Experimental Drug Targets Cancer Stem Cells
Scientists have uncovered a compound that destroys malignant stem cells that spur cancer growth in mice. Research published in the journal Cell shows the compound salinomycin is effective at killing breast cancer stem cells, a type of cell that appears to be responsible for tumor growth and recurrence after conventional treatment. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered the drug when testing 16,000 different compounds' effects on breast cancer stem cells, BBC News reports. They compared the compound with paclitaxel, a breast cancer chemotherapy drug, and found that salinomycin was 100 times more effective at destroying stem cells in a test tube, according to BBC News. When injected into mice, cancer stem cells treated with salinomycin were far less likely to cause tumor growth than ones treated with paclitaxel.
What Parents Don't Know About How Their Kids Use Facebook, MySpace
Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that tracks children's use of media, commissioned a poll of teenagers and their parents this spring. It turns out that teens are way more active online that most parents realize. U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute reports on the stats, which show that just 4 percent of parents think their children check social networking sites more than 10 times a day; 22 percent of teenagers said they're online that often or more.
When it comes to "sexting," or posting explicit photos, 2 percent of parents believe their child has posted naked or near-naked photos or videos of themselves or others, Shute writes. But 13 percent of teens admit they have done so. The survey, which polled 1,013 kids in the seventh to 12th grades and 1,002 parents, also found that 39 percent of the teenagers had posted something they later regretted and that 28 percent shared personal information online they otherwise wouldn't have shared publicly. Read more.
Here's how to manage your kids' use of social media, including MySpace and Facebook. And learn how to keep your kids safe from sexually explicit media.
Chocolate, Blue M&M's, and More Surprisingly Helpful Foods
Eating chocolate often may reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack, according to research to be released in September in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Of the 1,169 people studied, those who ate chocolate two or more times a week were about three times less likely to die from heart disease than those who did not eat chocolate, the researchers report.
In late July U.S. News covered research on a compound nearly identical to the common food dye that gives M&M's and other foods their blue hue. It seems the dye may help prevent damage resulting from spinal cord injuries. Rats given through-the-vein injections of the compound Brilliant Blue G soon after they received paralyzing spinal injuries regained the ability to walk, though with a clumsy gait, researchers reported. Injured rats that didn't get BBG were permanently paralyzed. BBG is chemically similar to FD&C blue dye No. 1, the artificial colorant in blue foodstuffs ranging from those melt-in-your-mouth chocolates to blue Gatorade. Here's a look at the candy's potential along with a few other vibrant foods whose health benefits may surprise you.
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