Lab Report

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 November, 2013, 10:18am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 November, 2013, 10:18am

Scientists expose secrets of lethal cancer
Researchers from institutions in Singapore, Romania and Thailand have found the molecular basis of highly lethal and incurable bile duct cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 5 per cent. They identified genes that were disrupted in order for the cancer to develop. Cellular pathways controlled by these genes could be avenues to treatment. The study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Genetics, also sheds more light on how cancer develops: the disease was found to be caused by various carcinogenic exposures globally.

Pregnancy test may predict severe high blood pressure
Scientists in Britain have created a new test to identify pregnant women at risk of developing severe high blood pressure known as pre-eclampsia, which can damage the kidneys, liver and brain and lead to serious fetal complications. The test can check whether placental protein levels are too low and may prevent unnecessary hospitalisation of women not likely to develop pre-eclampsia, says Lucy Chappell, clinical senior lecturer in obstetrics at King's College in London. The study was published in the journal Circulation.

Way out of left field
Left-handed people are more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, according to a Yale University study published in the journal SAGE Open. According to researcher Jadon Webb, who has an interest in biomarkers of psychosis, "a striking 40 per cent of those with schizophrenia or a schizo-affective disorder are left-handed". He adds: "In general, people with psychosis are those who have lost touch with reality through delusions, hallucinations, or false beliefs, and this symptom constellation seems to correlate with being left-handed. Finding biomarkers such as this can hopefully enable us to identify and differentiate mental disorders earlier, and perhaps one day tailor treatments in more effective ways."