Bidis, other smoking products no safer than conventional cigarettes

Studies published over the past several months disprove claims that products such as additive-free cigarettes, bidis, and novel cigarette-like devices are less toxic than conventional cigarettes. A study published in the December 2002 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research examined the effects of bidis–hand-rolled cigarettes from India–and additive-free American Spirit cigarettes. Bidis are popular with adolescents because many perceive them to be less of a risk to health than regular cigarettes, and because they are manufactured in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate or root beer.

Fasting forestalls Huntington's disease in mice

Decreasing meal frequency and caloric intake protects nerve cells from genetically induced damage, delays the onset of Huntington’s disease-like symptoms in mice, and prolongs the lives of affected rodents, according to investigators at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Intramural Research Program. This animal study* is the first to suggest that a change in diet can influence the course of Huntington’s disease.

House Cleaning at Human Genome Project

The National Human Genome Research Institute said today it has made several key personnel changes, including the appointment of a new scientific director to run its intramural research program, a new director for the extramural program that oversaw the Human Genome Project and new advisors in the Office of the Director.

New strategy may protect brain against stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

Federal researchers say they’ve developed several drug candidates that show promise in protecting the brain against damage from stroke, with the potential to fight chronic neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as well.. The drugs, called p53 inhibitors, attack a key protein involved in nerve cell death and represent a new strategy for preserving brain function following sudden injury or chronic disease.

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