New Self-regulating Nanoparticles Could Treat Cancer

Scientists from the University of Surrey have developed ‘intelligent’ nanoparticles which heat up to a temperature high enough to kill cancerous cells – but which then self-regulate and lose heat before they get hot enough to harm healthy tissue.

The self-stopping nanoparticles could soon be used as part of hyperthermic-thermotherapy to treat patients with cancer, according to an exciting new study reported in Nanoscale.

Thermotherapy has long been used as a treatment method for cancer, but it is difficult to treat patients without damaging healthy cells. However, tumour cells can be weakened or killed without affecting normal tissue if temperatures can be controlled accurately within a range of 42°C to 45°C.

Scientists from Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute have worked with colleagues from the Dalian University of Technology in China to create nanoparticles which, when implanted and used in a thermotherapy session, can induce temperatures of up to 45°C.

The Zn-Co-Cr ferrite nanoparticles produced for this study are self-regulating, meaning that they self-stop heating when they reach temperatures over 45°C. Importantly, the nanoparticles are also low in toxicity and are unlikely to cause permanent damage to the body.

Professor Ravi Silva, Head of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, said: “This could potentially be a game changer in the way we treat people who have cancer. If we can keep cancer treatment sat at a temperature level high enough to kill the cancer, while low enough to stop harming healthy tissue, it will prevent some of the serious side effects of vital treatment.

“It’s a very exciting development which, once again, shows that the University of Surrey research is at the forefront of nanotechnologies – whether in the field of energy materials or, in this case, healthcare.”

Dr. Wei Zhang, Associate Professor from Dalian University of Technology said: “Magnetic induced hyperthermia is a traditional route of treating malignant tumours. However, the difficulties in temperature control has significantly restricted its usage If we can modulate the magnetic properties of the nanoparticles, the therapeutic temperature can be self-regulated, eliminating the use of clumsy temperature monitoring and controlling systems.

“By making magnetic materials with the Curie temperature falling in the range of hyperthermia temperatures, the self-regulation of therapeutics can be achieved. For the most magnetic materials, however, the Curie temperature is much higher than the human body can endure. By adjusting the components as we have, we have synthesized the nanoparticles with the Curie temperature as low as 34°C. This is a major nanomaterials breakthrough.”

Source: University of Surrey


Indian-style Shrimp Curry


1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon bright-red paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 large shallot, cut into fine slivers
3 garlic cloves, cut into fine slivers
1 (14 fl oz) can of coconut milk, well stirred
1 lb medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined, then rinsed and patted dry


  1. Put the cayenne, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, salt and water in a bowl. Mix well to form a smooth paste and set aside. You can prepare this paste in advance of cooking the curry.
  2. Put the oil into a large, deep frying pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When it is very hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop – a matter of seconds – add the shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring, until they are golden brown.
  3. Stir in the spice paste and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and shrimp and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Once the sauce is bubbling, turn the heat low and simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp have just turned opaque. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Foolproof Indian Cooking

In Pictures: Curry Dishes of Restaurants Around the World

Read the article:

Around the World in 23 Curries: The Best From New York to New Delhi . . . . .

A Doctor’s Recipe for a Healthy Breakfast

Monique Tello, MD, MPH wrote . . . . . .

When I look at the typical breakfast food offerings at many restaurants, supermarkets, and food trucks, and I think about the health of our nation, I want to cry. Muffins, bagels, donuts, pancakes, waffles, French toast sticks… Want some bacon, sausage, or fried potatoes with that, ma’am?

Then there’s what marketing tells you is a “well-balanced breakfast”: the image of a big bowl of cereal and a few decorative strawberries on top, with a tall glass of orange juice. You get the idea that you need the calcium in that milk, that vitamin C in that orange juice, and the carbs in that cereal for energy. But do you?

Eating like this may be okay once in a while, but if you do so often, I guarantee these foods will make you sick, one way or another.

Why are familiar breakfast foods not great for you?

Simply put, to the cells in your body, a bowl of cereal, or a bagel, or a piece of toast, or a muffin are all no different than a dessert. Processed carbohydrates and sugars cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. The insulin easily ushers all that sugar into your fat cells, where it becomes stored energy, also known as body fat.

The animal fats in bacon, sausage, and butter can glom up arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. The salt in cured meats and other processed foods causes us to retain water and pushes the blood pressure up. This is all a recipe for weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol… and eventually, heart disease.

So… what should we eat for breakfast?

The answer is basic healthy eating advice: fruits and vegetables, whole (unprocessed) grains, and healthy proteins and fats. This is not a trend, this is not a hippie opinion. The evidence is overwhelming. And I love bacon. But, I treat it with respect because it can (and does) cause great harm to the human body if eaten often.

But many people need more guidance than just a list of food groups, including how to do so when you have a busy life.

So here’s what I eat

I’m a working mom. I take the train into work. I need something quick, easy, and transportable. Plus, it needs to be budget-friendly, and must hold me over for a number of hours. So, I put together a quick, easy fruit/yogurt/grain/nut bowl every single day. Here’s my three-ingredient recipe:

  • Frozen fruit: berries, mixed fruit, fruit with kale bits, whatever. Fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle. We buy large bags of frozen mixed berries at the wholesale club or discount grocery, as they are much more economical than fresh and don’t go bad.
  • Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains of your preference: for example, unsalted nuts, toasted seeds or grains, or a combination such as a low-sugar granola. You can find my recipe for no-added-sugars granola here.
  • Your favorite yogurt, ideally plain or low-sugar.

Either the night before or the day of work, grab a plastic container that can hold at least a few cups, and fill with the frozen fruit, heaped up at the top (mine holds 3.5 cups). Defrost it in the microwave (mine takes about 3 minutes). Put a top on it. Throw that in your lunch box alongside a snack-sized baggie of nuts and/or seeds and/or grains (I like cashews), and the yogurt. Don’t forget your spoon.

Eat at your desk and be the envy of your colleagues.

Why is this a healthy breakfast?

The fruit is not a token sprinkle, nor a decorative touch. The fruit makes up the bulk of this meal. There’s fiber in the fruit, and plant sugars in their natural form, not to mention healthy fat in the nuts, and protein in the yogurt. A low-sugar yogurt will leave us feeling more satisfied, for longer. We won’t get the insulin spike that triggers hunger pangs (unlike when we eat processed carbs).

If you want to step it up a notch, ditch the dairy. We can get plenty of calcium and other vitamins from leafy greens and other veggies. Personally, I’m not there yet, as I love yogurt, and have weighed the added benefits of my beloved creamy protein and probiotics against the recognized risks of regular consumption of animal products. So, I limit my intake of animal products as much as I can, and enjoy my daily morning yogurt.


Source: Harvard Medical School

Statins May Raise Odds for Type 2 Diabetes

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . .

Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins may lower your risk of heart disease, but also might boost the odds you’ll develop type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

“In a group of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, statins do seem to increase the risk of developing diabetes by about 30 percent,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jill Crandall. She’s a professor of medicine and director of the diabetes clinical trials unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

But, she added, that doesn’t mean anyone should give up on statins.

“The benefits of statins in terms of cardiovascular risk are so strong and so well established that our recommendation isn’t that people should stop taking statins, but people should be monitored for the development of diabetes while on a statin,” she explained.

At least one other diabetes expert agreed that statins are still beneficial for those at risk of heart trouble.

Dr. Daniel Donovan Jr. is professor of medicine and director of clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute in New York City.

“We still need to give statins when LDL (bad) cholesterol isn’t under control. A statin intervention can lower the risk of a cardiovascular event by 40 percent, and it’s possible the diabetes may have been destined to happen,” he said.

The new study is an analysis of data collected from another ongoing study. More than 3,200 adults were recruited from 27 diabetes centers across the United States for the study.

The research goal was to prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes in people with a high risk of the disease, Crandall said. All of the study participants were overweight or obese. They also all showed signs that they weren’t metabolizing sugar properly at the start of the study, but not poorly enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Study volunteers were randomly chosen to get treatment with lifestyle changes that would lead to modest weight loss, the drug metformin or a placebo pill.

At the end of the intervention, they were asked to participate in the 10-year follow-up program. They had their blood sugar levels measured twice a year, and their statin use was tracked, too.

At the start of the follow-up period, 4 percent of participants were taking statins. At the end, about one-third were.

Simvastatin (Zocor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor) were the most commonly used statins.

The study was an observational study, so it couldn’t show a cause and effect relationship.

However, Crandall said the researchers measured levels of insulin secretion and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body usher the sugar from foods into the body’s cells to be used as fuel.

Crandall said insulin secretion goes down when people take statins. Less insulin would lead to higher blood sugar levels. She said there was no indication that statins affected insulin resistance.

Donovan added that the study provides important information. “But I don’t think the message is stop statins,” he said. “Most people are probably developing heart disease before diabetes, and it’s important to treat the risk factors you can.”

Though they weren’t included in this study, people who already have type 2 diabetes should be closely monitored for increases in blood sugar when they start taking a statin, Crandall said. “The evidence so far is rather limited, but there have certainly been anecdotal reports of blood sugar being higher when someone starts statins,” she said.

She also suggested that blood sugar levels likely aren’t as much of a concern for those without diabetes or risk factors for diabetes when starting a statin. Besides excess weight, those risks include older age, high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes.

Crandall added that there are many people 50 and over with prediabetes who don’t know it, so it could be an issue for them.

Findings from the study were published online in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Source: HealthDay

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