Trolling the papers today…

I could start off with some of the lighter, friendlier stuff but heck, what’s the fun of posting any of that first when there’s such a freaky, Frankensteinian little item like the one below to lead off with?!

Researchers Find Bacteria That Devour Antibiotics

By HENRY FOUNTAIN
Antibiotic resistance is a simple idea: Bacteria that might be expected to be wiped out by a drug are instead unaffected by it.

But bacteria studied by a research group at Harvard take the idea to a new level. With these bugs, what doesn’t kill them makes them thrive.

The researchers, led by George M. Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, found hundreds of bacteria that can subsist on antibiotics as their sole source of carbon. They isolated strains from soils in 11 locations, including alfalfa fields in Minnesota and urban plots in Boston, and fed them 18 natural and synthetic antibiotics, including common ones like penicillin and ciprofloxacin. Bacterial growth was seen with almost all of them.

READ THE STORY
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/science/08obmicr.html?ref=science

Link to the STUDY
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5872/100

    And now, on a lighter note, more good news about green tea (but you already knew this didn’t you?)

(WebMD) An antioxidant in green tea may be a powerful weapon against breast cancer.

A new study shows the green tea antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) significantly slowed breast cancer growth in female mice.

Previous studies have suggested that this antioxidant may protect against breast cancer and other cancers, but this research has been limited, and the mechanism behind these effects isn’t clear.

Researchers say the results suggest that green tea’s anticancer effects may be largely because of its high content of EGCG, which helps the body’s cells from becoming damaged and aging prematurely.

READ MORE AT
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/07/health/webmd/main4000087.shtml

    Want more even excellent news??

Preliminary research shows that Olive oil may be good for your stomach as well as your heart.

A new Spanish study suggests virgin olive oil may help prevent and treat H. pylori infections, which are responsible for millions of cases of gastritis and peptic ulcers each year.

Preliminary laboratory tests show the antioxidant compounds found in virgin olive oil are effective against several strains of H. pylori bacteria, which infects the lining of the stomach. Researchers say these results must now be replicated in humans. But if future studies confirm the findings, incorporating virgin olive oil into your diet may help treat or prevent painful stomach ulcers.

Researchers say previous studies show that other natural products rich in a class of antioxidants known as phenolic compounds — such as red wine, green tea, and cranberry juice — may inhibit the growth of H. pylori. But until now the antibacterial properties of olive oil haven’t been evaluated. They say virgin olive oil is unique because it is one of very few edible vegetable oils with high phenolic content.

In the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers used laboratory experiments to simulate conditions found in the human stomach in order to evaluate olive oil’s ability to fight H. pylori bacteria.

Researcher Conception Romero and colleagues of the University Hospital of Valme, in Seville, Spain, found that the healthy phenolic compounds in virgin olive oil remained stable for hours in simulated acidic conditions of the stomach.

These phenolic compounds also had a strong antibacterial effect. The results of the lab studies showed olive oil’s phenolic compounds were effective against eight strains of H. pylori, including three that are resistant to some antibiotics.

SOURCE: Romero, C. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Feb. 21, 2007; Vol. 55: pp. 680-686. News release, American Chemical Society.

    And finally, for the DUH! award:

Sleep Deprivation May Impair Memory
Feb. 12, 2007
(WebMD) Want a sharper memory? Get some sleep.

Sleep deprivation tends to hamper the brain’s ability to make new memories, a new study shows.

The study, published online in Nature Neuroscience, comes from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

if you really need to read this one, here it is:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/13/health/healthy_living/main2468325.shtml

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