Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.
Scientists have found that honey bees – Apis mellifera – have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.
Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odors, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.
Researchers have provided the first comprehensive compendium of mutational processes that drive tumour development. Together, these mutational processes explain most mutations found in 30 of the most common cancer types. This new understanding of cancer development could help to treat and prevent a wide-range of cancers.
Each mutational process leaves a particular pattern of mutations, an imprint or signature, in the genomes of cancers it has caused. By studying 7,042 genomes of people with the most common forms of cancer, the team uncovered more than 20 signatures of processes that mutate DNA. For many of the signatures, they also identified the underlying biological process responsible.
All cancers are caused by mutations in DNA occurring in cells of the body during a person’s lifetime. Although we know that chemicals in tobacco smoke cause mutations in lung cells that lead to lung cancers and ultraviolet light causes mutations in skin cells that lead to skin cancers, we have remarkably little understanding of the biological processes that cause the mutations which are responsible for the development of most cancers.
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Thanks to new observation technologies, powerful software, and statistical methods, the mechanics of collectives are being revealed. Indeed, enough physicists, biologists, and engineers have gotten involved that the science itself seems to be hitting a density-dependent shift. Without obvious leaders or an overarching plan, this collective of the collective-obsessed is finding that the rules that produce majestic cohesion out of local jostling turn up in everything from neurons to human beings. Behavior that seems impossibly complex can have disarmingly simple foundations. And the rules may explain everything from how cancer spreads to how the brain works and how armadas of robot-driven cars might someday navigate highways. The way individuals work together may actually be more important than the way they work alone.
Excerpt from an article written by Ed Yong at WIRED. Continue THERE
A new surge of interest in fasting suggests that it might indeed help people with cancer. It might also reduce the risk of developing cancer, guard against diabetes and heart disease, help control asthma and even stave off Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
“We know from animal models,” says Mark Mattson at the National Institute on Aging, “that if we start an intermittent fasting diet at what would be the equivalent of middle age in people, we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
Until recently, most studies linking diet with health and longevity focused on calorie restriction. They have had some impressive results, with the life span of various lab animals lengthened by up to 50 percent after their caloric intake was cut in half. But these effects do not seem to extend to primates. A 23-year study of macaques found that although calorie restriction delayed the onset of age-related diseases, it had no impact on life span. So other factors, such as genetics, may be more important for human longevity.
Excerpt from an article written by Emma Young. Continue HERE
As Bennett writes in her memoir, “The Cost of Hope,” the shadow was looked at. It was rescanned, removed and sent to a lab. It was diagnosed twice — first as “collecting duct” cancer, then as “papillary” cancer (doctors still disagree over what it was) — and treated with drugs bearing price tags of $200 per daily pill and $109,440 for four one-hour intravenous drips. It also spread to Foley’s lungs, and in December 2007, it took his life. He was 67. The bill for his seven years of treatment totaled $618,616.
Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and an executive editor at Bloomberg News (this book grew out of an article she wrote for Bloomberg). Her memoir is equal parts marriage confessional and skilled investigative report. It’s a story of the sometimes amusing, sometimes baffling relationship and hectic but rewarding life she shared with Foley for over two decades. It’s also the fascinating account of an illness — its origins, composition and progression — and of the cost (mental, physical and financial) of trying to treat it via the complicated, frustrating, outrageously expensive American health care system.
Excerpt of an article written by CATHI HANAUER, NYT. Continue HERE
Jessica Jones writes:
1987 – I was twenty-five years old and holed up in the intensive care unit at the National Neurological Hospital in London, stricken from head to toe with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Symptoms: total paralysis. Prognosis: uncertain.
Guillain Barré Syndrome is a bizarre illness. It attacks the myelin sheath that transmits messages along one’s peripheral nerves. One day my toes went numb. A week later I found myself in hospital, unable to move, breathe or speak. An unscratchable itch on my leg could propel me to the brink of insanity. Dust fell into my eyes and I couldn’t blink or wipe it away. I could not call out for assistance.
Upon learning of my perilous condition, my mother had dropped everything, packed a suitcase and flown from Sydney. Now she sat by my bedside for twelve hours a day, every day.
Continue at The Independent