Friday December 14, 2018

Cancer can now be predicted 13 years before it strikes

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Cancer research has just got a huge boost. The rejuvenated shot comes with the development of an error free and accurate test by scientists that predicts the chances of being implicated with cancer up to 13 years in the future.

The breakthrough was made by researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University, by making use of the discovery of tiny but significant changes taking place in the body, more than a decade before cancer was diagnosed.

According to the research, published in the online journal Ebiomedicine, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which prevent DNA damage, were more worn down for those who went on to develop cancer.

The protective caps, better known as “telomeres”, were found to be much shorter than they should have been. They continued to get shorter and then suddenly stopped shrinking four years before the cancer developed.

Dr Lifang Hou, the lead study author, told The Telegraph, “Because we saw a strong relationship in the pattern across a wide variety of cancers, with the right testing these procedures could be used eventually to diagnose a wide variety of cancers.”

“Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer. We found cancer has hijacked the telomere shortening in order to flourish in the body”, he further said.

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World’s Smallest Wearable Can Help in Preventing Skin Cancer

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year

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World's smallest device to prevent skin cancer, mood disorder risk. Pixabay

Scientists have developed the world’s smallest wearable, battery-free device that can warn people of overexposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) — a leading factor for developing skin cancer.

Currently, people do not know how much UV light they are actually getting. The rugged and waterproof device interacts wirelessly with the phone and helps maintain an awareness and for skin cancer survivors.

Smaller than an M&M (colourful button-shaped chocolates) and thinner than a credit card, the device can optimise treatment of neonatal jaundice, skin diseases, seasonal affective disorder and reduce risk of sunburns and skin cancer.

Users can glue the device on to their hats, clip it to sunglasses or stick it on their nail and can simultaneously record up to three separate wavelengths of light.

It is always on yet never needs to be recharged.

“There is a critical need for technologies that can accurately measure and promote safe UV exposure at a personalised level in natural environments,” said Steve Xu, from Northwestern University in the US.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“We hope people with information about their UV exposure will develop healthier habits when out in the sun,” said Xu.

There are no switches or interfaces to wear out, and it is completely sealed in a thin layer of transparent plastic, the researchers stated, in the paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Participants who mounted device on themselves recorded multiple forms of light exposure during outdoor activities, even in the water.

Also Read- First NASA Probe to Return Asteroid Sample Reaches Destination

The findings showed that it monitored therapeutic UV light in clinical phototherapy booths for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (immune diseases) as well as blue light phototherapy for newborns with jaundice in the neonatal intensive care unit.

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year. (IANS)