Scientists Program Viruses to Attack Cancer
Because cancerous cells are worse at defending against viruses than healthy cells, medical scientists across the country are working to modify viruses to specifically target cancer.
What's the Latest Development?
Clinical trials currently underway hint at a potentially promising future for viruses that have been engineered to attack cancerous cells in the body. A retooled form of vaccinia, the viral agent that helped eradicate smallpox, is being used against liver cancer, the third leading cause of death globally. Patients treated with high doses of the virus had double the survival rates of those treated with lower doses. "To see that kind of response in a randomized trial is simply unheard of,” said Tony Reid, the director of clinical investigation at the Moores Cancer Center of the University of California, San Diego.
What's the Big Idea?
Scientists have known that viruses help fight cancer since 1904, when doctors witnessed that women with cervical cancer went into remission after being given a rabies vaccination. Because medicine was still at a relatively primitive state, a series of wild experiments followed in which physicians injected live viruses into cancer patients: "They tried infecting terminally ill children with polio and adenovirus. They injected patients with concoctions from the feces of normal children, from sick chickens, and from 'feline spleen suspension' of rural kittens infected with 'cat plague.'"
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
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- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
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- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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