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Top Stories: Antioxidant Surprise, a Breakthrough Stem Cell Technique, and New Avian Flu Concerns

31 January 2014 4:15 pm
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Antioxidant Surprise, a Breakthrough Stem Cell Technique, and New Avian Flu Concerns

M M (Padmanaba01)/Wikimedia Commons; J.M. Vidal Encina; Haruko Obokata

Clinical Trial Suggests Way to Fight Peanut Allergy

So far, kids suffering from peanut allergies have no treatment options other than avoiding the legumes completely. The results of a new clinical trial may change that. Scientists have found that feeding allergic children small amounts of peanut protein every day, an approach known as oral immunotherapy, can actually help them lead a normal life.

Avian Flu Concerns Shutter Poultry Markets

With human cases of H7N9 avian influenza piling up, Chinese authorities have ordered the closure of live poultry markets in three eastern cities in a bid to stem transmission of the virus. So far, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it has not detected sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, but experts see no reason to breathe easy. 

Acid Treatment Could Provide Breakthrough Stem Cell Technique

Scientists have found a surprisingly simple way to turn mature cells back into a primitive state. Simply giving mouse blood cells an acid bath is enough to produce so-called pluripotent cells that can develop into any cell type in the body, they report this week. The remarkable transformation contradicts many assumptions about cell biology and may ultimately lead to new ways to treat disease and injuries.

Antioxidants Could Increase Cancer Rates

A lot of people take vitamins like A, E, and C thinking that their antioxidant properties will ward off cancer. Now, a new mouse study has shown that rather than fighting cancer, some antioxidants may actually increase the risk of cancer and even make tumors grow faster.

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

The advent of farming 10,000 years ago changed human biology forever. Now, the discovery of an 8000-year-old skeleton in Spain reveals what European hunter-gatherers were like—dark-skinned, blue-eyed, unable to digest milk—and how they influenced the genomes of early farmers.

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