‘Liquid biopsy’ blood test predicts cancer

A new blood test that can detect methylation of DNA can accurately predict whether a person has any one of 50 cancers and where the tumour is growing…

…In all, more than 15,000 volunteers from over 140 clinics in North America took part, and their samples revealed that this ‘liquid biopsy’ had a 0.7% false positive rate for cancer detection. The test was also able to predict the tissue that the cancer originated in with more than 90% accuracy. It performed best on 12 of the most common cancers, including ones that are most lethal and have no established screening paradigms such as pancreatic and ovarian cancers…

The test works because when a tumour cell dies its DNA enters the bloodstream. This genetic material still carries methylation patterns that differ from healthy cells, and this is what the liquid biopsy measures. ‘The test exploits the fact that cancers are abnormally methylated, and … that different cancers have different methylation patterns,’ explains study co-author Eric Klein from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Fortunately, solid scientific research finds a way to keep to task, direction mostly unaffected by the politics of ignorance.

Anthrax vs. cancer…Researchers think they can cure dogs. We’re next in line.


Nicole Ehrhart

Can the feared anthrax toxin become an ally in the war against cancer? Successful treatment of pet dogs suffering bladder cancer with an anthrax-related treatment suggest so…

Among all cancers, the one affecting the bladder is the sixth most common and in 2019 caused more than 17,000 deaths in the U.S. Of all patients that receive surgery to remove this cancer, about 70% will return to the physician’s office with more tumors. This is psychologically devastating for the patient and makes the cancer of the bladder one of the most expensive to treat.

To make things worse, currently there is a worldwide shortage of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, a bacterium used to make the preferred immunotherapy for decreasing bladder cancer recurrence after surgery. This situation has left doctors struggling to meet the needs of their patients. Therefore, there is a clear need for more effective strategies to treat bladder cancer…

In collaboration with colleagues at Indiana University medical school, Harvard University and MIT, we designed a strategy to eliminate tumors using the modified toxin. Together we demonstrated that this novel approach allowed us to eliminate tumor cells taken from human, dog and mouse bladder cancer.

Read on!

Brake dust as bad for your lungs as diesel exhaust


Kristian Buus/Getty

Brake dust in urban areas currently makes up around 21% of traffic air particulates, but this is set to rise as regulations on diesel vehicles come into effect. With this information, a team led by Ian Mudway from King’s College London in the UK collected brake dust, produced under conditions representative of modern urban life, to investigate its effects on the immune function of human lungs. The team exposed lung cells to both diesel exhaust and brake dust particles to compare the toxicity of each. Their data showed that both pollution sources increased inflammation markers and impaired the ability of immune cells to ingest bacteria (called phagocytosis), which is the body’s primary mechanism for protecting the lungs against infection.

The study highlights how exposure to vehicle-derived pollution decreases the lungs ability to prevent infection and may be why such infections are more common in urban environments.

There’s good news and bad news in the article. From one of my favorite new tech sources.

Trump now deporting kids being treated for cancer!

❝ When you’ve already separated families, thrown children in cages, and held them in conditions that “could be compared to torture facilities,” it’s a bit of a challenge to come up with your next act. Evil takes creativity, and once you’ve forced migrant kids to go weeks without a shower or change of clothes and fed them expired food, it’s tough to continue nailing those Hitler comparisons. Somehow, though, the Trump administration always rises to the occasion…

❝ Severely ill immigrants, including children with cancer, cystic fibrosis, and other grave conditions, are facing deportation under a change in Trump administration policy that immigration advocates are calling cruel and inhumane.

… The program granted stays of deportation in two-year increments and didn’t promise immigrants a future in the United States, just access to care in a time of need, said Dr. Sarah L. Kimball…Boston Medical Center…

❝ …The outrages now come with such regularity that each tends to distract from the last. But it’s important to protest not just these changes, but also their overriding intent: to remove all vestiges of compassion from the immigration system and make life as miserable as possible for immigrant families. Can this administration sink any lower than threatening to deport kids with cancer?

Once again, I see no need whatsoever to separate the fools who continue to support this thug – and the scumbag, himself. We all see what his time in office contributes to diminishing human rights, human dignity. He doesn’t care. I see no reason to believe those who support this fake president and his policies are any different.

Our Fake President isn’t convinced that small doses of radiation harm you

❝ …AP reports that the Trump administration is quietly seeking to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on radiation exposure. The story took a closer look at a rule the EPA proposed back in April called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” When it was released, most coverage focused on the proposal’s potential limitation of what studies the EPA could and could not use in decision-making. It essentially demanded the EPA not use any studies based on data that isn’t publicly available.

…The transparency rule is hiding another agenda. Paragraphs scattered throughout the document make it clear that the proposed rule is meant to re-evaluate the science behind “the dose response data and models that underlie what we are calling ‘pivotal regulatory science.'” That jargon means the EPA wants to challenge the assumptions that underlie its current guidelines on toxic exposure.

❝ …Data shows that the higher the dose of radiation you receive, the more severe the consequences—in other words, that the response to doses is linear. The more radiation, the more health effects.

Because it’s much harder to accurately measure small doses of radiation in large populations over long periods of time, there isn’t much data available on the lower end. Still, most scientists agree that the relationship stays the same for small amounts of ionizing radiation: Small doses increase the aggregate risk of cancer by a relatedly small amount…

Trump and his flunkies want to remove safety measures currently in place. After all, they cost money which could be spent elsewhere. Like on golf trips.

I’ve noted here recently that early days in my working life were spent in metals testing labs. And some of that work involved materials used in nuclear power plants. I didn’t mention there were a number of folks I worked with BITD who were former researchers close-up and personal with nuclear radiation. The emphasis was on FORMER because pretty much every year they were updated on what was currently the new acceptable level of “safe” radiation over time. That dose became lower every year as scientific understanding increased. Most of them joked that the “new” dangerous levels were lower than levels they were exposed to as “safe” just a year or two previous. What else could they do? They had worked their way down to the labs where I worked because there was no radiation exposure at all. And they refused to accept the risk of continued exposure.

When you’re dealing with radioactive materials with a half-life measured in hundreds of years or more – which is only accumulative – the only result is a shortened lifespan. How much is that paycheck worth, then?

Remembering Marc Perkel

I don’t relish writing memorials or testimonials. But, “DVORAK UNCENSORED” needs a small jot of memory for one of the folks who authored many of the posts there in recent years. Marc Perkel. His company hosted the site.

Mark died August 1st after what feels to all of us like a really short, truly brave battle with lung cancer. I’m including a couple of links to reference sites he authored. I recommend you take the time to click through the abundance of links and get to fill out the gaps in your online contact with him.

He will be missed.

WHO THE HELL IS MARC PERKEL – http://www.perkel.com/marc.htm

MARC PERKEL’S WEBSITE – http://www.perkel.com

Court orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 Billion to cancer victims


Scott Eells/Bloomberg

❝ Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a jury to pay $4.69 billion to women who claimed asbestos in the company’s talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer, marking the sixth-largest product-defect verdict in U.S. history.

The award of $4.14 billion in punitive damages on top of the $550 million meant to compensate each of 22 women and their families for their losses sent the company’s shares down by as much as 1.4 percent in after-hours trading.

❝ The verdict Thursday by jurors in St. Louis city court came in the first test of plaintiffs’ claims of an asbestos-ovarian cancer link in use of J&J’s iconic baby powder. The asbestos cases are part of more than 9,000 claims alleging that J&J’s talc products cause cancer…

❝ J&J “will appeal till the cows come home, or until all the plaintiffs die,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier said in an interview Thursday. J&J should pull its talc-based products from the market or “mark it with a serious warning,” he said.

The era that has produced a wide and expanding gap between those who profit and those whose work creates value continues the work of thugs like Trump. Fear taking responsibility for your greed, the crimes committed in the name of profit? Don’t worry. You own a president who will try his hardest to stack the courts on the side of corporate wealth. Soon enough, with the cooperation of Congressional Republicans and so-called “centrist” Dems, all that is needed to continue the rape of this Earth will be sufficient buck$ to carry a case to the Supreme Court.

From corn to cornflake: Healthy compounds lost during food processing


The healthy bits are removed

For many Americans, highly processed foods are on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even when the raw materials – grains, for example – are high in vitamins and health-promoting phenolic compounds, processing can rob the final product of these nutrients. In a set of recent studies, University of Illinois scientists reveal what happens to cancer-fighting phenolic acids in corn when it is processed into cornflakes…

“What we found was not particularly good news, but it was interesting. Regardless of the concentration in the grain at the beginning, the dry-milling process removes the majority of phenolics,” says Carrie Butts-Wilmsmeyer, lead author of the two studies and research assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I…

“…we now have the process miniaturized and can control everything in the lab, we can also start figuring out how we can change the process to recover more of these compounds in the end product,” says Martin Bohn, co-author of the studies and associate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I.

That qualifies as a step towards legitimate improvement in the product. Not just the blather from the advertising mavens.

The water crisis government swamp-dwellers wanted to hide

The government just released a huge study about chemicals. Mazel tov! You made it through the most boring part of this article. Now for the fun stuff: The Trump administration didn’t want you to see the results of this study.

As you go about your daily business, you’re surrounded by compounds called perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS. They’re used in carpeting, food packaging, clothing, pots and pans, and the foam firefighters use to douse flames, to name a few. That’s because PFAS are resistant to heat, water, and oil. They’re incredibly helpful! They’re also toxic.

According to a major study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, the EPA has seriously underestimated how much of this stuff human beings can safely be exposed to. The major takeaway? PFAS have thoroughly contaminated many of the nation’s water sources, and they are associated with cancer, liver damage, fertility issues, and more — even in small doses. The study is the most fleshed-out assessment of information on PFAS to date, and it found that the EPA’s exposure limits should be 10 times lower than they are now.

RTFA and learn how EPA chief Scott Pruitt and our Fake President tried to block its publication in the first place.