Scientists use banana skins to create new cancer detection technique

December 13, 2017 by  
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Bananas are quite a magical fruit and they’ve been used for everything from  “vegan leather” for wallets to durable  bioplastics and feedstock . Now, scientists have found yet another purpose for this versatile edible: cancer detection. As first reported by the  Huffington Post , researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have been using banana skins in a  new study to develop a technique for locating, mapping, and killing cancer in the body. Their work focused on the black spots of an overripe banana, which they discovered to contain the same biomarkers as skin melanoma. In mainstream practice, when a biopsy is conducted, dyes and fluorescent markers (or contrast agents) are used to color any suspicious areas. By comparison, the new electrochemical microscopy instrument uses eight soft micro-electrodes, lined side by side, that are brushed across potentially-cancerous tissue samples to trigger an electrochemical response in the body. The resulting electric currents from the action are then used by researchers to construct an image that will reveal any areas producing abnormal chemicals. As the Huffington Post writes, “It gives an idea of both the physical structure of the tissue and composition.” Related: Research shows the UK tosses out 1.4 million edible bananas – a day According to Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, the researchers found that the typical biomarkers of melanoma in humans can also be found in the black spots of overripe bananas. In a press statement, they note, “Taking advantage of this similarity, they [the researchers] were able to work on the fruit to develop an imaging technique capable of measuring tyrosinase in human skin and mapping out its distribution. An important step forward has also now been made in applying the imaging technique to thick tissues – like a biopsy of human skin – in addition to thin cross-sections of cells.” In the future, the hope is the technique can be used to kill cancer cells during surgery. As Hubert Girault, head of the Laboratory of Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry at EPFLnotes in the study, they are “perfectly capable of using electrochemistry to kill cancer cells on microscope slides and in petri dishes, but doing so in thick tissue is another story.” He sees a device with interconnected microelectrodes capable of generating an image that will reveal any tumors and then electrochemically destroy the cancerous cells found with a burst of voltage.“Around two volts, that’s not much, but it’s enough to generate oxygen radicals and eliminate cancer cells,” says Girault. Via Huffington Post

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Scientists use banana skins to create new cancer detection technique

More Bike News: David Suzuki on Bike Lanes, The Guardian On Toronto’s War on Bikes

August 11, 2011 by  
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Image credit Environment North David Suzuki weighs in on bike lanes in Huffington Post Canada: Most arguments against bike lanes are absurd. Consider this: We have wide roads everywhere to accommodate cars, most of which carry only one person. On either side of many of those roads, we have pedestrian sidewalks. In most large urban areas, we also have bus lanes and transit systems such as subways and rapid transit. When cyclists ride on roads, drivers often get annoyed. If they ride on sidewalks, p… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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More Bike News: David Suzuki on Bike Lanes, The Guardian On Toronto’s War on Bikes

The Climate Debate is Like the Debt Ceiling Struggle: the Radical Fringe is Hijacking Both

July 26, 2011 by  
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That’s Al Gore’s take anyways — and he’s got a point. In an op-ed over at the Huffington Post today , Gore points out that reasonable debate over how to address pressing problems (climate change and how to deal with the nation’s debt problem) has been hijacked by “ideological extremists”. An overwhelming majority of scientists tell us that climate change is being caused by human activity. Economists everywhere have outlined the dangers of defaulting on our national debt obligations. And yet, a handful of lunatics with their … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The Climate Debate is Like the Debt Ceiling Struggle: the Radical Fringe is Hijacking Both

Front Yard Vegetable Gardens: Different is Good

July 12, 2011 by  
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Photo Credit: Julie Bass Since I wrote about the Michigan woman who is facing 93 days in jail for planting a vegetable garden last Friday, the story has just exploded. TIME , The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Geek Mom, CRAFT, Grist, and Daily Kos — along with plenty of other blogs — have covered the story. It never fails that someone in the comment section defends the city of Oak Park’s actions by saying “why should ..

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Front Yard Vegetable Gardens: Different is Good

Huffpo Comes To Canada, Looks More Green Than Orange

May 26, 2011 by  
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The Huffington Post introduces a Canadian edition with the back of Opposition Leader Jack Layton’s head and a headline ORANGE SHADOW, but if you look at their list of local bloggers, it’s really green, at least at launch.

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Huffpo Comes To Canada, Looks More Green Than Orange

Artificial Reefs: Sunken Ships, Tanks And Other Underwater Paradises

January 26, 2011 by  
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Huffington Post is hosting a beautiful slideshow of artificial reefs , made entirely from old tankers, subway cars, army tanks, and other oddities. It’s a gorgeous look at underwater wonderlands.

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Artificial Reefs: Sunken Ships, Tanks And Other Underwater Paradises

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