Video Footage of a T Cell Attacking a Cancer Cell

Every day, our body’s T-Cells hunt down Cancerous cells and destroy them before they get big enough to turn into a real problem. It’s estimated that at least 3 times a day, our bodies get flushed out of cancer cells. The video above is comes from Cambridge University’s Under the Microscope series shows a white blood cell and a cancer cell. The T cell (green), first identifies then engulfs its victim in order to destroy it. The process is extremely slow, the video was sped up 92 times in order for it to be of any actual educational value. But it’s very cool.

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Cells of the immune system protect the body against pathogens. If cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, then killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. Cytotoxic T cells are very precise and efficient killers. They are able to destroy infected or cancerous cells, without destroying healthy cells surrounding them. The Wellcome Trust funded laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths, at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, investigates just how this is accomplished. By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control killer cells. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies.

 

Daylight Savings Time Is a Health Risk

A new study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham has come to the conclusion that daylight savings time can be dangerous to a person’s health. Their research shows that the Monday and Tuesday following daylight savings time will result in a 10 percent increase in heart attacks. They also said that the exact opposite is true when the clocks are set back an hour in October – heart attacks decrease by 10 percent.

UAB associate Professor Martin Young says that the reason is not known exactly but several theories have been made. “Sleep deprivation, the body’s circadian clock, and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone’s health.”

According to Young being sleep deprived can do a number on the body. For instance sleep deprived people are more likely to be overweight, and have a higher chance of developing heart disease or diabetes. The way a person reacts to sleep deprivation can depend a lot on whether or not they are a day or night person. “Night owls have a much more difficult time springing forward,” said Young.

Everyone’s circadian clock is set to a normal rhythm. When daylight savings time happens the cells in the body expect to have that extra hour that just is not coming. This can have a “detrimental effect on the body.”

Immune cells in the body depend a lot on their clock that is timed to a certain time of the day. Young said that a mouse given LPS, which is an endotoxin that requires immune responses in animals, would have its survival based on the time of day the endotoxin was given. Mice that had their immune systems challenged by an event much like daylight savings time died. Other mice given the endotoxin and not put in the same situation survived. This was to show how this kind of time change can have serious consequences for the immune system.

Young’s advice to help people ease their body into the change is to wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday before the change. Have a good-sized breakfast, go out into the sunlight, and exercise in the morning.

Origami Paper Sensor to Look for Diseases

The University of Texas at Austin has come up with an affordable way to figure out if people have certain diseases such as malaria or AIDS. The 3-D paper sensors were inspired by the art of origami. The eventual cost to test could be under 10 cents per sensor.

These sensors were developed by Richard Crooks, the Robert A Welch Professor of Chemistry, and doctoral student Hong Liu. They have the potential to increase the treatment of individuals in currently developing countries. The main idea is to work like a pregnancy test, but the sensors have the capabilities of looking for a number of diseases instead. Users would place urine, blood, or saliva on the sensor, which is a sheet of paper that uses photolithography.

“Biomarkers for all kinds of diseases already exist,” says Crooks. “Basically you spot-test reagents for these markers on these paper fluidics. They’re entrapped there. Then you introduce your sample. At the end you unfold this piece of paper, and if it’s one color, you’ve got a problem, and if not, then you’re probably ok.”

Crooks also said that anyone can fold these sensors. It does not require a specialist. This will allow volunteers working in developing countries to be able to pass these out to people, and get treatment much quicker for those that are found to have whatever the sensor is looking for.

Biocapsule Inserted into Humans to Protect against Diseases

This Biocapsule was originally created by NASA to be inserted into astronauts before going into space. The device is a tiny rod that is placed under the skin. According to The Atlantic, it is made out of “carbon nanotubes and is filled with cells that release a substance once a certain trigger activates them.”

These tiny little things are said to be real inexpensive to create. If they were put into production they could help to keep sickness and disease at bay without the intervention of people. The main idea was that they would help astronauts that are hit by radiation while in space, but they also have plenty of potential for everyone stuck on Earth.

Diabetes could be one disease that would be benefited tremendously by this type of technology. The Biocapsule could work as a functioning pancreas by being filled with “islet pancreatic cells.” Cancer patients could also be helped considering radiation is directed at the spot of tumors on their bodies to decrease them.

Dr. David Loftus is the man behind the NASA Biocapsule. He saw an urgent need for astronauts in space who cannot get to a doctor and may end up developing all sorts of problems considering the length of time they spend away from Earth.

According to Gizmodo these Biocapsules have the capability of treating people for up to several years. They have been designed to be resilient in the human body because the nanostructure is inert. Medications are capable of easily passing straight through them because of their “porous nature.”

It simply takes one outpatient procedure to have them implanted below the skin. At the moment it seems that once the cells are depleted the Biocapsule will stay inside the body until a doctor removes it; however, it could stay for a very long time before another surgery would be necessary.

Dr. Loftus said, “The energy needed to produce the therapeutic molecules come from the cells’ own metabolism. The cells have access to nutrients that enter the capsule by diffusion (across the pores of the capsule wall), and these nutrients (including dissolved oxygen) support the metabolism of the cells. The lifetime of the cells could be months to years.”

Redheads Have A Higher Pain Tolerance Than Non Redheads

Well, it turns out that the color of your hair really does make you special. A study revealed that red headed people have a higher pain threshold than people with other hair colors. Not only that, but they can eat spicier foods than the rest of the population – I guess they do have it better than us.

According to Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen, one of the researchers in the study, they found that red heads’ skin is less sensitive to stinging pain. The researchers tested their skin by placing capsicum, the ingredient that makes peppers hot, under their skin. Nielsen said that it took higher levels of capsicum for the redheads to feel the same pain as a normal person.

There you go, Gingers really are better than us. They either have a special gene that makes us better, or they have gotten so much pain in the past that their bodies learned to tolerate the pain. [Science Nordic]

Why do Women Make Noises During Sex?

When a woman is having sex with her partner, and she’s making noises during the entire act, she’s doing it out of pleasure – unless she’s faking it – but there is something more to those noises. A study conducted by William J. Hamilton and Patricia C. Arrowood revealed that real reason she’s doing it is to call for backup.

The research suggest that women that are loud during sex are actually trying to turn nearby men on in hopes that her moans will increase competition for her body. In other words, the louder she screams, the more competition she’s looking for.

Stuart Semple, a British primatologist (the people who study primates), said that women and female apes make noises as part of an unconscious way to call other males to her before, during, and after sex. This way she can get the best mate to pass on their genes.

Semple told PsychologyToday that after studying hundreds of female baboon mating calls, and calls made during sex, male baboons can gather detailed information about the females ovulation cycle, age, sexual maturity, and even how good the guy they are currently with is at having sex.

In other words, a half assed moan means she doesn’t have the best mate in the sack, but we already knew that right?

Other researchers have been looking at the calls, screams, and moans of actual humans, and while the variations and complexity are not as detailed as those of baboons, they still have some sort of evidence that human females are doing the same thing.

Another reason as to why women scream during sex is to make their mate reach climax faster. We Humans had hundreds of predators when we were still in our primitive stages of life, screaming in a “sexual” manner was a way of the woman saying – Hurry up! Were about to get killed by a tiger! – So the more screaming, the faster the man climaxed.

I guess now days that means, she’s screaming because her husband, parents, or roommates are coming through the front door and she’s trying to get you to hurry, or she’s trying to get the attention of the people around her. Makes you think twice about that copulatory scream coming from the bedroom above you at night uh?

Artificial No-Pump Heart

It has already been placed into several calves successfully, and at least two humans.  They each had a complete artificial heart replace their actual heart, and none of them now has a pulse.  What if someone you knew was walking around without a pulse? Personally, I am calling vampire.

Seriously, a new developing technology could change the way people with heart failure perceive it.  Right now there are people waiting on lists that may never see a heart.  Some of them are attached to heart pumps that are there to keep them alive until their name can be called for a transplant.  It really is no way to live.

As of today on the UNOS website there are 113,163 people on the waiting list, and out of that amount only 72,583 will even be considered for a donor heart.  Last year in the United States according to the Health Resources and Services Administration there were only 2,203 heart donors.  So, basically having heart failure and getting a transplant is like winning the lottery.

The new continuous-flow hearts that steadily deliver blood to the body are being developed by Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute.  All of them have placed turbines in individuals for years, and these help the heart to work.  Their hope is that the new artificial heart will be able to completely replace sick hearts in people.

The invention of the Archimedes’ screw would go on to help power the LVAC, a pump that helps the heart to work and later the HeartMate II.  After several amazing cases of patients’ hearts stopping to work to all together, and the LVAC taking over as a way of delivering blood to the body, Cohn was further inspired to find a way to come up with a turbine that could completely replace the heart.

Cohn placed the first continuous-flow artificial heart into a calf named Meeko.  The device is based on ventricular design and will push blood continuously throughout the patient’s body instead of in pumps.  Cohn and Frazier discovered that the pulse was only necessary for the actual heart, and Cohn said, “The pulsatility of the flow is essential for the heart, because it can only get nourishment in between heartbeats. If you remove that from the system, none of the other organs seem to care much.”

Steve Jobs’ Cancer Could Have Been Cured But He Chose Acupuncture Instead of Surgery

As it turns out, Steve Jobs’ death could have been avoided by modern medicine. The only reason his cancer could not be cured was because Jobs choose better natural and alternative methods. Forbes reported that according to Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, Jobs came to regret the decision he had made years earlier to reject potentially life-saving surgery in favor of alternative treatments like acupuncture, dietary supplements and juices. By the time that Jobs finally understood and realized that surgery and medicine was the way to go, the cancer was too advanced and had already metastasized. In the last years of his life Jobs sought out cutting-edge experimental methods to beat cancer; but even they were not good enough to keep him alive.

Jobs’ cancer had been discovered by accident during a CT scan in 2003 to look for kidney stones, during which doctors saw a “shadow” on his pancreas. Isaacson told CBS’ 60 Minutes last night that while the news was not good, the upside was that the form of pancreatic cancer from which Jobs suffered (a neuroendocrine islet tumor) was one of the 5% or so that are slow growing and most likely to be cured.

After the cancer diagnosis, Jobs was asked to have the cancer surgically removed, but he refused the procedure because he, “didn’t want [his] body to be opened…[he] didn’t want to be violated in that way.” For nearly nine months, Jobs was using dietary treatments and other alternative methods to help him beat cancer. His early resistance to surgery was apparently incomprehensible to his wife and close friends, who continually urged him to do it.

Thousands of people now days are against modern medicine because it’s not 100% effective, or because it’s not “natural,” or they read about the small but serious complications that can arise from surgery. But even if a treatment is only 25% effective, it is always better than being told “your chances of dying are 100%.”

I’m sure that you could say Acupuncture could cure sicknesses, or taking natural juices can cure the body from an illness, but the fact of the matter is that science and medical procedures work, and unlike natural supplement sellers who claim their juices or meditations will cure cancer, the doctors who perform surgeries have solid evidence that the surgery they perform works – most of the time. And to me, most of the time is better than none of the time.