Cancer Research is Changing

Cancer research is changing. In the right direction. Instead of focusing on expensive and harmful medications and treatments that compromise every organ in your body, research is looking for ways to outsmart the cancer.

For example, stem cell research has scientists hopeful and busy looking for ways to use these unique cells to fight many diseases, not just cancer. Stem cells are the earliest form of cells within the human body, formed four or five days after an embryo is fertilized, and before the embryo is implanted in a uterus. They are uniquely non-specific when they are formed and don’t take on specific functions (differentiate in scientific terms) until they divide and grow.

With the popularity of invitro fertilization on the rise these days, stem cells are becoming more available as any embryos not used in the fertilization process can be donated to science for research and treatments. Of course, this raises ethical concerns, since the embryo is destroyed in the process of harvesting the stem cells. The concept however, is brilliant.

Stem cells can also be harvested from umbilical cords after childbirth and frozen for use. These cells have been successfully used to treat children with blood cancers (leukemia) and certain genetic blood disorders. Since stem cells have the ability to turn into various other types of cells, scientists believe that they can be useful for treating and understanding diseases. For example, stem cells can be used to:

  • grow new cells in a laboratory to replace damaged organs or tissues
  • correct parts of organs that don’t work properly
  • research causes of genetic defects in cells
  • research how diseases occur or why certain cells develop into cancer cells
  • test new drugs for safety and effectiveness

Adult or non-embryonic stem cells are found in infants, children and adults. What makes them different from the embryonic kind is that these stem cells come from developed organs and tissues in the body. Unlike embryonic stem cells though, adult stem cells can’t differentiate into as many other types of cells. They’re used by the body to repair and replace damaged tissue in the same area in which they are found. For example, mature human tissue such as nerves, bone, blood, muscle, liver and skin all have different types of cells.

Hematopoietic stem cells are a type of adult stem cell found in bone marrow. They make new red blood cells, white blood cells, and other types of blood cells. Doctors have been performing stem cell transplants, also known as bone marrow transplants, for decades using hematopoietic stem cells in order to treat certain types of cancer.

A recent breakthrough has scientists able to genetically program adult stem cells to behave like embryonic stem cells so they can be used as specialized cells throughout the body, for any organ or tissue.


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Mooooove over greenhouse gas emissions and carbon tax!

Can changing our cows’ diet really lower greenhouse gas emissions?  What would it hurt?  Wouldn’t that be a better way to deal with greenhouse gas emissions than creating a carbon tax?   Watch this video, courtesy of The National on CBC News, and tell me what you think.

 

 

It has been a well-known fact for years that cows produce methane gas from both ends. It is also a fact that methane gas is responsible for a large chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Cows and their methane gas are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Granted, carbon dioxide from our cars and our industries is another undeniable source of greenhouse gases.  Research, however, shows that Canada is not anywhere near the biggest culprit.  Especially in the industrial sector.

 

 

 

Although greenhouse gas emissions are much lower in Canada than many other countries, we do have our share of beef.  In fact, we probably have more cows than cars in Canada.  So why is our current Canadian government gouging its citizens with a carbon tax?  That’s another beef, pun intended.  Perhaps the major contributors around the world should be more concerned about their share of greenhouse gas emissions.   Canada’s government should be less concerned about how we appear to the world since we are not the problem.  Solutions to decrease the gas emissions from cows, cars, and industries that pollute should be a priority. Then maybe the citizens of the non-complying countries should be hit with a carbon tax.  What a concept!

 

I call a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a band-aid fix, not a proactive solution.  I believe in fixing the root or cause of the problem instead of creating a diversion from it.  Instead  of covering up the root with a carbon tax, why not help fix the problem at one of the main sources?  In other words, rather than apply a band-aid on a bleeding limb, first fix the bleed.  A band-aid is only effective at helping the victim emotionally. In this case, our Liberal government likes to make everyone, especially the rest of the world, feel that Canada is doing the right thing.  A bigger band-aid will be soon be required if the bleed is not first fixed at the source.

Let’s start feeding our Canadian cows seaweed to see if they produce less methane.  Less methane will mean lowering our greenhouse gas emissions.  And, while we are at it, scrap the carbon tax, it solves nothing!

Battery tester

lorieb

I read this recently; a simple battery tester.   It says to test if a battery still has life in it  drop it onto a hard floor from a height of six inches.  If the battery bounces more than once it is empty or dead.  If it bounces once and rolls over, it is good.

I just had to test the test using a few batteries that have been lying around the house.  For some reason, people in my household keep batteries when they suspect they are dead.  For quality control purposes (I did work in a laboratory for 30 years you know) I also tested some brand new batteries right out of the package.

The verdict?   This battery tester seems to work well.  The batteries I suspected were dead bounced a few times so did not pass the test. They  are now in the electronic recycle bin. (batteries should not go into the garbage)  The new batteries bounced once and rolled over as the picture indicates.

I hope you are all now looking for batteries to test in your home!  Give it a try and let me know your results…

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca