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Tech Gives Us More Health Info Than Ever. That Could Be Making Us Paranoid.

In the future, you’ll be able to monitor your health in real time with an electronic tattoo; your diet will be tracked by a device stuck to your tooth; and you’ll have a lab-on-a-chip wearables to detect early signs of disease. With such fine-grained details available, people should be healthier than ever, right?

Perhaps not. Some doctors think the opposite may be true — that in many cases, health technology has led us to over-diagnose problems that wouldn’t ever be harmful, causing patients unnecessary anxiety and leading to unneeded interventions.

Physician H. Gilbert Welch, who has dedicated much of his career to combating over-diagnosis, summed up the problem to New Scientist as such: “Do people want medical care as a way to deal with acute problems; things that are bothering them? Or do they want to take the power of medicine to look hard to try to find things wrong with them?”

As health technology grows more sophisticated and more personal, this problem promises to grow. Already, we can see this happening with a particularly tricky disease: cancer, which thanks to liquid biopsiesbreath scannersblood tests, and AI systems, doctors are becoming good at catching early on.

It’s hard for doctors and patients alike to hear the word “cancer” and decide to just wait and see. However, some cancers are actually very low-risk to patients, as they grow slowly or not at all. Some even disappear for no apparent reason.

Yet Welch’s most recent research found U.S. hospitals that order more CT scans also had higher rates of kidney removals, as these scans tended to find small kidney cancers. Patients and doctors then treated these small cancers aggressively, even though a large portion of these masses are usually harmless. That means many patients potentially underwent the trauma of surgery for no reason.

Similarly, research into polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) found that diagnosing women with the condition (which can cause infertility and risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease) caused significant emotional and physical issues even when they had no symptoms. And in breast, thyroid, and prostate cancers, more screening and more diagnoses have not led to a significant reduction in the number of patients who develop advanced stages of these cancers.

Ultimately, it seems the issue of over-diagnosis is one of balance. As a blog post from Cancer Research UK puts it, the benefits of screening for early-stage diseases outweigh the harms for whole populations; yet for an individual person, the decision whether to act on what they find — or whether to be screened at all — should be a choice informed by the actual risks. The same will be true of technology that gives us an ever-finer focus on any change in our bodies.

Information is power, but it has to be used such that people don’t make themselves sick in pursuit of health.

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Science & Technology

Misinformation on how Americans depend on the Russian RD-180 engine

Having seen television programs, where various “experts” appear, the average person automatically becomes an “expert” and calmly falls asleep with thoughts about how a decaying America cannot fly into space without the legendary Russian RD-180 engine.

RS-25
© nasa.gov

Is there really a dependency? Why don’t the Americans banally copy the RD-180 if they are so smart?

The answer, as always, is on the surface …

Storytellers, talking about the advantages of the RD-180 and the lack of analogues in the world, deliberately keep silent about the American rocket engine RS-25, which was developed for the implementation of the Space Shuttle program. RS-25 was the main engine of the space shuttle.

The Americans do not need to copy the RD-180, if only for the reason that its parameters practically coincide with those of the RS-25.

For one combustion chamber at ground level, the RS-25 develops 182 tons of thrust, and the RD-180 – 187 tons. In a vacuum, the RS-25 already yields 223 tons against 203 tons from the Russian engine. The specific impulse of RS-25 is greater (452 ​​seconds in vacuum and 366 seconds at Earth level) than the vaunted RD-180 (338 seconds in vacuum and 311 seconds at Earth level).

Lies about how Americans depend on the Russian RD-180 engine
© r18worker.info

In addition, the RS-25, unlike the RD-180, is a reusable rocket engine: it can be turned on and off at full throttle, which, in general, was done during the launch of the Space Shuttle. RD-180 is designed for one launch.

It turns out that the Americans created an analogue of the RD-180 before the appearance of the RD-180?

Exactly! RS-25 began to be used back in 1981, and the RD-180 was born in 1999. Oh, the Americans “copied” the indispensable RD-180 18 years before its creation …

In fairness, it is worth noting that the Russian RD-180 (2 combustion chambers) is a “halved” version of the Soviet RD-170 (4 combustion chambers), which was born in 1984.

Why are Americans buying the RD-180 ?!

If scientists, engineers and maintenance personnel in the United States worked for the same salaries as their counterparts in Russia, then there would be no talk of any purchases of the RD-180.

The fact is that preparing the RS-25 for flight is an expensive event, the cost of which includes salaries of specialists.

RS-25
© spaceref.biz

Thus, the cost of one RS-25 is 50-60 million dollars, and the price of the RD-180 does not exceed 15 million dollars. Americans are capitalists, businessmen, and they make purchases that are very favourable to them.

RD-180 is a cheap and high-quality analogue to RS-25, which the Americans bought in huge quantities for a fraction. According to the first contract, Russia transferred the United States 101 RD-180 engine, receiving about a billion dollars for this.

The Americans saved a lot of money and repeatedly launched military satellites using these engines.

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Remedies for obesity can stop the spread of cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world after cardiovascular disease. Sometimes doctors manage to remove the primary tumors and people have the hope of a full recovery. However, if the tumor has so-called metastases and it begins to spread, the chances of a complete cure are greatly reduced. However, scientists from Belgium have been trying to find more than one year looking for a way to stop the complications of cancer, and in a recent study found that the disease spreads using human fat as an energy source. So what is it that can be done to stop the development of cancer using anti-obesity drugs?

Perhaps scientists are one step closer to creating a cure for cancer

The results of the scientific work carried out by Belgian scientists were published in the journal Nature communications. A team of scientists led by Olivier Feron continued his previous study and found that cancer cells accumulate fat in tiny vesicles, which were called lipid drops. Fats are used as an energy source, so it is logical that the cells saturated with them spread much faster than others.

How does fat contribute to cancer?

According to scientists, TGF-beta2 protein, also known as transforming growth factor beta, is responsible for the accumulation of fats in cells and the aggressive behavior of cells. It is a kind of switch that, on the one hand, allows cancer cells to accumulate energy, and on the other hand, forces them to use the received power for distribution.

Thanks to the new discovery, scientists were able to develop a new plan to slow the development of cancer. In theory, to stop the occurrence of metastases, researchers need to develop a tool to block the production of TGF-beta2 protein. It would also be nice if the future medicine slowed down the formation of fats and their transportation throughout the body. Just before that, they need to make sure that the TGF-beta2 protein is not involved in other processes important for human life. Also, people taking the medicine, which is essentially a remedy for obesity, will have to adhere to a certain diet.

Fat is a source of energy for cancer cells.

It is possible that in the world there are already drugs suitable for these purposes. It is important for scientists only to study their composition and experimentally check whether they are really able to slow down the development of cancer. Typically, such tests are first performed on laboratory mice. For example, in 2018, scientists introduced a tiny human brain into the body of a rat and looked, what came of it.

In general, cancer can be defeated by turning cancer cells into fat cells. According to the scientific journal Cancer cell In 2019, Swiss scientists led by Professor Gerhard Cristofori were also able to prevent cancer complications in this way. By the way, they conducted an experiment on mice with aggressive breast cancer. This cancer is often found in women, so the discovery can be considered very important for the scientific community.

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By 2024 GM And Michelin Will Bring Airless Tires To Passenger Cars

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Michelin and GM had unveiled a novel wheel technology- Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) in the year 2019. The airless tires are in the preliminary stage currently, but there is a chance of them being rolled out by 2024.

The vice-president of General Motors said that the company is excited to see what all Uptis can do. He also said that the collaboration with Michelin is thrilling.

The rubber tires currently used are prone to dangers like blowouts but the airless tires will eliminate such problems. They will also be low-maintenance as people won’t need to check them for punctures and pressure.

airless tires

Another big advantage of this high-technology is that the number of tires that are wasted will decrease. Also, the amount of raw material used to make rubber tires will go down along with the energy required to build those tires. It will be beneficial as far as sustainability is concerned, believe the creators.

Uptis tires will also be more durable because they won’t undergo damage easily. Unlike the rubber tires that get damaged by the excess or lack of air, these airless tires will have no such issues.

The CEO of Michelin, Menegaux said that Uptis supports the company’s dream of making mobility sustainable. According to him, working with GM, the company can conquer the future now.

Michelin’s VISION Concept Tire is a 4 pillar strategy to conduct R&D and bring sustainability in mobility. Uptis is the first step first in this direction.

The intention with which GM is working is to introduce the airless tires in passenger vehicles by 2024. However, the details about Uptis aren’t been out yet. Neither of the companies is willing to share the details about this wheel technology.

It’s not clear what material is used to make these tires. It’s also unknown how they’ll function. Any noticeable difference has also not been mentioned.

Michelin said in its FAQs that Uptis has a common concept as that of their Tweel technology. The latter is a tire-wheel assembly where ‘spokes’ are to bear the weight and there is an outer rim.

General Motors was expecting to start testing the airless tires on the Chevrolet Bolt EVs by the end of 2019, but there are no further developments in this area.

Images: Steve Fecht/General Motors

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