Cannabis Raises the Risk of Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases


Smoking cannabis damages the immune system.

Cannabis damages the immune system, leaving the body open to diseases from pneumonia to cancer, research suggests.  In experiments, THC, the chemical behind the ‘high’ of cannabis fuelled the production of a flood of cells thought to weaken the body’s inbuilt defences.


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Paying Girls to Prevent HIV Infections


Using good old $ to promote safe sex and prevent HIV infection

Behold the power of the moolah. The World Bank has just released new studies that show they can significantly lower the infection rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases by paying people to do (or not do) something:

In the first study, a two-year program rewarded young girls in Malawi, rife with poverty and high HIV infection rates, with cash payments for regular school attendance. In Tanzania, the Bank paid young adults in cash to avoid unsafe sex…

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Researchers Discover Gene Pattern That Predicts Who Will Live the Longest

elderly ladies

Researchers discover the possibility of predicting who might live longer.

Researchers have found a pattern of genes that predicts with more accuracy than ever before who might live to be 100 or older — even if they have other genes linked with disease.


Over-the-Counter Genetic Tests Raise Concerns

genetic test

The over-the-counter test marks the first foray of personalized genomic medicine into the corner drugstore.

Starting Friday, shoppers in search of toothpaste, deodorant and laxatives at more than 6,000 drugstores across the nation will be able to pick up something new: a test to scan their genes for a propensity for Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, diabetes and other ailments.


A Step Closer to Personalized Genetic Medicine

stephen quake

Stephen Quake brought the holy grail of personalised medicine a step closer after having all his DNA screened for diseases and susceptibility to treatments. 

A scientist has brought the holy grail of personalized medicine a step closer after having all his DNA screened for diseases and susceptibility to treatments.  Professor Stephen Quake, at Stanford University, spent $50,000 having his genetic make up mapped and then analysed for different diseases and sensitivity to medication.


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Your Baby’s DNA Is Being Stored In A Government Lab


Isabel’s parents never consented to DNA testing

When Annie Brown’s daughter, Isabel, was a month old, her pediatrician asked Brown and her husband to sit down because he had some bad news to tell them: Isabel carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis.

While grateful to have the information — Isabel received further testing and she doesn’t have the disease — the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel’s genes in the first place. After all, they’d never consented to genetic testing.


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Top Ten Rarest Diseases


While we’ve all heard of diseases, seen someone with a disease, and had a disease personally, it’s unlikely that we’ve encountered a rare disease. In the non-medical world, people use and interchange disease to mean infection, sickness, illness, or something similar. In the medical world, a disease is an abnormal condition that impairs bodily functions and is often associated with certain signs and symptoms.


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Study Of Spit To Learn How Germs Spread

Study Of Spit To Learn How Germs Spread

Girl sneezing 

Mark Nicas has given some of his best years to spittle. He builds models – the mathematical kind – of how someone else’s slobber ends up on you. The size of the particles, whether they come out in a dry cough or a wet sneeze, their evaporation rate, air speed – these are all complications, reasons why people like Nicas can spend careers piling up academic papers, all the while building up a healthy respect for pathogens.

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Tobacco Plants Genetically Modified To Produce Medicine

Tobacco Plants Genetically Modified To Produce Medicine

Genetically modified tobacco plant 

Tobacco isn’t famous for its health benefits. But now scientists have succeeded in using genetically modified tobacco plants to produce medicines for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes. The research is published in the open access journal BMC Biotechnology.

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Instant Immunity From A Vaccine

Instant Immunity From A Vaccine


A new approach primes antibodies to instantly attack cancers, HIV, and other diseases.

The body’s immune system is often likened to an army, and vaccines to training exercises that build up defenses against pathogens. By exposing the immune system to inactive forms of a virus or bacteria, a vaccine trains antibodies to fight off a real pathogen in the event of an invasion. However, while vaccines prepare antibodies to identify an attacker, they often don’t give specific instructions on exactly how to bring it down. Some antibodies may successfully hit a pathogen’s weak spot, while others may miss the mark entirely. That’s part of the reason why it normally takes several weeks or months for some vaccines to build up an effective immune response.

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