Breakthroughs in Cancer Research

medical breakthroughsWe are a society obsessed with living long – and why shouldn’t we?  From a time, not long ago where nobody thought about eating red-meat, or food heavy in fat, and sugars we’ve gone to another “extreme” - in that science is telling us how we should be eating, what we should be doing to live longer.

It’s not new.  It’s something that we forgot through the years.

Look at what life was like 100 years ago – people walked more.  Food was grown using more natural methods as opposed to eating food laden with additives and preservatives.  People lived a more simple life.

Today we have the advantage of technology to make life easier for us, and it is that technology that is fueling potential breakthroughs in the prevention of disease, and the cure of diseases.

Two stories that caught my eye today:

A biotech company announces its experimental drug is producing impressive results in seven Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients. All of them have had at least three conventional treatments fail them, but they show signs of recovery after receiving doses of a two-headed antibody.

Full story can be found on Wired – Experimental Drug Makes the Immune System Revolt Against Cancer

Here is a quote from the article:

When I spoke to Christian Itlin, CEO of Micromet, he said that many blockbuster cancer drugs are made from antibodies, and there is some evidence that they work by stirring up the immune system — even though that is not how they were meant to operate. His company does intentionally what others have done accidentally — making drugs that train the body to viciously attack cancer. In theory, their strategy could be used to combat many varieties of the deadly disease, but their treatment for lymphoma happens to be furthest along in the pipeline.”

What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in cells of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune system. Lymph cells (called lymphocytes) are located mainly in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen or bone marrow).  Read the detailed guide at the American Cancer Society website.

The second article that was especially interesting was about how silicon is being used to combat cancer.

This article was found while reading the Engadget Blog – Silicon Wafer Directs and Filters Out Cancer Cells:

The device, created by some impressive souls at Princeton and Boston University, directs and focuses streams of cells in a liquid. Like a change sorter, it then separates regular cells form unusual ones. The silicon wafer is tacked with tiny pillars that catch abnormal cells that are, in the end, potentially cancerous.

Snipped from NewScientistTech:

It’s harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Unusual or rare cells, such as those that cause the spread of cancer, are difficult to isolate from thousands of other cells in a sample.

Now a new device has been developed which can direct and focus streams of cells in a liquid, and even separate them out according to size. “We can take a stream of cells and focus, defocus and reflect it as if it’s a light beam,” says Robert Austin of Princeton University, who developed the device with colleagues from Princeton and Boston University, Massachusetts.

The device is a silicon wafer studded with rows of tiny pillars through which a liquid containing particles of various sizes is made to flow. Due to friction, the liquid flows more slowly close to the pillars than midway between them. Small particles are unaffected by this, but those above a critical size…

You have to pay to read the full article.

The last article that was interesting is all about hybrid vehicles.

I went out a little while ago to pick-up some things from the grocery store.  I need to fill gas, the tank was about 1/4 full.  It cost me $70.00 to fill it up!  I don’t drive a BIG car, I drive a 2001 Toyota Camry.  It’s a V4 — so this doesn’t suck gas, it’s actually very good on gas.  But $70.00 – outrageous!  FYI it cost me 139.5/litle to fill up the car – that’s about $1.40/litre or $5.60/gallon.  $10.00 per gallon is coming – I’m sure…

This article was found on Wired – 516-Mile Range In A Fuel Cell Vehicle You Can’t Fuel.

With all of the Prius hybrids on the road these days and Toyota’s emphasis on gas-electric drivetrains, it’s easy to forget the company is a big player in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – and it’s developed one that sets a benchmark for range.

The FCHV-adv has a maximum cruising range of 516 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, more than twice the range of its predecessor and considerably higher than the 270 miles of the FCX Clarity that Honda will begin leasing to a very small number of people this summer. Toyota says the FCHV-adv has been certified by the Japanese government, and the company plans to begin leasing them in Japan later this year.

Mohamed Bhimji dot com

 

About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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