First News
Volume:7, Number:36
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THIS WEEK

Soda, Meat Up Breast Cancer Risk in Teens

Teenagers who consume a diet high in soft drinks, red and processed meat and low in vegetables may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers collected data from about 45,204 women who had participated in a questionnaire in 1991 about their diet in high school, when participants were 27 to 44 years. Karin Michels, professor at University of California, said that because breast cancer takes many years to arise, we were curious whether such a diet during the early phases of a woman's life is a risk factor for breast cancer. Each woman's diet was given an inflammatory score using a method that linked diet with inflammatory markers in the blood. Those in the highest score group had a 35 percent higher risk for breast cancer relative to those in the lowest score group.

Intelligent Teenagers Twice as Likely to Smoke Cannabis

Clever children are twice as likely to smoke cannabis during their teenage years due to their curious minds, a landmark study has revealed. Students who are high academic achievers at the age of 11 are also more likely to drink alcohol as teenagers, but less likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes, a nine-year study by University College London found. According to the study, published in the BMJ Open journal, clever children are more likely to smoke weed in their late teenage years — ages 18-20 — because they are more curious and have a stronger desire to be accepted by older peers. Children are "initially cautious of illegal substances in early adolescence as they are more aware of the immediate and long-term repercussions that breaking the law may incur than those with lower academic ability", researchers added.

Pollution Reduces Antibiotic Effectiveness

Air pollution may increase the potential of bacteria to cause respiratory infections by reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics, scientists have found. The study by researchers at the University of Leicester has important implications for the treatment of infectious diseases, which abound in areas with high levels of air pollution. A major component of air pollution is black carbon. The research showed that this pollutant changed the way in which bacteria grew and formed community. Professor Julie Morrissey said that the research focused on two human pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The team found that black carbon altered the antibiotic tolerance of Staphylococcus aureus communities and increased the resistance of communities of Streptococcus pneumoniae to penicillin, the front line treatment of bacterial pneumonia.

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