Cancer Studies: Vitamin D Limits Melanoma Growth By Boosting Effects Of Immunotherapy

From a Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News release:

Vitamin D Tames Melanoma“But what’s really intriguing is that we can now see how vitamin D might help the immune system fight cancer. We know when the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is active in melanoma, it can dampen down the immune response causing fewer immune cells to reach the inside of the tumor, where they could potentially fight the cancer better.

“Although vitamin D on its own won’t treat cancer, we could take insights from the way it works to boost the effects of immunotherapy, which uses the immune system to find and attack cancer cells.”

Genetic Engineerin & Biotechnology News

In melanoma patients, elevated serum levels of vitamin D appear to be helpful. Tumors are thinner. Outcomes are improved. But how, exactly, are these benefits realized? To answer this question, researchers at the University of Leeds scrutinized the interaction between vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) on melanoma cells. The researchers, fully aware that vitamin D on its own won’t treat cancer, hoped to identify cell signaling pathways that could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

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Innovations In Cocktails: “Barsys Coaster” Weighs Ingredients, Guides Mixing With AI Smart App

The Barsys CoasterThe Barsys CoasterThe Barsys CoasterFrom a Yanko Design online review:

This is the Barsys Coaster, a smart coaster with a mini weighing-machine and an AI inside it that coaches you through the fine cocktail-mixing process. The coaster works with the Barsys app, which lets you select a recipe, while the coaster itself sits on a table with an empty glass above it. The app tells you how to build your cocktail, by telling you what to pour into your glass, while the coaster and its weight-sensor lets you know when to stop pouring. 

The incredibly precise weight-sensor within the coaster can know exactly when you’ve poured the right amount of gin, or vodka, or orange juice, while the app itself then tells you to stop pouring and proceed to the next step. The result? Precisely crafted cocktails courtesy an AI bartender and your passion for drinking fine cocktails from the comfort of your own house as Netflix cues the next episode of whatever it is you’re watching!

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Book Review Podcasts: “Antisocial” By Andrew Marantz, “No Stopping Us Now” By Gail Collins (NYT)

AntiSocial Andrew Marantz

From the New York Times Book Review:

“Antisocial,” the new book by Andrew Marantz, plainly states its subject in its subtitle: “Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.” In order to write it, Marantz immersed himself in corners of the internet most of us would go out of our way to avoid.

Gail Collins visits the podcast this week to discuss her new book, “No Stopping Us Now,” an eye-opening chronicle of older women’s journey to progress in the United States over the years. “It used to be, the whole vision of your life if you were a woman was that you got married, you had children and, once the children were grown, you were old — done,” 

No Stopping Us Now Gail Collins

Collins says on the podcast this week. “That was the thing I was looking at: What counted as old, and then what did women do when they got to what was regarded as old? How did they use it, how did they fight it?”

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Future Of Homebuilding: “Stilt Studios” By Architect Alexis Dornier Are “Prefab And Movable”

From a online review:

Alexis Dornier Architects Stilt StudiosStilt Studios are small homes on stilts, which could be erected in a variety of different places without causing any damage to the landscape.

“This situation calls for us to tread lightly through prefab ‘PropTech’ structures that could be packed up and re-erected someplace else,” he told Dezeen. “Someone could also put this unit into their garden and possibly start a little side business for themselves.”

Bali-based architect Alexis Dornier has developed a concept for prefabricated homes that could easily be taken apart and reassembled in a new location.

The design follows the principles of the circular economy, which calls for products and materials to be kept in use as long as possible, for there to be no waste or pollution, and for natural environments to be restored.

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New Travel Videos: “Never Stop Exploring” In Italy By Michael Cherkashin

“Never Stop Exploring” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Michael Cherkashin.

Filmed, Edited and Directed by: Michael Cherkashin

Never Stop Exploring Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed by Michael Cherkashin 2019

Narrated by: Hollye Sangster

A visual ode to curiosity, to explorers and to the magnificent beauty of our world. Location is the Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy.

Never Stop Exploring Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed by Michael Cherkashin 2019


Top Political Podcasts: Mark Shields And David Brooks On The Latest In Washington (PBS)

Shields and Brooks Nov 8 2019Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s political news, including the impact of released impeachment inquiry transcripts, what we might learn from the upcoming public hearings, the possible entry of Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 presidential race and results from state elections in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Adventure Bicycle Trips: Touring In America On 1,357,430 Miles Of “Quieter, Unpaved Roads”

From a Wall Street Journal online article:

Patricia McNeal, a 58-year-old brain-aneurysm survivor from Panama City, Fla., is currently riding home from Seattle on her 2017 Trek Émonda SL 6 road bike. She’s improvising a route, but confessed she’d one day love to ride the Great American Rail Trail, a transcontinental route from Washington, D.C. to Washington state that’s now in piecemeal development.

A self-described “credit-card camper,” Ms. McNeal doesn’t rough it. She carries a single bag and sleeps at hotels and homestays arranged via, a peer-to-peer cyclist’s site, as well as supporters who learn about her travels via the Black Girls Do Bike organization. Her necessities are padded shorts, a gel seat, chamois cream to help with chafing and some music. 

ACA Bicycle routes in U.S. Illustration by John S. Dykes Wall Street Journal

Bicycle touring in America is shifting gears away from that old school derring-do on skinny tires, when cyclists scraped by 18-wheelers on highways. Instead, the sort of protected cycling paths common in urban centers are now stretching tendrils over abandoned railroad lines to link cities coast-to-coast. Meanwhile, riders are joining mass multiday fundraising rides for safety in numbers, or taking to America’s 1,357,430 miles of quieter unpaved roads. For that, they ride increasingly popular “gravel bikes,” a toughened road bike designed for speed on off-road with added mounts for gear.

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