A few items from the benevolent news front:
- BBC reports that “A ‘chemo-bath’ which delivers toxic cancer drugs to just one organ in the body has been used on patients in the UK for the first time, say doctors.”
Dr Brian Stedman, a consultant interventional radiologist, said: “To cut off an organ from the body for 60 minutes, soak it in a high dose of drug and then filter the blood almost completely clean before returning is truly groundbreaking.”
This means that in treating select cancers, the poisonous effects of chemotherapy can now be isolated to just one part of the body, thus dramatically reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Doctors at John Hopkins grew a new ear using a woman’s own tissue. CBS Baltimore reports, “her own body has replaced what an aggressive form of cancer took away. . . . But now, in a groundbreaking and complicated set of surgeries, Johns Hopkins doctors have attached a new ear made from Walters’ own tissue.”
- Ross England writes that Amazon’s “Kindle has produced a (perhaps) unanticipated benefit: the availability of books in the developing world where books remain scarce. Susan Moody of Worldreader, a non-profit dedicated to bringing e-readers to the developing world, explains why the Kindle is ideal for their purpose.”
The Kindle . . . actually meets the needs of the developing world very nicely. Kindles have become increasingly affordable, the battery-life can be as long as a month, and they are easily recharged using wind or solar energy. Since they use cell-phone networks to operate, which are already omnipresent even in the remotest parts of Africa, they don’t require new infrastructure in the schools. And the kids can read them outside, even in the brightest sunlight.
Best of all, one Kindle holds more than a thousand books, and new books can be downloaded in 60 seconds. That means printing costs disappear, and shipping gets reduced to nearly nothing. Suddenly it becomes feasible to imagine every child having access not only to books, but to a choice between thousands of books from all over the world.
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