New Benefit of Breastfeeding Has Been Uncovered

Breastfeeding gives infants better chance of immunity to various illnesses. This is because the mother’s antibodies are passed to the baby through the breastmilk. Since vaccines are not given until the two-month mark, this is a great benefit for these tiny beings who are exposed to new germs and potentially fatal viruses with a brand-new immune system.


Study Finds Breastfeeding Beneficial When it Comes to Leukemia

A new study has discovered that breastfeeding has been found to be linked to lower instances of childhood leukemia. Throughout the world, 175,000 cases of childhood leukemia are diagnosed annually.

Those cases are found in children age 15 and under. More than 18 studies on childhood leukemia and the potential connections to breastfeeding were looked at by researchers who published findings in the periodical JAMA Pediatrics. These studies were reviewed for their information regarding the likelihood of diagnosis of childhood leukemia and the proportion of children who were breastfed at all versus those who were never the recipients of breast milk.


Decrease of Leukemia Risk Found to be almost 20-percent

breastfeeding benefitsThose researchers determined that a 19-percent decreased risk of childhood leukemia occurred when individuals were breastfed for six months or longer. Indeed, even those children who were breastfed less than six months received an 11-percent decreased risk of being diagnosed with childhood leukemia, compared to those children who were only fed formula.

It is important to note that this study looked at 18 studies that were completed. It is possible that other factors, like selectional bias for test subjects or outlying factors that influenced both the breastfeeding aspect of the surveys and the risks of childhood leukemia were not appropriately weighed during this study of those previously completed studies.

Researchers noted the importance of emphasizing the health benefits of breastfeeding to new mothers and those who hoped to become pregnant. They also noted the need for further studies regarding this topic, in order to deal with various other factors and improve the clarity of the results showing this connection.

Researchers also noted the importance of sharing the health benefits of breastfeeding with society in general, as part of an effort to normalize breastfeeding and save more lives from childhood leukemia. This would be a great step forward for society and for science, as it finds an already important life choice for women to be helpful further in protecting children from leukemia. In order to better serve the future of humans, it is a great thing that breastfeeding can be even more beneficial.…

Good News From Rabbits: Rabbit Virus Could Improve Safety for Bone Marrow Transplants

rabbit virusStudying the viruses in animals that have no ability to cross over to humans and cause death or serious illness can sometimes have surprising results. The myxoma virus, which causes myxomatosis in rabbits, was used as a pesticide in Australia. Now, the virus has been found to kill cancerous cells in humans and also is credited with preventing one of the most serious complications that are found in a bone marrow transplant – the graft-versus-host disease.

This could have an extremely positive impact on the future success of bone marrow transplants for humans. The myxoma virus is benign in humans, despite its fatal impact on rabbits. Therefore, the discovery of its benefits to those who require a bone marrow transplant is a welcome one. Not only can it prevent the complications, but it also was found to kill cancer cells at the same time. This means a two-pronged approach to eradicating leukemia through one treatment.


Progress Involving the Use of the Myxoma Virus Has Long Way to Go

Researchers hope to expand on their current research, utilizing a mouse impact study to move their research closer to a point where it can be used successfully for humans, particularly those who are at a high risk for graft-versus-host disease. These individuals are typically the ones that have difficulty finding a donor and usually are attempting a successful transplant with only a partial match.

The current status of the studies involving the Myxoma Virus is preliminary, since the study was done only in the laboratory involving human cells, when the virus was attached to white blood cells, known as T cells. The virus and T cell combination was then added to a bone marrow transplant, which is when they were found to kill cancer cells and prevent the graft-versus-host disease.


Potential for Virus to Help with Other Cancers Is Unknown

It is hoped that the process of using the myxoma virus to prevent graft-versus-host disease and also to kill cancer cells can be adjusted to have positive effects on other forms of cancer. In the meantime, the virus will be studied and a clinical grade of the virus created. Future trials will need to be funded, and the process refined.

Still, the potential benefits of a virus that is fatal in rabbits is ironic and yet intriguing. It is extremely difficult to understand at times the processes that nature uses to keep one species from over-populating while it provides another species the means to keep more of its ill population alive.…