Friday, February 24, 2006

Spoonful of sugar may keep cancer away: "Sugar cane might soon do more than sweeten your tea - researchers insist it might stop you getting cancer. The millions of cane stalks sprouting from Queensland paddocks could provide health-enhancing products such as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, according to scientists. The Co-operative Research Centre for Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology is delving into the chemical and biological makeup of sugar cane to try to uncover value adding opportunities. The project, led by Associate Professor David Leach from Southern Cross University and Dr Michael O'Shea from sugar industry research group BSES, is already showing results. Both scientists are convinced the humble cane plant is a potential gold mine that could be exploited for value-added products. They have discovered high levels of active compounds with potential use for manufacture of valuable products such as antioxidants and other supplements for the prevention or management of disease. "We have recently identified cancer inhibiting extracts with positive activity against human prostate and breast cancer cell lines," Dr O'Shea said."

Fatties are happy: "Scientists in Bristol in south-west England have discovered that fat people are more cheerful than their thin peers... Nor is this a reworking of the slightly less ancient study that found that people with notable self-control, people who weren't "appetitive", were more likely to be depressed. The usefulness of this survey was opaque. It appeared to demonstrate that hedonists were happier than puritans. Nobody needs a scientist to tell them that. They just need to study the works of Chaucer. Or Dickens. Or most TV soaps. The people enjoying themselves are the fat, jolly ones. The people who worry about how they look, and what people think of them, and what God might think, and whether drinking too much mead will turn out to be a signal that they are bound for hell - those people don't enjoy themselves so much. In fact, the new research is quite new. It merely asked whether fat people kill themselves. Are they prone to depression or anxiety? The answers were all no. Not only are you less depressed when overweight, it works in proportion. The fatter you get, the less likely you are to commit suicide".

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