US scientists announced that they have found the key to how AIDS virus attacks the body, which makes the creation of effective vaccines more promising. The discovery, presented at the 12th annual Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, and simultaneously published in newest issue of the British journal Nature, shows how HIV mutates its form, in turn provoking changes which permit it to enter cells.
The Web was abuzz this past week when news reports began circulating that a pair of NASA scientists had found possible evidence of life on Mars.
According to a report on Space.com, the scientists told a group of NASA officials that they were preparing a paper on the subject for submission to the journal Nature.
Researchers in Japan have discovered some eye-opening news about coffee: It may help prevent the most common type of liver cancer.
A study of more than 90,000 Japanese found that people who drank coffee daily or nearly every day had half the liver cancer risk of those who never drank coffee. The protective effect occurred in people who drank one to two cups a day and increased at three to four cups.
Two more people in Vietnam have been confirmed to have contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus, as the known death toll in the country since the start of 2005 has risen to seven. There are at least seven more cases suspected.
Worryingly, two cases now in hospital might have caught the virus from another person, not from an infected fowl. Overall, these cases also suggest that many human infections with H5N1 may not have been diagnosed, partly because tests are not reliable or widely available.
Some cancers are caused by heterocyclic amines, DNA-damaging chemicals found in cooked meat and fish. When Sakae Arimoto-Kobayashi's team at Okayama University in Japan fed these chemicals to mice, the DNA damage to their liver, lungs and kidneys was reduced by up to 85% if the mice drank non-alcoholic beer instead of water.
Arimoto-Kobayashi thinks as-yet unidentified compounds in lager and stout prevent the amines binding to and damaging DNA. If these compounds can be identified, brewers might be able to produce beers particularly rich in them, or they could be added to foods.