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Research is shedding new light on sunscreens that might someday prevent or treat skin cancer by reversing dangerous gene mutations caused by overexposure to the sun.
The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has published a report claiming that topically applied caffeine is a succesful slimming agent.
Scientists at the Fox Chase Cancer Centre in Philadelphia have released reports that find butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) to be carcinogenic.
Women seeking an acne medicine that can cause severe birth defects may find it a little easier to fill their prescription: The government announced some changes Wednesday designed to ease access to the troublesome drug.
A program called iPledge was designed to ensure that every user of Accutane or its generic competitors—and every doctor who prescribes it and every pharmacy that sells it—follows strict rules to make sure that women don't get pregnant while on the drug. Among those rules are month-by-month prescriptions based on passing pregnancy tests.
But last summer, the Food and Drug Administration heard evidence that iPledge hasn't ended the problem: There were 122 pregnancies in the program's first year and another 37 in the four months since. Another 19 pregnancies occurred in women who managed to get the drug despite never enrolling in iPledge.
Still, in October the FDA agreed to a few changes to the program, and announced Wednesday that iPledge is now implementing these changes:
* Women of childbearing age who don't fill a prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test will be allowed to get another test and then fill the prescription—with the exception of the initial prescription. Until now, those who didn't act within seven days were frozen out of the program for the next 23 days.
* Those women will have to fill the prescription within seven days of a pregnancy test rather than within seven days of first seeing their doctor.
Associated Press, December 5, 2007
Extension to run through Dec. 26, 2007; agency seeks to balance industry concerns and the interests of public health to ensure that sunscreen products properly inform consumers of the level of protection...
Le Mystére LLC, a lingerie marketer, has created a skin care line formulated with the after-birth secretion of a milk cow.
Senators John Kerry, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have joined the interest group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) in questioning the levels of lead in lipstick.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have reversed the effects of aging on the skin of mice.
At the annual fall meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Phoenix, the CTFA announced it is changing its name to to the Personal Care Products Council...
Researchers have identified a batch of genes that not only prevent cancer but slow the aging process in worms, and say they are now looking to see if the genes have the same properties in humans.
Many of the genes in the worms are already known to have counterparts in humans, and the team at the University of California, San Francisco, say they hope to better understand some of the processes that cause both aging and cancer. Drugs that mimic the effects of these genes might help people both avoid cancer and also live longer, they wrote in an issue of the journal Nature Genetics.
Biologist Cynthia Kenyon is perhaps best known for discovering that a change in just one gene, called daf-2, could double the life span of small roundworms called Caenorhabditis elegans.
She and graduate student Julie Pinkston-Gosse screened as many genes as they could that were affected by daf-2. They looked at 734 in total, and found that 29 of them either stimulated tumor growth or suppressed it. Some caused cell proliferation—which goes haywire to help a tumor grow and spread—while others initiated a programmed suicide process called apoptosis, used by the body to destroy faulty cells, including tumor cells.
"About half of these genes also affected normal aging, thereby linking these two processes mechanistically," the two researchers wrote.
"There is a widely held view that any mechanism that slows aging would probably stimulate tumor growth," Kenyon said in a statement. "But we found many genes that increase life span, but slow tumor growth. Humans have versions of many of these genes, so this work may lead to treatments that keep us youthful and cancer-free much longer than normal."
The genes that stimulated tumor growth also accelerated aging, Kenyon found. The genes that prevented tumor growth slowed down the aging process and extended life span in the worms.
Kenyon said the findings strengthen theories that the controls of life span and cancer have deep, common roots.
Small creatures that researchers work on, such as the C. elegans roundworm, often share genes with humans, and these genes often underlie key biological processes.
Reuters, October 15, 2007