Killing Cancer With Heat
Cancer research has found that injecting mice with tiny magnets and turning up their body heat eliminated tumors from the animals' bodies with no apparent side effects.
What's the Latest Development?
That cancer cells can be killed with heat has been known for some time. The trick has been targeting the cancer cells so that the body's healthy cells do not die along with them. "One promising idea, known as magnetic hyperthermia, involves injecting minuscule 'nanoparticles,' basically microscopic lumps of iron oxide or other compounds, into tumors to make them magnetic. ... The magnetic nanoparticles are excited by the applied field and begin to get hot, heating and potentially destroying the surrounding cancer tissue. Because healthy tissue is not altered by the magnetic field, it does not heat up and is not damaged."
What's the Big Idea?
A major focus of nanotechnology has been its role in treating cancer. Nanoengineer Naomi Halas of Rice University in Houston, Texas, is impressed. "This group has solved the key impasse that has arrested the development of magnetic nanotherapies, that is, the weak response of the nanoparticle to the applied magnetic field," she says. "I am so happy that more of these types of nanoparticle-based hyperthermal therapies are being developed to increase the arsenal of weapons against cancer."
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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