Campus & Community

Research in brief

2 min read

No link between breast cancer and consumption of chips and fries

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, have found no association between acrylamide intake through foods and risk of breast cancer among Swedish women. Acrylamide appears to form as a result of a reaction between specific amino acids and sugars found in foods when heated to high temperatures. It’s found in foods such as potato chips, french fries, cereals, breads, biscuits, coffee, and meatballs, among others. The findings appear in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Twin study enlightens researchers on AMD development

To better understand the relative importance of genes and environment in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), researchers led by Johanna M. Seddon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, conducted the largest study of its kind. Analyses of monozygotic and dizygotic twins showed that genetic factors play a substantial role in the etiology of AMD and associated macular characteristics, explaining 46 percent to 71 percent of the variation in the overall severity of the disease. The researchers found that environmental factors unique to each twin also contribute to the occurrence of this disease. This quantification of relative contributions to the development of AMD should guide further research on this important cause of blindness. Their findings were published in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

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– Compiled by Alec Solomita