Unravelling the Complexities of Cancer
A discussion with Justin Serio
From our boss's behavior to our morning routine, patterns allow us to navigate a complex world and they are also helping to turn the tables in the fight against cancer. Despite many breakthroughs over the years, cancer treatments still have severe side effects and there isn’t a cure. Cancer isn’t as uniform of a disease as the name implies, but rather a collection of diseases that look similar with different underlying causes. For the first time medical technology is allowing us to see the complex patterns of genes that drive cancer in our cells. By learning what cancer is and how it happens, we can read the pattern, solve the puzzle, and better treat cancer patients.
Catching Cancer Cells ON THE RUN
A discussion with Angela Wang
An estimated 1.7 million Americans will receive a cancer diagnoses this year and the success of their battle depends largely on the ability of physicians to personalize treatment options to the biology of a specific tumor. Unfortunately, there are few efficient methods to predict or monitor the treatment outcome for cancer patients. However, engineers are developing a device to detect cancer cells that have detached from the original tumor and are circulating in the bloodstream. From a simple blood draw, these captured cancer cells could give physicians important information to develop personalized treatments for cancer patients.
Flying at 5,000 Degrees Fahrenheit
A discussion with Jianfeng Cheng
Five thousand degrees fahrenheit is not just hot; it’s scorching. Most materials known to man would melt at this temperature, which may not be a problem in your everyday life, but it’s a huge problem for NASA and the Air Force. Hypersonic flight involves travelling at 7,000 miles per hour, a speed at which you’d cross the entire US in about 17 minutes! With speed comes really, really hot temperatures. Next generation hypersonic vehicles are driving the development of materials that can tolerate extreme chemical and thermal environments and meet the new requirement for structural materials in aerospace technology.