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Comment: Re:proof (Score 1) 128

by cstepan (#36473424) Attached to: Indication of Neutrino Transformation Observed

not exactly too far away from Fukushima

Makes me wonder if the recent earthquakes put their aim off, possibly requiring recalibration at the sending end. I know this happens to radars after large quakes.

Pre-print here. They used data from the first two runs (Jan-Jun 2010 and Nov 2010-Mar 2011). I can guess why Run 2 ended when it did. The speculation about earthquakes and Fukushima contamination are unfounded.

Medicine

+ - Cellular Phone Use Won't Give You Cancer->

Submitted by Stoobalou
Stoobalou (1774024) writes "A study conducted by the UK's Manchester University has found that radio frequencies used by cellular phones do not appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancers by any significant amount.

But having your cell-phone constantly clamped to your ear might make an existing tumour grow faster which is why previous studies have been skewed"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Media (Score 1) 241

by cstepan (#35240502) Attached to: Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser

I don't know if you realize this, but the prostate is extremely easy, if a bit uncomfortable, to access. A lot easier than, say, your pancreas.

Seriously, the doctor checks it with a finger, do you really think it's not near an accessible surface?

Also, this sounds like it could be much, much more targeted, and therefore safer for the patient, than current techniques.

Yes, the prostate is easy to access from the rectum, but that does not make it a good idea to shove a linear accelerator up a guy's ass. Apart from the discoftort caused by the insertion, you'd also burn a large hole in his rectum and cause your patient to need a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. Good work!

Comment: Re:Media (Score 1) 241

by cstepan (#35237672) Attached to: Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser
Gah. Even worse, the article quotes the physicist talking out his ass about cancer therapy:

“Already, radiation for cancer does something like this but uses a different principal. And it can only shrink tumors near the surface of the skin. But in our case, CPAs may be able to reach a bit deeper.”

Ummmm...no. Not even close. Radiation therapy can "shrink tumors" anywhere in the body, not just near the surface of the skin. Unless he thinks the prostate is near the skin surface. I don't know how much "deeper" he plans on going.

Comment: Re:Anti-reform? Bias much? (Score 2, Informative) 23

by cstepan (#29304957) Attached to: Man's Finger Bitten Off At Health Care Rally
If anyone can tell me what's in THIS plan, I'll give them a cookie.

Right now, I don't know what the hell we're all arguing about. I work in the healthcare field (I can tell you some stories about how absolutely monstrous the insurance companies are), have been paying close attention to this "debate", and I don't know what THIS plan or THAT plan contains. There's been some talk about a public option (which I hear is tantamount to replacing Congress with the Politburo) that's in some versions of the bill and not in others. And apparently a modest proposal to kill all the old people and Stephen Hawking. But other than that, it's all a big blur.

So please enlighten us on what sort of meaningful reforms the Republicans have proposed. Other than their courageous stance against eugenics.
The Media

+ - PBS Just Gave You...Everything->

Submitted by D Ninja
D Ninja (825055) writes "In a recent blog post, Verne Gay points out that PBS has launched its own video portal featuring thousands of hours of television shows. This includes full seasons of Antiques Road Show, Frontline, and many others. From his post:

Unlike the commercial networks which, in most cases, simply put up certain episodes or certain programs, PBS will be putting up complete seasons of almost all programs. Ultimately, thousands of hours of PBS video will be included — extensive archives & back-catalog, content from PBS broadcast TV spanning all its genres, as well as from local PBS stations, feature-length films and documentaries, live events and performances, exclusive web-only content, and more.

"

Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - Nanoparticles direct scorpion venom to cure tumors->

Submitted by
Death Metal
Death Metal writes "Now, the poison of the scorpion is back; this time, with a partner that could make it even more effective in killing brain tumors.

But scientists at the University of Washington have now found if you combine the scorpion molecule with nanoparticles, you cut the spread of cancer cells not by a mere 45 percent but by 98 percent.

Jensen said, "If they can get better delivery and get more efficacy of the delivery of the drug, then a new clinical trial, I'm sure, would be the next step after that.""

Link to Original Source
Movies

+ - Biden Promises 'Right Person' as Copyright Czar

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Vice President Joe Biden lauded Hollywood at a gala dinner in Washington, assailed movie piracy, and promised film executives that the Obama administration would pick "the right person" as its copyright czar. Biden warned of the harms of piracy at the private event organized by the Motion Picture Association of America in the sumptuous, newly renovated Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. "It's pure theft, stolen from the artists and quite frankly from the American people as consequence of loss of jobs and as a consequence of loss of income," Biden said, according to a White House pool report. Biden addressed President Obama's forthcoming decision about who will be named the intellectual-property enforcement coordinator, better known as the copyright czar. Under a law approved by the U.S. Congress last October, Obama is required to appoint someone to coordinate the administration's IP enforcement efforts and prepare annual reports. Copyright industry lobbyists sent a letter to the president asking him to pick someone sympathetic to their concerns, while groups that would curb copyright law sent their own letter (pdf) urging the opposite approach. We "will find the right person for intellectual property czar," Biden said."
Networking

+ - Should network cables be replaced? 1

Submitted by Jyms
Jyms (598745) writes "As technology changes, so hubs routers and switches are upgraded, but does the cabling need replacing, and if so, how often? Coax gave way to CAT 5 and CAT 5e replaced that. If you are running a 100Mbit/s network on old CAT 5, can that affect performance? Do CAT 5(e) cables get old?"

Comment: Re:So,no more DRM (Score 1) 1079

by cstepan (#26359651) Attached to: Apple Intros 17" Unibody MBP, DRM-Free iTunes

William the Conqueror spoke French, as did most of the Kings of England in the Middle Ages, when they weren't busy dying of dysentery. Richard the Lionhearted, that exemplar of the English Monarchy, spoke only French and spent approximately 20 minutes on English soil in his entire life.

What this has to do with DRM, I don't know. But the fact that we went from there to here says something. What that something is? Again, I don't know. Athesimo bless the internets!

Comment: As a survivor and a physicist in RadOnc (Score 1) 163

by cstepan (#21839340) Attached to: Hospitals Look to a Nuclear Tool to Fight Cancer

I hope your wife is doing as well as I am. Cancer is truly a bitch.

Protons are an attractive modality of treatment. They offer attractive depth-dose characteristics (see the previous mention of the Bragg Peak), a higher relative biological effectiveness (they kill more cells per unit dose), and do somewhat better on hypoxic tumors (tumors with areas of low oxygen concentration). And I admit, it sure would be a cool toy to have here at work. But...

There are many practical problems with proton accelerators. First is that they are HUGE; the bending magnet is often 10 to 100 times as large as that of an electron accelerator (used to make x-rays). There are not that many hospitals who have the real estate to accommodate such a machine. Because they are so expensive and expansive, most facilities will only be able to afford one such machine. What do you do when it breaks down? Radiation therapy outcomes can be quite sensitive to skipped days and breaks in the scheduled treatment course, which often are every weekday for 6-8 weeks (which is why we are treating patients on both Saturday and Sunday last weekend and this one, to give our patients Christmas and New Year's Day off without compromising their treatment). As for being "crisper and cleaner around the edges," advanced techniques in photon therapy do this pretty darn well. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy can construct dose distributions with very sharp gradients that are comparable to the distributions achieved by protons.

In the end, until superconducting bending magnets become cheap, or until plasma wakefield proton beams achieve the luminosity necessary to be useful in the clinic, protons will remain a niche market. And honestly, for most cases it would make very little difference to me if I or any of my family were treated with x-rays or protons.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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