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Comment: Re:'Radiation Free' (Score 1) 35

I suspect the real story here is likely finding a good target (SFRP2), more so than the microbubbles. Finding a specific enough target always seems to be the limiting factor in immunotherapy, nanoparticle-based drug delivery, GNP-based radiothermal therapy, etc.

Now if they could find a good target for more cancers (I definitely agree on breast as a good target--elastography ultrasound is already a big topic of interest there), it could have a nice impact on treatment options. Since you can't really image too frequently by MRI, CT, etc. due to exposure limits, you can't do high-frequency watchful waiting, which biases clinicians and patients towards intervention when they detect something.

In breast cancer, this is a pretty hot topic: all these frequent / early mammograms are detecting lots of DCIS, and the standard thing to do is lumpectomy. But there's growing evidence that these are likely being overtreated, and many if left alone would likely not progress to invasive carcinoma for a long time. But since there's no great way to know on a patient-by-patient basis, and since you can't really keep a close eye on them by frequent imaging, it's tough to do otherwise.

But if you could image the breast cancer really well by ultrasound, you could do such a watchful waiting: image frequently, and so long as there's no change, keep monitoring. (Not sure if this would have have the resolution to detect an in situ cancer like DCIS, though. Will have to read the article.) It would be nice to see such watchful waiting options open up for other cancers where treatment choices are perhaps otherwise unclear.

I've also seen early work attempting to use interference patterns in ultrasound (putting a few piezoelectric membranes at the right spacing, etc.) to induce apoptosis at specific spots. It would be interesting to see if this work could help enhance that ...

Comment: Re:3D Printing is too complex. There is an easier (Score 1) 234

by macklin01 (#46106813) Attached to: 3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate

I disagree with a lot of the parent's post, but this part is reasonably solved. When you decellularize an ECM, the vessel walls remain intact. Then you reseed with HUVECs (an endothelial cell line), and they tend to find their way back onto the old vessel walls to form a vasculature.

But you are absolutely right that the microarchitecture of the tissue is very, very significant to proper function.

Comment: Re:3D Printing is too complex. There is an easier (Score 2) 234

by macklin01 (#46106797) Attached to: 3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate

While the ECM molecular components are conserved as you point out in another post, their distribution (e.g., how much collagen IV, matrix-embedded glycoproteins, etc.), stiffness, and microarchitecture vary quite a bit from species to species, organ to organ, and even individual to individual. And this radically affects the phenotype of the cells that you transplant on them. Both cancer and "normal" epithelial cells are known to change their motility, proliferation, and even polarization characteristics based upon the stiffness of the tissue, for example.

And take a look at livers: pig livers have a very thick membrane between hepatic lobules, making them great for textbooks, as you can very clearly see portal triads and central veins and the overall lobular outlines. Human tissue, by contrast, has very thin membranes between lobules that can scarcely be seen in H&E pathology. This makes pig liver ECM a very poor starting point for growing a human organ replacement. When our collaborators build bioengineered liver tissue, they actually start with decellularized ferret livers because their structures are closer to humans than pigs.

This is why a mix of 3-D printing and seeding progenitor cells could be promising in the future. If you could 3-D print the ECM to have the correct spatial distribution and mechanical properties, you'd have a much better starting point when you seed them with progenitor cells to grow the epithelium / parenchyme, HUVECs to grow the vessels, etc.

Aside: I have yet to see XCM in 10+ years of cancer research and tissue biomechanics work. It's ECM.

Comment: Re:His next project is interesting (Score 2) 168

by macklin01 (#45432127) Attached to: Stephen Wolfram Developing New Programming Language

Wolfram announced his latest idea - that there needed to be some kind of pliable material available next to toilets with which to clean one's bum. This material, he said, is going to be really soft, probably a couple of layers thick, and needed to be on some kind of continuous dispenser mechanism which he is developing.

And naturally, he'll call it Wolfram paper. :-)

Comment: Re:Data will get you jailed (Score 2) 722

by macklin01 (#45245573) Attached to: Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

I figure there needs to be something similar to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: here, something that makes society safer overall (vaccines) is promoted by reducing the risk of an individual harm (a rare side effect). This says: "Pay in and help make society safer, and if it individually harms you, we've got your back."

So, why not something for driverless cars? You opt into a driverless car with the societal benefit of reduced accidents, and if your driverless car harms you individually (physically or legally), the national defense fund takes over.

Comment: Re:iPhone and "txt" messages (Score 1) 242

by macklin01 (#43602449) Attached to: The Balkanization of Chatting

BitZtream (692029) wrote: That doesn't happen on iPhones, perhaps its your end thats the problem.

theurge14 (820596) wrote: Sounds like it might be a problem on your phone. I haven't seen this problem at all on iPhones.

[snark]Of course the standards-breaking message sender renders its standards-breaking messages correctly.[/snark]

More seriously, we have:

  • iPhone -> iPhone : no problem
  • non-iPhone -> iPhone : no problem
  • non-iPhone -> Android : no problem
  • iPhone -> Android : textual messages appearing like multimedia attachments

This suggests that iPhone is using iChat or similar to "txt" with other phones and encoding outgoing info in some sort of multimedia or attachment tags within the SMS format.

Comment: iPhone and "txt" messages (Score 1) 242

by macklin01 (#43601395) Attached to: The Balkanization of Chatting

I can't stress enough how much it drives me up the wall to get text messages on my Android phone from iPhones. Far too often, they show as "multimedia" messages requiring a data connection just to download 5-7 words of text.

Or when an iPhone user sends a txt message to several people, and each "reply to all" response appears as a separate, disjoint SMS thread without the full conversation or context.

Comment: Re:Privacy and etiquette (Score 5, Interesting) 155

by macklin01 (#43125383) Attached to: Developers Begin Hunt For a Killer App For Google Glass
Personally, as a guy with hearing loss that's really cutting into those handy consonant sounds above 2000 Hz, I'm thrilled at the idea of real-time "closed captioning" placed under each speaker. Right now, noisy restaurants and lectures can be a bit of a nightmare, even with top-of-the-line hearing aids.

Mathematics deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience. -- Albert Einstein

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