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Test That Can Spot 18 Early-Stage Cancer Signals Shows 84% Sensitivity in First Human Trial

in Health 56 views

An experimental cancer test already being studied in humans shows that by examining blood proteins instead of tumor DNA, it may be possible to detect up to 18 early-stage cancers with exceptional accuracy.

Cancer tests don’t often use the same methods of detection, and having one or two unified testing options would likely save thousands of lives.

A US biotech firm called Novelna recently presented their findings of a trial of 440 humans with a total of 18 different cancers. Blood plasma samples were taken from each patient, along with 44 healthy blood donors.

By analyzing trace proteins in the blood, the Novelna team were able to achieve a high “sensitivity,” or the detection rate of early-stage tumors, and a high “specificity” or the control for false-positives. Furthermore, the proteins controlled for in the test are sex-specific.

At stage I (the earliest cancer stage) and at the specificity of 99%, the panels were able to identify 93% of cancers among males and 84% of cancers among females.

“This finding is the foundation for a multi-cancer screening test for the early detection of 18 solid tumors that cover all major human organs of origin for such cancers at the earliest stage of their development with high accuracy,” the authors wrote in the journal BMJ Oncology. “These findings pave the way for a cost-effective, highly accurate, multi-cancer screening test that can be implemented on a population-wide scale.”

The team acknowledged the small trial size and admitted that larger trials would be needed to confirm the accuracy already established, but they also highlighted that almost all of the proteins for almost all of the cancers were present in the blood samples at very low levels, indicating the importance of such tests for catching tumors before they form.

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Tobacco, E-Cigarette Use Declines Among High Schoolers, Report Shows

in Health/People 74 views

According to a national survey by the FDA and CDC, tobacco use among high schoolers is falling, including the use of E-cigarettes.

The last vestiges of smoking seen as what the cool kids do may finally be falling away from American society, with the survey reporting that smoking rates among high school-aged teens fell around 25% between 2022 and 2023.

Overall, 12.6% of high schoolers said they currently use tobacco products, down from over 21% in 2009-2010.

E-cigarettes followed suit with a greater than 25% fall in use among high schoolers to just 10% of those surveyed.

In the survey, 22,069 students from 179 schools participated, with an overall response rate of 30.5%, however, a potential drawback was that it was a self-administered questionnaire, and teenagers are not famous for their honesty when questioned about illegal behavior.

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Classical Symphonies Can Synchronize Heart, Lungs, and Even Electrical Impulses of the Listener

in Art/Entertainment 364 views

The perfect synchronicity of a classical symphony has the power to similarly synchronize the movement, heart rate, breathing rate, and the electrical conductivity of skin between audience members,

The beautiful finding comes from a study of 132 people and three classical pieces: Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Op. 104 in C minor,” Brett Dean’s “Epitaphs,” and Johannes Brahms’ “Op. 111 in G major.”

Previous studies, the authors note, have shown that music may be able to induce synchronization in listeners, but there has been little investigation into whether concert audiences become synchronized.

Most synchronization in humans is caused by a direct social interaction with another person and is typically found in breathing or walking.

Professor Wolfgang Tschacher and his colleagues at the University of Bern in Switzerland observed 132 people whilst they listened to a string quintet of the three pieces whilst monitoring them in several ways.

Participants’ movement was tracked with overhead cameras and their physical responses with wearable sensors. They were also asked to fill out a questionnaire about their personality and mood.

The authors observed significant synchronization between audience members for movement, heart rate, breathing rate, and the electrical conductivity of skin (which indicates arousal of the sympathetic nervous system). The greatest level of synchronization was seen in the breathing rate.

Additionally, the personality traits of a listener were associated with their likelihood of synchronizing physical responses—those with agreeableness or openness traits were more likely to become synchronized, whilst those with neurotic or extravert traits were less likely to become synchronized.

These are four of the “Big Five” personality traits, with openness being typical of creative types, and agreeableness found in people who find tension and conflict very difficult.

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