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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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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Mutation in 'junk DNA' behind several deadly cancers

A single typo in the "dark matter" of the genome drives multiple types of cancer.

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  • Only about 2 percent of the human genome codes for proteins; the rest is called noncoding DNA.
  • We used to think this portion of the genome served almost no purpose. Now, however, we have learned that it performs several important biological functions, though much of it is still unknown. This lack of insight is why it's sometimes referred to as the "dark matter" of the human genome.
  • In two studies, researchers from Ontario discovered a mutation in this genetic dark matter that changes how gene products are spliced, potentially resulting in several different kinds of cancer.
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Breast cancer vaccine could be available in 8 years, says Mayo Clinic

A new immunotherapy treatment is showing positive signs in early-stage clinical trials.

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  • Clinical trials of an immunotherapy treatment for breast cancer showed positive signs, and the researchers hope to move to larger trials in coming years.
  • Immunotherapies train the body's immune system to find and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
  • Recent trials of immunotherapies for other cancers have also showed positive signs.
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