W&F Week in Review: Sept 4 ’06

Good news on the cancer front, as both effective treatments and preventatives are announced. Gardasil and Cervarix are vaccines with proven efficacy in protecting against most human papillomavirus-caused (HPV) cervical cancers. Moreover, there are indications that Gardasil could protect against HPV strains it doesn’t immediately target, as effective antibodies against them are produced within the vaccine’s recipients.

National Cancer Institute researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland announced the first successful treatment of cancer through gene therapy. Two men (of 17 treated) whose white blood cells were modifed to recognize and attack advanced melanoma cells are still tumor-free roughly two years after initial treatment. The abstract may be seen here.

Steve Irwin, world-famous 44-year-old Australian ‘Crocodile Hunter’, was killed by a stingray barb piercing his heart. Mr Irwin was a ridiculously-likeable person, in my opinion, and his passing will sadden many.

Tom Cruise, perhaps hearing the fuse hissing on the bomb beneath his career, apologized to Brooke Shields for some extraordinarily insensitive public statements he uttered about the actress’s post-partum depression and the treatment she had been undergoing.

BBC News. Earthtimes.org. Reuters. StarNewsOnline.com.  Science.