EssentialstheDiagonal is a personal blog by Mike Gerra, skeptic, technologist, psychologist, artist, humanist, collector of grand, eclectic ideas.theDiagonal blog connects the dots across multiple disciplines for inquisitive, objective and critical thinkers, exploring the vertices of big science, disruptive innovation, global sustainability, illuminating literature and leftfield art. It is on this diagonal that creativity thrives, big ideas take flight and reason triumphs.
Tag Archives: cancer
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The illustrious Vaccinia virus may well have an Act Two in its future.
For Act One, over the last 150 years or so, it has been successfully used to vaccinate most of the world’s population against smallpox. This helped eradicate smallpox in the United States in the early 1970s.
Now, researchers are using it to target cancer.
First, take the Vaccinia virus — a relative of the smallpox virus. Second, re-engineer the virus to inhibit its growth in normal cells. Third, add a gene to the virus that stimulates the immune system. Fourth, set it to work on tumor cells and watch. While, such research has been going on for a couple of decades, this enhanced approach to attacking cancer cells with a viral immune system stimulant shows early promise.
From ars technica:
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The title could be mistaken for a dark and violent crime novel from the likes of (Stieg) Larrson, Nesbø, Sjöwall-Wahlöö, or Henning Mankell. But, this story is somewhat more mundane, though much more consequential. It’s a story about a Swedish cancer killer.
From the Telegraph:
On the snow-clotted plains of central Sweden where Wotan and Thor, the clamorous gods of magic and death, once held sway, a young, self-deprecating gene therapist has invented a virus that eliminates the type of cancer that killed Steve Jobs.
‘Not “eliminates”! Not “invented”, no!’ interrupts Professor Magnus Essand, panicked, when I Skype him to ask about this explosive achievement.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Author, polemicist par-excellence, journalist, atheist, Orwellian (as in, following in George Orwell’s steps), and literary critic, Christopher Hitchens shows us how the pen truly is mightier than the sword (though me might well argue to the contrary).
Now fighting oesophageal cancer, Hitchen’s written word continues to provide clarity and insight. We excerpt below part of his recent, very personal essay for Vanity Fair, on the miracle (scientific, that is) and madness of modern medicine.
From Vanity Fair:
Death has this much to be said for it:
You don’t have to get out of bed for it.
Wherever you happen to be
They bring it to you—free.
Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying.
—Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
Wednesday, January 10, 2007