• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Cancers can't speak

    June 1st, 2012
    antibiotics, cancer, health  [html]
    As soon as we start using a new antibiotic the clock is ticking because bacteria start evolving defenses to it, making it less and less useful. Eventually resistant bacteria will be common enough that we need to start using a new one.

    Cancer isn't like this: each person's cancer is independent from everyone else's. Which means that if we develop an effective cancer drug we don't have to worry about cancers becoming resistant to it. Sure, an individual's cancer might not respond to it, but we don't have to worry about this becoming more and more common as we distribute the drug more widely.

    The key difference is that cancer isn't contagious. It has no way to take what it's learned about resisting some drug and put that to use in another person. While bacteria left behind in your body after you stop a course of antibiotics early, the ones that had some innate resistance to the antibiotic you were taking, can go on to breed more resistant bacteria and infect other people.

    I'm thankful that different people's cancers can't speak to each other. If they had some way to pass along information the problem would be vastly harder because we wouldn't have to solve it just once, but over and over again as old solutions became less effective.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Best Practices Civil Service

    I propose that transportation agencies hire people whose job is to keep abreast of global developments in the field and report on best practices. Which agencies should do it? Ideally, all urban ones. Very small ones should piggyback on large ones, or part…

    via Pedestrian Observations June 14, 2021

    Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part I: Beginnings and Legends

    Who were the Romans? How did they understand themselves as a people and ‘Roman’ as an identity? And what were the implications of that understanding – and perhaps more importantly the underlying reality – for Roman society and the success of the Roman Emp…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry June 11, 2021

    It's ok to feed stray cats

    Before we had kids, Jeff and I fostered a couple of cats. One had feline AIDS and was very skinny. Despite our frugal grocery budget of the time, I put olive oil on her food, determined to get her healthier. I knew that stray cats were not a top global pr…

    via Giving Gladly May 15, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact