Study Confirms Bones and Breasts Connected…somehow, & Other Modern Medical Breakthroughs

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) announced that a new study demonstrates that women who took Merck & Co’s Fosamax, or other bisphosphonates (a common osteoporosis treatment), had 32 percent less instances of invasive breast cancer than women who took no osteoporosis medications, reports Reuters. The WHI study examined 150,000 generally healthy post-menopausal women to make this determination. This announcement comes from the same people who in 2002 discovered a link between post-menopausal women developing breast cancer and long-term hormone replacement therapy.

Researchers out of UCLA’s Aids Institute have developed a way of attacking HIV with blood stem cells, reports PhysOrg.com. Said lead investigator Scott G. Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute.”We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that this type of approach can be used to engineer the human , particularly the T-cell response, to specifically target HIV-infected cells.” This system has been utilized in laboratory tests on mice and has yet to be tested in humans; the researchers hope to widen this system’s scope to deal with other viruses.

More on stem cells; United Press International is reporting that researchers at The North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle, England, have developed a method that improves the sight of those affected with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency through stem cells cultured from the patients’ own corneal cells. The process reduced the cloudiness associated with the disease in eight patients. Said Dr. Francisco Figueiredo, a researcher at the institute, “Corneal cloudiness has been estimated to cause blindness in 8 million people worldwide each year. A large number of ocular surface diseases, both acquired and congenital, share features of partial or complete LSCD.” The hope is that the treatment they have developed can be applied to other illnesses with similar symptoms, including age-related macular degeneration.

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