Scientists stumble across new organs in the human head

New cancer-scanning technology reveals a previously unknown detail of human anatomy.

Credit: Valstar et al., Netherlands Cancer Institute
  • Scientists using new scanning technology and hunting for prostate tumors get a surprise.
  • Behind the nasopharynx is a set of salivary glands that no one knew about.
  • Finding the glands may allow for more complication-free radiation therapies.
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Study calls out the genes that make cancer cells so hard to kill

Researchers from the University of Toronto published a new map of cancer cells' genetic defenses against treatment.

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  • Developing immunotherapies for cancers is made more difficult by how different tumors are from each other.
  • Some cancers are actually made worse by immunotherapy.
  • A piece falls into place on the complicated puzzle of genetic interactions of cancer cells.
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    Study links 'sun-seeking behavior' to genes involved in addiction

    A large-scale study from King's College London explores the link between genetics and sun-seeking behaviors.

    Credit: Grisha Bruev on Shutterstock
    • There are a number of physical and mental health benefits to sun exposure, such as boosted vitamin D and serotonin levels and stronger bones.
    • Addictions are multi-step conditions that, by definition, require exposure to the addictive agent and have also been proven to have a genetic factor. Countless people are exposed to addictive things, but not all become addicted. This is because of the genetic component of addiction.
    • This large-scale study explores the link between sun-seeking behaviors and the genetic markers for addiction.
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    Honeybee venom kills hard-to-treat breast cancer cells in new study

    An active component of honeybee venom rapidly killed two particularly aggressive forms of breast cancer in a laboratory study.

    • New laboratory studies by a team of scientists found that the active component of honeybee venom induced death in two forms of malignant breast cancer cells that are notoriously difficult to treat.
    • The magic healing molecule in the honeybees' venom appears to be melittin, which rapidly killed cancer cells in under an hour.
    • In the future, doctors could potentially use melittin alongside chemotherapy drugs to increase the efficacy of the treatment.
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    Chadwick Boseman's death is tragic. Here's what you need to know about colon cancer.

    Despite Boseman's young age, this cancer is increasingly common in people under 50.

    Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney
    • Though Chadwick Boseman was only 43, rates of cancer in people under 50 have been increasing since 2006.
    • African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to get this cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it than other racial groups.
    • Preventive measure include better diet, exercise, regular screenings, and a reduction in smoking and drinking.
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