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Vaccines!

Some incredible vaccines are arriving soon, including one that could help you quit smoking and another that might prevent women from getting breast cancer. And new DISSOLVING microneedles mean they won't hurt, either.

Researchers say they've developed a vaccine prevents breast cancer from developing in mice--will it work for human women? BBC News quotes immunologist Vincent Tuohy as saying, "We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases. If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer."

Injectable nicotine vaccines have proven to be effective in clinical trials, reducing the incidence of relapse in smokers who have recently quit. Many researchers believe the vaccines do this by producing antibodies that attach themselves to nicotine, thus preventing it from reaching the brain, making smoking less pleasurable and easier to give up.

Backed by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researcher Pradeep K. Garg is conducting research to improve the effectiveness of a nicotine vaccination for cigarette smokers. Garg is using PET scans to view of brains of smokers before and after vaccination, in order to see the dynamics of nicotine distribution in human body. He also wants to see how nicotine effect the body's organs during actual cigarette smoking, so he can figure out how long it takes nicotine to reach peak levels in cigarette smokers' brains.

Meanwhile, a new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines, while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza.

Garg says, "The bottom line is that if we can effectively block nicotine entry in the brain, we will have effective therapy." Neither of these vaccines are available to the public yet, but let's hope they come soon!

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