Body

It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces. But, new information about flu transmission reveals that we may pass the flu to others just by breathing.

Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers.

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Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals' immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.

NEW YORK, NY (January 18, 2018)--Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian have identified two new breast cancer genes. Having one of the genes--MSH6 and PMS2--approximately doubles a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by age 60.

The study, in collaboration with GeneDx, a genetic testing company, was published online today in Genetics in Medicine.

PORTLAND, Oregon - Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects a baby as it grows in the womb.

Prescribing higher opioid doses for shorter durations may be a more effective way to treat pain after surgery, while minimising the risk of longer term misuse and addiction, suggest US researchers in The BMJ today.

Opioids are often given to patients to relieve pain after surgery. Guidelines recommend taking only low doses for a short time, as opioids can cause problems when taken for long periods of time.

In late 2017, NHS England released guidelines recommending that health professionals ask all patients about their sexual orientation in order to improve services for non-heterosexual patients, but should they? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ today.

After decades of campaigning from lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charities, sexual orientation is now a protected characteristic that is written into the Equality Act 2010. General practitioner and research fellow Richard Ma, from Imperial College London says all patients should be asked about their sexual orientation.

HOUSTON - A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a six-fold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage 3 disease, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in Lancet Oncology. Patients who had no sign of disease at surgery after combination treatment did not progress to metastasis.

Scientists from King's College London have found a way to boost the immune system to help it fight back against cancer.

The breakthrough involves the first ever use of a combination of chemotherapy and a drug being trialled as a treatment for neonatal jaundice, that together help kick start the body's natural defences.

Screening the entire population for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations, as opposed to just those at high-risk of carrying this mutation, is cost effective and could prevent more ovarian and breast cancers than the current clinical approach, according to research published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers believe that implementing a programme to test all British women over 30 years age could result in thousands fewer cases of ovarian and breast cancer; up to 17,000 fewer ovarian cancers and 64,000 fewer breast cancers.