"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Red Meat and Spitting to Kill 

Breast cancer is a top killer of women in the United States and abroad, and its prevention and treatment are major health conundrums, due in part to the myriad of factors which contribute to both the risk and progress of the disease. A Harvard study women over 12 years has suggested another risk factor: high red meat consumption.

It seems that women who ate more than 1.5 servings of meat a day were more likely to develop certain nasty types of breast cancer than those who ate less. My main problem with this study is that they found no effect overall, but only for a very specific type of breast cancer, whose growth is fueled by female hormone levels. Sounds like a bangarang opportunity for confounding, but we shall see.

On an unrelated note, researchers have isolated a compound from human saliva, called opiorphin, which acts as a pain killer as much as six times more potent than morphine in rats. It seems to work by blocking destruction of endogenous opiates in the spine. I'm not clear on why the article thinks that the substance will be less addictive than morphine, because that makes no sense whatsoever, but I'm curious to find out what the side effects will be.

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