An image of brown and white sugar cubes

Credit: Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Cervical screening language triggers discussion

It’s Cervical Screening Awareness week, which we’ve been supporting across our social media channels. One tweet sparked debate around the inclusive language we selected, which led journalists to cover the discussions on Twitter. Some people were against our choice, others were supportive.

Children in England have already eaten a year’s worth of sugar

We’re only half way through June and children in England have already consumed more than the recommended daily intake of sugar for 2018, according to Public Health England. The BBC and the Guardian say kids in England are consuming twice the amount of sugar that is recommended each year and are on track to consume on average 4,800 cubes of sugar by the end of 2018. The survey suggests sugary drinks and sweet treats like cakes are largely to blame.

Plans to see if spit test can identify people at higher risk of prostate cancer

Scientists in London said they are planning a trial that would look for DNA faults in men’s saliva as a possible way to gauge their risk of prostate cancer. The plans are based on a study that uncovered new gene faults linked to risk, reports the BBC.

We’re testing a new lung cancer vaccine

Cancer Research UK is collaborating with a company called Asterias Biotherapeutics to set up a trial testing a vaccine for a certain type of lung cancer. The early-stage trial largely aims to see if the vaccine is safe, reports PharmaTimes. Our press release explains how the vaccine works.

Research finds genome editing works more often in cells without a key gene

Scientists found that genome editing with CRISPR is more likely to work in cells without a gene that’s often also lost in cancer cells, called p53. STAT News said this points to the potential for the technology to generate cells that, if they were given to someone as a treatment, might seed the growth of tumours. After plenty of discussion online, this follow-up piece answered some questions and reinforced how much more research is needed on this emerging technology before it could be used to treat diseases.

Low vitamin D levels may increase bowel cancer risk

An international study has looked at the link between vitamin D and bowel cancer risk. The study looked at vitamin D levels in over 12,500 people. They reported that people with a vitamin D deficiency had a 31% higher risk of developing bowel cancer than those with sufficient levels. But we still need more research to confirm whether this is a real link, or whether people with vitamin D deficiency are just more unhealthy in general. The Mail Online covered this one.

And finally

The Guardian explores the potential ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) could help the NHS. This piece came from a new report, by the former health minister Lord Darzi and the think tank IPPR. The report suggests that robots could soon help hospital staff with a range of tasks, including helping patients eat their meals, diagnosing serious illnesses and even helping people recover from operations.