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Robert Wallström
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Sci-fi short: Uncanny Valley

I really enjoyed this 8 min near-future flic looking at a world of advanced, pervasive VR. It's got a doco-like feel about it in places. Man, there are some exciting sequences making you think about the possibilities ... but then also the darker ways VR can be abused.
Loved it.


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Using "zombie cells" to battle cancer without side effects

Current cancer treatments target all cells with high growth rates - meaning that cancer cells, which multiply quickly, die, but other cells that multiply quickly end up slaughtered in the crossfire, such as hair follicles, intestinal cells, and so on... resulting in the standard battery of nasty side effects accompanying chemotherapy. But what happens if we could target just the cancer cells, and not the other cells?

That's what this latest bit of research suggests: Leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, leading to a large amount of undeveloped blood cells swimming around in the blood stream and thus limiting the effectiveness of blood in doing what it should be doing (transporting nutrients, wastes, repair tools, and fighting evil invader pathogens). The research team used an antibody to search for developing leukemic cells, and turned them into leukemic killer cells (that selectively kill leukemic cells) instead of 'normal' leukemic cells.

Put into an analogy, that's very similar to how fictional zombies work - only this time, the zombies are the good guys. If humans are cancer cells and zombies are the killer cells, then by introducing this antibody, we create the first zombie (leukemic killer cell). That zombie goes and kills all the leukemia cells around it, turning them into new zombies (more killers!) until there aren't any cancerous cells left. And just like humans tend to have poor chances holding out against a zombie apocalypse, those cancer cells have a tough fight against the zombie hordes of transformed killer leukocytes.

There are two very beautiful aspects to this solution of turning the cancer against itself:

1) Only cells that have started to develop leukemia are targeted, meaning that normal bone marrow cells continue to produce blood cells normally while the cancer cells die, and only to-be-cancer cells get transformed into cancer-killers. That means that once the cancer is eliminated, your body can stabilize to a normal condition quite quickly and safely.

2) Thanks to the receptor pleiotropism phenomenon, the cancer-killers target only leukemic cells, not any random cell in the body. That, in turn, means no side effects!

And, of course, let's not forget the poetic justice in it all: those who do evil get the evil that they deserve turned back on them. Evil cancerous cells deserve to die, and are thus brought to justice with a method as menacing as the one that they inflict to the rest of the body.

This sounds very promising. It will be interesting to see when, and how effective, the first human trials are!

/via +Eli Viertel 

#Cancer  #Treatment #Science #Medicine #Geist

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Körs va det vimmlar..
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Probably as close to the actual journey I would go anyway..

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Rumble in the suburb-jungle
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Bra där!
Mer sådant!

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Back to basics...

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