Tag Archives: cancer

Do you know why naked mole rats don’t get cancer?

Naked mole rat – sans cancer………Wikipedia Commons This is one of those stories beloved of the ‘man bites dog’ school of science journalism. Can one credit scarce belief about a treatment for cancer derived from the naked mole rat? If you’ve seen a picture of a naked mole rat (as above), you’d remember it. This […]
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Breast cancer study: 50 women, 1700 genetic mutations

It isn’t always true for science, but it sure seems like the more we learn, the more complicated the knowledge becomes. Take breast cancer for an example. Every few months a new study is published that announces the discovery that this that or another gene is ‘linked to breast cancer.’ Likewise there is a stream […]
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Using inflammation to inhibit tumor growth

Part of the body’s repair kit for cancer is to induce inflammation. Unfortunately, inflammation of tumors very often makes the cancer worse by encouraging the growth of new cells. A new study by a large Swedish and Belgian research team, published online in the journal Cancer Cell [January 7, 2011; HRG Inhibits Tumor Growth and […]
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Inflammation: An unsuspected killer

Inflammation: An unsuspected killer. One in a series of posts discussing the impact of ten topics framed by ‘Insights of the Decade’ from the December 17, 2010 special issue of Science Magazine: Inflammation, climatology, tricks of light, alien planets, the microbiome, cell development, Martian water, the DNA time machine, cosmology and epigenetics. Lists of a […]
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CellSearch: Wishing for a cancer blood test

I’m beginning to think that wishing for breakthroughs in cancer treatment is part of the modern condition. Fifty or sixty years ago, such wishing was almost outside the realm of the thinkable. Today, well it’s rare that a few months go by without some kind of cancer breakthrough or another. It makes wishing seem worthwhile. […]
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Low dose aspirin: Also good against cancer

Aspirin makers rejoice. Not only is taking a low dose of aspirin (for many people) a preventive measure for heart attacks, it now appears it may have a similar preventive effect for some kinds of cancer. A major study led by Professor Peter Rothwell of Oxford University (UK) and published in the medical journal The […]
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Fighting cancer with targeted therapy for ‘reader’ proteins

There are many kinds of cancer. Not surprisingly there are many ways to treat cancer although three major approaches are familiar to most people: Zap it with radiation. Kill it with toxic chemicals (chemotherapy). Cut it out (surgery). These are generally speaking knuckle-punch approaches – invasive, imprecise, and typically have serious side-effects. However, they work…sometimes […]
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Stem cells: Myc does much more

To put it mildly, not thinking beyond assumptions can lead to surprises. This also applies to science. For many years scientists thought that the gene known as Myc (“mick”) plays a role in causing cancer – an oncogene – and that was all it did. It does play a role in cancer; Myc somehow lengthens […]
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New for epigenetics: Active pseudogenes and RNA as gene regulator

How is it that the human genome, with about 23,000 protein coding genes, can produce such a complicated organism as the human being, when the laboratory flatworm (C. elegans, a relatively simple organism) has about 20,000 coding genes? It seems fairly obvious that there must be something else at work in more complex organisms that […]
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Nanosponge delivers

Right up there in frequency with using nanotechnology for face powders has to be the myriad ways in which nanotech is, will, or can be used to deliver medicine. Why nanotech? For one thing, the nanoscale is small enough to be effective in attaching to or passing through cell membranes. Nanotech materials can be easier […]
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