Today’s Headlines: Aging, Songs in the Car and Melanoma

Mom’s genes may affect how fast you age: You may have mom to blame for those extra wrinkles. New research reported in Nature shows that “mutated genes passed down from mothers may also predetermine aging rates.” While aging rates were previously thought to be due to cell damage accumulated over time, this study suggests that inherited damaged DNA in the mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouse, plays a significant role. As acquired insults pile onto the inherited flaws, “the cell’s energy production gradually becomes disabled and contributes to aging.” Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother. (Fox News)

How Song Selection Can Be a Driving Distraction: When it comes to picking tunes in the car, you might want to stay away from your favorites. A new study demonstrated that “teenage drivers who played their own music had significantly more traffic violations compared with background music designed by the researchers to minimize driving distractions, or no music.” When drivers chose their own music, 98% made an average of at least three driving errors. Listening to no music dropped this number by only 6%, but listening to the specially-designed background music dropped it by over 20%. This ‘safer’ music was a blend of easy listening, soft rock and light jazz. (The Wall Street Journal)

Single injection may revolutionize melanoma treatment, Moffitt study shows: Early clinical trials of a new injectable dye suggest it may serve as a promising new therapy for melanoma patients. The dye, commonly used to stain damaged eye cells, may “boost immune response in melanoma tumors, as well as the blood stream.” This could potentially shrink the deadly skin tumors and limit their potential to spread. Researchers reported the new treatment “may be safer than existing immunological agents.” (EurekAlert!)