In the artist's rendering above, Professor Paul Newton is forecasting the many detours of a circulating tumor cell (CTC). Illustration by Yang Liu, courtesy of USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Oh no. In terms of invading your life, Google’s now going where it’s never gone before!
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science
Saying, stay calm, people. There’s an upside.
Scientists are taking inspiration from the browser's PageRank algorithm to model how lung cancer spreads.
The PageRank algorithm predicts where people will browse to next. So it could help predict where a tumor in the lungs will go next. That's important, because it’s often not the original tumor that kills—it’s the cancer’s ability to spread so that it’s no longer a localized problem.
The team applied a similar algorithm to lung-cancer autopsy reports from before the age of chemo and radiation. These documented how lung cancer spreads naturally.
And? They found that lung cancer doesn't always spread in one direction, as scientists had thought. It spreads in multiple directions, sometimes even doubling back!
Knowing this atypical pattern could help tailor treatment to specific patients.
So if Google seems to know a bit too much about your online shoe-buying preferences, just think: I'm helping cure cancer! More shoes!
***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****
Follow us on Twitter!