Patients would 'embrace' care.data if they understood it, jet lag cure, crackdown on slum landlords and exploding cells to fight cancer
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 21 March.
Patients would embrace the controversial care.data records sharing system as a ‘no-brainer’ if they knew the real reasons behind its introduction, the head of the Medical Research Council said in an interview reported in The Guardian.
Professor Sir John Savill said that the wealth of information available would represent the ‘best laboratory in the world’ and could be used to drive on research to bring improvements in healthcare. He said: ‘The act of studying de-identified data in a safe haven without specific consent does not to my mind threaten confidentiality.’
Night workers and people with jet lag could soon have an instant method of re-adjusting their body clock – a pill. The Daily Telegraph says that the medication – developed by Manchester University researchers – suppresses a certain enzyme and enables the body to get itself back in synch. Lead researcher Dr David Bechtold said: ‘As this work progresses in clinical terms we may be able to enhance the body clock’s ability to deal with shift and how the maladaption of the clock contributes to diseases such as diabetes.’
Students are calling for tough measures against landlords who expose them to health risks in dirty homes infested with mice and insects. The Daily Mail reports on an investigation by the National Union of Students, which concluded that almost a quarter of student accommodation has slugs, rodents or other infestation. Condensation, cold rooms and mould were also common. NUS vice-president for welfare Colum McGuire said: ‘Our research has raised alarming health and safety issues and we are calling for more effective enforcement of standards to ensure students’ homes are fit for study.’
Swedish scientists believe they have found a new way of trying to defeat cancer – by exploding the cells, according to The Independent.
They gave mice Vacquinol-1, which causes the outer wall of a cancer cell to collapse, and the cell to explode. ‘This is an entirely new mechanism for cancer treatment,’ said one of the researchers, Patrik Ernfors, a professor of tissue biology at the Karolinska Institute.