Amino acid in asparagus could cause cancer to spread, study says

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

Study Says Asparagus May Cause Cancer To Spread

Are you a fan of asparagus? Beware, because the food contains an amino acid that has been associated with spreading breast cancer, according to a new report.

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Researchers from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute recently conducted an experiment, published in the Nature journal, to determine how asparagine, the amino acid that builds protein, may be linked to the disease. Foods with higher concentrations of the compound include asparagus, soy, dairy, poultry and seafood.

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To do so, they attempted to block the production of asparagine in mice with a drug called L-asparaginase. They also fed the animals a low-asparagine diet. After analyzing the results, they found that both methods reduced breast cancer’s ability to spread.

Scientists then used the mice studies to assess human breast cancer patients. They discovered “the greater the ability of breast cancer cells to make asparagine, the more likely the disease is to spread,” the authors wrote. They said this could also be the case for kidney and head and neck cancers.

>> On AJC.com: Breast cancer treatment may trigger heart problems, study says

“Our work has pinpointed one of the key mechanisms that promotes the ability of breast cancer cells to spread. When the availability of asparagine was reduced, we saw little impact on the primary tumour in the breast, but tumour cells had reduced capacity for metastases in other parts of the body,” the study’s lead author, Greg Hannon, said in a statement. “This finding adds vital information to our understanding of how we can stop cancer spreading – the main reason patients die from their disease.”

In addition to chemotherapy, researchers believe doctors should give patients asparagine-restricted diets to help prevent the illness from spreading. They also want to further their investigations to understand how to make the drug work with patients.

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“The next step in the research would be to understand how this translates from the lab to patients and which patients are most likely to benefit from any potential treatment,” study co-author Charles Swanton added. “It’s possible that in future, this drug could be repurposed to help treat breast cancer patients.”

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Father of CDC employee missing 10 days says disappearance 'not normal'

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 10:56 PM

Timothy Jerrell Cunningham
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Timothy Jerrell Cunningham(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Timothy Jerrell Cunningham called out of work sick at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10 days ago and hasn’t been heard from since, police say.

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His father, Terrell Cunningham, said something must be wrong. 

When the 35-year-old’s parents arrived in Atlanta from Maryland, they used a spare key to enter the house and found Timothy’s car, keys, wallet and phone, WSB-TV reported

"It's not the type of news you want to hear,” Terrell Cunningham said. “Your child is missing. Thirty-five years old, but always your child."

The father said his son is an accomplished man who graduated from Morehouse and earned a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University. As an epidemic intelligence officer, Timothy Cunningham has been deployed for public health emergencies, including superstorm Sandy, Ebola and Zika. 

It’s unusual for him not to contact family, his father said.

"This is not normal,” Terrell Cunningham said. “This is definitely out of the ordinary."

Family and friends hope the missing man will be found safe. 

Timothy Cunningham is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

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Woman prevents girl’s kidnapping by pretending to be potential victim’s mother

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 10:53 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A woman dropping her child off at a Santa Ana, California, middle school is credited with preventing the kidnapping of a young girl walking to school, according to news outlets.

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Amy Martinez was on her way to school Wednesday morning when a strange woman approached her and forced her to begin walking away with her, according to KTLA-TV.

"She just came up to me and went like this," the girl explained to KTLA as she described the woman grabbing her in a hug. “And then she started walking with me away.”

The girl screamed out for help and that’s when a good Samaritan, who wanted to remain anonymous, saw what was happening and quickly jumped into action.

She pretended to be the girl’s mother and demanded the woman release her.

"I was basically yelling, 'Let her go,' so as soon as my voice changed, she let her go and Amy walked into my car," the woman said, according to KTRK-TV.

She took the frightened girl to school and called police.

A mugshot of the suspect, Claudia Hernandez Diaz, in the attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl in Santa Ana, Calif., Wednesday morning.(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect, identified as Claudia Hernandez Diaz, was arrested and later described as homeless by authorities.

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Amy Martinez said the woman who saved her is a “hero.”

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

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With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

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He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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