New Cancer Mechanism Identified: Scientists at the Salk Institute have made a discovery that reveals the role telomeres play in the development of cancer. Normally, they act as protective caps to the end of chromosomes and prevent them from fusing with other chromosomes during replication. However, over time, the telomeres become shorter. Specifically, after cells duplicate. The researchers discovered that once the telomeres become too short and lose function, they signal to the cell to stop dividing forever. Once that happens, autophagy — normally associated with the survival — facilitates the rogue cell’s destruction. http://bit.ly/2HuzXA6

Harmful selfies: Millennials are increasingly using the manipulated versions of themselves they see after taking selfies as guides for how they want to look in real life. A London plastic surgeon, Tijion Esho, coined the term “Snapchat dysmorphia” to describe the condition where patients bring in selfies that had filters applied to them. Once upon a time, people relied on pictures of celebrities. Those days are long gone. http://bit.ly/2S3ax0j

Tastes great, less filling: A Singaporean food tech startup is hoping to develop a product that will help lower the Glycemic Index of various Asian staple ingredients, namely rice, noodles, and bread. A proprietary food additive called 5ibreGrain can be added either in powder form or in the shape of rice. This allows dishes to retain their texture and taste. While they still have a long way to go, they were able to fundraise $2.5 million in funds last September. http://bit.ly/2HwcsXh

A little oversight goes a long way: After Dr. He Jiankiou’s controversial decision to create the first genetically modified babies, scientists around the word are struggling to devise a system that would safeguard against such an event happening again. Per the New York Times, “Some scientists want a yearslong moratorium on creating pregnancies with gene-edited human embryos. Others say a moratorium would be too restrictive, or unenforceable. Some think scientific journals should agree not to publish embryo-editing research. Others consider that misguided or ineffective.” https://nyti.ms/2RZCzKp

Mouth bacteria and Alzheimer’s: Researchers at the University is Louisville report that the presence of a bacteria normally associated with chronic gum disease is found in abundance in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that brain infections with Porphyromonas gingivalis were normally accompanied by the formation of amyloid plaque, a factor normally seen in dementia patients. The study team also found the organism’s toxic enzymes, or gingipains, in the neurons of patients with AD. http://bit.ly/2HvDttX

The Space Race (Tycoon edition): Blue Origin’s New Shepherd rocket has launched into space carrying eight NASA experiments with it. The reusable rocket lifted off from West Texas and successfully returned to Earth unharmed. It was its fourth trip. Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company hopes to launch passengers into space by next year. http://bit.ly/2S3Uq2G

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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