Healthcheck: Very Important pigs

October 5, 2008 6:07:46 AM PDT
A drug once used to treat asthma may help some people who've lost their sense of smell. Researchers tried the drug theophylline in patients who had lost the ability to smell due to low protein levels in nasal fluids.

After 6 months of treatment, more than 70% of the patients had regained some sense of smell.

Patients who lose their sense of smell often have problems tasting food and can't detect hazards such as leaking gas.

The toll of cancer

There's new evidence of the toll breast cancer can take on a woman's family.

Widener University researchers found that daughters affected by their mother's breast cancer experience are actually less likely to get mammograms, and to protect their own health.

The scientists say it's not unusual for daughters to develop post-traumatic stress from their mother's ordeal.

They say it's important for doctors to be on alert for anxiety .

Very important pigs

A University of Missouri team has developed pigs which mimic the symptoms of newborns with cystic fibrosis.

That's a genetic lung disease that strikes in childhood.

It's been 20 years since scientists identified the gene for CF.

But until now, they've never had an animal model to work with.

Dr. Randy Prather says the little pigs may help answer one of the big questions in the development of CF.

"What comes first during this, the lung infection or the CF? With these pigs we should be able to answer those questions," Dr. Prather said.

While treatments can extend the life of CF patients, there are no cures.


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