A new form of aspirin that's currently being researched might prove to be a potent cancer-preventive medication. Nitroaspirin is designed to release nitric oxide. The nitric oxide molecule relaxes smooth muscle cells, and can help reduce blood pressure. Doctors at Stony Brook University in New York have found that the nitric oxide-boosting aspirin can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, and can prevent the development of colon cancer. Human studies using the "Superaspirin" will begin early next year.
Researchers are finding new, non invasive ways to determine the health of a fetus. Xenomics has patented a technique to isolate DNA in an expectant mother's urine sample to check on the health of her developing baby. The genetic testing focuses on transrenal DNA, or genetic material found in the urine that comes from a foreign body, in this case, a fetus. With just one urine sample, a variety of potential genetic problems can be assessed. Clinical trials are expected to begin in early 2005 at multiple sites in the us.
Watch out for sneezers, they might be sending the flu your way. While the cold virus is primarily transmitted when we touch our hands to our face, and then touch doorknobs, phones or other objects, the flu prefers a sneakier method. Flu germs are spread mostly in droplets expelled when people sneeze and cough. Though it's hard to avoid these airborne illness bombs, making sure you wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day can help.