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Tag archives: physics of cancer

Twin alien civilizations, the ancient genetics of cancer, and marvellous Maxwell and his wonderful equations

Life exchange: could two nearby planets exchange living organisms? An artist's impression of one planet in the Kepler 36 system as seen by its neighbour. (Courtesy: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar)

It’s raining life: could two nearby planets exchange living organisms? An artist’s impression of one planet in the Kepler 36 system as seen by its neighbour.
(Courtesy: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar)

By Hamish Johnston and James Dacey

There is an intriguing article about alien life this week in The Conversation. “Twin civilizations? How life on an exoplanet could spread to its neighbour” is by David Rothery of the Open University and is a popular account of a paper that will soon be published in the Astrophysical Journal. The paper is inspired by the star Kepler 36, which has two planets that are in very close proximity to each other. While the Kepler 36 worlds are not suitable for life, the paper’s authors – Jason Steffen and Gongjie Li – explore possible exchanges of life between two Earth-like planets in similarly close orbits. Rothery explains that debris flung off one of the planets would stand a good chance of finding its way to the surface of the other planet after a relatively brief journey through space.

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Watch the Physics World Hangout about the physics of cancer

By James Dacey

A little earlier today we hosted a Google+ Hangout about the July issue of Physics World – a special issue about an emerging new research field called the “physics of cancer”. In case you were unable to join us for the live event (or would like to enjoy it all over again), you can watch it again via this YouTube recording.

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What is the greatest asset a physicist could bring to our understanding of cancer?

By James Dacey

 

Image of metastatic cancer cell

Confocal microscope image of a metastatic breast cancer cell. (Courtesy: Shawn Carey/Cynthia Reinhart-King)

When you think about the types of scientist involved in the study of cancer you probably wouldn’t immediately think of physicists. But a burgeoning field of research referred to as the “physics of cancer” is seeing physical scientists bring new tools and fresh perspectives to this most complicated of diseases. The July issue of Physics World – which can be downloaded for free – is a special issue that looks at some of the most fascinating experimental and theoretical work in this field.

After taking a look at the issue you might want to take part in this week’s Facebook poll:

What is the greatest asset a physicist could bring to our understanding of cancer?

Fresh pair of eyes on a longstanding problem

Ability to identify key variables within a complex system

Focus on physical properties such as forces and fields

Other (please suggest as a comment here or on our Facebook page)

To take part please visit our Facebook page.

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