Vivid 3D model shows how cancer cells multiply and migrate in a tumor

A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University, and John Hopkins University have created a 3D model to visualize the growth and differentiation of cancer cells inside a tumor. The simulation, detailed in a recent research paper published in Nature, uses mathematical algorithms to show the progression of a tumor over time. It also details a tumor’s metastasis in a 3D spatial setting. Unlike other models that isolate cellular processes and use predictions that are highly idealized, this new model encompasses a variety of molecular processes and provides one of the most comprehensive pictures of a tumor to date.

The simulation allows researchers to see how cells grow, die, mutate and move about when a tumor is forming. The team used vivid colors to identify individual genetic mutations and track how they expand and move. Large clumps of color in the model represent the most successful mutations that often will migrate to different parts of the body. By changing parameters, the model provides a look at both slow-growing tumors and rapidly evolving tumors that increase quickly in size and metastasize. It also includes a treatment variable that provides researchers with information on how a tumor may react to a particular cancer-cell-color-3Dtherapy. Future improvements to the model also may help identify factors that cause a tumor to return.

Researchers hope this model will help predict the growth and spread of cancer cells so doctors can better choose appropriate treatments. Once a therapy is selected, doctors then can test the treatment using the model to see if it will be effective. Not only will it help doctors, this modeling method also will make it easier on patients who won’t have to try different therapies to see which one works. Instead, individuals battling cancer will be given the most effective treatment first.

Despite its promise in visualizing cancer, the model may not be a panacea for cancer treatment. Researcher Bartek Waclaw from the school of physics and astronomy at the University of Edinburgh is cautiously optimistic about the usefulness of the tool. He concedes that it is “a necessary idealisation” that “neglects certain processes and simplifies others.” Because of these compromises, it cannot “fully predict the behavior of a real tumor.”

Gaming

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Emerging Tech

Johns Hopkins’ lab-grown human retina could lead to big insights

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have successfully grown human retina tissue from scratch in a lab. The work could help with the development of new therapeutics related to eye diseases.
Emerging Tech

Japanese scientists are chewing over an ‘electric gum’ that never loses flavor

Researchers at Japan's Meiji University may have found the secret to unlimited chewing gum -- and it just involves zapping your tongue with electricity. Here's what makes it all work.
Emerging Tech

Regular paints and plastics will soon be able to ‘heal’ like skin

Imagine if paints, plastics, or other coatings could heal up like human skin in the event that they suffered damage. Thanks to researchers at Clemson University, such technology is almost here.
Emerging Tech

This intelligent parachute system can bail out clumsy drone pilots

Parachutes can save drones when they unexpectedly fall from the sky. Among a number of such systems, Austrian firm Drone Rescue is this week showing off its latest design that automatically deploys when it senses trouble.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Emerging Tech

Tokyo robotic warehouse needs almost no human workers

Uniqlo has unveiled its first robot-powered warehouse that requires 90 percent fewer human workers to operate. The Japanese clothing giant plans to invest close to $1 billion dollars to convert all of its warehouses worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Emerging Tech

Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. Check out Skynet's future pet as you've never seen it before.
Emerging Tech

Self-correcting quadcopter can keep itself aloft even if one rotor fails

Most quadcopters won't fly unless all four rotors are functioning. But what happens if one gets damaged during flight? Researchers from the Netherlands think they've come up with a solution.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.
Emerging Tech

This gadget lets you sleep on airplanes without snuggling a stranger

Odd gadget, or a hug for your face? The Napup Fly+ is a travel pillow, sleep mask, and personal speaker system all rolled into one, attached to the back of the headrest to hold your head up.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Healthy mice born from two genetic mothers using stem cells, gene editing

Healthy mice have been born from two genetics mothers and later went on to bear healthy offspring of their own, according to a recent paper published by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.