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This Robot Can Help Kids Through Chemo, Vaccinations & Other Scary Medical Procedures

Robots are helping us do a lot these days but as an adult who had far too many needle experiences in her childhood, I'm certainly wishing this one was invented sooner. Say hello to MEDi.

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Researchers Find Fasting For Three Days Is Like Hitting Reboot On Your Immune System

The Crimson Binome and his crew swoop in and take away all your white blood cells, probably.

Despite how unhealthy and desperately miserable fasting (or even juice cleansing) sounds to most of us, scientists at the University of Southern California have discovered that it can do way more good for your body than a regular bad crash diet. By fasting for just three days, the USC team discovered that you can reboot your entire immune system.

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Whoops: SELF Magazine Criticizes Cancer Survivor Running Marathon In Tutus She Sells For Charity

Marathon runner Monika Allen was overjoyed to find out SELF magazine wanted to use an image of her from a recent race. After all, it would help get attention for her sale of tutus, the proceeds of which go to Girls on the Run, a charity aimed at promoting exercise and confidence for young girls. But then the magazine was published and she realized the clipping featuring her likeness wasn't a positive mention at all.

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The Bay Area Adds To Batkid-Mania With Their Very Own Wonder Girl

We Can Be Heroes

You remember the fun San Francisco (and everyone else) had with Batkid, right? Well the Bay area town of Vallejo recently celebrated another young individual by turning them into a superhero for a day. Everyone, say hello to Monika Romo, aka Wonder Girl. 

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Milk Really Does A Body Good, Contains a Cancer-Killing Peptide

We couldn't find a picture of a cow punching cancer in the face, so this will have to do.

Looks like your mother and those moustache ads were right - milk really is good for you, but not just in the way they claimed. Researchers in Taiwan have discovered a peptide fragment derived from cow's milk which really hates human stomach cancer cells; hates them so much, in fact, it just goes right ahead and kills them. Best use of milk ever.

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Hospital Rebrands Chemotherapy as Superhero Serum

Consider the Following

While there are plenty of heroes out there who got there powers from being dosed with radiation (usually under less than controlled conditions), this isn't a campaign that convinces kids that chemotherapy will give them superpowers. What it is, is one that might make them feel less scared about a pretty scary situation. After all, not everybody is old enough to appreciate xkcd's epic reframing of cancer treatment.

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Scientists Turn Mammalian Cells Into Biological “Cell Phones”

Researchers in Switzerland have applied the principles behind cellular communication to mammalian cells. By reprogramming the cells with a specialized series of genes and proteins that allow for two-way communication, researchers have crafted cells that can talk to one another, sending messages via chemical signals rather than electronic transmission. The hope is that this two-way communication system can be harnessed to fight cancer, overriding orders sent by tumors with preprogrammed messages sent from other cells.

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Newly Discovered CYCLOPS Gene Points To Vulnerability in Cancer Cells

A long-theorized but only recently discovered class of genes may point to an inherent weakness in tumor cells. Even better news? The soft spot in cancer's defenses is present in cells from a wide variety of cancers, meaning that treatments derived from it could be a tool in fighting cancers across the board, not just targeting one or two types. Researchers from MIT, Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report on these so-called CYCLOPS genes (the acronym officially stands for Copy number alterations Yielding Cancer Liabilities Owing to Partial losS, but we suspect the name stuck mostly because it just sounds cool) this week in the journal Cell.

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Terminally Illin’: A Graphic Novel About a 20-Something Battling Cancer

Keep the Change Ya Filthy Animal

A cancer diagnosis at any time is unfair and bad news, especially when you're a young adult in the prime of your life, ready to take on anything. Kaylin Andres was one such person, and after surviving her own battle with cancer, she's fictionalized the experience in the form of a comic book, Terminally Illin'. Along with collaborator Jon Solo, she's running a Kickstarter campaign to create a digital version of the comic and spread the word. After the jump, more details and pictures from the project.

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Single Drug Shows Promise In Fighting All Cancers

It generally pays to be careful when proclaiming that a new treatment "may put an end to cancer." That being said, recent research shows that drugs that utilize the cancer-fighting technique of CD47-blocking will result in the shrinkage of primary tumors and could serve as a single treatment for all cancers. CD47-blocking has been testing as a treatment for lymphomas and leukemias, but new research has shown that it has vastly greater potential than originally thought. As a kicker, CD47-blocking doesn't even kill cancer itself; it gets your body to do it.

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Meet R2-KT: The Pink Droid Inspired by a Little Girl Who Fought Cancer

I'm In A Glass Case of Emotion

While this story isn't what you'd call recent, it was so touching that we couldn't ignore it. It's also very sad, so consider yourself warned. But while it's a sad story about a little girl's fight with brain cancer, it's a great story about how a bunch of Star Wars fans (some in very high places) made that little girl happy while she didn't feel very well. It's also an origin story, and we love those. Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce you to Katie Johnson and the droid whose creation she inspired: R2-KT.

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Milo, the Last Surviving Hand-Holding Sea Otter, Has Died

In 2007, visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium uploaded a video to YouTube of two otters holding hands (paws?) while sleeping on their backs in their tank. The adorable video quickly skyrocketed in popularity, becoming a seminal exemplar of videos going "viral." The two otters were a female named Nyac and a male named Milo, who enjoyed many happy years at the aquarium after their rise to e-stardom. Sadly, after a struggle with cancer, Milo died this past Thursday.

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Yeah, Mattel…Why Isn’t There A Bald Barbie?

A Lesson in Humility

There have been countless Barbies sold since they first hit shelves in 1959 and while you've got your run of the mill versions there have also been numerous special edition Barbies. Things like their holiday Barbies, Barbies made to look like Hollywood stars etc. Well one group is now asking Mattel, makers of the famous doll line, to create a bald Barbie for children who have lost their hair due to cancer or other illnesses. And we're here to say, Mattel, what's taken you so long?

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Mom Coughs Up Her Cancer While Driving, Kids Ask, “Are We There Yet?”

Not a Misprint

Have you ever gotten into a particularly bad coughing fit? Have you ever hacked something up in the process? Have you ever hacked up some CANCER? You may have been able to say yes to the first two but this mom from the United Kingdom may be one of a few people who can say yes to the third. 

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Researchers Announce Successful Clinical Trial Of Gene Therapy Treatment For Leukemia

For the first time, researchers have successfully used gene therapy to treat a form of leukemia called chronic lymphoblastic leukemia. The clinical trial was only conducted in three patients, which is such a small sample size that it is far too soon to be declaring victory over cancer, but it is an encouraging breakthrough. The research is described in two papers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. People have been talking about gene therapy for more than twenty years. Though it holds immense potential, researchers have run into problems with gene therapy as a treatment. In previous research, therapeutic genes that are inserted in a specific place tended to move around for reasons that researchers have struggled to understand. The goal of gene therapy is for a gene that is inserted into a specific place to stay in that spot to serve out its function in the cell. With the new leukemia treatment, this is exactly what the researchers were able to achieve.

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The Winners of the Inaugural Google Science Fair Are All Awesome Young Women

Supergirly

On July 11th, the top fifteen contestants of the first annual Google Science Fair all gathered at Google's headquarters to compete. In all three age categories, it was intelligent young women who took home the top prizes. Lauren Hodge (Age group 13-14), Naomi Shah (Age group 15-16), and Shree Bose (Age group 17-18) all took home trophies for their entries, and Bose's was for a breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

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Study: New Virotherapy Cures Prostate Cancer In Mice

Finding a cure for cancer has been the mission of millions of scientists around the world. Significant breakthroughs have been made in developing treatments for cancer, and even some preventative measures have been developed like the HPV vaccine that guards against certain strains of the humanpapillomavirus, one of the few viral causes of cancer. But despite advances in immuno and virotherapy, there remains a need for an effective, easily produced, and easy to tolerate treatment for cancer.

Researchers working in part at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, and St. James University Hospital in Leeds, UK believe they have developed a new virotherapy with tremendous potential. Their method focuses on prostate cancer in mice, and while very successful it remains to be seen whether this therapy could be translated with the same effectiveness into humans.

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The Best Medicine: Serving Up Medication via Ice Cream

LactoPharma, a New Zealand-based pharmaceutical company, devotes its research to finding medically valuable biologically active compounds in milk. In itself, that'd be a cool enough line of research, but they've outdone themselves with their latest, experimental delivery system: putting biomedicine in ice cream.

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