Texas researchers have found two common genetic variations that are linked to an increased risk of lung cancer for smokers and past smokers. The two variations are called SNP's or "Snips". Anyone who has ever smoked and has one or two copies of the SNP's has an increased risk of up to 81% for developing lung cancer. Unfortunately, there is no test for SNP's yet that is available to the public, but these findings are a step in the right direction.
Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder are blasting breath samples with laser light to look for molecules that may be markers for diseases like asthma or even cancer. Unlike current breath analysis, the laser would be able to detect many breath molecules at once, which is important because this method provides reliable, disease-specific information. The researchers say laser breath analysis has the potential to be low-cost, but must still be tested in clinical trials.
Could a virus cause obesity? Swedish researchers think the answer may be yes. In recent studies, the scientists found that up to 57% of obese people are actually infected by the human adenovirus 36, which works by transforming ordinary cells into fat producing cells. A Swedish company plans to commercially launch a diagnostic test for the virus in six to twelve months, and the hope is that scientists can take this one-step further and develop a treatment for the virus.