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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Thursday, May 29, 2008

#1. Circumcision Can Prevent HIV
In December 206, the National Institutes of Health brought to an end two clinical trials of male circumcision after
0 an early review of the data explained that the procedure dramatically abridged transmission of HIV.

#2. Test for Metastatic Breast Cancer
Surgeons now have a faster way to assess whether breast cancer has spread, thanks to the FDA's approval of the first molecular test to detect metastatic breast cancer.

#3. First Human Vaccine Against Bird Flu
In 2007 the threat of a pandemic avian flu got a teensy bit less scary. The deadly disease has killed 207 people worldwide and infected 336 since 2003. The vaccine isn't sold commercially. Instead, the federal government is stockpiling the stuff in case of a national outbreak.

#4. Help for Dieters: Alli
Overweight adults now have an extra weapon against fat: Alli, the first FDA-approved weight-loss drug sold over the counter. Alli (a.k.a. orlistat) works by monkeying with lipase, an enzyme the body uses to break down and digest the fat in food.

#5. New Diabetes Genes
Having a parent with type 2 diabetes ups your odds of developing the disease, but why do some sibs get it and others don't? The answer lies somewhere in your genetic code, and this year brought scientific sleuths closer to cracking it. Eventually, these discoveries will aid experts in pinpointing those at greatest risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

#6. No More Periods
Women wanting to dodge the nuisance of their monthly menses can now turn to Lybrel, the first continuous use birth control drug approved by the FDA. Made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the new contraceptive is similar to the conventional Pill — minus the placebos

#7. Relief from Fibromyalgia: Lyrica
People who suffer from the chronic fatigue, muscle pain, and stiffness of fibromyalgia finally have a drug to call their own. This year the FDA approved the antiseizure drug Lyrica (pregabalin), made by Pfizer, as a treatment for fibromyalgia.

#8. Early-Stage Test for Lung Cancer
A new blood test may improve the odds of catching the disease earlier, at a more curable stage. Called LC Detect, the test measures blood levels of a protein present in all stages of lung cancer, but rarely seen in healthy people. While the test alone can't confirm a diagnosis of lung cancer, it can be used in conjunction with chest X-rays, CT scans, and other imaging technology to hone in on early-stage tumors.

#9. New Source of Stem Cells
This was a banner year for stem-cell research. But one advancement that may not have had its due was the discovery of stem cells in amniotic fluid.

#10. Benefits of Vitamin D
Researchers have long known that the "sunshine vitamin" boosts bone strength by encouraging the body to absorb calcium. But a slew of new studies published in 2007 suggest that the vitamin has a lot of other benefits: Diets high in D may ward off diabetes, gum disease and multiple sclerosis — and maybe even cancer.