In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Science “journalism” is why we can’t have nice things.

Science “journalism” is why we can’t have nice things.

rasputin:

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer. 

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range. 

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

 

jtotheizzoe:

Cancer cell and HIV, as masterfully (and I do mean masterfully) illustrated by Alexey Kashpersky. There’s a bit of artistic license with things like the tentacle-ish arms of metastasis, but they invoke a moving, swimming, creeping danger. Cellular Cthulhu.

And don’t miss his cadaver illustrations. They are Brain Scoop-worthy.

thenewenlightenmentage:

Nano Drug Crosses Blood-Brain Tumor Barrier, Targets Brain-Tumor Cells and Blood Vessels

July 17, 2013 — An experimental drug in early development for aggressive brain tumors can cross the blood-brain tumor barrier, kill tumor cells and block the growth of tumor blood vessels, according to a study led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James).
Continue Reading

thenewenlightenmentage:

Nano Drug Crosses Blood-Brain Tumor Barrier, Targets Brain-Tumor Cells and Blood Vessels

July 17, 2013 — An experimental drug in early development for aggressive brain tumors can cross the blood-brain tumor barrier, kill tumor cells and block the growth of tumor blood vessels, according to a study led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James).

Continue Reading

scienceyoucanlove:

 
Image by Dr Jon Heras 
An illustration of the progression of angiogenesis, which is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Tumours cannot grow beyond a few mm due to a lack of oxygen and other nutrients, so they encourage the formation of blood vessels to support their rapid cell division. For this reason, angiogenesis is a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant one.


you bastard.

scienceyoucanlove:

 

Image by Dr Jon Heras 

An illustration of the progression of angiogenesis, which is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Tumours cannot grow beyond a few mm due to a lack of oxygen and other nutrients, so they encourage the formation of blood vessels to support their rapid cell division. For this reason, angiogenesis is a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant one.

you bastard.

neurosciencestuff:

New form of cell division found
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center have discovered a new form of cell division in human cells.
They believe it serves as a natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division, preventing some cells from going down a path that can lead to cancer.
“If we could promote this new form of cell division, which we call klerokinesis, we may be able to prevent some cancers from developing,” says lead researcher Dr. Mark Burkard, an assistant professor of hematology-oncology in the department of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
Burkard presented the finding on Monday, Dec. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
(View a short video of the process here)

neurosciencestuff:

New form of cell division found

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center have discovered a new form of cell division in human cells.

They believe it serves as a natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division, preventing some cells from going down a path that can lead to cancer.

“If we could promote this new form of cell division, which we call klerokinesis, we may be able to prevent some cancers from developing,” says lead researcher Dr. Mark Burkard, an assistant professor of hematology-oncology in the department of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Burkard presented the finding on Monday, Dec. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.

(View a short video of the process here)

Feeling crabby about cancer conspiracy theories

jtotheizzoe:

You’ve all seen it at least once, maybe on your Facebook news feed, maybe on your Tumblr dashboard. Someone posts a link to a story about a new strategy of fighting cancer, and how pharmaceutical companies are keeping it secret because they can’t make bazillions of dollars by selling it. Usually, it’s something simple, like vitamins, but maybe it’s something you’ve never heard of, like neoplastons.

The person who posted it is usually outraged, outraged, I tell you. How dare these evil companies sit on something that could save untold millions of lives!! How dare this conspiracy be allowed to continue!!

Guess what? It’s BS. Next time someone posts a story like that, send them to read Cath Ennis’ defense of cancer research at The Guardian

Guess what? Cancer is hard to fight. Unlike fighting an infection or something, you have to fight a piece of the human body, without killing the rest of the human body.

“… killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed is like trying to win an old fashioned infantry battle in which both sides are wearing the same uniform, except some of the enemy have slightly different shaped buttons, others have slightly longer bootlaces, others have slightly lacier underwear, and all have the ability to suddenly change clothes halfway through the fight.”

Especially once you realize that the people who are being accused of the conspiracy lose loved ones, and even their own lives, to cancer every year.

The only conspiracies out there are the ones that hold up false hope and bad science in order to insult hard-working people fighting the most difficult set of diseases that humans face. It should stop.

wildcat2030:

Cancer is usually presented as a problem of cells becoming mindless replicators, proliferating without purpose or restraint. But that image underestimates the foe, according to a new paper. The authors argue that we’ll stand a better chance of combating cancer if we recognise that tumour cells are a lot smarter and function like a co-operating community. One of the authors, physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University in Israel, has argued for some time that many single-celled organisms, whether they are tumour cells or gut bacteria, show a rudimentary form of social intelligence – an ability to act collectively in ways that adapt to the prevailing conditions, learn from experience and solve problems, all with the “aim” of improving their chances of survival. He even believes there is evidence that they can modify their own genomes in beneficial ways. (via BBC - Future - Health - Combating cancer’s conversations)

wildcat2030:

Cancer is usually presented as a problem of cells becoming mindless replicators, proliferating without purpose or restraint. But that image underestimates the foe, according to a new paper. The authors argue that we’ll stand a better chance of combating cancer if we recognise that tumour cells are a lot smarter and function like a co-operating community. One of the authors, physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University in Israel, has argued for some time that many single-celled organisms, whether they are tumour cells or gut bacteria, show a rudimentary form of social intelligence – an ability to act collectively in ways that adapt to the prevailing conditions, learn from experience and solve problems, all with the “aim” of improving their chances of survival. He even believes there is evidence that they can modify their own genomes in beneficial ways. (via BBC - Future - Health - Combating cancer’s conversations)

alexob:

The researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego discovered that a small protein produced by cold viruses disables large cellular machines involved in growth, replication and cancer. These proteins accomplish this by forming a three-dimensional web inside a cell’s nucleus (yellow) that traps these components. The findings point the way to new ways to target and destroy tumors.

alexob:

The researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego discovered that a small protein produced by cold viruses disables large cellular machines involved in growth, replication and cancer. These proteins accomplish this by forming a three-dimensional web inside a cell’s nucleus (yellow) that traps these components. The findings point the way to new ways to target and destroy tumors.

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his New York hotel room to excoriating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported ‘from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.’ Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing his voice. 

Mortality is the most meditative piece of writing Hitchens has ever produced; at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this eloquent confrontation with mortality, Hitchens returns a human face to a disease that has become a contemporary cipher of suffering.

Due out in September

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his New York hotel room to excoriating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported ‘from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.’ Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing his voice.

Mortality is the most meditative piece of writing Hitchens has ever produced; at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this eloquent confrontation with mortality, Hitchens returns a human face to a disease that has become a contemporary cipher of suffering.

Due out in September

religiousragings:

apoplecticskeptic:

‘Universal’ cancer vaccine developed
A vaccine that can train cancer patients’ own bodies to seek out and destroy tumour cells has been developed by scientists.

Crosses my fingers.

Fuck yeah science!

religiousragings:

apoplecticskeptic:

‘Universal’ cancer vaccine developed

A vaccine that can train cancer patients’ own bodies to seek out and destroy tumour cells has been developed by scientists.

Crosses my fingers.

Fuck yeah science!

vinegarwilliams:

smarterplanet:

Implantable Tumor Tracker Is a Tiny Lab That Lives Inside Your Body And Reports Back | Popular Science
Rather than bringing people into the lab, researchers at MIT are putting tiny labs into people via a tiny implantable capsule that can track the growth of a tumor or detect heart-deterioration or even silent heart attacks from inside the body. The miniature lab is small enough to implant via a needle during a normal biopsy, and can remain inside the body vigilantly watching for increased tumor growth. The inside of the device is filled with nanoparticles, each sporting an antibody specially designed to bind to specific molecules like those that are produced by certain kinds of tumors or by damaged heart muscle cells.

via joshbyard:



Can I be scared of this? Is that ok?

Signs of the Singularity.

vinegarwilliams:

smarterplanet:

Implantable Tumor Tracker Is a Tiny Lab That Lives Inside Your Body And Reports Back | Popular Science

Rather than bringing people into the lab, researchers at MIT are putting tiny labs into people via a tiny implantable capsule that can track the growth of a tumor or detect heart-deterioration or even silent heart attacks from inside the body. The miniature lab is small enough to implant via a needle during a normal biopsy, and can remain inside the body vigilantly watching for increased tumor growth. The inside of the device is filled with nanoparticles, each sporting an antibody specially designed to bind to specific molecules like those that are produced by certain kinds of tumors or by damaged heart muscle cells.

via joshbyard:

Can I be scared of this? Is that ok?

Signs of the Singularity.