Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 20/09/2017

In today’s talking points: Dieting intermittently shows better results that one continuous diet; New bacteria found could lead to a vaccine for Gonorrhoea; Researchers find carbohydrates play a part in transmitting malaria; Liver cancer cases decreased by Hep B virus treatment.

Dieting intermittently shows better results than one continuous diet

A new study from the University of Tasmania has revealed that the key to losing weight may be in dieting intermittently rather than one continuous diet over a long length of time. The study involved two groups of people dieting over a period of 16 weeks. One group dieted continuously while the other dieted for two weeks, took a break of two weeks and repeated this cycle to make up 16 weeks of dieting. The results revealed that those who dieted on and off lost more weight but also maintained that weight loss more than the participants who dieted continuously did, once the experiment was finished.

Read more at: Daily Telegraph

New bacteria found could lead to a vaccine for Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease that affects the reproductive system and neonatal health if left untreated. It affects millions of people around the world and has up to 80 million new cases reported every year. It also resists all antibiotics used to treat the infection and is therefore classes as a ‘superbug’. While Gonnorrhoea is a destructive infection due to it being hard to treat, researchers at the Oregon State University have recently found a pair of proteins that could serve as the basis for a vaccine. The research found that the two proteins, NGO1985 and NGO2121, demonstrated a sensitivity to antimicrobial compounds and therefore are good candidates for further research into a vaccine.

Read more at: Xinhua

Researchers find carbohydrates play a part in transmitting malaria

Malaria parasites need carbohydrates to pass on the deadly disease to humans, Australian researchers have discovered. The findings, made by experts from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, discredits the idea that parasites only require proteins to infect humans with malaria – thereby possibly opening the way to new treatments. Justin Boddey told the ABC they were aiming to “engineer ways to put the carbohydrates onto the protein,” which they hoped would occur within the next couple of years. More than 200 million people are struck down by the malaria parasite each year, with over 650,000 people dying from the disease last year.

Read more at: ABC 

Liver cancer cases decreased by Hepatitis B virus treatment

Treatment of Hepatitis B is linked to lower rates of liver cancer, new research undertaken by the University of Hong Kong shows. In a study revealed last week, the university’s research team gathered data for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) out-patient clinics in Hong Kong between 1999 and 2012, particularly looking at the impact of treatment “on liver cancer trends”. According to the results, HBV treatment is related to a drop in overall liver cancer rates. For example, men between 55 and 64 years old who underwent HBV treatment had liver cancer incidence reduced by almost a quarter. Researchers attributed this to “high treatment prescription rate” and “high clinic attendance” among this group, China Daily reported.

Read more at: China Daily