by Jamie Henderson
Scientists discover key force of human aging
Scientists have found that the genetic mutations underlying Werner syndrome (adult version of progeria aka Benjamin Button disease) could lead to methods of preventing and treating age-related diseases. In Werner syndrome the tightly packed DNA bundles of heterochromatin are disrupted and consequently cause accelerated aging, but scientists believe this process may be reversible opening up the possibility of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin D added to M&S bread
In a bid to make up for our lack of sunlight, M&S have pledged to add sun exposed yeast to their bread products, naturally raising the vitamin D content. It is hoped this will reduce the increasing incidence of osteoporosis, rickets and multiple sclerosis. This is not just bread, this is M&S bread.
Herpes used to fight melanoma
A genetically modified strain of herpes was used in a phase 3 trial to improve outcomes in patients with inoperable malignant melanoma. An injection of T-VEC contains the virus which was made harmless to healthy cells but replicates inside cancer cells and kills them. It also stimulates the immune system prompting an exaggerated immune response. Researchers found 16.3% of patients who received T-VEC were in remission after 6 months, compared to 2.1% of control group. Unfortunately is doesn’t work for those already infected with herpes…sorry guys.
Surgeons amputated man’s leg with ‘rusty hacksaw’
The now famous Ayr Hospital made the news recently when a vascular surgeon allegedly used a ‘rusty hacksaw’ to amputate a patient’s leg when a metal plate was unexpectedly found in the man’s femur. Under recommendations from an orthopod (who I imagine was joking) a member of the surgical team was sent to B&Q to buy a new one, but it was closed so they made-do with one found in a cupboard. The surgeon was not available to comment as it’s golf day, and he’s not in hospital.