Organisers of a Suffolk town’s annual fireworks display say this year’s festivities will feature a “memorable” show with “unique effects”.
"Spotty teenagers may have the last laugh over their peers with perfect skin after research found that those who suffer from acne are likely to live longer," says The Telegraph online.
But the report misunderstands the research findings, which were related to cell ageing, not length of life.
The researchers state dermatologists have for many years noticed that people who have had acne show signs of ageing later than those who have never had the skin condition.
Signs of ageing are cited as the appearance of wrinkles and thinning of the skin. This new study looked at why that might be.
The researchers found, by analysing white blood cells, that women who said they'd had acne had longer telomeres, the "caps" at the end of chromosomes.
Cells replicate repeatedly, and telomeres are thought to protect them from deterioration as a result of this process. The Telegraph likened these caps to the hard tips on shoelaces that prevent fraying.
While this study doesn't show that telomere length is a cause of acne, it shows there may be a link between the two.
However, the study didn't look at whether the women with longer telomeres had fewer signs of skin ageing, or whether they lived longer. The suggestion that acne could affect how long you live is therefore unfounded.Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from King's College London and New Jersey Medical School, and was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, the European Union and the National Institute for Health Research.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Mail Online, ITV News, The Daily Telegraph and BBC newsbeat got the thrust of the story right: that acne is linked to longer telomeres, which may explain why some people who've had acne have younger-looking skin as they get older.
Only The Telegraph online suggested acne could help you live longer. This idea is not mentioned in the study or in the press release from the authors.What kind of research was this?
Researchers took a group of women, identified those who reported having acne at some point in their lives, and compared the length of telomeres taken from their white blood cells with telomeres from women who said they'd never had acne.
They also carried out a case control study comparing gene expression in women who'd had acne with women the same age who had not reported having ever had the skin condition.
This type of research can start to identify links between factors such as telomere length and acne, but can't prove that one causes the other.What did the research involve?
Researchers recruited 1,205 volunteers from TwinsUK, a registry of 12,000 twins used to study the genetic and environmental causes of age-related traits and diseases. The registry involves mainly women, so men were excluded from the study.
Researchers who are interested in the genetic basis of conditions often work with twins, as it helps identify which factors are down to environment and which are down to a shared genetic profile.
Researchers asked the participants if they had ever had acne. Participants provided samples of white blood cells, which were then analysed for telomere length.
After adjusting their figures for age, twin relationships, weight and height, the researchers compared average telomere length between the two groups.
Separately from the telomere study, researchers age-matched 195 twins without acne to 39 twins with acne, took skin biopsies, and used their whole genome data to compare gene expression – whether a gene is "switched on" or not – between the groups.What were the basic results?
Women who'd had acne had, on average, longer telomeres (mean 7.17 +/- 0.64 kilobases [kb]) than women who'd not had acne (mean 6.92+/- 0.02kb) after the figures had been adjusted for the women's age, weight and height.
Telomere lengths are calculated in kilobases, referring to the number of six base-pair sequences of DNA found in telomeres.
Only one gene (ZNF420) was more commonly expressed in women without acne than women who'd had acne.How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers say longer telomeres in women who've had acne suggest that "delayed skin ageing may be due to reduced senescence" – in other words, skin ageing may be delayed because the longer telomeres in the cells protect them from deterioration.
They go on to say the reduced expression of the regulatory gene ZNF420 in people with acne suggests these people may produce more of a particular protein linked to that gene.Conclusion
Acne can be very distressing for teenagers and those who get it later in life. It may be some comfort to know that people with acne tend to show fewer signs of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and thin skin, when they get older.
The link between telomere length and acne is interesting for researchers, but doesn't mean that much for the rest of us.
It may be part of the explanation for slower skin ageing in people who've had acne. And it adds weight to the theory that there's a genetic component to acne.
But the study doesn't tell us whether people who'd had acne and had longer telomeres actually had younger-looking skin.
The article was published as a letter to the editor and is much shorter than most research articles, so does not give us a lot of information about how the study was carried out.
The study only included women, so we don't know if it would also apply to men. And it also relied on women saying they'd had acne, rather than on a medical diagnosis, so there may be some variation in whether women thought they'd had acne or not.
If you're concerned about acne, there are plenty of self-help methods you can try, or you can talk to a pharmacist for advice on over-the-counter treatments.
If it's making you very unhappy and these methods aren't working, talk to your GP.
Find out more about acne and how to treat it.
Links To The Headlines
Acne sufferers live longer, research suggests. The Telegraph, September 28 2016
Teens with spots tend to stay looking younger for longer, new research suggests. BBC newsbeat, September 28 2016
Acne sufferers stay youthful-looking for longer. ITV News, September 28 2016
Links To Science
Ribero S, Sanna M, Visconti A, et al. Acne and telomere length, a new spectrum between senescence and apoptosis pathways. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Published online September 2016.
Caught on camera: thieves who broke into Branching Out Charity Shop in Littleport ‘tried on clothes and rummaged through rubbish bins’
A break in at the Branching Out Charity Shop in Littleport has left staff and residents ‘appalled’ and ‘horrified’.
Two public footpaths have been unlawfully closed in Ely, say campaigners with Britain’s oldest national conservation body.
Harvest festival will be the best baa none as sheep take residence in Ely Cathedral for the celebrations
The countryside is coming to Ely Cathedral for the annual harvest festival weekend from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 October.
Hundreds visited Ely Country Park at the weekend for the city’s first Health and Happiness Day.
A team of twelve fundraisers pulled on their running shoes and tackled the gruelling Chariots of Fire Challenge to raise money for disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz.
Former Soham Town Rangers manager Adrian Davis, has died aged 66.
An Ely travel agency is appealing for people to nominate worthwhile causes after staff offered to donate 80 hours of their time.
Ely City Amnesty Group is screening ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ on Saturday, October 1, at the Lecture Theatre, The Old Palace.
"Got kidney stones? Ride a roller coaster! Study shows it is the most pain-free cost-efficient way to pass them," says the Mail Online of a study carried out in the US which tested riding roller coasters as a way of passing kidney stones.
The study came about after a number of people with kidney stones claimed riding on Walt Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride had helped them pass their stones. In particular, one person with kidney stones reported passing a stone after each of three consecutive rides. This prompted a research team from Michigan State University, led by Dr David Wartinger, to investigate further.
The researchers rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride a total of 60 times carrying a 3D printed model kidney made from silicone. The kidney contained urine and kidney stones of three different sizes.
They found that the rides caused the kidney stones to be passed from the kidney, and that the position on the ride made a big difference to the number of stones passed. Sitting at the back of the ride produced the best results.
A key limitation of the study is that the research was carried out on a model kidney rather than on the kidneys of real people. This method can never truly replicate the behaviour of the stones in a real kidney. However, the findings may support the case for further research into what it is about the ride that might cause stones to pass.Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from Michigan State University, who reported no source of funding for the study.
The report was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
The Mail Online and The Daily Telegraph presented the main findings of the study but fail to mention any of the limitations of the research.What kind of research was this?
This was an experimental study which aimed to assess roller coaster rides as a method of passing kidney stones.
Kidney stones are formed when certain chemicals, usually calcium, or uric acid, build up in the body. Some medical conditions can contribute to high levels of these substances being in the body. They are more likely if you don't drink enough fluids.
This study is able to provide possible links for further investigation but can't provide any conclusive evidence that would be applicable to all. The study team appreciate this limitation and were reported in the Mail Online as saying: "The purpose of this initial study was to validate the effectiveness of the model and support the case for further research."What did the research involve?
The researchers aimed to assess the effectiveness of roller coaster rides for passing kidney stones by creating an anatomical model of the kidney and taking this on a number of rides to test various scenarios of stone position within the kidney and different seating positions on the ride.
The roller coaster, Walt Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride, had a maximum speed of 35mph, took sharp turns and had quick drops. The ride did not go upside down and lasted for two and a half minutes.
The model itself was made of clear silicone to allow direct inspection of the stone location after each ride and was based on the kidney scan of the patient providing the kidney stones for the test.
The stones were suspended in urine within the model and were of three different volumes:
- 4.5 mm3
- 13.5 mm3
- 64.6 mm3
The model was placed in a padded backpack that was positioned at kidney height at the back of the seat on the roller coaster, between the researchers. Data was gathered 20 times for each of the kidney chambers, eight rides in the front seating and 12 in the rear seating.What were the basic results?
Sixty roller coaster rides were taken and the effect on the kidney stones analysed.
When the model was carried in the front seating of the roller coaster fewer kidney stones were passed (16.7%) than when sat in the rear seating (63.9%).
The position of the stone also appears to make a difference to the rate of passage. If the stone is in the upper chambers (calyces) of the kidney it is passed more frequently than when it is in the middle or lower chambers. In fact, when the model was carried in the rear of the roller coaster, stones in the upper chamber were passed 100% of the time.
The size of the stone did not appear to influence the proportion of stones passed.How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers concluded that their model served as a functional patient surrogate to evaluate activities that facilitate the passing of kidney stones. In other words, they could expect the kidneys and kidney stones of real people to behave in the same way as the model. They state that the rear seating position on the roller coaster led to the most kidney stones being passed.Conclusion
This experimental study assessed going on roller coasters as a means of passing kidney stones.
Prior to this study there had been a number of reports that riding on roller coasters had caused people to pass their kidney stones, with one person claiming to have passed three kidney stones after three consecutive rides on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disney World in Florida.
The researchers found a similar effect using their model, and also saw that the seating position on the ride made a big difference, with almost four times the number of stones passing in the rear of the ride compared to the front.
There are a number of limitations to this research:
- The study used an anatomical model of the kidney rather than actual people. This will never truly replicate the behaviour of the stones in a real kidney.
- The model was based on a single person with kidney stones. The anatomy of this person's kidney will not be the same as other peoples' because the anatomy of an individual's kidneys is unique, much like a fingerprint.
- Only a single roller coaster was used. The same effect may not be seen on other rides with different characteristics.
However, as the research team told the media, this was an initial study to validate the effectiveness of the model and support the case for further research.
Some symptoms of kidney stones to be aware of are:
- a persistent ache in the lower back
- periods of intense pain in the back or side of your abdomen
- feeling sick
- needing to urinate more often than normal
- pain when you urinate
- blood in your urine
To prevent kidney stones make sure you avoid becoming dehydrated. Drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juice can count towards your fluid intake, but water is the healthiest option and is best for preventing kidney stones developing. Make sure you drink more when it is hot or when you are exercising, to replenish fluids lost through sweating.
Links To The Headlines
Got kidney stones? Ride a roller coaster! Study shows it is the most pain-free cost-efficient way to pass them Mail Online, September 26 2016
Roller coasters could be a cure for kidney stones The Telegraph, September 26 2016
Links To Science
Mitchell, Marc A, Wartinger, David D Validation of Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Published online September 2016
Treasure the memories of your baby’s tiny hands and feet with a new business that is due to launch in Littleport.
A service station in Ely is celebrating after receiving a nomination for a national award.