Friday, 5 April 2019

Forever young: study uncovers protein that keeps skin youthful

Beauty might only be skin deep, but for those wondering how to keep that skin young, scientists may have found an answer in the form of a protein that encourages cell competition.

The prosaically named COL17A1 protein works by encouraging cell competition, a key process to maintain tissue fitness. That effectively "drives out" weaker cells while encouraging replication of stronger ones.

But ageing results in a depletion of COL17A1, as do familiar enemies of youthful skin, like UV radiation and other stress factors. And when that happens, weaker cells replicate, leaving the skin thinner, more prone to damage and slower to heal.

Two chemical compounds -- Y27632 and apocynin -- applied to full-thickness skin wounds significantly promoted wound repair, "facilitating skin regeneration and reducing skin ageing," the study added.


Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) in Children

Gastroenteritis (commonly known as stomach flu) causes discomfort due to the ensuing vomiting and diarrhoea, which are often accompanied by tummy pains and fever. More significantly – although infrequently – it can have a detrimental effect on young children and babies.

Dr Tham shared that most children do not need medicine or antibiotics to treat gastroenteritis (stomach flu), although doctors may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms of vomiting or severe tummy pains.

While the bug runs its course, it is important to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration. "There is no need to change the diet intentionally, but do give more fluids", she added.

For more information on what parents should do and when to see a doctor, go to

Health benefits of parsley


Forum: Teens should get out of comfort zone

A photo showing a group of students pulling hiking trailers behind them while on an Outward Bound Singapore expedition sparked debate. Source: ST

I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in 2016 and have had two procedures done on my left and right elbows in the past three years. I see my rheumatologist every three months and experience pain occasionally in other joints.

I also had sustained feet pain and underwent physiotherapy for a year. These medical conditions have never stopped me from participating in my school's overseas service trips and expeditions because there are ways to manage them (Student campers with trolleys spark debate, March 17).

Last year, my classmates and I trekked in Tioman with 10kg backpacks. The trip entailed crossing log bridges and abseiling from a small cliff.

These outdoor trips are meant to get us out of our comfort zones and push our limits. Let's celebrate our youth and not let any weight bear us down.

Elina Cho En Li, 15
Grade 9 student