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Common skin bacteria may protect you from skin cancer.

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New research published in the journal Science Advances finds a strain of bacteria that may protect against skin cancer.

The new research was carried out by scientists at the University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine.

Dr. Richard Gallo, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Dermatology at UC San Diego, is the new study’s corresponding author.

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He and his colleagues performed a molecular analysis of the bacteria’s metabolic products found on human skin and discovered that strains of the so-called Staphylococcus epidermidis produce a chemical that protects against the formation and development of skin cancer.

In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. In 2014, melanomas of the skin affected more than 76,000 U.S. individuals, and more than 9,300 of these died from the condition.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 1 million U.S. citizens live with skin cancer, and 1 in 5 will develop the condition at one point in their lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caution against the risks of sun exposureand intentional tanning, as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are known to raise skin cancer risk.

In the new study, Dr. Gallo and team used cancer-inducing UV rays in mice with S. epidermidis.

The researchers found that S. epidermidis produces a chemical called 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP), which is a molecule that inhibits DNA synthesis. By doing so, 6-HAP has the potential to stop transformed tumor cells from spreading.

Using a mouse model, the researchers compared the effect of carcinogenic UV rays in two groups of mice, comprising: rodents in which S. epidermidis produced 6-HAP, or rodents in which the bacterium did not produce the beneficial compound.

This unique strain of skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells,” he continues.

But Dr. Gallo also says that more studies are necessary to fully grasp how 6-HAP is produced, and to determine whether a decrease in the chemical raises skin cancer risk in humans or having the chemical confers a preventative effect.

S. epidermidis strains producing 6-HAP,” add the authors, “were found in the metagenome from multiple healthy human subjects, suggesting that the microbiome of some individuals may confer protection against skin cancer.”

“There is increasing evidence that the skin microbiome is an important element of human health. In fact,” Dr. Gallo says, “we previously reported that some bacteria on our skin produce antimicrobial peptides that defend against pathogenic bacteria such as Staph aureus.”

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Health & Lifestyle

Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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Health & Lifestyle

Mother bags 4 years jail term for drawing son’s blood.

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A Danish court on Thursday sentenced a mother to four years in jail for aggravated abuse for having unnecessarily drawn a half-litre (one pint) of blood from her son weekly for five years.

A trained nurse, the 36-year-old woman began drawing her son’s blood when he was 11 months old, averaging about once a week for the next five years.

The mother said she would not appeal the verdict handed down by the district court in the western town of Herning.



“It’s not a decision that I took consciously. I don’t know when I started doing what I had no right to do. It came gradually. I threw the blood down the toilet and put the syringes in the garbage,” she told the court.

The boy, today aged seven and who lives with his father, suffered an intestinal illness shortly after birth but as the years went by doctors could not explain why he had so little blood in his system.

To remedy the situation, doctors gave him 110 blood transfusions over the years.

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They eventually grew suspicious of the mother, and police began investigating her.

She was arrested in September 2017 carrying a bag of blood.

On social media, she had presented herself as a single mother fighting for her sick son.

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Psychiatric experts told the court they believed the mother suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare condition in which a person, usually a mother, fabricates an illness for a dependent and puts them through unnecessary medical treatment.

However, they deemed her healthy enough to go to prison.

She has been barred from the nursing profession.

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