Scientists race to use zero gravity to kill the worst cancers

A 2020 space mission wants to use zero gravity to disable some of the hardest cancers to fight.

Left: U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt). Right: Source Dr. Raowf Guirguis. National Cancer Institute
  • An Australian research mission, launched in 2020 by Elon Musk's SpaceX, will study effects of zero gravity on four cancers.
  • Other missions with similar objectives are set to launch in 2022 aboard the new China Space Station.
  • In earlier experiments, scientists found that microgravity can kill cancer cells.
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Common hair products linked to cancer risk, says breaking new study

Embracing signs of age might be the road to a longer life after all.

Photo Source: LisaRedfern / Pixabay
  • New research found that hair dyes and chemical straighteners might significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • According to the study, black women who used permanent dyes at least every 5-8 weeks raised their risk of developing cancer by 60 percent.
  • This isn't the first time beauty products have been found to contain cancerous chemicals.
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Heart attacks and canker sores: why we need to take oral health seriously

Your microbiome begins in your mouth. Why don't we look there more often?

Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
  • Eighty percent of patients who've had heart attacks have gum disease, says Dr. Shahrzad Fattahi.
  • Oral health is also implicated in forms of cancer, dementia, canker sores, and more.
  • Fattahi says the future of medicine must also focus on saliva, as a whole new field of salivary diagnostics is emerging.
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Detecting breast cancer 5 years before clinical signs

The possibility of an easy, non-invasive detection method arises.

Image source: Shutter_M/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • A blood test that spots breast cancer five years ahead of clinical signs could give new meaning to "early detection."
  • Auto-antibodies for tumor antigens predict the presence of the disease.
  • Researchers say the blood test could be clinic-ready in 4-5 years.
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Scientists extend mice lifespan 12% by tweaking telomeres

The team seems to have found a way to extend animal lifespan without genetic modification.

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  • Using specially cultivated embryonic stem cells, scientists generated mice whose cells had extra-long telomeres.
  • Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that help protect the genetic information inside.
  • Lengthening telomeres in embryonic stem cells could pave the way toward slowing aging without genetic modification.
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