Tabloids on a news stand

An interesting week of research news

  • Wednesday was our high-point this week, when we spotted this Guardian article claiming that the Government plans to legislate for standardised cigarette packaging this year. Our Chief Executive outlined why we think this legislation is so important in our news story. It’s only a rumour at this stage, but we have our fingers crossed that this tip-off will lead to a genuine commitment.
  • On a related note, we found out this week that the UK lags behind other high-income nations in health stakes, and this is partly down to lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking alcohol. Our news story has more detail, but we thought this Guardian article makes an important point that “health and life expectancy are not competitive sports” and that as a society we should also take a long hard look at health inequalities within the UK itself.
  • Limiting processed meat consumption could prevent three per cent of premature deaths, according to European research we covered on our news feed. The Independent also wrote about the research. We blogged about what this study adds to what we already know. Summary: important research reaffirming that moderation is key.
  • Ever heard of a ‘GameJam’? Read about how we teamed up with technical wizards to start designing a game that people can use on their smart phones that will help speed up our research. Truly fascinating and exciting stuff – Google also wrote about its involvement on its blog.

  • We spotted some interesting research on the origins of ovarian cancer that other news outlets missed. It’s only in mice at the moment, but our expert called the findings “very intriguing and potentially important”. Read our story for more detail.
  • Chemotherapy given straight into the abdomen of certain ovarian cancer patients could allow them to live an extra three years on average. The Telegraph has more info.
  • Oestrogen patches could offer a new treatment option for prostate cancer patients, according to our scientists. The BBC wrote about the research.
  • We were intrigued by the science outlined in this Telegraph article – Spanish researchers have managed to successfully treat lung cancer in mice by targeting a protein called Myc. It’s very early days, but the prospect of treatments that target Myc is an exciting one, as one of our scientists has explained before in a fascinating talk we filmed.

And finally

  • Two blooper awards this week. This Daily Mail headline is based on research in mice, so it’s not sensible to conclude that surgically removing pot bellies can cut bowel cancer risk in obese women. And despite what this Metro headline says, people shouldn’t rely on taking a lycopene pill or eating tomatoes to protect themselves from the damage UV light can cause to skin. Our advice: spend time in the shade, cover up with clothes and use factor 15+ sunscreen.