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Novel Technologies Advance Brain Surgery to Benefit Patients
Minimally invasive brain surgery at UC San Diego Health System
In a milestone procedure, neurosurgeons at UC San Diego Health System have integrated advanced 3D imaging, computer simulation and next-generation surgical tools to perform a highly complex brain surgery through a small incision to remove deep-seated tumors. This is the first time this complex choreography of technologies has been brought together in an operating room in California.
“Tumors located at the base of the skull are particularly challenging to treat due to the location of delicate anatomic structures and critical blood vessels,” said neurosurgeon Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, UC San Diego Health System. “The conventional approach to excising these tumors involves long skin incisions and removal of a large piece of skull. This new minimally invasive approach is far less radical. It decreases the risk of the surgery and shortens the patient’s hospital stay.”
“A critical part of this surgery involves identifying the neural fibers in the brain, the connections that allow the brain to perform its essential functions. The orientation of these fibers determines the trajectory to the tumor,” said Chen, vice-chairman of Academic Affairs for the Division of Neurosurgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We visualized these fibers with restriction spectrum imaging, a proprietary technology developed at UC San Diego. Color-coded visualization of the tracts allows us to plot the safest path to the tumor.”
After surgery planning, a 2-inch incision was made near the patient’s hairline, followed by a quarter-sized hole in the skull. The surgery was carried out through a thin tube-like retractor that created a narrow path to the tumor. Aided by a robotic arm and high-resolution cameras, the team was able to safely remove two tumors within millimeter precision.
“What we are seeing is a new wave of advances in minimally invasive surgery for patients with brain cancer,” said Bob Carter, MD, PhD, professor and chief of Neurosurgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine. “These minimally invasive approaches permit smaller incisions and a shorter recovery. In this case, the patient was able to go home the day after the successful removal of multiple brain tumors.”
Exposure to light at night, which shuts off nighttime production of the hormone melatonin, renders breast cancer completely resistant to tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug, says a new study by Tulane University School of Medicine cancer researchers. The study, “Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer,” published in the journal Cancer Research, is the first to show that melatonin is vital to the success of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer!
"High melatonin levels at night put breast cancer cells to ‘sleep’ by turning off key growth mechanisms. These cells are vulnerable to tamoxifen. But when the lights are on and melatonin is suppressed, breast cancer cells ‘wake up’ and ignore tamoxifen," Blask says.
Robert T. Dauchy et al. Circadian and Melatonin Disruption by Exposure to Light at Night Drives Intrinsic Resistance to Tamoxifen Therapy in Breast Cancer. Cancer Research, July 2014 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-3156
Looping concentric circles.
Coral branches retreating to protect themselves.
Wingtip vortices are a result of the finite length of a wing. Airplanes generate lift by having low-pressure air travelling over the top of the wing and higher pressure air along the bottom. If the wing were infinite, the two flows would remain separate. Instead, the high-pressure air from under the wing sneaks around the wingtip to reach the lower pressure region. This creates the vorticity that trails behind the aircraft. I was first introduced to the concept of wingtip vortices in my junior year during introductory fluid dynamics. As I recall, the concept was utterly bizarre and so difficult to wrap our heads around that everyone, including the TA, had trouble figuring out which way the vortices were supposed to spin. A few good photos and videos would have helped, I’m sure. (Photo credits: U.S. Coast Guard, S. Morris, Nat. Geo/BBC2)
Animation done for art class. It was originally supposed to be just black and white, but since this is my first attempt at animating anything, it looked a bit dull so I threw some colours and textures at it in photoshop
EXCERPTS >|< Journey to the Center of a Triangle (1976)
A series of Animated GIFs excerpted from Journey to the Center of a Triangle (1977): another fabulous film by the Cornwells, created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal. Presents a series of animated constructions that determine the center of a variety of triangles, including such centers as circumcenter, incenter, centroid and orthocenter. More on the Cornwells at http://www.afana.org/cornwell.htm
According to son Eric Cornwell, here’s how the film was made: The 4051 produced only black and green vector images, not even grey scale. The film’s scenes were divided into layers in the programming, one layer for each of the colors in the scene, and each was shot separately onto high-contrast fine-grained b&w film stock. The final scene in “Journey” had 5 layers: one for each of the four colored dots, plus one for the white triangle and line.
These five clips were then multiple-exposed onto color film on an optical printer, using colored filters to add the desired color to each black&white layer as it was copied. The resulting color was much better than a film of an RGB display would have been because the color filters on the optical printer allowed access to the full range of the color negative film, allowing much more saturated colors. All of that color is pretty much lost now, between prints fading and/or transfers to the VHS, and then viewing them on a computer screen which has a much more limited color gamut. Please imagine it all in bright, brilliant colors. (from Internet Archive)
We invite you to watch the full video HERE.
EXCERPTS by OKKULT Motion Pictures: a collection of GIFs excerpted from out-of-copyright/historical/rare/controversial moving images.
A digital curation project for the diffusion of open knowledge.
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