Cancer Drugs Impact Descendants’ Genes, & Other News of Note

Cancer Drugs Affect Mouse Genomes for Generations (Nature)

Three common chemotherapy drugs cause DNA mutations not only in mice that receive treatment, but also in their offspring, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

The results suggest that the genome in treated mice became destabilized yielding new mutations long after exposure to the drugs has ceased. A similar phenomenon has been observed in mice exposed to radiation.

The work emphasizes the importance of looking at the effects of chemotherapy not only on recipients, but also on their descendants…MORE

Sugar Should Be Regulated as Toxin, Researchers Say (Yahoo News)

A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down. But it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Sugar and other sweeteners are, in fact, so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)…MORE

Drinking Diet Soda Could Boost Risk for Stroke or Heart Attack (NY Daily News)

Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants in the NIH-funded Northern Manhattan Study, with researchers examining how often individuals drank soft drinks – diet and regular – and the number of strokes and heart attacks that occurred over a 10-year period.

They found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered heart attacks or strokes than those who drank none. Light diet soft drink users, meaning “those who drank between one a month and six a week,” and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular health problems, according to a press release…MORE

Sleep Apnea Linked to Silent Strokes, Small Lesions in Brain (ScienceDaily)

People with severe sleep apnea may have an increased risk of silent strokes and small lesions in the brain, according to a small study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2012.

“We found a surprisingly high frequency of sleep apnea in patients with stroke that underlines its clinical relevance as a stroke risk factor,” said Jessica Kepplinger, M.D., the study’s lead researcher…MORE

Study Works Out Kinks in Understanding of Massage (LA Times)

Everyone knows that it can feel really good to get a massage.

Now scientists may have figured out why, by identifying how massage switches genes on and off, thus reducing inflammation and coaxing muscle adaptation to exercise.

The discovery provides strong evidence that massage merits further study as a treatment for injuries and chronic disorders, said Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and lead author of a study about the research released Wednesday [Feb. 1]…MORE

Mom’s Love Good for Child’s Brain (Washington University in St. Louis)

School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing…MORE

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