Proton beam therapy frees boy of cancer

Ashya King, who was taken to Prague by his parents in 2014 to receive proton beam therapy for a brain tumour, has had a scan that showed "no evidence" of the tumour. His parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, fled the UK NHS for Madrid in search of proton beam therapy. They were held in prison in Madrid at the request of the British authorities after taking him from hospital in Southampton against medical advice. The NHS Trust that treated Ashya in the UK has declined to comment on his current condition. During an interview with the Sun newspaper, Mr King said his son is recovering at the family's Spanish home, starting to speak again and enjoying playing with his brothers and sister in a nearby park. He also commented, "its incredible news. We are absolutely delighted. It has justified everything we have gone through because things are working out for Ashya."

Drinking diet soda increases waist size

A study, The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA),  published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that adults 65 years of age and older who drink diet soda are more likely to experience “escalating abdominal obesity, a potential pathway for cardiometabolic risk in this aging population.” Lead author, Sharon Fowler, MPH, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said, “Our study seeks to fill the age gap by exploring the adverse health effects of diet soda intake in individuals 65 years of age and older. The burden of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, along with healthcare costs, is great in the ever-increasing senior population.” The study found that the increase in waist circumference among diet soda drinkers was almost triple that among non-users; this translates to waist circumference increases of 0.80 inches for non-users, 1.83 inches for occasional users, and 3.16 inches for daily users, over the total 9.4-year SALSA follow-up period.

Protein for muscle gain and weight loss

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology shows that balancing protein intake throughout the day - rather than having the bulk as part of an evening meal - helped participants in a study to boost muscle gain by nearly 20% and lose weight. The study observed 2 groups of obese men aged 60-75 years; one group receiving a balanced protein distribution, and the other a skewed protein intake. The researchers believe the results are particularly useful given the rising obesity rates among the aging population, “these results have potential implications for clinical practice in healthcare professionals working with community-dwelling and institutionalised older adults who have indications for weight loss.” Great benefits can be gained from planning meals and exercising – whatever age you may be.

World Health Organization: Monsanto’s glyphosate weed killer ‘probably carcinogenic’

The specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has assessed the carcinogenicity of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. The results have recently been published online in The Lancet Oncology. They concluded “The herbicide glyphosate and the insecticides malathion and diazinon were classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”. In addition, they concluded that the insecticides, tetrachlorvinphos and parathion were possibly carcinogenic to humans. On glyphosate, they said “there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals”.

Lloyds insurers won’t cover children’s injuries from school wi-fi exposure

It’s been reported that Canadian school officials have been told by insurers Lloyds of London, that they may now be personally liable for injuries “directly or indirectly arising out of, resulting from or contributed to by electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetism, radio waves or noise”. Lloyd’s UK agent is said to have recently stated “the Electromagnetic Fields Exclusion (Exclusion 32) is a General Insurance Exclusion and is applied across the market as standard. The purpose of the exclusion is to exclude cover for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionizing radiation exposure i.e. through mobile phone usage”. The World Health Organization classified radio frequency radiation a possibly carcinogenic to humans in 2011.

TTIP proposed amendments to be discussed by MEPs this week

The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has caused huge concern in Europe, particularly with regard to the investor principle clause (ISDS). Concerns have focused on the ISDS allowing companies to attack regulation that goes against their corporate interests, investors being able to use ISDS tribunals to overrule decisions of national courts, and the fact that ISDS has no appeals tribunal. A series of amendments have now been proposed to address these concerns, and these are being discussed this week in Riga, Latvia, by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It’s also being reported that the European Commission has described TTIP concerns as ‘common misconceptions’.

GM probiotic to tackle obesity

Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that mice that drank water laced with the genetically modified bacteria, ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes, even when fed a high fat diet. Lead researcher, Sean Davies PhD, believes that the main advantage of this microbial medicine is that it would be low maintenance; he plans to produce therapeutic bacteria that live in the gut for six to twelve months, and therefore provide sustained drug delivery. When considering human trials and the risk of transmission by faecal exposure, Davies said, "We don't want individuals to be unintentionally treated without their knowledge ... We are working on genetically modifying the bacteria to significantly reduce its ability to be transmitted."


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