BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6921.146 (Published 08 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:146

The tumour suppressor gene p53 is thought to contribute to as many as half of all human cancers. What it does in health is to produce a protein that turns on another gene that locks cell division (Science 1993;262:1644-5). Loss of normal p53 activity (as a result of carcinogens acting on the cell) leads to uncontrolled cell multiplication. Researchers are now trying to find a way of mimicking the inhibitory actions of the p53 protein on cell cycle enzymes.

Minerva is a convinced believer in the health promoting qualities of the Mediterranean diet, with its high intake of cereals, fresh fruit, fish and vegetables. Like “ECP News” (the newsletter of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation) she was, therefore, appalled to hear that bureaucrats in Brussels are paying financial inducements to farmers in Calabria to uproot their olive groves - presumably in the hope that they will switch from alive oil to butter in their kitchens.

A very few patients with the clinical features of Friendreich's ataxia may be suffering from a deficiency of vitamin E associated with an inborn …

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