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Comment: Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 122

Cancer cells do not reproduce indefinitely because of their rate of DNA degradation. Cancer cells reproduce indefinitely because the intracellular signaling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_transduction) that controls apoptosis, survival, proliferation or differentiation has gone awry. Mutations associated with cancer usually result in a gene product that causes the aberrant signaling.

One thing that concerns me about this study is that the authors use androgen ablation therapy (ABT) as a "pilot." ABT usually works well at first, shrinking a tumor so that it can be surgically removed, and this new therapy increases the speed with which that happens, which is great. However, ABT also causes transdifferentiation of prostate cancer cells into a neuroendocrine-like phenotype. This NE-like phenotype secretes growth factors that prostate cancer cells thrive on, and may even induce transformation in normal prostate cells. So while the therapy is successful at first, remission years down the road (and many times sooner) is not uncommon. So it seems to me that in order for this new therapy, and ABT in general, to truly cure patients, the transdifferentiation process to NE-like cells must be blocked. Luckily there are several groups already working on sorting the signaling pathway activation that occurs during this particular transdifferentiation, which could potentially identify some new drug targets. It will be interesting to see if the patients taking part in this new therapy will regress in the same way "successfully" ABT treated patients have in the past.

Comment: mashups are inevitable (Score 1) 492

by sponzereII (#27173851) Attached to: So Amazing, So Illegal
protons, neutrons and electrons mashup to form atoms. atoms mashup to form molecules. molecules mashup to form biomolecules. biomolecules mashup to form cells. cells mashup to form plants and animals. the point? everything is a building block for something new. when pieces of old stuff interact in a new way to form new stuff, that is called emergence, not copyright infringement. this phenomenon is inevitable, and the more building blocks that exist, the more the mashup effect will be amplified. like it or not, us and everything we do/say/think is simply a mashup of a mashup of a mashup of a mashup.....

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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