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Chronotherapy Could Make Cancer Treatments More Effective, Here’s How

Chi Van Dang generally declines to discuss the science that made him famous. A leading authority on cancer metabolism, he routinely is asked to speak about how tumors reprogram biochemical pathways to help them slurp up nutrients and how disrupting these noxious adaptations could be a powerful approach to treating cancer. Instead of doing so, Dang uses his soapbox at every research meeting, lecture and blue-ribbon panel to advocate for something else: a simple yet radical tweak to how oncologists administer cancer drugs. The approach, known as chronotherapy, involves timing…

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Do You Schedule Your Free Time? Don’t! Study Suggests It Could Make You Unhappy

Your social calendar might be sucking the joy out of activities that are supposed to be fun or relaxing, according to an upcoming paper co-written by a professor who studies time management. The paper argues that when a leisure activity is planned rather than spontaneous, we enjoy it less. That’s because we tend to mentally lump all our scheduled activities in the same bucket – whether it’s a dentist appointment or grabbing coffee with a friend. And that makes the pleasurable activities more of a chore. “It becomes a part…

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Testosterone therapy could be the cure for drastic weight loss in cancer patients

Testosterone therapy can help prevent weight loss or loss of body mass in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and help improve their quality of life. Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia. Approximately 20% of cancer-related deaths are attributed to the syndrome of cachexia, which in cancer patients is often characterised by a rapid or severe loss of fat and skeletal muscle. Melinda Sheffield-Moore, a professor at University of Texas in the US, showed that the hormone testosterone is effective at combatting cachexia in cancer patients. There are currently no established…

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Gut microbes could lead to depression in obesity

Turns out, gut microbes may contribute to depression and anxiety in obesity. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center studied mice that become obese when put on a high-fat diet. The Joslin scientists found that mice on a high-fat diet showed significantly more signs of anxiety, depression and obsessive behaviour than animals on standard diets. “As endocrinologists, we often hear people say that they feel differently when they’ve eaten different foods,” said C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., co-Head of the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin. His lab has long studied…

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Grandparents’ Exposure To This Plastic Chemical Could Up Autism Risk In Kids

Your exposure to a plastic chemical can affect the communications skills of your grandchildren, says a study over mice that found a link between early exposure to the chemical and the risk of autism. Bisphenol A is an endocrine disrupting chemical used in consumer products such as water bottles, dental composites among others and is known to affect the crucial stages of development. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, showed that mice pups whose grandparents were exposed to BPA, demonstrated different vocalisation patterns. “There are potential concerns that…

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Parkinson’s disease, this new virus could be the reason behind it

According to the study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology, bacteriophages play a certain role in the onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The researchers, led by George Tetz, showed that the abundance of lytic Lactococcus phages was higher in PD patients when compared to healthy individuals. This abundance led to a 10-fold reduction in neurotransmitter-producing Lactococcus, suggesting the possible role of phages in neurodegeneration. Comparative analysis of the bacterial component also revealed significant decreases in Streptococcus spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in PD. Lactococcus are regulators of gut permeability and…

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