An extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells, scientists have shown. Tests by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy gullet cancer cells in the lab. The chemical - curcumin - for a long time has been thought to have healing powers. Its natural compounds have the potential to treat faulty cells that have become cancerous and scientists suspect that curcumin might have therapeutic value. According to BBC News this research opens up the possibility that natural chemicals found in turmeric could be developed into new treatments for oesophageal cancer.