana Reshetnyak, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Rhode Island, has discovered a way to stop cancer cell growth without harming the surrounding healthy cells ' the principal hurdle of currently-used therapies. He has found that cancer cells have lower pH (concentration of hydrogen ions) than normal cells and so are more acidic in nature. Reshetnyak plans to use this property of the cells to devise a way to tackle cancer. Scientists can target and destroy cancer cells with lower pH without harming those with higher pH (normal cells).
According to a report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, consumption of soy protein by post-menopausal women leads to a reduced risk of bone fracture. Women experience bone loss at a rate of three to five per cent per year for about five to seven years after menopause. This makes them very susceptible to fractures. The report says that for post-menopausal women consuming more than 13.27 grams of soy per day, the reduction in risk for a bone fracture was as high as 37 per cent when compared to those taking less than 4.98 grams of soy per day.
A report issued by the Center for Disease Control in the US says that a growing concern in that country is an increase in the rate of premature births. The figures for 2003 show that premature babies constituted 12.3 per cent of all births ' a 30 per cent increase since 1981. And no less than 25 per cent of these babies now have serious lifelong health consequences, including learning disabilities, mental retardation, cerebral palsy or vision impairment. Scientists are yet to trace the causes behind the spurt in pre-term births.
Athletes who participate in outdoor sports and spend a significant amount of time in sunlight are at an increased risk for developing skin cancer, reports a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. According to the researchers who investigated the link between exposure to sun and skin cancer, athletes should use sunscreen, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats and sunglasses to lower their risk of the disease.