It’s been a busy year covering everything from the cancer genome project and microbiome projects to research on diabetes, autism and the amazing breakthroughs made in stem cell research.
Wishing you an amazing year filled with your own breakthroughs in health and wellness.
10. New Diabetes Breakthrough-
Twenty-six million Americans have diabetes and 79 million have pre-diabetes. A new class of drugs awaiting FDA approval called SGLT2 inhibitors works in a totally new way. Instead of affecting the supply or use of insulin, these newer drugs lower blood sugar by allowing sugar to be excreted in urine. It can also help these patients with weight loss.
9. Pediatric Cancer Genome Project-
Survival rates for pediatric cancers have improved to an impressive 80%â€“90% in recent years. So doctors hope that the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, a three-year, $65 million effort to sequence major pediatric cancers, will become a rich source of new targets for therapies. This may increase survival rates even more.
8. Autism treatments-
In encouraging news for parents of autistic children, researchers say early behavior therapy can help normalize brain patterns responsible for the symptoms of the condition. But the key to the programâ€™s success involves early and intensive intervention with properly trained counselors who actively engage the toddlers in several hours of therapy a week.
7. Regenerative Medicine-
Windpipes are not like kidneys or livers; they arenâ€™t among the organs that routinely show up on the organ-transplant list. But thanks to stem cells, patients in need of a new trachea can grow their own. Such techniques represent the future of regenerative medicine, in which stem cells of all kinds, including those made from patientsâ€™ own skin cells, can serve as the basis for generating any type of cell or tissue that needs to be replaced or repaired.
6. HIV Drug used for Prevention-
Itâ€™s already a potent weapon against HIV, but Truvada, a combination of two antiviral medications, is now the first drug-based way to prevent infection against the virus among healthy people. Groundbreaking trials showed that uninfected individuals using the medication could lower their risk of acquiring HIV. The Food and Drug Administration expanded Truvadaâ€™s approval to include healthy people at high risk of becoming infected with HIV.
5. Good Bugs-
Whatâ€™s the most populace component of the human body? It’s not cells or genes. Itâ€™s bugs! The microbes, including bacteria, that live in, on and around us outnumber our human cells 10 to 1. And researchers have just completed the first phase of the Human Microbiome Project, the most comprehensive accounting to date of all these microbes and what they do. Scientists are recognizing that they may play an important role in a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including inflammation and obesity. Far from being unwelcome intruders, these microbes may eventually help us treat some of our most intractable health problems.
4. CT scans to Detect Lung cancer-
Lung cancer is the top cancer killer of both men and women, mainly because it doesnâ€™t cause symptoms in the early stages and doctors have lacked an effective screening test. Screening with low-dose spiral CT scans can reduce lung cancer deaths compared to chest X-rays.
3. Too Old to Be a Dad?…Maybe
Men may have their own biological clock too. According to new studies, older menâ€™s children are more prone to genetic and behavioral disorders. Previous studies found that older men are more inclined to have kids with autism, Down syndrome and bipolar disorder. The reason is that older dads transmit more random genetic mutations to their kids, and that increases their risk for disease. Genetic counseling is now recommended for men over age 45.
2. The New Benefits of Aspirin-
So now low-dose aspirin has 2 important benefits. First, it can reduce cardiovascular events in those who have established heart disease. It can also prevent cancer and itâ€™s metastasis (spread to other tissues in the body). It mainly prevents long-term cancer risk of colon cancer, but also prevents other adenocarcinomas such as breast, ovary, uterus, stomach, and lung cancers. WOW!
1. Stem Cell Sensation-
Stem cells have made what seemed like impossible biological feats attainable: treating diabetes, helping paralyzed patients to walk again, repairing heart tissue damaged by a heart attack. But now, scientists have taken stem cells from mice â€” those taken from days-old embryos and those reprogrammed from adult mouse skin cells â€” and created viable egg cells that they then successfully fertilized to generate the first ever pups born from stem-cell-derived eggs. This could potentially lead to new treatments for infertility in human couples.