Mobile phone set to detect cancer.



A new health service using mobile phones has been conceptualized in Bangalore. The Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre (MSCC) of Narayana Hrudayalaya in collaboration with SANA (a research group at Harvard/MIT), has launched the ‘mhealth’ to detect cancer.

The technology that SANA has developed includes certain automated questionnaires which are directed to patients onsite by a trained health worker. If most of the questionnaires are answered affirmative, the health worker will take high quality lesion pictures using the phone camera.  The condition will then be diagnosed by the software’s decision making algorithm or by uploading the entire data to the server for the cancer specialist to take a look and analyse the case.

According to a study, most cancer patients get themselves diagnosed late in the stage four tumours which is very expensive to treat. The new mobile technology will help in faster and earlier diagnose of cancer. If the patients are diagnosed at an early stage, they can be treated much better and the cost will be much more economical.


Infant fixing gaze could be early sign of autism.


baby gazing

If an infant fixes his or her gaze on a particular object for a very long time, it could be an early sign of developing autism, say researchers.

In a study conducted involving two groups of infants, one normal and the other believed to be in the high risk of autism, the team found that when the babies of the high risk group were not engaged by their parent or caretaker, they spent far more time gazing at the toy than the caregiver. According to the study author, this showed a subtle early marker for autism.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which causes difficulties in social interactions, impaired communication skills and unusual thought and behavioral patterns.

Night light increases cancer risk.

A new study has found more link between light at night (LAN) and cancer. Previous studies have shown that living in areas that have more night time illumination increases risk of prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women.

The study examined four groups of lab mice that were injected with cancerous cells.  Each group was exposed to different duration of light. The group that was exposed to the least amount of light had the least cancerous growth (0.85 cu cm, average), the group that was exposed to more light had a little more cancerous growth (1.84 cu cm, average) and the group that was exposed to the most light had even more growth (5.92 cu cm, average).

Go out in the sun without sunblock.

Hi. I just found out something cool for people who dont care about sunblocks or those of you who are lazy to use sunblock. Read on to find out.

Vitamin D is the new nutrient superstar, linked with lower risk of all sorts of disorders including heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatism. And now it looks as if it helps with weight loss, too.

    During the summer of 2008, in a small trial of 38, a researcher from the University of Minnesota, USA, reported that those with more vitamin D in their blood lost more weight. For every extra nanogram per millilitre (ng/ml) they lost an extra 225 grams.



Other trials, too, have linked higher vitamin D levels with less obesity. But why? All vitamin D experts agree that a lot more research is needed – but in the meantime, one interesting theory is emerging from Imperial College London. Because sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, a low level of vitamin D may make the body think that winter is on the way, and therefore that it has to store more food.

    There’s also much debate about how much you should be taking. The official recommended daily alowance is 200 IU (international units) but many experts are now suggesting 1000 or even 2000. A daily dose of 1000 over several months would raise your blood level by 10 ng/ml, meaning you could lose an extra 2.3 kilos on top of what you’d expect to on your diet.

But don’t worry too much about all those figures – talk to your doctor and see that you get enough not-too-harsh morning or evening sunlight.

If you like wearing sunblocks, you could get out in the morning and evening sunlight as written above, morning sunlight before 10 AM IST is best (you dont have to bother about UV rays). Or you could take vitamin D supplements.

For those of you who dont care or are too lazy to use sunblocks, you get it free everyday. So enjoy the sun – plus the skin burns.

Tears may hold key to fighting against anthrax.

Scientists have suggested that an anti-bacterial enzyme found in human tears and other body fluids could be applied to certain foods for fighting against intestinal contamination with anthrax.

The data from the study shows that lysozyme application has the potential to eliminate anthrax producing bacteria in processed foods.

It has been known for almost a century that the enzyme, lysozyme, kills certain bacteria by destroying bacteria cell walls.

The researchers used a surrogate bacterial strain that behaves in more or less similar fashion as the actual anthrax strain, except that it does not cause the disease.

They studied the spore’s survival in the hen’s egg white and found that the lysozyme in the egg white was very effective in killing the anthrax spores. Lysozyme also showed some activity in killing spores added to ground beef and milk.