New Cure for AIDS?

German doctors claim to have cured AIDS. The patient, who was infected by both the virus and leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic mutation which is known to grant immunity to the virus. The mutation affects a receptor, or cellular doorway, that the AIDS viruses usually breach in order to infect the cell. The mutation has been known to researchers since the 90s, and is most common in people of a Northern European descent.

Nearly four years have passed since the transplant, and the patient appears to be free of the virus, and it cannot be found hiding anywhere in his body. The patient has given samples from his colon, liver, spinal fluid and brain; the places where the virus commonly hides before rebounding in patients who have stopped their medication.

The problem with the cure is that is a long, complicated, painful process. “It’s not practical and it can kill people,” Dr. Robert Gallo of the Institute of Human Virology, who helped discover the virus that causes AIDS. “It is possibly a cure, that’s for sure, you won’t know for absolute sure until the person dies and undergoes extreme PCR (genetic) analysis of post-mortem tissue.”

New Study Shows Benefits of Active Lifestyles

exerciseA new study shows that people who begin an active lifestyle at a young age, and keep it up into their middle years, can greatly lessen mid-life weight gain and other health issues. People generally focus on exercise as a way to eliminate excess weight, as opposed to a way to prevent it. The results of the study show that this may be a mistake. Dr. Arlene L. Hankinson, the lead researcher explained that “it’s not so much about achieving some dramatically high activity level. It’s about maintaining a level of daily physical activity over time.”

Generally, health experts suggest that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking), five days a week. Many people claim that they are too busy for a daily visit at a gym, to which Hankinson says “it should be about finding an activity that you actually like and can maintain. But you should also look into the choices you make in your daily life. Do you walk to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away so you have to walk more…?”

Memory for Faces, Best After Age 30

New research has discovered the talent for remembering faces peaks late, between the ages of 30 to 34. According to a report which will appear in the newest edition of the journal Cognition, the skill of recognizing unfamiliar faces is best done at a somewhat later age than most other cognitive skills.

Most experts believe that word skills, memory and other intellectual functions achieve peak performance in the early 20s of a person’s life. This the moment of full maturity, but before brain cell death begins to take its toll. Consistent with this belief is the fact that when tested for the ability to remember names and upside down faces, (a task which demands remembering of general visual patterns) people seem to do best at ages 23 or 24, according to Laura Germine of Harvard University, the leader of a team of psychology graduate students there.

But in a surprise result, the brain seems to need an additional ten years to get really good at face recognition, to being the best that it can be.
“Specialized face-processing in the brain may require an extended period of visual tuning during early adulthood to help individuals learn and recognize lots of different faces,” Germine says.

Four Basic Skin Care Tips

skinMost good skin care can be broken down into a four-step regimen which, if followed, will give you a strong likelihood of maintaining healthy skin. These four steps are:

1. Cleansing – never use soap on your face. On the other hand, you don’t need to spend a lot of money either. The drugstore will provide you with the right cleanser, a creamy one for dry skin or a clear one for oily skin. Never over-clean your face.

2. Exfoliation will make a big difference so don’t skip this step. Once a week, make use of a good facial scrub or micro-dermabrasion kit.

3. Moisturize – everyone should moisturize, even people with oily skin (unless you have acne). But do be careful not to over-moisturize as this can clog pores.

4. Apply sunscreen. Yes, that’s right, sunscreen is just as important as a moisturizer for healthy, young-looking skin, as sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles. Use sunscreen from a young age, even on cloudy days. Your best bet is to buy two moisturizers, one for night, and one for day with UV protection.

Aspirin May Reduce Cancer Risks

A new Oxford University study has shown that a small amount of aspirin (75mg), taken daily, can greatly reduce cancer death rates. Professor Peter Rothwell, who directed the research, explained that healthy households should not start taking aspirin as if it were a vitamin, although the new discovery “tips things towards it being well worth it.”

The results were described as “promising” by Cancer Research UK, and family health expert Ed Yong said that they “encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their GP first.” The full results of the study were publicized in the Lancet Medical Journal.