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Posts Tagged "cancer"

But Not Simpler

What StarCraft Can Teach Gamers About Fighting Cancer

Kerrigan, leader of the Zerg swarm

In between mining Vespene gas and constructing additional pylons, gamers have been unknowingly learning about how cancer works, and maybe how to beat it. Amid the frantic clicking and hot-keying that goes on in homes and internet cafes around the world, players of the immensely popular computer game StarCraft have been unknowingly gaining a working [...]

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Culturing Science

May We All Have The Option of Double Mastectomy

masectomy-small

In the future, may we all have the option to get a double mastectomy. Or, rather, its equivalent for whatever cancer each of us are genetically predisposed to.

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Extinction Countdown

Has an infectious cancer doomed Tasmanian devils to extinction?

Tasmanian Devil Facial Cancer

Are Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) doomed to extinction in the wild? The infectious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) has killed off as much as 90 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils since it was first observed in 1996 (up from 70 percent when we last wrote about the species nine months ago). [...]

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Guest Blog

The Hallmarks of Cancer 8: Tumor-Promoting Inflammation

Tumors and their TAMs. Tumors secrete signalling molecules known as chemokines to attract circulating monocytes, a type of white blood cell. Once in the tumor, the monocytes differentiate into Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs). Oxygen-starved (hypoxic) areas of the tumor secrete VEGF, which attracts these TAMs. TAMs can also secrete VEGF, which in turn attract more TAMs to the tumor. / Image by Buddhini Samarasinghe.

The Hallmarks of Cancer are ten underlying principles shared by all cancers. You can read the first seven Hallmarks of Cancer articles here. The eighth Hallmark of Cancer is defined as “tumor-promoting inflammation.” We consider the immune system as our friend; it protects us by fighting infections while keeping us healthy. But there is a [...]

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Guest Blog

Hallmarks of Cancer 7: Genome Instability and Mutation

BRCA1 structure

All cancers share ten underlying principles, also known as the Hallmarks of Cancer. You can read about the first six here. The seventh is defined as genome instability and mutation. Cancer Cells Evolve Not all cancer cells are equal. They vary, they compete, and the fittest survive to pass on their genes to daughter cells, [...]

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Guest Blog

Hallmarks of Cancer 6: Tissue Invasion and Metastasis

The Hallmarks of Cancer are 10 underlying principles shared by all cancers. You can read the first five Hallmarks of Cancer articles here. The Sixth Hallmark of Cancer is defined as “Tissue Invasion and Metastasis.” A growing tumor will eventually spawn pioneer cells; these move out of the original clump of mutant cells to invade [...]

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Guest Blog

Hallmarks of Cancer 5: Sustained Angiogenesis

Before and After Image depicting Angiogenesis

The Hallmarks of Cancer focus on 10 underlying principles shared by all cancers. You can read the first four Hallmarks of Cancer articles here. The Fifth Hallmark of Cancer is defined as “Sustained Angiogenesis.” In a developing embryo or a healing wound, communities of cells organize themselves into tissues, undertaking specialized tasks beyond the ability [...]

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Guest Blog

Learning from Insect Swarms: Smart Cancer Targeting

Research published in Nature Materials this month takes lessons from cooperation in nature, including that observed in insect swarms, to create better targeting methods for cancer therapeutics [1]. "Smart" anticancer drug systems can use mechanisms similar to swarm intelligence to locate sites of disease in the human body. Swarm intelligence arises when swarm behavior, for [...]

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Guest Blog

Cell Phones, Cancer and the Dangers of Risk Perception

May 31, 2011, was a bad day for a society already wary of all sorts of risks from modern technology, a day of celebration for those who champion more concern about those risks, and a day that teaches important lessons about the messy subjective guesswork that goes into trying to make intelligent choices about risk [...]

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Guest Blog

Personalizing cancer medicine

Over 1.5 million new cancer cases were identified in the United States in 2010, and despite continued advances in cancer treatment, approximately 500,000 cancer-related deaths occurred in the same year (1). For a long time, cancer therapies were a one-size-fits-all, depending on the cancer type. In recent years however, the need has emerged to develop [...]

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Guest Blog

Bacteria, the anti-cancer soldier

Everyone knows about cancer. According to the World Health Organization eight million people died of one of the many forms of cancer 2007 and this number is expected to grow to more than 12 million by 2030. However, unlike many other significant diseases, cancer is not confined to a continent or socioeconomic cohort. Also unlike [...]

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Guest Blog

Left-sided Cancer: Blame your bed and TV?

bedroom with TV in it

Curiously, the cancer rate is 10 percent higher in the left breast than in the right. This left-side bias holds true for both men and women and it also applies to the skin cancer melanoma. Researchers Örjan Hallberg of Hallberg Independent Research in Sweden and Ollie Johansson of The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, writing in [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Fat Tuesday: Sugar, obesity and the big C

By Cesarachp, via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe we should all be scared of sugar.

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Lab Rat

How cancer-causing bacteria force your cells to die

h pylori

The discovery that stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria is quite recent and was proved fairly conclusively in 1984 when the Australian scientist Barry Marshall drank a petri-dish full of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and five days later developed serious gastritis, which cleared after antibiotic treatment. As stomach ulcers are quite common, and can be a major [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Prions May Develop Drug Resistance: The Implications for Mad Cow, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

The brain of a patient with Creutzfeldt-Jakob shows signs of neurodegeneration and the presence of  large clumps of prion protein (purple). Courtesy of Lary Walker.

Clumps of proteins twisted into aberrant shapes cause the prion diseases that have perplexed biologists for decades. The surprises just keep coming with a new report that the simple clusters of proteins responsible for Mad Cow and other prions diseases may, without help from DNA or RNA, be capable of changing form to escape the [...]

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Observations

Brainy Watson Computer to Tackle Cancer and Other Medical Research

IBM,Watson,computer,cognition

After vanquishing humans on Jeopardy!, IBM says its Watson computer is ready to help save human lives. The company on Thursday announced it has created a new business unit specifically to advance Watson and deliver its artificially intelligent wisdom to research organizations, medical institutions and businesses so that they can process “big data” for detailed [...]

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Observations

Hospital-Based Infections Could Be Moving to Doctors’ Offices

MRSA Image: Janice Haney Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/WIkimedia Commons

When patients check into a hospital, they expect doctors there to fix what ails them, but one in 20 patients seeking care at hospitals contract a health care–based infection. Those infections escalate care costs to the tune of billions of dollars. And many of them–one in five–are part of the scary alphabet soup of superbugs [...]

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Observations

Fruit Flies Aid Efforts to Develop Personalized Cancer Treatments

For years clinicians have puzzled over the observation that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop certain malignancies, such as pancreatic, breast and liver cancers. The reason behind their confusion: standard biological principles predict that, if anything, folks with diabetes should suffer fewer tumors, not more of them. However, new research on [...]

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Observations

Supreme Court Rejects Patents on 2 Naturally Occurring Genes

supreme-court-breast-cancer

When Angelina Jolie announced last month that she decided to get a prophylactic double mastectomy, she based her decision on the presence of the BRCA1 gene in her body—a gene that was detected via a costly medical test. The Supreme Court today unanimously struck down patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2—two genes linked to hereditary forms [...]

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Observations

Video Game to Help Kids Fight Cancer

Doctors can’t inject cancer patients with intelligent nanobots programmed to launch surgical counterstrikes against the disease. That didn’t stop a team of medical researchers and software programmers from developing a video game several years ago that helped young patients imagine such an empowering scenario. Based on the success of that project, the team recently launched [...]

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Observations

Print It: 3-D Bio-Printing Makes Better Regenerative Implants

3-d bio-printing tissue scaffold cells

Desktop 3-D printers can already pump out a toy trinket, gear set or even parts to make another printer. Medical researchers are also taking advantage of this accelerating technology to expand their options for regenerative medicine. Brian Derby, of the School of Materials at the University of Manchester in England, details the advances and challenges [...]

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Observations

3-D Imaging Improves Breast Cancer Screening

stereoscopic 3-D mammogram viewing display breast cancer

The mammograms most women receive are decidedly two-dimensional. An x-ray machine takes images of the breast from the sides, and radiologists examine the resulting image to see if it offers up any hits of potentially cancerous irregularities. These tests, however, are far from perfect. Normal calcium deposits and fibrous tissue can align to create a [...]

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Observations

How Computational Models Are Improving Medicine [Video]

computational medicine

The more we learn about cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, the more vexingly complex they seem—and the more elusive their cures. Even with cutting-edge imaging technology, biomarker tests and genetic data, we are still far from understanding the multifaceted causes and varied developmental stages of these illnesses. With the advent of powerful computing, better modeling [...]

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Observations

Pediatricians Group Praises Benefits of Circumcision for Male Infants

benefits male newborn circumcision

Evidence for the long-term health benefits of circumcision for newborn boys has been mounting for years. Today the influential group the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) declared that the procedure is, indeed, beneficial—and that it should be covered by public and private health insurance plans. The recommendation was published online August 27 in Pediatrics. Previously [...]

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Observations

Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes Help Smokers Remember Dangers

graphic cigarette warning label smoker recall message

This September, cigarette packs in the U.S. will be getting a lot more colorful. And a lot more disturbing. By then, tobacco companies will be required to display one of nine graphic health warnings on each pack, to comply with the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The U.S. has followed dozens of other countries in [...]

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PsiVid

The City Dark

CityDark

I was recently in Alaska as an invitee of GoPro cameras in support of a pretty cool science experiment by Project Aether. Briefly, I was there to assist as they launched weather balloons with GoPro cameras attached in order to collect intra-auroral images. After the weather balloons dropped, the GPS tagged cameras were then retrieved, [...]

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Symbiartic

Wait, Electricity Isn’t Harmful To Health?

13-017FEATURE

Sometimes, the list of things to be paranoid about feels endless: BPA in your water bottles, pesticides on your food, prescription drugs in your drinking water, and nanotechnology in your donuts. Luckily, most of these things will not statistically be responsible for your ultimate demise (you can likely credit heart disease and cancer for that). [...]

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Talking back

Can Wall Street Financial “Wizardry” Foster Drug Innovation?

Most articles in the journal Nature Biotechnology have titles like “Selective Enrichment of Newly Synthesized Proteins for Quantitative Secretome Analysis.” They don’t usually contain sentences like this: “The special-purpose vehicle’s capital structure, priority of payments and various coverage tests and credit enhancements are collectively known as the ‘cash flow waterfall’—a reference to the manner in [...]

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The Curious Wavefunction

Cancer, genomics and technological solutionism: A time to be wary

In his new book “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism”, the philosopher of technology Evgeny Morozov develops the concept of “technological solutionism”, the tendency to define problems primarily or purely based on whether or not a certain technology can address them. This is a concerning trend since it foreshadows a future [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

A Kangaroo Battles Cancer

suli-2

January 29, 2013 started as a normal day at the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wis. Two red kangaroos were scheduled for their routine veterinary exams and keepers were busy preparing. Suli, a 16-year-old red kangaroo, and Coing, a 13-year-old red kangaroo were in their holding stall so that the Zoo’s consulting veterinarian, Dr. Nelson could [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Intelligence, Cancer, and Eyjafjallaj

ResearchBlogging.org

This seems to have become unofficial volcano week, here at ScienceBlogs. If you haven’t been following the coverage of the Eyjafjallaj

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