17 Jul 2012

We are now reaching that point in time where we are beginning to see more devices that help the blind see, particularly in the area of bionics.  Such implants restore vision to blind individuals but only if the blindness was due to a faulty retina, such as with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or other degenerative eye disease.  Examples of these bionics are the Argus II and Bio-Retina.

10 Jun 2012

Tech-Stew Podcast E17: Your Screen is Leaking was recorded on Saturday June 9th, 2012.

Summary: 

Facebook's App Center launches, iOS 6 confirmed, Microsoft SmartGlass, touchscreen tacticle keyboards, Windows 8 Release Preview details, a new treament for prostate cancer and more.

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04 Jun 2012

It's a very good sign for a cancer drug when a clinical trial is shut down so that every participating patient can receive it.  That's exactly what has happened with Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga.

Zytiga

Zytiga was approved last year for advanced prostate cancer patients who had already received chemo but whose cancer had still metastasized.  Prostate cancer is usually treatable if caught early.  Each year 200,000 men develop the cancer.  If the cancer spreads it usually ends up in the bones where it is resistant to normal testosterone-blocking hormonal therapies.

16 May 2012

In 2011, Cathy Hutchinson, a paralyzed woman, lifted a cup for the first time in 15 years using a robotic arm that was controlled by her thoughts.  This was thanks to a project called BrainGate2, which is getting us closer to where prosthetic or robotic arms can allow people to re-gain their limbs.

26 Mar 2012

The Gist

Human tumors transplanted into lab mice disappeared or shrank when scientists treated the mice with a single antibody, this according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.  A protein flag (CD47) on the cancer cells is masked, which protects them from macrophages and other cells in the immune system.  The findings were done with human breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, brain, liver and prostate cancer samples. 

21 Mar 2012

Vaccinia Virus

Those pesky viruses can make us all sick, but one day could be engineered to defeat cancer.  Cancer cells have one trait that may leave them open to attack.  They aren't good at killing off viral infections, hence, at least in theory, you could use a virus to kill cancer cells without affecting the patient.

Some of the efforts to use viruses to defeat cancer date back to 1951.  A 4-year old with leukemia caught chicken pox.  As a result the leukemia went into remission, but later returned once the chicken pox was gone, unfortunately the child later died.  Continued efforts to use these techniques went on until the 1960s and after this point, other methods began to be investigated.  Since the 1960s much has happened in science, with an understanding in the genetics and workings of viruses and cancer.  

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