Science science

Performing oral sex and being the recipient of anal sex can alter the gut microbiome, according to a new study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Performing oral sex and being the recipient of anal sex can alter the gut microbiome, according to a new study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

HPV vaccine eliminates skin cancer in 97-year-old, doctors report in a new paper in JAMA Dermatology. The woman had developed a severe case of squamous cell carcinoma, and chemotherapy and surgery were ruled out as treatments. Each tumor was injected with Gardasil, and all of them disappeared.

HPV vaccine eliminates skin cancer in 97-year-old, doctors report in a new paper in JAMA Dermatol...

I wonder if the adjuvant that is used to enhance immunogenicity of the vaccine was the real reason it worked. My thought being that it “unmasked” the cancer. The authors of the paper admit they don’t know why it may have worked in this one, individual case.

JAMA dermatology publication link

I don’t have access to the paper right now. What was the “hunch” that motivated going off-label like this?

Edit: I read the paper (PM if you want a sci hub link).

The “hunch” described in the article was that they had previously tested the idea in two previous patients and seen promising results.

That doesn’t really answer where the “hunch” came from, though. So, I read that paper as well (PM if you want a sci hub link). Tbh, they don’t do a good job rationalizing the choice of therapy - really the best they could do was saying that immunocompromised patients are at higher risk of SCC driven by HPV (these patients weren’t immunocomprised though).

Edit 2: I’m seeing a lot of people down-thread confusing prophylactic vaccines (trying to prevent a disease from occurring) and therapeutic vaccines (trying to treat a disease once it has established). This case report was therapeutic vaccine. It is one thing to propose that a vaccine will lower the incidence of certain virally driven tumors, it is quite another to propose that the same vaccine will have an anti-tumor effect in a patient who for all we know of not infected by that virus. The authors themselves are a bit puzzled, concluding the paper:

It is not known what part, if any, the systemic doses of the vac- cine played in the therapeutic benefit that we observed after the intratumoral injections in the patient. The prophylactic role of HPV vaccination is well understood; however, the mecha- nisms of its therapeutic efficacy in cutaneous malignant tu- mors are not yet clear. The potent therapeutic benefit may re- flect a combination of immunologic, antiviral, and antitumor effects of 9-valent HPV vaccine.

If people are interested, I’m happy to do a discussion post on this sort of immunotherapy down the road. It’d probably have to be on a different subreddit, though.

The post title is a copy and paste from the title and second to fifth paragraphs of the linked popular press article here :

HPV vaccine eliminates skin cancer in 97-year-old, doctors report

The 97-year-old woman had developed a severe case of what was thought to be an untreatable form of squamous cell carcinoma, the second leading form of skin cancer.

Lesions had developed over much of her right leg, in such numbers and size that chemotherapy and surgery were ruled out as treatments.

On a hunch, her doctor, Dr. Anna Nichols of the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, tried an unorthodox approach -- she injected each tumor with Gardasil, the HPV vaccine.

The result: All the tumors completely and rapidly disappeared.

Journal Reference:

Anna J. Nichols, Adrianna Gonzalez, Emily S. Clark, Wasif N. Khan, Alyx C. Rosen, Wellington Guzman, Harold Rabinovitz, Evangelos V. Badiavas, Robert S. Kirsner, Tim Ioannides.

Combined Systemic and Intratumoral Administration of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine to Treat Multiple Cutaneous Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinomas.

JAMA Dermatology, 2018;

DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1748

Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2686148

Key Points

Question Does the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine have therapeutic utility for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma?

Findings A woman in her 90s with multiple cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas was treated with the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine systemically and intratumorally. This approach led to regression of all tumors.

Meaning These findings suggest that the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine could be a therapeutic option for patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma when surgical management is not an option.

Abstract

Importance Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer, and its incidence is increasing. When surgical management is not an option, finding a safe and efficacious treatment is a challenge. Mounting evidence suggests that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is involved in the pathogenesis of some SCCs.

Objective To assess whether the 9-valent HPV vaccine could be an effective treatment strategy for cutaneous SCC.

Design, Setting, and Participants A woman in her 90s with multiple, inoperable cutaneous basaloid SCCs was successfully treated at a university-based outpatient dermatology clinic with a combination of systemic and intratumoral delivery of the 9-valent HPV vaccine from March 17, 2016, through February 27, 2017, and then followed up through May 21, 2018.

Main Outcomes and Measures Reduction in tumor size and number after a combination of systemic and intratumoral administration of the HPV vaccine.

Results All tumors resolved 11 months after the first intratumoral injection of the vaccine. The patient remained free of tumors at the end of follow-up.

Conclusions and Relevance This is the first report, to our knowledge, of complete regression of a cutaneous malignant tumor after combined systemic and direct intratumoral injection of the 9-valent HPV vaccine. This report suggests that the HPV vaccine may have therapeutic utility for SCCs in patients who are poor surgical candidates, have multiple lesions, or defer surgery.

So much of dermatology is off-label, and it will be interesting to see of this works with reliability against SCC. The applications of this vaccine are likely to expand with time. I would like to see long term results of preventing penile, vaginal, oral, and rectal SCC in adults. I imagine we wont have great data until the first generations are well into adult life in countries with high use rates. Tumor directed treatment by direct injection to invasive SCC with neurovacular involvement would be tremendously helpful to improve outcomes where surgery is less than ideal(ie the temple).

Study Finds Deep Subterranean Connection Between Two Japan Volcanoes

Study Finds Deep Subterranean Connection Between Two Japan Volcanoes

Nine Misconceptions People Have About Godzilla

Godzilla Only Attacks Japan-

Okay, yeah, Godzilla usually attacks Japan. But he’s made two forays into other stomping grounds. In Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla attacks New York (which is one hell of a swim from the Pacific). And in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla attacks Hong Kong. Oh, and of course he attacked New York again in the 1998 American movie.

https://www.therobotsvoice.com/2012/02/9_misconceptions_people_have_about_godzilla.php

Well yeah, how else is Godzilla gonna get around?

Link to published study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28026-4

People who eat at least one serving of oranges every day may be 60% less likely than people who never eat oranges to lose their sight to macular degeneration, according to a new study spanning 15 years.

People who eat at least one serving of oranges every day may be 60% less likely than people who never eat oranges to lose their sight to macular degeneration, according to a new study spanning 15 years.
People who eat at least one serving of oranges every day may be 60% less likely than people who n...

P-hacking at its finest.

Basically you search a whole bunch of attributes in your sample and cross compare to try and find a statistically significant difference between your control group and the group that eats more oranges. Perhaps you assess hundreds of attributes that all show no real difference between a control group and the orange eating group. Now in this case a good scientist would start to admit there isn’t really a difference, but a bad scientist who just wants to get published and gain some exposure will compare attributes endlessly until they find something significant, often adjusting their method in questionable ways to get there.

TL:DR - essentially the scientist will adjust the data to fit their agenda rather than doing an honest statistical assessment.

Where the fuck did they find people that ate an orange every day?

This will probably get buried, but many people when reading this headline will take away this:

If I eat more oranges, my eyesight will improve. Science proves it.

In reality, there's no way to know this based on the results of the study. The reality could literally be something like:

People who eat oranges daily tend to live healthier, more active lifestyles; and people who live healthier more active lifestyles tend to have better eyesight.

I really think these kind of /sub/science posts need to come with a "but correlation doesn't equal causation" tag. It just leads to fuzzy thinking otherwise.

Researchers have found that spending time in green spaces helps to keep the brain healthy, slowing down any decline in its cognitive ability. There is evidence that the risk for dementia and cognitive decline can be affected by exposure to environmental hazards such as air pollution and noise

Researchers have found that spending time in green spaces helps to keep the brain healthy, slowin...

That and a number of things like modern work times which impact people's sleep over the years.

I've always wondered if other places like deserts or steppes (places where vegetation is low) also fall in the category of "green spaces"

I know it is very much common sense but this kind of research is vital if we ever decide to push for change on a government/community level. The data stands on its own where a common sense hearsay argument would not.

He's talking about getting high AF.

MRI of dog's brains show that they see owners as family and prioretize the smell of humans over everything

MRI of dog's brains show that they see owners as family and prioretize the smell of humans over e...

The e actual study just says that it triggers the reward response. I didn't notice anything about "family". Reward response make sense, as they usually only get food, pats and treats from familiar humans not anyone else. Not even familiar dogs. :)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376635714000473

Yes, but "triggers the reward response" doesn't get those sweet, sweet clicks, does it?

Very interesting. I wonder if similar experiments have been done on cats as well

Packs of wolves followed human tribes around for the stuff they left behind. A pack of wolves that finds a pack of humans that's just a little too small to eat a mammoth by themselves is set for years.

Wolves typically shy away from people. The wolves that deviated from this behavior had more successful offspring with similar temperaments, evolving to fit their environment. Really, dogs found us, not the other way around. If our relationship with wolves had started with us going to them, they'd be food, not begging for food.

Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells in mice to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells they encounter.

Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells in mice to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells they encounter.
Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells in mic...

I guess fighting fire with fire ain't such a bad idea...

There's so many "funny" comments here, but this is nothing short of incredible. I've been following CRISPER news since I first heard about it on Radiolab. This technology is staggering, and the impact could be literally genome changing. It could change humanity as we know it.

I feel like this post is being avoided by everyone's subconscious because it's too terrifying of a headline to even begin to digest. I, personally, have a lot of hope for the concept of CRISPR (editing RNA to manipulate DNA). If I'm ever diagnosed with a genetic condition, I would be the first in line to volunteer myself as a test subject.

Further than what many think.

I work for a large insurance company. VERY big. The medical researchers there (MD's as well as clinicians) explore a lot in 'what's around the corner' tech tp adequately underwrite. Let's just say...they KNOW it works. The issue is understanding what UNINTENDED functions happen when you perform CRISPR and figuring out which genes need to be turns on/off . That and the other area slowing down ubiquity is the obvious ethical equations that need to be considered (think about the term 'designer children').

So I think we're a lot closer than many perceive. 5-10 years before it begins significantly transforming modern healthcare as we know it. And by significant, I mean game changer for humanity. Now how the companies, patent holders, corporations decide to dole it out is another question of course.

Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells they encounter.

Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells they encounter.
Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells circul...
Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells they encounter.
Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin. Researchers engineered tumor cells circul...

Fight cancer with cancer!

If you can imagine your body as a highway, and you picture the cancer as a very fast car, being driven by a very bad man. Imagine the damage that car can cause. Then if you replace that man with a cop, the picture changes. And that’s essentially what they’ve done.

You can only fight cancer with LOVE!

A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace for the first time. A neutrino that hit Earth came from a mysterious galaxy called a blazar, which is powered by an enormous black hole.

A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace for the first time. A neutrino that hit Earth came from a mysterious galaxy called a blazar, which is powered by an enormous black hole.
A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace for the first time. A neutrino ...

Astronomer here! This is a very exciting discovery for astro-particle physics! In short, neutrinos are these tiny fundamental particles, like electrons, and they are everywhere- do a thumbs up right now, and every second, a hundred thousand neutrinos stream through the tip of your thumb. The trick is they are essentially massless, and have no electrical charge, so they don’t really interact with much of anything around them.

Now if they’re so non-interactive, it’s not a surprise that they’re super hard to detect- we detect them from the sun well, but outside the solar system is tough. Scientists need to build very sensitive detectors to find them, where basically you’re hoping to see a high-energy neutrino crashing into an atomic nucleus.

Anyway, using IceCube, a neutrino detector at the South Pole, they’ve finally detected a neutrino that matched up as coming in the sky from a galaxy four billion light years away. (Note, neutrinos were detected coincident with Supernova 1987A, so they're assumed they came from there, but they couldn't narrow down where it was in the sky or anything.) Said galaxy has a supermassive black hole with a jet directly pointed at us, and they think this is what the neutrino came from. These jets are filled with mysteries- no one really can explain how they form- so saying you can now study particles directly from one is pretty exciting!

Finally, on a particle physics level, I should emphasize that particles from outer space can just be far, far higher energy than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will ever have. As such, there’s always potential information as well for how very high energy particles behave- they’re not very common, but this is definitely exciting on that level as well. Or at least I think so, I did my masters degree in studying cosmic rays from outer space (so protons from outer space over neutrinos), so always have had a soft spot for them. :)

TL;DR astrophysicists found a neutrino which they have traced back to a galaxy four billion light years away with a giant black hole jet at its center, and this is the first time this has happened

Personally, I think it's amazing we're even able to detect a single neutrino, then ontop of that, determine it wasn't originated in our galaxy, THEN be able to determine exactly where it DID come from? That's astounding really.

In short, no, not right now. But we never know where fundamental research takes us- remember, a hundred years ago Einstein's relativity was considered super out there, and today the GPS system would fail within a half hour if we didn't take relativistic effects into account!

Neutrinos, on the other hand, are electrically neutral, which means they are unaffected by magnetic fields, traveling in a straight line from their origins to Earth

This makes them (relatively) straightforward to track. Plus, we haven't seen a neutrino from the sun emit neutrinos anywhere near this energy level.

Scientists perform first ever Color X-ray on a human patient

Scientists perform first ever Color X-ray on a human patient

Is that an Audemars Piguet Royal oak?

Nah, that's a Timex.

Someone tell me I'm stupid, but - isn't this just detecting energy spectrum to determine the wave length at a certain point (depending on resolution), and then applying an (empirically found) scalar to whatever that number is to convert it to the visible light spectrum and then using that as your image? I guess what i'm saying is that it basically is the same thing, except adding steps to make it pretty? Or that the impressive part would be how good the resolution is, not really the fact that it is in color.

Totally interesting and eye catching nonetheless though, good on them!

The point seems to be spectral discrimination in the x-ray spectrum, not necessarily that you can render it in color. If different tissues have different spectral characteristics in the x-ray band then getting more than one x-ray “color” measurement can potentially give you physiologically relevant information.

Try one of these subthreads