October 15, 2013
Red Wine Boost For Cancer Therapy – The Daily Orbit
Red wine scores another point.
Veggie power in the midst of radiation.
Lightning strikes and mountains change.
And it’s an augmented reality on the Daily Orbit.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
“Red, red wine…” There’s a reason they make songs about it. Red wine has a long list of benefits and here’s one more to add: New research from the University of Missouri has found that the compound resveratrol found in red wine can be used to boost the effectiveness of radiation-based cancer therapy. The study found that melanoma cells became more susceptible to radiation therapy if they were treated first with resveratrol. When the cells were treated with resveratrol alone, 44% of the tumor cells were killed; and when paired with radiation, 65% of tumor cells were killed. Researchers say if they can find a way to successfully administer resveratrol to tumor sites, then the compound could potentially be used to treat many types of cancer. Go team Red!
So resveratrol works well in conjunction with radiation and there’s a veggie compound that protects from the dangers of radiation. Georgetown University Medical Center researchers say a compound known as DIM, which is derived from cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, kept rats and mice safe from lethal doses of radiation. They say DIM has already been shown to be safe for humans and may protect normal tissues during radiation therapy or lessen sickness typically brought on by radiation exposure. Researchers say there could be two practical uses for DIM: 1. to protect patient’s normal tissues during radiation therapy for cancer and 2. to protect individuals from the consequences of nuclear disaster. And I give a thumbs-up to both applications.
When I think about aging, I never think about the fact that even your heartbeat slows down. But it does. And one team of scientists looked at why. Researchers at the University of Colorado found that aerobic capacity decreases with age because the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node, has less spontaneous electrical activity. This leads to age-dependent reduction in maximum heart rate; which among other things is the leading cause of nursing home admittance for otherwise healthy individuals who no longer have the physical capability to live on their own. Researchers admit that, with any new find, there is still a lot of research to be done. However, this information may help develop drugs that target the loss of aerobic capacity with age. Well, I sure don’t want anything slowing me down!
[ Lighting strike ] Well that will sure get your heart rate going! When lightning strikes you better watch out! New evidence shows that lightning strikes play a role in shaping mountains in Southern Africa – showing that mountains are a lot less stable than we tend to think. For centuries it had been thought that the angular formation of certain mountain rocks shaped slowly over time as frost and freezing caused the rocks to breaks off. New research shows that in fact lightning strikes have probably played a huge role in shaping mountains. Researchers were able to use a compass to look for magnetic “fingerprints” that are imprinted on rocks when they are struck by lightning. Scientists say we tend to think of mountains as passive agents, when really they can evolve quickly and dramatically over short periods of time. Fast and dramatic. I like it!
So what do you do when your company lets you go while you’re working on game-changing technology? Well you keep working and that’s just what these two did. Former Valve Software employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson have taken their CastAR glasses to Kickstarter. After being let go from Valve, they continued to work on their augmented and virtual reality glasses and are looking to raise $400,000 via crowdsourcing to turn their concept into a consumer product. The glasses have tiny projectors on the top that layer game and video data images over the real world. They use existing 3D technology to give the image depth while sensors track head motion and adjust the perspective. They are also a Virtual Reality solution with clip-on peripherals to the glasses. To get these AR/VR capabilities, you need to contribute $285. Makers say CastAR literally puts you in the game!
And that’s it for the Daily Orbit! See you tomorrow!