Fly mutation suggests link to human brain disease

Greater insight into human brain disease may emerge from studies of a new genetic mutation that causes adult fruit flies to develop symptoms akin to Alzheimer’s disease. “This is the first fruit fly mutant to show some of the outward, physical manifestations common to certain major human neurodegenerative diseases,” said principal investigator Michael McKeown, a biology professor at Brown University. A research team found the mutation in a gene they named “blue cheese.”

Novel ‘red wine’ cancer trial announced

Researchers in Leicester, England and Michigan will begin tests on a new cancer prevention drug, based on a natural compound found in red wine. The compound, resveratrol, is a natural agent found in grapes, peanuts and several berries. It is present in fruit juice from these berries and in wine. Consumption of resveratrol has been proposed as one possible explanation for the low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Southern European countries with high red wine consumption, and resveratrol has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity in experimental models.