Saturday, July 24, 2004


US scientists have found a test that appears to be 100% effective at detecting early ovarian cancer.

The test measures patterns of protein markers in a sample of a woman's blood.

National Cancer Institute researchers say the high-resolution mass spectrometry test allows cells that would lead to cancer to be identified.

Writing in the journal Endocrine-Related Cancer, they say it could be used routinely to diagnose early ovarian cancer in a few years time.

This form of cancer is hard to spot and as a result it is often advanced by the time diagnosis is made. If it is caught early, the chances of cure are higher.

Dr Tim Veenstra and colleagues at the Biomedical Proteomics Program in Frederick believe they have found a highly effective way for detecting early ovarian tumours.

High-resolution mass spectrometry measures slight differences in the weights between normal and cancerous proteins.

This shows which cells are likely to become cancerous.

When they tested blood samples from women with and without ovarian cancer the system was 100% accurate, detecting all of the cancers and giving no false positive results in the women without cancer.

It also correctly classified all of the very early cancers.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said the potential for screening using this method was huge, but he said it was still early days.

"This preliminary work is promising but a lot more needs to be validated.

"It will be important to see whether this method can distinguish between early ovarian cancer and other conditions.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Local Boy Makes Great

It's been quite evident for quite sometime now that the 9/11 commission has been doing suprisingly well at its job -- and a significant amount of the credit goes to New Jersey's ex-governor, Republican Tom Kean. Usually such bi-partisan commissions are worthless, and had this commission been dominated by its aging Democratic co-Chairman, Indiana's ex-Congressman, Lee Hamilton, it most likely would have produced a far less important document. It's also true that the real unsung heroes of the 9/11 commission have been its largely anonymous staff, who ferreted out the details and produced a clean and honest narrative that has amazing authority. All that said, hats off to Tom Kean, who backed them fearlessly all the way and put his prestige and credibility to work forcing the Bush Administration into cooperating. The final report, most especially its executive summary, carries a faint whiff of bi-partisan blarney that is "even-handed" to a minor fault. But it is still the best thing to emerge from Washington in living memory.

Fred Kaplan in Slate does a terrific job of analyzing the report itself, pushing past the inevitable politics to the core:

The 9/11 commission's report is superb, but will it change anything?

By Fred Kaplan

The biggest puzzle about the 9/11 commission's report is why Thomas Kean, the panel's chairman, said at the start of his press conference this morning that the U.S. government's failure to stop the attack on the World Trade Center was, "above all, a failure of imagination."

It was a strange comment because the actual report—a superb, if somewhat dry, piece of work—says nothing of the sort. The failure was not one of imagination but rather of incentives. It turns out that many individuals, panels, and agencies had predicted an attack uncannily similar to what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The problem was that nobody in a position of power felt compelled to do anything about it.

Wextry, wextry, read all about the continuation of Kaplan's thoughts here:

Thursday, July 22, 2004

It's from Jibjab.com in case it's not hot for you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Cut and Pasta

Here's a blog from a 23-year-old guy in Rome who is taking digital photos of all the pasta he eats. Be sure to read his FAQ. Molto bene!


#444 - gnocchetti sardi, pomodoro, oliio d'oliva #443 - penne, pomodoro, basilico #442 - rigatoni, pesto #441 - sedanini, pesto #440 - spaghetti, pomodoro, melanzane, formaggio


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