Come, Look, See…

Scientists Hope for Pain-Free Cancer Treatment
April 20, 2007, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Science

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have uncovered a breakthrough in cancer treatment.

A very preliminary study involving gene therapy for the treatment of cancer has discovered the possibility of pain-free chemotherapy. The revolutionary type of gene therapy (known as RNA interference and developed in 2002) allowed scientists to “silence” certain cancer-promoting genes within a tumor. This made cancer cells up to 10,000 times more sensitive to anti-cancer drugs! In addition, because scientists were able to specifically target cancer-promoting genes, significantly smaller doses of anti-cancer drugs were required for successful treatment.

Scientists believe that the more effective, low-dose cancer treatment will virtually eliminate the painful side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy.

Animal studies are now underway to see if the preliminary lab results can be replicated.

For the full story visit Red Orbit.


Study: THC in Marijuana Cuts Cancer Risk in Half
April 19, 2007, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Drugs, Science

A recent study at Harvard found that marijuana use is helpful in reducing the growth of cancerous tumors. The reason? THC. The compund responsible for the “high” in marijuana was found to significantly reduce the growth of lung tumors by almost half! The animal studies conducted also found that THC is effective in preventing the spread of cancer.

This is not to say that smoking is harmless – many cigarette and marijuana smokers will attest to the fact that smoke in your lungs can cause many other ailments such as chronic cough, asthma and emphesyma.

That said, this study adds to the list of others which have found that THC is in fact beneficial. Personally, these studies further lend creedence to my belief that marijuana is in fact a miracle drug.

Read the full press release below.

Press Release
Source: American Association for Cancer Research
Date: April 17, 2007

The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.

They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Δ-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.

THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.

“The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer,” said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.

Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation. Although a medical derivative of THC, known as Marinol, has been approved for use as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients, and a small number of U.S. states allow use of medical marijuana to treat the same side effect, few studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity, Preet says. The only clinical trial testing THC as a treatment against cancer growth was a recently completed British pilot study in human glioblastoma.

In the present study, the researchers first demonstrated that two different lung cancer cell lines as well as patient lung tumor samples express CB1 and CB2, and that non-toxic doses of THC inhibited growth and spread in the cell lines. “When the cells are pretreated with THC, they have less EGFR stimulated invasion as measured by various in-vitro assays,” Preet said.

Then, for three weeks, researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells, and found that tumors were reduced in size and weight by about 50 percent in treated animals compared to a control group. There was also about a 60 percent reduction in cancer lesions on the lungs in these mice as well as a significant reduction in protein markers associated with cancer progression, Preet says.

Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth.

Preet says much work is needed to clarify the pathway by which THC functions, and cautions that some animal studies have shown that THC can stimulate some cancers. “THC offers some promise, but we have a long way to go before we know what its potential is,” she said.

Kids Who Take Sexual Abstinence Classes…
April 13, 2007, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Government, Politics, Science

A newly released study has found that kids who take abstinence classes… (you ready for this?)… DON’T ABSTAIN!

And to think that Bush and Company puts in $176 million dollars of tax payers’ money ANNUALY toward a program that everyone but the ignorati knows doesn’t work.

The study found that those who attended abstinence classes averaged the same number of sexual partners than those kids who did not. In addition, the onset of sexual activity was no different. The abstinence class participants had sex at about the same age than the control group – 14 years and 9 months.

It should be obvious what BushCo will do in response to this new study – intimidate the researchers to shut their mouths, attack the credibility of the researchers, re-word the data in their favor and pump more money into abstinence programs.

For the full report go here.

Picture credit: David Honig

Stars and Planets to Scale
March 30, 2007, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Science

A star over 2 billion miles in diameter should have the effect of making you feel quite insignificant in relation to the universe.