Biology


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No More Tumors!

A group of bioengineers and immunologists at Harvard University (didn’t see that one coming) have developed a way to get immune systems to attack tumor cells.

Normally your body’s immune system won’t attack tumor cells because it’s not seen as a threat since they aren’t introduced to your body but rather “grown” there. By implanting a 8.5mm diameter polymer disk containing tumor-specific antigens under the skin of a mammal, the group from Harvard discovered that the immune system reacts by targeting the tumor cells. The disk is nearly 90% air so blood can easily travel through it in order to pick up the antigens.

In non-science terms, it’s like a hitman (the blood cell) walking through a crowded area without knowing he has a target yet. Then he passes through the same coffee shop he visits everyday (the area under the skin) and someone hands him a description of a target (the tumor-specific antigen). You get the rest.

Read a much more detailed article here.

Just a side note; the source article kept referring to the polymer disk eliminating tumors in mammals… I’m just wondering exactly who or what the test subject was. It seems like a politically correct way of either saying “they paid some people off the street” or “they took some animals, infested them with cancer, and then shot these disks under their skin.” Either way, it would piss a lot of people off. On one hand you’d have human rights activists and on the other you’d have animal rights activists. Who’s crazier?

Possible Cure for MS

An Italian Doctor has stumbled upon some findings that may lead to the cure of Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Paolo Zamboni discovered a connection between the blockage of blood flow that removes iron from the brain and the debilitating effects of MS. It is known that a build up of iron can damage blood vessels, however no one thought it would have any effect on the brain.

Dr. Zamboni tested his theory by taking 65 MS patients and performing an operation that allowed unrestricted blood flow out of the brain. 73% of the patients had no MS symptoms two years after the procedure. How amazing is that?

Read a more detailed version of the story here.

Blind Children Seeing Again

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have found a way to use gene therapy to allow children with congenital blindness to see again.

Check out this awesome article by following this link: Using Gene Therapy to Cure Congenital Blindness

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