Sunday, July 31, 2005

Google Got Mutated By Me!

Hi Guys!

Its the latest hack by me.I have got Google's Logo mutated.

You Can View it Here & U can also Mutate it according to your wish.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can a Virus Kill Cancer?

Genetic engineers are turning nasty, infectious microbes into smart treatments for a deadly disease

In February, researchers at UCLA announced a clash of the titans, biochemically speaking: They turned one of the great scourges of humankind—HIV—into a hunter of another: cancer. In tests on mice afflicted with metastatic melanoma, a modified strain of HIV invaded cancer cells without infecting the rodents with AIDS. Around the same time, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, announced similar results after engineering the measles virus to seek and destroy cancerous tumors while leaving healthy tissue unscathed.

The close timing of these breakthroughs speaks to the flurry of activity in the field of virotherapy, which exploits the tendency of viruses to attack cancer cells in a pitched battle that cancer often loses. With preliminary studies showing many of these viruses to be safe for humans, several universities and biotech firms are now conducting clinical trials of virotherapy.

As radical as it sounds, the idea of turning viruses loose on cancer actually predates the genetic technology that now fuels it. During the 1950s, scientists proved that adenovirus, a version of the common cold bug, was mildly effective against cervical cancer. But research was abandoned as chemotherapy gained prominence, and virotherapy was resurrected only after a study published in the journal Science in 1991 showed that a virus could be genetically modified to invade a tumor without inflicting disease.

The trick is to put the right virus in the right place—in other words, to deliver it to the malignancy, where it must penetrate the cancer cells, replicate, kill the cells, and invade adjacent cancer cells in mounting numbers—all without triggering the body's immune response. Direct injection is the typical shortcut, but some regions of the body, including the brain, are hard to reach this way. Using intravenous administration is the ultimate goal, because it's noninvasive and catches metastasized cancer, but this method is more likely to trigger the body's defenses and repel the therapy before it arrives at its destination.

“The immune system is the elephant in the room for the entire virotherapy field,” says Stephen Russell, director of the Mayo Clinic's molecular-medicine program. The engineered measles virus employed in the clinic's recent study was, in fact, administered successfully to mice via the bloodstream—one of the first such instances. To outwit the body's defenses, Russell devised a “targeted” measles virus, modifying its genome to express an antibody that shepherds it directly to the tumor.

Likewise, the HIV strain in the UCLA melanoma study was targeted, and researchers have since tailored it to seek and destroy prostate and melanoma cancers. “Basically, we put different hooks on the virus so it can hold on to different molecules,” says Irvin S.Y. Chen, director of the UCLA AIDS Institute.

While all this new work is promising, virotherapy could be years away from the medicine cabinet. Chen, for instance, won't begin human trials for at least another three years, and even therapies already in testing face several more years of experimentation and FDA scrutiny. But experts agree that the field is at a tipping point. The next few years of research should tell us whether or not the villainous virus is truly worth rehabilitating.

Sports shoes that work out whether their owner has done enough exercise to warrant time in front of the television have been devised in the UK.

The shoes - dubbed Square Eyes - contain an electronic pressure sensor and a tiny computer chip to record how many steps the wearer has taken in a day. A wireless transmitter passes the information to a receiver connected to a television, and this decides how much evening viewing time the wearer deserves, based on the day's exertions.

The design was inspired by a desire to combat the rapidly ballooning waistlines among British teenagers, says Gillian Swan, who developed Square Eyes as a final year design project at Brunel University in London, UK. "We looked at current issues and childhood obesity really stood out," she told New Scientist. "And I wanted to tackle that with my design."

Once a child has used up their daily allowance gained through exercise, the television automatically switches off. And further time in front of the TV can only be earned through more steps.
Daily amounts

Swan calculated how exercise should translate to television time using the recommended daily amounts of both. Health experts suggest that a child take 12,000 steps each day and watch no more than two hours of television. So, every 100 steps recorded by the Square Eyes shoes equates to precisely one minute of TV time.

The first prototype has two sensors in the sole - one that record steps and another, in the heel, that can be used to send data to the receiver with a firm stamp.

"It's a good idea for integrating sensors into clothing," says Cliff Randall, at Bristol University, UK, who believes computers will routinely be built into garments in the future. But Randall says it will be more challenging to build a TV control unit that cannot easily be thwarted. "It's got to be easy to install and difficult to bypass," he adds.

Existing pedometers normally clip onto a belt or slip into a pocket and keep count of steps by measuring sudden movement. Swan says these can be easily tricked into recording steps through shaking. But her shoe has been built to be harder for lazy teenagers to dupe. "It is possible, but it would be a lot of effort," she says. "That was one of my main design considerations."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Delaying the introduction of cereal-based foods into a child's diet could help avoid later gut problems, say University of Colorado scientists.

Babies had a lower chance of developing the digestive disorder coeliac disease if they were not fed grains until aged four to six months, they found.

This condition is caused by proteins in grains, which damage the gut and make it difficult to digest foods.

The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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