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Submission + - Why Everybody Seems to Have Cancer 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: George Johnson writes in the NYT that cancer is on the verge of overtaking heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death and although cancer mortality has actually been decreasing bit by bit in recent decades, the decline has been modest compared with other threats. The diseases that once killed earlier in life — bubonic plague, smallpox, influenza, tuberculosis — were easier obstacles. For each there was a single infectious agent, a precise cause that could be confronted. But there are reasons to believe that cancer will remain much more resistant because it is not so much a disease as a phenomenon, the result of a basic evolutionary compromise. As a body lives and grows, its cells are constantly dividing, copying their DNA — this vast genetic library — and bequeathing it to the daughter cells. They in turn pass it to their own progeny: copies of copies of copies. Along the way, errors inevitably occur. Some are caused by carcinogens but most are random misprints. Mutations are the engine of evolution. Without them we never would have evolved. The trade-off is that every so often a certain combination will give an individual cell too much power. It begins to evolve independently of the rest of the body and like a new species thriving in an ecosystem, it grows into a cancerous tumor. "Given a long enough life, cancer will eventually kill you — unless you die first of something else (PDF). That would be true even in a world free from carcinogens and equipped with the most powerful medical technology," concludes Johnson. "Maybe someday some of us will live to be 200. But barring an elixir for immortality, a body will come to a point where it has outwitted every peril life has thrown at it. And for each added year, more mutations will have accumulated. If the heart holds out, then waiting at the end will be cancer."

Submission + - India beats tech denial and sabotage, launches indigenous cryogenic rocket

An anonymous reader writes: India beats tech denial and sabotage, launches indigenous cryogenic rocket

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) today successfully launched its heavy-duty rocket — the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch vehicle (GSLV). The GSLV5, carrying communication satellite GSAT-14 was launched from Isro’s spaceport at Sriharikota, about 80 km from Chennai.

ISRO had to develop the cryogenic technology from scratch after the United States prevented Russia from transferring the technology to the India in 1993.

Today's successful launch marks the culmination of a 20 year effort to develop the engine.

A key scientist who was involved in the development of the cryogenic engine has accused the CIA of orchestrating the spy scandal that shook the organization in 1994. As a result, ISRO suffered a setback and the development of the engine was delayed by almost a decade.

Submission + - Google Maps to Remove Image of Corpse (bbc.co.uk)

Rambo Tribble writes: The BBC is reporting on an unprecedented case where Google is striving to post an immediate update to a satellite image of Richmond, California. The existing image, unfortunately, features the 2009 crime investigation scene of the homicide of a teenage victim. Naturally, those close to the victim find the image disturbing.

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