Cancer Revolution: Genetics & Personalized Medicine
The way we think of and treat cancer is rapidly changing thanks to falling gene sequencing prices, growing data about cancer genetics and new drugs targeting specific mutated genes.
What's the Latest Development?
No longer a theoretical possibility, cancer treatments are fundamentally changing, ushering in the long-awaited era of personalized medicine. Foundation Medicine is a private medical laboratory on the cutting edge of some very promising cancer research. The company currently performs genetic biopsies on patient tumors, hunting for genetically mutated genes which could be countered by the pharmaceutical industry's growing interest in targeting specific genes with new drugs. Patients of these drugs are tested for specific genes first.
What's the Big Idea?
As with many breakthroughs that part ways with convention, the way we conceive of cancer is changing thanks to the abundance of genetic information we are able to gather about it. Thinking of cancer in terms of which organ it affects--breast cancer, lung cancer, etc.--may shortly become antiquated. The gene HER2, for example, which is found in breast cancer, is also frequently present in gastric cancers. Thus, new medications could target this gene in common, possibly treating both with the same pill.
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How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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