Developments to Watch
BUT WILL GEORGE BUSH CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT IT?
Scientists have taken another step toward proving that broccoli is good for you. Building on earlier work showing that a chemical in the vegetable, called sulforaphane, can boost production of anticancer enzymes in human cells in test tubes, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have proven that the chemical can block the formation of breast cancer in rats treated with a potent cancer-causing molecule called DMBA.
"The results are quite dramatic," says Dr. Paul Talalay, a molecular pharmacologist who conducted the study. Far fewer rats treated with the chemical developed tumors, and the number and size of tumors were dramatically reduced. Researchers think sulforaphane works by disarming carcinogens to make them less able to damage a cell's DNA, a crucial step in cancer development. The next step, says Talalay, is to pick out the varieties of broccoli that give the best protection, then start testing the chemical on people.