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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Science’s 2013 Breakthroughs Of The Year – Business Insider

Science’s 2013 Breakthroughs Of The Year – Business Insider.

The editors of the journal Science have chosen cancer immunotherapy — using the body’s immune system to attack tumors instead of targeting the tumor itself — as the biggest breakthrough of 2013.

“Cancer immunotherapy clinched the #1 spot because it’s causing such a paradigm shift among researchers in how they tackle cancer,” the journal’s editorial team wrote in a statement.

The technique involves training immune cells to recognize the characteristics of cancer cells, and then fight back. There’s still a lot of work ahead since the treatment has only worked for a few patients and some types of cancers so far, but the results from clinical trials offer hope for a new weapon against cancer.

Nine other groundbreaking achievements that were chosen from this year are detailed below.

Scientists discover the first real reason we need sleep

By studying a newfound pathway in mice, scientists identified the first major mechanical reason we need to sleep: to clean the brain. When the brain is sleeping, channels between cells grow. This allows cerebrospinal fluid into the depths of the brain tissues to flush out toxic proteins that build up during the day, including the kind that are responsible for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sciences-2013-breakthroughs-of-the-year-2013-12#ixzz2pFBgpe3O

 

 

 

 

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January 2, 2014 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , ,

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