Friday, May 07, 2010

Cancer Carnival #33

It's that time of the month again: Cancer Research Blog Carnival time! Kicking things off, we have some research blogging from the Mad Lab Rat about mathematical modelling of cancer virotherapy.
Which was why the first thing that struck me when a certain jazz-playing poetry-writing philosopher-doctor sent this paper my way was that it was involved in developing a mathematical model for treatments. Not to replace animal testing, obviously, but to cut the tests down to those that were more likely to work, reducing the need for animal use.

The paper is exploring glioma virotherapy, which uses synthetic viral capsules to target cancer cells and kill them, while not harming the surrounding normal cells.
The paper models a variety of factors, including immune response and the effects of immunosuppressants and their effects on oncolytic virus propagation.

What does the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull have to do with cancer? The Thoughtful Animal explores a link between volcanic ash, intelligence and cancer
Put most simply, a teratogen is something in the environment that messes with a developing fetus. Specifically, teratogens are environmental agents that are relatively harmless to an adult, but that can result in birth defects and developmental disorders of varying severity in the child.
He does note that health-wise there isn't much to worry about with this particular eruption.

Over at Aetiology, there are a couple of student guest posts exploring causes of various cancers. First, a look at existing data examining a link between alcohol-based mouthwash and oral cancer. A second post explains how common gut bacteria may be involved in development of colon cancer. On the subject of colon cancer, Healthcare Hacks briefly discusses some research describing the health effects of fruit skin pigments (specifically anthocyanins) - colon cancer and obesity effects in particular.

In a bit of a change of pace, Life, Death, Cancer is a thoughtful post about the emotional experience of participating in a cancer race and the effectiveness of those types of fundraising efforts.

Finally, if you're interested in pretty data presentations (read: infographics), The Web Nurse has a collection of 25 such infographics related to smoking.

That's it for this month's Cancer Research Blog Carnival. For older editions, visit the Carnival Homepage. Don't forget, the CRBC has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available. For a broader collection of science-related blog carnivals, sign up for the Science, Medicine, Environment and Nature Blog Carnival Twitter Feed