Health Highlights: Oct. 9, 201210/09/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Scientists Aim to Make Human Sperm, Eggs from Stem Cells
A team of U.S. scientists says their goal is to use embryonic
stem cells to create human sperm for reproduction within two years
and eggs within five years.
They said they were "reinvigorated" by the success of Kyoto
University researchers in Japan who used mice stem cells to create
eggs, which were fertilized to produce baby mice,
"We've been mostly working on the human system to do the same things -- to make mature eggs and mature sperm in a dish," Dr. Renee Pera, of Stanford University in California, explained.
Achieving their goal could help improve understanding about
embryos and the reproductive process and eventually provide new
options for infertile couples,
About 15 percent of reproductive-aged couples worldwide are
Soda Vending Machines to Display Calorie Counts
Some soft drink makers are introducing new vending machines that
display calorie counts to consumers.
The information will be on the buttons of the Coke, Pepsi and
Dr. Pepper machines, which will also remind consumers that they can
choose a low-calorie drink. The new machines will be introduced in
Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings in 2013 before being
distributed nationally, the
Monday's announcement comes ahead of proposed new rules expected
as early as next year that would require restaurant chains and
vending machines to post calorie information.
"This would be an important step forward," said Mike Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which promotes safe food and nutrition. "Currently, people don't think about calories when they go up to a vending machine. Having the calories right on the button will help them make choices," he told the AP.
Stem Cell Researchers Receive Nobel Prize
This year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to
two researchers for their work showing that mature, specialized
cells can be reprogrammed into stem cells.
The findings by British researcher John Gurdon and Japanese
researcher Shinya Yamanaka is being used by scientists to try to
find ways to create replacement tissues for treating diseases such
as diabetes and Parkinson's, and for laboratory research studying
the causes of diseases, the
In announcing the award Monday, the prize committee said the two
researchers' work "revolutionized our understanding of how cells
and organisms develop."
In 1962, Gurdon showed that the DNA from specialized cells of
frogs, such as skin or intestinal cells, could be used to generate
new tadpoles. The findings showed that DNA still had its ability to
drive the formation of all cells of the body, the
In 2006, Yamanaka showed that a relatively simple process could
turn mature cells back into primitive cells, which in turn could be
coaxed into becoming different kinds of mature cells.
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