Involuntary childlessness owing to reduced fertility is a concern for many men. However, these men do have one advantage - they run a significantly lower risk of suffering from prostate cancer. Researchers are interested in whether this phenomenon could be used in the fight against cancer. There is a clear link between male subfertility and a lower risk of prostate cancer. According to a new thesis from Lund University in Sweden, involuntarily childless men have around a 50 per cent lower risk of suffering from prostate cancer than men who have fathered at least one child. Yasir Ruhayel, a doctoral student at Lund University and doctor at Sk√ ne University Hospital, has based his research on the Malm√ Diet and Cancer population study, where he has compared around 450 men with prostate cancer with an equal number of men in a control group who had not been diagnosed with the disease.
Yale researchers have discovered how the "guardian of the genome'' oversees quality control in the production of sperm - and perhaps in many other cells as well. The research published online in the journal Current Biology opens up the potential of developing new forms of birth control and fertility treatment - and even new ways to combat many forms of cancer. Sperm and other cells go through a sort of inspection process triggered by a key regulatory gene, p53, which orders the destruction of cells with damaged DNA. This ability has earned it the title of "guardian of the genome, " and damage to p53 has been implicated in many forms of cancer. By studying sperm production in mice, "we have identified p53's new boss, which controls p53 in a way that had been hypothesized before but had not been shown in any animal, " said Haifan Lin, professor of cell biology and of genetics, director of the Yale Stem Cell Center, and senior author of the paper.
According to a study in the Feb 9 issue in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens, the cause of seizures in patients whose brains are infected by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium has been identified by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine as a neuropeptide called 'Substance P". Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the largest cause of seizures worldwide and is caused by a parasitic tapeworm infection of the brain. Until now, the mediators responsible for seizures in NCC have been unknown, but Prema Robinson and her team recognized that Substance P plays a role in inflammation and discovered Substance P in autopsies of patients' brains with the tapeworm infection. The neuropeptide Substance P is a small protein-like molecule that plays a part in communication between neurons, and was not found in uninfected brains.
Imagine a contraceptive that could, with one or two painless 15-minute non-surgical treatments, provide months of protection from pregnancy. And imagine that the equipment needed were already in physical therapists' offices around the world. Sound too good to be true? For years, scientists thought so too. But new research headed by Dr. James Tsuruta in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, published Monday in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, is gaining the contraceptive method increased respect. The kicker: This treatment would be for men - giving them the first new option since condoms and vasectomy were introduced more than a century ago. HOW IT WORKS The testes need to be slightly cooler than the rest of the body to properly produce sperm - the subject of countless jokes and warnings about hot tubs, laptops, and tight pants.
Higher blood levels of cadmium in females, and higher blood levels of lead in males, delayed pregnancy in couples trying to become pregnant, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other academic research institutions. Cigarette smoke is the most common source of exposure to cadmium, a toxic metal found in the earth's crust, which is used in batteries, pigments, metal coatings and plastics. Smokers are estimated to have twice the levels of cadmium as do non-smokers. Exposure also occurs in workplaces where cadmium-containing products are made, and from the air near industrial facilities that emit cadmium. Airborne cadmium particles can travel long distances before settling on the ground or water. Soil levels of cadmium vary with location. Fish, plants, and animals absorb cadmium from the environment, and all foods contain at least low levels of the metal.