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Have Scientists Found the Secret of Aging?

There’s a tragic disease that speeds up aging.  Known as progeria (Huntington-Gilford progeria syndrome, HGPS), it is caused by a single point mutation in exon 11 of the NMLA gene.  Children afflicted with this disease look old beyond their years and often die at 13 of heart attack and stroke – essentially, of old age. […]

Skin Includes Built-In Damage Protection

Ultraviolet radiation that tans skin can also cause skin cancer, right?  Right, but the skin also produces a cancer fighter to come to the rescue, reported EurekAlert.  Scientists at the Dana-Farber cancer institute detected a known cancer fighter named p53 that is produced right under the skin.  Their results, published in Cell (see summary on […]

3 Out of 5 Doctors – Leaves 2

Every once in awhile it’s good to be reminded that yesterday’s nutritional advice can be wrong.  We need to beware of simplistic approaches to health.  For instance, the cliches “If a little is good, more is better” or “it worked for me” can be deadly.  TV commercials are filled with glowing promises for this or […]

Your Body Knows Its Allies at Gut Level

How come your body doesn’t fight its good bacteria?  It sounds like a question only a scientist or a kid would ask, but think about it.  Your body jumps to arms to fight off pathogens, but lets millions of bacteria live in the intestines.  These bacteria help you digest your food, but are not “you.”  […]

Are Embryonic Stem Cells a Stepping Stone to Eugenics?

In Paris, according to Science Dec. 8, “One cherished French institution has attacked another in a bruising battle over embryonic stem cell research.”  The cause of the “Jeremiad” as Science dubbed it, was a Catholic Archbishop’s statement to a French health institute that any research “instrumentalizes the embryo or borders on eugenics.”  The “News of […]

Experiment: Take a Darwinist to Church

“Go to church and breathe easier,” announced an unusual entry on EurekAlert.  A study at Temple University found a positive correlation between religious activity and lung function.  They said that “religious activity is emerging as a potential health promoting factor, especially among the elderly.”  In addition, “going to church provides social contact and emotional support, […]

How Stem Cell Reporting Can Blur Ethics

“The potential of stem-cell technologies to revolutionize medical care is causing great excitement among biologists and the general public,” Nature reported Nov 30.1  “ Recent studies on embryonic and adult stem cells, coupled with advances in our understanding of how they can be coaxed into forming particular cell types and tissues, have improved the prospects […]

Take Your Flu Pill: Vitamin D

Vitamin D may be a multi-purpose germ fighter.  An article by Janet Roloff in Science News1 gathered evidence from several research labs that strongly suggests this molecule triggers the formation of one of the body’s effective antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal agents: cathelicidin.  In its activated form, vitamin D binds to a short section of DNA called […]

Stem Cells: Hurry Up and Wait

When will embryonic stem cells produce cures for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and other maladies these wonder-cells were promised to bring?  Be prepared to wait.  If predictions of leading proponents are accurate, and if California is to be a world leader in stem cell research and clinical trials, even Christopher Reeve would have died […]

Embryonic Stem Cells No Longer Needed?

Two announcements this week may make harvesting embryonic stem cells obsolete.  First, it’s not necessary to kill an embryo to get a stem cell, reported Associated Press (see Fox News) and Live Science.  While this does not solve all the ethical problems, a White House spokeswoman called it “encouraging to see scientists at least making […]

Crossing the Line for Looks That Could Kill

President Bush may have vetoed one stem-cell bill for moral reasons (see Brad Harrub’s report on Apologetics Press), but in other countries where Judeo-Christian values are less prevalent, morality seems a low hurdle in the race to exploit biological resources that promise health, youth, beauty – and money.     With embryonic stem cell research […]

Bacteria Rule the World – Benevolently

We should love bacteria, not annihilate them.  Bacteria are our friends, according to Dianne K. Newman of Caltech:1 As a microbiologist, I’m appalled when I go to buy soap or dishwashing detergent, because these days it’s hard to find anything that doesn’t say ‘antibacterial’ on it…. It’s a commonly held fallacy that all bacteria are […]

Honey More Effective than Antibiotics

A good old nature remedy is making a comeback: honey for wounds.  An article on EurekAlert about research at the University of Bonn states that honey is more effective than antibiotics at healing cuts and wounds.  Apparently the ancient Egyptians knew about its healing power.  Honey rejects dead tissue faster, repels bacteria, promotes more rapid […]

Rip Van Winkle Revives

A man in a coma 19 years has regained some brain function, surprising scientists.  Terry Wallis is relearning how to count and speak, and thinks Ronald Reagan is still president.  The story of his remarkable recovery has been reported widely in the news (see Fox News) and was featured on both News@Nature and Science Now.  […]

The Evolution of Immaturity

[Guest Article]  Blame evolution for your teen’s immaturity.  The Discovery Channel has published a review of an upcoming paper by Bruce Charlton, professor of biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  Charlton is a promoter of Evolutionary Psychology, a developing field of Psychology that attempts to explain all human characteristics in light of […]
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