Old 03-27-2013, 03:32 PM
Possible cancer breakthrough?


Researchers might have found the Holy Grail in the war against cancer, a miracle drug that has killed every kind of cancer tumor it has come in contact with.

The drug works by blocking a protein called CD47 that is essentially a "do not eat" signal to the body's immune system, according to Science Magazine.

This protein is produced in healthy blood cells but researchers at Stanford University found that cancer cells produced an inordinate amount of the protein thus tricking the immune system into not destroying the harmful cells.

With this observation in mind, the researchers built an antibody that blocked cancer's CD47 so that the body's immune system attacked the dangerous cells.

So far, researchers have used the antibody in mice with human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver and prostate tumors transplanted into them. In each of the cases the antibody forced the mice's immune system to kill the cancer cells.

"We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis," said biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California.

One side effect of the treatment was that healthy cells were subjected to short-term attacks by the mice's immune system, but the effect was nothing in comparison to the damage done to the cancer cells.

Weissman's group recently received a $20 million dollar grant to move their research from mouse to human safety testing.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:14 PM
Now that's awesome...now I can rock the 90s cell phone and not worry about tumors.

Science FTW
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:28 PM
Whenever a newspaper or magazine drops an article about a miracle cure for something, I always express caution. The original journal article was published last year (which you can check out here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20....full.pdf+html), so the fact that the Post is just reporting on it now is kind of odd.

There have since been rebuttal journal articles (which makes some interesting points), which you can find below:


There is a) going to need to be a lot more replication and refinement, and b) human trials (which it sounds like the authors may be on track for).

I do look forward to seeing their future research though.

Last edited by Bourne101; 03-27-2013 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by Exophrine View Post
Now that's awesome...now I can rock the 90s cell phone and not worry about tumors.

Science FTW
People can even stick their heads in a microwave and turn it on for a few seconds to see what its like.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:38 PM
Well if a cancer drug is developed by this it will be great It is a shame my uncle who died from bowel cancer didn't live long enough to see this but at least some who are suffering will have hope now
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:46 PM
This week's Time magazine....
(You need a subscription to read the whole article, but you get the gist from the intro.)

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by creekin111 View Post
People can even stick their heads in a microwave and turn it on for a few seconds to see what its like.
I like the way you think...to the microwave!
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:08 PM
I wouldn't buy the mag when l can find information on the internet or if it is a big break through it will be broadcast on the news Like everything the mag subscription is a greedy way to get money off people
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by Bondgirl View Post
I wouldn't buy the mag when l can find information on the internet or if it is a big break through it will be broadcast on the news Like everything the mag subscription is a greedy way to get money off people
And that same greed has been killing off many of these greedy magazine companies. See, greed is good.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:29 PM
One drug that cures all cancer seems far too good to be true. Cancer is such a wide variety of diseases that often have little or nothing to do with each other.

Hope is good, but I don't see cancer being fixed that easily.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:50 PM


#1. It's About a Miracle Cure for Obesity, Cancer, or Clean Energy

Any Time You See a Headline Like ...

"Research Breakthrough Offers Obesity Cure Hope"


"13-Year-Old Makes a Solar Breakthrough"


"A Lifetime Supply of Energy in the Palm of Your Hand"


"A Virus That Kills Cancer"

You Should Read It As ...

"Scientists Continue to Exist and Study Important Problems, So Let's Use Their Hard Work to Instill False Hope and Get Free Traffic."

I'm not a pessimist, and I think the future will be awesome. But the vast majority of the positive science news that turns up on Reddit or science blogs or tech sites is pure bullshit.

Sometimes the stories are outright false, like the one about that genius 13-year-old who invented a far more efficient way to collect solar energy, or the group of African teenagers who invented a machine to get electricity from urine (in the first case, it turned out the kid did his calculations wrong, and in the second, the reporters misunderstood what the machine did -- the former was retracted a few days later, the latter was debunked by people who have a better idea of what they're talking about).

Other times the stories are true, but hugely misleading: They're just taking a very small scale, preliminary result and declaring it a potential savior of mankind -- here's one talking about how a new clean energy technology could "end our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years."

The problem is that the average person mistakenly thinks science works this way. When we were in school, we heard about how polio and yellow fever were suddenly wiped out overnight thanks to one genius who stumbled across the cure, and movies teach us that massive technical advancements are invented by Doc Brown in his garage or Tony Stark in a cave. So headlines play to this misconception by portraying every minor discovery as a potential magic bullet -- and each time further research debunks it and it just quietly goes away ... only to be replaced by the next miracle cure headline.

So if you actually Google the subject of the clean energy link above (in this case, thorium nuclear reactors) instead of, say, instantly forwarding it to all of your friends, you will be immediately kicked in the balls by Wikipedia's giant wall of text describing the many problems with the technology.

It's not that clean energy will never happen -- it totally will. It's just that it won't come from a wild-haired scientist running out of his basement screaming, "Eureka! I've discovered how to get limitless clean energy from common seawater!" Instead, it will come from thousands of scientists publishing unreadable studies with titles like "Assessing Effectiveness and Costs of Asymmetrical Methods of Beryllium Containment in Gen 4 Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors When Factoring for Cromulence Decay." The world will be saved by a series of boring, incremental advances that chip away at those technical challenges one tedious step at a time.

But nobody wants to read about that in their morning Web browsing. We want to read that while we were sleeping, some unlikely hero saved the world. Or at least cured cancer.

Yeah, cancer is another big one. I don't think I've ever been linked to an article as often as this one that came with the provocative title "Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice." It claims that a drug called dichloroacetate (DCA) cures cancer but that Big Pharma has suppressed the results. I think every six months that story explodes across Facebook and Reddit, and that's just one example -- the Internet is awash in astonishing cancer breakthroughs and cures, all of which, the fine print reveals, work great ... as long as we're talking about tiny, short-term studies and/or mice.

Hey, you know what else scientists are constantly curing in mice? Obesity. Just over the last few months alone I've seen the headline "Obesity Crisis Over? Scientists Discover Way to Turn 'Bad' Fat into 'Good' Fat" (in mice!), "Possible Answer to Obesity Found at Emory University" (a "magical compound" of proteins, they say -- it works great in mice!), and "Obesity Cure Claim by Irish and U.S. Researchers from Trinity and Harvard" (they've found immune cells that do the trick! In mice!).

And on and on. If you were to go back 20 years, you'd see the same goddamn thing (here's one from 1994 -- they found the obesity gene! In mice!). That's because about every five minutes for the last few decades, someone somewhere has successfully cured obesity in a lab mouse. Now, I don't want to disparage anybody's hard work, but if you can't cure obesity in a mouse at this point, you are a shitty scientist. You have total control over the animal's diet, and it doesn't have the million social, psychological, and physiological factors that make humans overeat -- successful mouse diets are not news.

Yet any time a news outlet needs to fill a spot, all they need to do is go grab from the giant pile of "Hey we also cured fat mice!" press releases and slap a "Potential Obesity Cure Found" headline on it. Free traffic. At this point, the biggest struggle seems to be coming up with original headlines. My favorites so far are "New Flab Jab Could Be Cure for Obesity" and "Could Obesity Be Cured by Injecting Our Guts With Fecal Bacteria from Ancient Mummies?" (you'll note the use of the "We know this is bullshit" question mark at the end). But when it comes to drawing clicks, who is ever going to beat "How Marijuana Could Help Cure Obesity-Related Diseases"? Hey, they're not lying. They've gotten great results! In mice! I'm telling you, if your pet mouse struggles with obesity, help is on the way.

But here's the reality: Nothing cures obesity in humans, other than the surgery that just shuts off your goddamn stomach so you can't fit food in there. Even if they give you weight loss drugs, you'll soon be steamrolled by a junk food and beverage industry that has specifically formulated their products to trigger an addiction response, which will blast you with advertisements every waking moment of your life. So you'll keep eating while reading about how it's OK because soon a pill will magically fix your waistline.

And no, there will never be a cure for cancer, either. That's because cancer isn't a disease, it's a word used to describe more than a hundred different diseases that all sort of look the same but have completely different causes and affect completely different areas of the body in completely different ways. Some are more deadly than others, and we're getting a little better at detecting and treating all of them. But it's boring to write a headline pointing out that, for instance, you could save millions of lives with nothing more than improved training for doctors who do colonoscopies.

No, what we want to see is a picture of a scientist holding a glowing green vial that says "CANCER CURE" on the side. We want solutions to be simple and exciting, and most important of all, we want to be the first to tell our friends about them when they happen. So we blindly forward the news along and the whole cycle of bullshit continues.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:21 AM

Yep. The first thing you do when you read a headline like that from a newspaper, magazine, etc., is look up the scientific journal article that the it is based on. In this case, not only did you find that the journal article was written a year ago (and therefore the Post was clearly excessively late in reporting on it), but also that there have been journal articles arguing against the findings of that study and that much more research needs to be done to even scratch the surface of what they have hypothesized.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:52 PM
Uhhh... I brought it up because it was on Time Magazine this week. wtf!?

Awww... Quentin and Bourne are best buddies and don't wike meee.
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