From AIDS to SARS to MERS, Emerging Infectious Diseases Remain a Dire Threat

Terminator Eyes: Hi-tech contact lenses show texts and maps.

Iafp-photo-torsten-blackwoodmagine texting while driving, or placing a call while showering, without holding your phone in your hands. It’s not sci-fi any more – a new technology allows information like text messages and driving directions to be projected onto a contact lens.

The hardware behind this invention is a spherical curved LCD display that can fit into a contact lens, developed by Ghent University‘s Centre of Microsystems Technology in Belgium.

“This is not science fiction,” chief researcher for the project Jelle De Smet told the Telegraph. “This will never replace the cinema screen for films. But for specific applications it may be interesting to show images such as road directions or projecting text messages from our smart phones straight to our eye.”

These lenses may hit the market within the next few years. In an upgrade from previous models, a new LCD display allows the entire curved surface of the lens to be used.

Earlier versions were based on LEDs, where the display resolution would be limited to only a small number of pixels.

The University of Washington has also been developing new generation of contact lenses that would receive emails and would be able to project information from the Internet, much like in the movie ‘Terminator.’

Other uses of the lens include the concept of adaptable sunglasses – the contact lenses would darken on exposure to light. The lenses could also be used in the fields of medicine and cosmetics.

These advances mark the push for a much wider development of the technology, with the aim of creating a fully pixelated contact lens display as detailed as a television screen.

Tech giants such as Google and Apple have been working to develop similar technology. This past year, Google introduced Project Glass – frames for eyeglasses that project a small computer display into a person’s field of vision. Apple has reportedly patented similar innovations.



brian-snyder-reuters.siThe hardware behind this invention is a spherical curved LCD display that can fit into a contact lens, developed by Ghent University’s Centre of Microsystems Technology in Belgium.

“This is not science fiction,” chief researcher for the project Jelle De Smet told the Telegraph. “This will never replace the cinema screen for films. But for specific applications it may be interesting to show images such as road directions or projecting text messages from our smart phones straight to our eye.”

These lenses may hit the market within the next few years. In an upgrade from previous models, a new LCD display allows the entire curved surface of the lens to be used.

Earlier versions were based on LEDs, where the display resolution would be limited to only a small number of pixels.

The University of Washington has also been developing new generation of contact lenses that would receive emails and would be able to project information from the Internet, much like in the movie ‘Terminator.’

Other uses of the lens include the concept of adaptable sunglasses – the contact lenses would darken on exposure to light. The lenses could also be used in the fields of medicine and cosmetics.

These advances mark the push for a much wider development of the technology, with the aim of creating a fully pixelated contact lens display as detailed as a television screen.

Tech giants such as Google and Apple have been working to develop similar technology. This past year, Google introduced Project Glass – frames for eyeglasses that project a small computer display into a person’s field of vision. Apple has reportedly patented similar innovations.

Bacterial Gene Transfer Gets Sexier.

Mycobacterium smegmatis can donate larger portions of its genome to other bacteria than previously thought, approaching the level of gene shuffling seen in sexual reproduction.


n what appears to be a novel form of bacterial gene transfer, or conjugation, the microbeMycobacterium smegmatis can share multiple segments of DNA at once to fellow members of its species, according to a study published today (July 9) in PLOS Biology. The result: the generation of genetic diversity at a pace once believed to be reserved for sexual organisms.

“It is a very nice study providing clear evidence that, in Mycobacterium smegmatis at least, conjugation underlies much of species diversity,” said Richard Meyer, who studies conjugation at The University of Texas at Austin, in an email toThe Scientist.

Traditionally, transfer of genetic material through conjugation has been considered an incremental process. Plasmids mediate the transfer of short segments of DNA, one at a time, between pairs of touching bacterial cells, often conferring such traits as antibiotic resistance.

But M. smegmatis, a harmless bacterium related to the pathogen M. tuberculosis, appears to use a more extensive method of gene shuffling, endowing each recipient cell with a different combination of new genes. The researchers dubbed this form of conjugation “distributive conjugal transfer.” “We can generate a million [hybrid bacteria] overnight, and each of those million will be different than each other,” said coauthor Todd Gray, a geneticist at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center.

Coauthor Keith Derbyshire, also a geneticist at the Wadsworth Center, and colleagues had previously published data indicating that M. smegmatis used a novel form of conjugation, but the new study confirms and expands on their suspicions using genetic data. The researchers compared the whole genome sequences of donor and recipient bacteria before and after the massive gene transfers.

The researchers found that, after the transfers, up to a quarter of the recipient bacteria’s genomes were made up of donated DNA, scattered through the chromosomes in segments of varying lengths.

According to the authors, the diversity resulting from distributive conjugal transfer approaches that achieved by meiosis, the process of cell division that underlies sexual reproduction. “The progeny were like meiotic blends,” said Derbyshire. “The genomes are totally mosaic.”

The genes and machinery behind distributive conjugal transfer remain largely unknown, but Gray, Derbyshire, and colleagues have zeroed in on a region of the genome that may determine whether a bacterium becomes a DNA donor or recipient. The region encodes the ESX-1 family of proteins, which are also involved in secreting molecules from M. tuberculosis that give the bacterium its pathogenicity.

The researchers suspect distributive conjugal transfer is important in multiple species of Mycobacteria. Earlier this year, Roland Brosch, a tuberculosis researcher at the Pasteur Institute in France, and colleagues sequenced various strains of the pathogenic M. canettii, which is closely related to M. tuberculosis, and found they were genetically variable—possible evidence of distributive conjugal transfer, according to Gray and Derbyshire. Brosch said he had not yet been able to demonstrate distributive conjugal transfer in M. canettii, however, and he noted that such large-scale gene transfer is unlikely to be occurring in M. tuberculosis, which is a highly genetically homogenous species that shows little sign of recent horizontal gene transfer.

Brosch agreed with Derbyshire and Gray that distributive conjugal transfer could have been important in the evolutionary history of the Mycobacteria genus as a whole, however.  Gray pointed out that understanding the prevalence of distributive conjugal transfer could change views on the time scale of mycobacterial evolution. “I think it’s really going to open some eyes about how quickly things can change,” he said.

Asked whether distributive conjugal transfer could be happening in bacteria outside of theMycobacterium genus, Derbyshire said it remained a mystery, but added: “It’s likely to be more prevalent than currently is known.”

T.A. Gray, “Distributive conjugal transfer in Mycobacteria generates progeny with meiotic-like genome-wide mosaicism, allowing mapping of a mating identity locus,” PLOS Biology, 11: e1001602, 2013.



sexual reproduction mycobacteriaDNA sequencingdiversityconjugationbacterial evolution andbacteria


UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have identified the specific antibodies that target fetal brain proteins in the blood of a subset of women whose children are diagnosed with autism. The finding is the first to pinpoint a specific risk factor for a significant subset of autism cases, as well as a biomarker for drug development and early diagnosis. The researchers have named autism related to these antibodies “Maternal Autoantibody-Related,” or MAR autism.


The study found that the mothers of children with autism were more than 21 times as likely to have the specific MAR antibodies in their systems that reacted with fetal brain proteins, or antigens, than were the mothers of children who did not have autism. In fact, specific combinations of MAR antibodies were not found in the blood of mothers whose children were typically developing.

The research, “Autism-specific maternal autoantibodies recognize critical proteins in developing brain,” is published online today in Translational Psychiatry, a Nature journal.

The study was led by principal investigator and immunologist Judy Van de Water, a researcher affiliated with the MIND Institute. Earlier studies by Van de Water and her colleagues found that women with certain antibodies in their bloodstreams are at greater risk of having a child with autism and that their children exhibited more severe language delays, irritability and self-injurious behaviors than did the autistic children of mothers whose blood did not have the antibodies.

“Now we will be able to better determine the role of each protein in brain development,” said Van de Water, professor of internal medicine. “We hope that, one day, we can tell a mother more precisely what her antibody profile means for her child, then target interventions more effectively.”

To identify the exact antigens targeted by the mothers’ antibodies, Van de Water and her colleagues conducted the research in Northern California using blood samples from 246 mothers of children with autism and of a control group of 149 mothers of children without autism to examine their reactivity with the candidate antigens.

Seven antigens were significantly more reactive to the blood of mothers of children with autism than to that of the control mothers. The study found that the mothers with antibodies that reacted with any one of these antigens, either individually or in combination with other antigens, were more than three times as likely to have a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Several combinations of antibodies in the blood from mothers of children with autism were not found in the control mothers’ blood. Nearly 23 percent of mothers of children with autism had certain combinations of autoantibodies against the target antigens, compared with less than 1 percent of mothers of children without the disorder.

The specific antigens identified in the study are lactate dehydrogenase A and B, cypin (guanine deaminase), stress-induced phosphoprotein 1, collapsing response mediator proteins 1 and 2, and Y-box binding protein. All are found throughout the body, but also are expressed at significant levels in the human fetal brain and have established roles in neurodevelopment. For example, cypin is an enzyme that plays an important role in normal neurite branching, a fundamental function in the developing brain, whereas the CRMP proteins are critical later in neuron development for axon outgrowth.

Maternal antibodies are known to cross the placenta during pregnancy and can be detected in a fetus as early as 13 weeks. By 30 weeks, maternal antibody levels in the fetus are about half that of the mother, and at birth, the concentration is even greater in the newborn than in the mother herself. The maternal antibodies stay in the baby’s bloodstream for about 6 months after birth, after which the baby’s own immune system takes over.

Once in the fetal bloodstream, the antibodies then may enter the brain and attack cells that have corresponding proteins that act as antigens. This antigen-antibody response is an important defense against foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses, but is not normally directed against oneself. When directed against one’s own tissue, the antibodies are known as autoantibodies.

“It is important to note that women have no control over whether or not they develop these autoantibodies, much like any other autoimmune disorder,” Van de Water said. “And, like other autoimmune disorders, we do not know what the initial trigger is that leads to their production.”

Understanding which proteins and which pathways are implicated in MAR autism can help elucidate the causes of autism and possibly lead to new therapies, such as administering ‘antibody blockers’ to the mother during pregnancy to prevent damage to the developing fetal brain, Van de Water said.

These findings are leading to the development of a MAR diagnostic test for autism, which would be available to the mothers of young children who are showing signs of developmental delay. If the test were positive, the child would be a candidate for early behavioral intervention.

“These findings are incredibly important because they establish a cause for a significant portion of autism cases, thereby opening up new lines of inquiry into possible biological treatments,” said MIND Institute Director Leonard Abbeduto. “In addition, the findings demonstrate that a diagnostic test is within reach. This test would be invaluable for women who are considering becoming pregnant and could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis of children with developmental challenges and help get them into behavioral interventions at younger ages.”

A MAR diagnostic test also would assess a mother’s risk of having a child with autism prior to conception, which is particularly important for women who already have a child with the disorder. UC Davis has patented this technology and licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop it for commercial purposes to Pediatric Bioscience, Inc.

“We know that early behavioral interventions for autism are critical,” said Isaac Pessah, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and former director of the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health. “Developing a predictive test for autism before symptoms become obvious could have an enormous impact on treating children with the condition.”

Study participants were from the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment) study, an ongoing study that was launched in 2001 by the MIND Institute and the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health, of which Van de Water now is director. Children with autism spectrum disorder, children with developmental delay and typically developing children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are studied with the goal of better understanding the causes of autism.

A related study is the MARBLES (Markers of Autism Risk in Babies ― Learning Early Signs) study, also being conducted at the MIND Institute and the Center for Children’s Environmental Health. This study follows pregnant women who already have a child with autism. Multiple factors related to genetics and the environment is under study in an effort to uncover predictors for having a child with autism.

Van de Water said knowing the specific protein targets of the maternal antibodies enables researchers to develop more precise animal models of autism.

The study was funded by NIEHS grants P01 ES11269-01 and 1 R01-ES015359; United States Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program grant R829388; the UC Davis MIND Institute; and an Autism Speaks graduate fellowship.

Other authors include Daniel Braunschweig, Paula Krakowiak, Paul Duncanson, Robert Boyce, Robin Hansen, Paul Ashwood and Irva Hertz-Picciotto, all of UC Davis.

At the UC Davis MIND Institute, world-renowned scientists engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research to find the causes of and develop treatments and cures for autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fragile X syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, Down syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders.



Scientists have discovered more than 3,500 unique gene sequences in Lake Vostok – the underground Antarctic water reservoir isolated from the outside world for 15 million years – revealing a complex ecosystem far beyond anything they could have expected.

“The bounds on what is habitable and what is not are changing,” said Scott Rogers, Bowling Green State University professor of biological sciences, who led a genetic study of the contents of half a liter of water brought back from the lake after it was drilled by Russian scientists last year.

“We found much more complexity than anyone thought,”
 Rogers said. “It really shows the tenacity of life, and how organisms can survive in places where a couple dozen years ago we thought nothing could survive.”

There are few places on Earth more hostile to life forms than Lake Vostok, the largest subglacial lake in the Antarctic, and initially Rogers believed that the water from it may have been completely sterile.

Water is located 4,000 meters below the ice, which completely blocks sunlight, and creates huge pressure on the liquid. It is also literally located in the coldest place on Earth: the world’s lowest temperature of -89.2C was recorded at Vostok Station above the reservoir.

But after using bleach to remove outer layers of the ice (the form in which the water was extracted from the lake) which could potentially have been contaminated during the drilling, and conducting RNA and DNA testing, thousands of microscopic life forms, predominantly bacteria, were detected.


Many had expected that if any life forms were to be found in the frozen crypt, they would be uniquely adapted to the harsh environment, and perhaps entirely different as a result of being shielded from evolution of life elsewhere on the planet for millions of years.

Rogers, who has just published his findings in PLOS One magazine, says this has not turned out to be the case.

“Many of the species we sequenced are what we would expect to find in a lake. Most of the organisms appear to be aquatic (freshwater), and many are species that usually live in ocean or lake sediments.”

Rogers’ team believes the relative ordinariness of the organisms discovered may be due to the fact that they are left there as a legacy of when Antarctica had a temperate climate 35 million years ago, rather than as a result of evolution inside the lake.

Some of the organisms found in Lake Vostok commonly exist in ocean environments (in the digestive systems of fish and crustaceans) suggesting that the reservoir was once connected to a bigger body of saltwater.

But Rogers believes “two huge drops of temperature” cut it off and conserved it in its present state.

Yet the study is not excluding the possibility of startling discoveries.

“It’s a very challenging project and the more you study, the more you want to know. Every day you are discovering something new and that leads to more questions to be answered,” said Yury Shtarkman, who conducted many of the analyses, and believes it could take a lifetime to untangle the secrets of the lake.




Could “Magic” Mushrooms Be Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression?

Emerging research indicates that low doses of the active chemical psilocybin can have positive psychiatric effects.

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression
In the 1960s and early 70s, researchers such as Harvard’s Timothy Leary enthusiastically promoted the study of so-called “magic” mushrooms (formally known as psilocybin mushrooms) and championed their potential benefits for psychiatry. For a brief moment, it seemed that controlled experiments with mushrooms and other psychedelics would enter the scientific mainstream.

Then, everything changed. A backlash against the 1960s’ drug culture—along with Leary himself, who was arrested for drug possession—made research nearly impossible. The federal government criminalized mushrooms, and research ground to a halt for over 30 years.

But recently, over the past few yearsthe pendulum has swung back in the other direction. And now, new research into the mind-altering chemical psilocybin in particular—the hallucinogenic ingredient in “magic” mushrooms—has indicated that carefully controlled, low doses of it might be an effective way of treating people with clinical depression and anxiety.

The latest study, published last week in Experimental Brain Research, showed that dosing mice with a purified form of psilocybin reduced their outward signs of fear. The rodents in the study had been conditioned to associate a particular noise with the feeling of being electrically shocked, and all the mice in the experiment kept freezing in fear when the sound was played even after the shocking apparatus was turned off. Mice who were given low doses of the drug, though, stopped freezing much earlier on, indicating that they were able to disassociate the stimuli and the negative experience of pain more easily.

Psilocybe cubensis is the most common species of psilocybin mushrooms - Could “Magic” Mushrooms Be Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression

Psilocybin, the active chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms. (Black = carbon atoms, white = hydrogen, red = oxygen, blue = nitrogen, and orange = phosphorus.)


It’s difficult to ask a tortured mouse why exactly it feels less fearful (and presumably even more difficult when that mouse is in the midst of a mushroom trip). But a handful of other recent studies have demonstrated promising effects of psilocybin on a more communicative group of subjects: humans.

In 2011, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry by researchers from UCLA and elsewhere found that low doses of psilocybin improved the moods and reduced the anxiety of 12 late-stage terminal cancer patients over a long period. These were patients aged 36 to 58 who suffered from depression and had failed to respond to conventional medications.

Psilocybin the active chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms (Black carbon atoms, white hudrogen, red oxygen, blue nitrogen and orange phosphorus)- 3D - spacefill

Each patient was given either a pure dose of psilocybin or a placebo, and asked to report their levels of depression and anxiety several times over the next few months. Those who’d been dosed with psilocybinhad lower anxiety levels at one and three months, and reduced levels of depression starting two weeks after treatment and continuing for a full six months, the entire period covered by the study. Additionally, carefully administering low doses and controlling the environment prevented any participants from having a negative experience while under the influence (colloquially, a “bad trip.”)

A research group from Johns Hopkins has conducted the longest-running controlled study of the effects of psilocybin, and their findings might be the most promising of all. In 2006, they gave 36 healthy volunteers (who’d never before tried hallucinogens) a dose of the drug, and 60 percent reported having a “full mystical experience.” 14 months later, the majority reported higher levels of overall well-being than before and ranked taking psilocybin as one of the five most personally significant experiences of their lives. In 2011, the team conducted a study with a separate group, and when members of that group were questioned a full year later, the researchers found that according to personality tests, the participants’ openness to new ideas and feelings had increased significantly—a change seldom seen in adults had increased.

As with many questions involving the functioning of the mind, scientists are still in the beginning stages of figuring out whether and how psilocybin triggers these effects. We do know that soon after psilocybin is ingested (whether in mushrooms or in a purified form), it’s broken down into psilocin, which stimulates the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter believed to promote positive feelings (and also stimulated by conventional anti-depressant drugs).

Imaging of the brain on psilocybin is in its infancy. A 2012 study in which volunteers were dosed while in an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine, which measures blood flow to various parts of the brain, indicated that the drug decreased activity in a pair of “hub” areas (the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex), which have dense concentrations of connections with other areas in the brain.

“These hubs constrain our experience of the world and keep it orderly,” David Nutt, a neurobiologist at the Imperial College London and lead author, said at the time“We now know that deactivating these regions leads to a state in which the world is experienced as strange.” It’s unclear how this could help with depression and anxiety—or whether it’s simply an unrelated consequences of the drug that has nothing to do with its beneficial effects.

Regardless, the push for more research into the potential applications of psilocybin and other hallucinogens is clearly underway. Wired recently profiled the roughly 1,600 scientists who attended the3rd annual Psychedelic Science meeting, many of which are studying psilocybin—along with other drugs like LSD (a.k.a. “acid”) and MDMA (a.k.a. “ecstasy”).

Of course, there’s an obvious problem with using psilocybin mushrooms as medicine—or even researching its effects in a lab setting. Currently, in the U.S., they’re listed as a “Schedule I controlled substance,”meaning that they’re illegal to buy, possess, use or sell, and can’t be prescribed by a doctor, because they have no accepted medical use. The research that has occurred went on under strict government supervision, and getting approval for new studies is notoriously difficult.

That said, the fact that research is occurring at all is an obvious sign that things are slowly changing. The idea that medicinal use of marijuana would one day be permitted in dozens of states would have once seemed far-fetched—so perhaps it’s not entirely absurd to suggest that medicinal mushrooms could be next.

Source: Smithsonian Mag

Europe birth rates ‘have fallen’ since economic crisis.

Fewer babies have been born in Europe since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, a new study shows.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany found that the birth rate in 28 European countries dropped as unemployment rose.


People under 25 have been particularly affected, along with those living in southern European countries like Spain.

The relationship between the economy and fertility has long been discussed, but remains controversial.

Researchers at the MPIDR said their study proved that “the extent of joblessness in a contemporary European country does in fact have an effect on birth rates”.

Weathered the crisis

“The financial crisis hit Europe at a time when birth rates in many countries had just began rising again,” said demographer Michaela Kreyenfeld.

She said upward trends in some countries had come to a halt while in others, birth rates declined.

In Spain, the total fertility rate – the number of births per woman – fell nearly 8% between 2008 and 2011 as unemployment went from 8.3% to 11.3%.

A setback also occurred in Hungary, Ireland, Croatia and Latvia, the study said.

Formerly growing birth rates slowed in countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom.

But in Germany and Switzerland, where labour markets have weathered the crisis comparatively well, there was almost no change in the number of children born.

Europeans under the age of 25 have especially restrained from having children in the face of rising unemployment rates, the research shows. However it notes that many may be postponing having a family rather than deciding not to have one at all.

The study says a 1% increase in unemployment rates causes fertility to fall by nearly 0.2% among those aged 15 to 19, and 0.1% between 20 and 24.

But rising unemployment did not cause birth rates to change for those over 40.

“Fertility plans can be revised more easily at younger ages than at ages where the biological limits of fertility are approaching,” said Ms Kreyenfeld.

Source: BBC


How to Forgive Your Way to More Abundance.

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means of correcting our misperceptions. ~Gerald Jampolsky


Forgiveness is one of the most powerful and healing forces in the Universe.

The most beautiful thing about forgiveness is that the more you practice it, the more you reap the benefits yourself. Forgiveness has been known to increase happiness, relieve stress and of course improve relationships.

But does it work for manifesting more money too?

Yes! Money is energy and can be blocked by feelings of resentment, anger and shame. When you forgive any memories related to money, you can clear the channels, increase your vibration and give yourself permission to become more abundant.

Here are six different ways to forgive memories around money.

1. Forgive your parents

Even though they said that money doesn’t grow on trees

For when they fought about money in front of you or in their bedroom at night (even though you could still hear them)

Because you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas when times were hard

Because they spoiled you rotten “for the real world”

Forgive them….

2. Forgive the bullies

The kid who stole your lunch money

The teacher who said you’d never amount to anything

The sibling who broke your favourite toy

The jerk who ruined your best shirt

Forgive them.

3. Forgive your old bosses

The one who didn’t give you a pay increase.

When they made you work unpaid overtime.

The person who made you feel worthless.

The company that treated you unfairly.

Forgive them.

4. Forgive the government

For the unfair taxes

For the broken promises

For the dirty politics

For the injustices

Forgive them…

5. Forgive your partner

For the credit card debt they contributed to

For disempowering you around finances

For letting you stick your head in the sand

For that thing they broke

6. Forgive yourself

For the 26 failed businesses

The MLM that didn’t work out

Your first website that failed badly.

The blog full of spelling mistakes

The debt

Forgive it all…

The more you forgive, you more abundant you’ll become.

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and you’ll give yourself permission to be wealthier in all ways.

Source: Purpose fairy


Effect of Soy Protein Isolate Supplementation on Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer After Radical ProstatectomyA Randomized Trial.



Importance  Soy consumption has been suggested to reduce risk or recurrence of prostate cancer, but this has not been tested in a randomized trial with prostate cancer as the end point.

Objective  To determine whether daily consumption of a soy protein isolate supplement for 2 years reduces the rate of biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy or delays such recurrence.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Randomized, double-blind trial conducted from July 1997 to May 2010 at 7 US centers comparing daily consumption of a soy protein supplement vs placebo in 177 men at high risk of recurrence after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Supplement intervention was started within 4 months after surgery and continued for up to 2 years, with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurements made at 2-month intervals in the first year and every 3 months thereafter.

Intervention  Participants were randomized to receive a daily serving of a beverage powder containing 20 g of protein in the form of either soy protein isolate (n=87) or, as placebo, calcium caseinate (n=90).

Main Outcomes and Measures  Biochemical recurrence rate of prostate cancer (defined as development of a PSA level of ≥0.07 ng/mL) over the first 2 years following randomization and time to recurrence.

Results  The trial was stopped early for lack of treatment effects at a planned interim analysis with 81 evaluable participants in the intervention group and 78 in the placebo group. Overall, 28.3% of participants developed biochemical recurrence within 2 years of entering the trial (close to the a priori predicted recurrence rate of 30%). Among these, 22 (27.2%) occurred in the intervention group and 23 (29.5%) in the placebo group. The resulting hazard ratio for active treatment was 0.96 (95% CI, 0.53-1.72; log-rank P = .89). Adherence was greater than 90% and there were no apparent adverse events related to supplementation.

Conclusion and Relevance  Daily consumption of a beverage powder supplement containing soy protein isolate for 2 years following radical prostatectomy did not reduce biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer in men at high risk of PSA failure.


Source: JAMA