Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mothers' milk aids research
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Kathleen F. Arcaro studies cancer. Breast cancer, to be precise. Deep in a laboratory at the University of Massachusetts' Morrill Science Center in Amherst, the environmental sciences professor spends her days peering into microscopes, trying to understand the reasons why the cells of a perfectly healthy-looking woman would betray the body and mutate. 'These come from a woman who actually had breast cancer,' she says, gesturing toward a wall on which the magnified image of cancer cells were projected. Like many other researchers, Arcaro and Chung M. Wong, her 21-year-old assistant, will spend their summer working through cell samples: recording, comparing, adjusting, then starting again. The difference between Arcaro's work and the work of many others, however, is the essential ingredient needed to keep Arcaro's study going. Arcaro studies the very first food a helpless newborn can digest: human breast milk."