When your mother says eat your greens, you just might want to listen. It's been known since the 1970's that cruciferous vegetables, or cabbage family vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale, have anti-cancer benefits. But researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who have studied the benefits of anti-cancer vegetables for 15 years, are the first to explain how an anti-cancer compound, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), found in broccoli and cabbage, works to slow down the activity of an enzyme linked to rapidly developing breast cancer.
Tiny strings of drug-laden iron particles could kill tumors
By Arnie CooperPosted 10.10.2008 at 12:15 pm 19 Comments
“Cancer treatments have hit a wall,” says chemist Michael J. Sailor of the University of California at San Diego. Today’s chemotherapy drugs leave the body too quickly, and both chemo and radiation kill healthy cells indiscriminately, he explains. So he has developed “nanoworms,” strings of iron-oxide particles that could swim through your blood to kill nascent cancerous tumors—and nothing else.
Along with flying cars and underwater bubble cities, pills curing every ill are a staple of science fiction. But while aero-autobahns and submerged metropolises have not moved any closer to reality, medical science has advanced to the point where pills once considering miraculous may soon be a reality. Popular Science has a rundown of the top future pills that may one day change your life. Launch it here.
Scientists use magnetic nanoparticles to reign in cancer cells
By Molika AshfordPosted 07.17.2008 at 3:19 pm 1 Comment
Catching cancer before it metastasizes, or spreads throughout the body, is one way to increase your chances of survival. Now scientists may have found a way to help even when cancer is already on the move, by using magnets to lasso cancer cells and drag them out of the body. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown that magnetic nanoparticles—tiny shards of magnetic metal, less than a hundred thousandths of an inch in diameter—can be attached to cancer cells, which can then be manipulated and moved with another magnet.
Silicon Valley’s fabled invention machine shows its latest tech
By Sean CaptainPosted 04.29.2008 at 1:11 pm 7 Comments
If technology were a religion, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center would be one of the holiest shrines on any pilgrimage. So much of our modern computer world was invented at this freewheeling innovation lab (and largely given away). Prefer your mouse and point-and-click graphical interface to a UNIX-style command line? Thanks PARC. Think laser prints look better than dot-matrix scrawl? Thanks again.
Some say the glory days have passed. PARC today is a more-focused operation that has to turn quick profits (no more open funding from its owner Xerox). But its still a well-staffed corporate research lab in an era with ever-fewer of those creatures. On Monday, its staff opened the doors to the press to show off the latest gizmos.
See how scientists are learning from the most common form of life on Earth to fight cancer, produce ethanol and maybe even grow crops on the moon
By Dan SmithPosted 04.17.2008 at 4:08 pm 3 Comments
Germophobes and OCDers may want to stop reading now, or at least seriously consider only continuing with a bottle of Purell on hand—for today, were talking about bacteria, those squirmy no-see-‘ems that densely cover just about every surface imaginable here on Earth, including your own skin. However much hypochondriacal hatred the mention of them can bring about, as with other quasi-oxymorons like good cholesterol, wed be in a lot of trouble if it werent for bacteria.
Despite much scientific evidence to the contrary, talk of a cellphone-cancer link continues to loom large
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.03.2008 at 12:07 pm 6 Comments
Eggs used to be in the news all the time. One month they were good for you, the next month, bad. Morning talk shows and television commercials would trot out expert after expert to volley the conflicting health claims back and forth. But while there is a legitimate debate over the cholesterol content of egg yolks and whether that cholesterol is ultimately bad for you or not, the analogous debate getting airtime these days is not much of debate at all: whether cellphones cause brain cancer.
Or at least keep your teeth cavity-free. A growing chorus of medical researchers say our bacteria-killing zealotry is misguided. Instead of fighting bugs, they argue, we should train them to do our bidding and then set them loose in our bodies. The trouble is keeping them there
By Jessica Snyder SachsPosted 01.31.2008 at 1:24 pm 10 Comments
It's a drizzly morning on New York's Upper East Side, and Rockefeller University microbiologist David Thaler is sipping a double espresso amid the retro-hippie pillows and dangling paper stars of Java Girl, a favorite haunt of the neighborhood's brainiac Nobel laureates, aging poets and famous entertainers. Thaler somehow manages to embody all three—a long, graying ponytail curling down the middle of his back, wire-frame glasses askew over expansive brown eyes, and a schnozz to rival an Einstein, Ginsberg or Allen. Thaler is one of the leading cheerleaders for a new field of biotechnology aimed at engineering the bacteria inside us to deliver drugs, destroy tumors, actively fight infection, and even vaccinate against their disease-causing kin.
Sometimes our biggest fear is not knowing what to fear most. Fortunately, the weird science of risk analysis can teach us to judge better and fear smarter
By James VlahosPosted 06.13.2005 at 11:00 am 0 Comments
On December 27, 2004, while the world was focused on the Indian Ocean tsunami, a few astronomers were contemplating the possibility of an even deadlier disaster: that of a massive asteroid striking Earth. A fifth of a mile wide—heftier than the space rock that leveled a vast swath of Siberian forest in 1908—Near-Earth Asteroid 2004 MN4 had grabbed the attention of NASA scientists just before Christmas. They put the chance of an April 13, 2029, collision at 1 in 2,700 and two days later upped the odds to 1 in 165.