Analyzing DNA from Pap smears could help detect endometrial and ovarian cancer, according to a new study appearing in the 9 January issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The finding could be a potentially life-saving screening tool for women. The routine Pap smear, which allows doctors to detect abnormal cells in a woman’s cervix, was recently updated to screen for human papillomavirus or HPV using DNA testing.
A new study of foot-and-mouth disease shows that cattle afflicted with the virus are only infectious for a brief window of time—about half as long as previously thought. This finding suggests that the controversial control measures used to halt the disease’s spread, such as killing large numbers of livestock, could be reduced.
The discovery is also changing the way that scientists think about infectious diseases in general.
A microchip can capture and take snapshots of rare cancer cells circulating in the blood, which may provide a way to monitor patients after tumor removal and could eventually guide treatment, reports a new study in Science Translational Medicine. These circulating tumor cells, though small in number, might be an important marker that can help doctors quickly spot any changes in cancer progression and determine whether or not a particular treatment is working.