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Study finds protein role in tumor growth

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            HEALTH TIPS - Monday, March 19, 2007
"News That Keeps You Healthy"

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Study finds protein role in tumor growth

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.,-- U.S. medical biologists have determined
how a missing protein causes tissue to become pre-cancerous.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers said their
discovery might help physicians identify their patients who
are at high risk to develop tumors. Most breast and prostate
tumors are missing a protein known as 14-3-3 sigma, but
until now it has not been clear what role that protein plays
in tumor growth. The MIT researchers found that when the
protein is knocked down, dividing cells fail to separate
fully and become pre-cancerous. "The cells try to divide and
try to divide, and they just give up. They can't finish
cytokinesis (the final stages of cell division)," said
Michael Yaffe, an associate professor of biology and bio-
logical engineering who led the research team. Failing to
divide completely, the cells recombine into a single cell
with two nuclei. Such fused, or binucleate, cells have
recently been shown to be pre-cursors to cancer cells,
said Yaffe. They are often found in so-called "dysplastic"
tissue, which consists of cells that are not fully normal
but are not cancerous. The study is detailed in the current
issue of the journal Nature.

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Chickenpox vaccine impermanent

LOS ANGELES, -- Researchers from the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and the Los Angeles County Department of
Health Services say chickenpox vaccines may not be
permanent. The researchers said a single dose of the vaccine
may not last for the entirety of a child's life, so they
recommend children receive a second dose between the ages of
4 and 6, CBS News reported Thursday. However, the research
team said the vaccine is helping. The team said they found
the number of cases of chickenpox in the United States has
been "substantially reduced" since the vaccine was
recommended for all children in 1995. The research,
published in The New England Journal of Medicine, backs up
an earlier recommendation from the CDC that children who
have never had chickenpox receive two doses of the
inoculation. The team based their findings on data collected
from 350,000 people living in Antelope Valley, Calif. The
researchers said that from 1995 to 2004, 11,356 were
diagnosed with chickenpox -- and 1,080 of those had been

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Dieting may cause weight gain in teenagers

MINNEAPOLIS, -- U.S. scientists say adolescents who diet to
lose weight might significantly increase their odds of
gaining weight. University of Minnesota researchers analyzed
the results of surveys conducted among teenagers from 1999
to 2004 to "understand the perplexing finding that has been
reported in several longitudinal studies, whereby dieting
predicts greater weight gain over time in adolescents."
According to information provided by more than 2,500
adolescents, dieting among girls predicted increased binge
eating and decreased breakfast consumption, with a non-
significant trend toward decreased fruit and vegetable
intake. Among boys, dieting predicted increased binge
eating, decreased physical activity and a trend toward
decreased breakfast consumption. The behaviors were also
associated with increases in body mass index, according to
the researchers. The University of Minnesota researchers,
led by Professor Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, conclude dieting
might lead to weight gain among adolescents, in part because
of "the long-term adoption of behavioral patterns that are
counterproductive to weight management." The study is
detailed in the March issue of the Journal of the American
Dietetic Association.

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