Magical Healing Powers

I noticed the above image in a press release about using oncolytic viruses alongside more traditional cancer treatments. The caption reads, “Recent studies also indicate that reoviruses work synergistically with standard anti-cancer drugs, providing significantly stronger responses than either agent alone.”

Sounds great, if only slightly creepy. I think of viruses as things to be avoided, but hey, if we can get the little buggers on our side, all the better.

I don’t have much to say about the picture, except that it, too, strikes me as slightly creepy. The disembodied (presumably cancerous) lungs hovering inside a transparent body that recalls Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. The glowing blue treatment entering the un-body intravenously. Everything inside a completely sterile, indeed blank and empty box. I have no idea what this image says about medicine, but let’s jsut say that it doesn’t exude warmth.

But then, I just saw the extremely compassionate Sherwin Nuland as part of my new institution’s lecture series, so perhaps I set my sights too high.

Follow the Arrows

The above image comes from a Vanderbilt Medical Center Reporter article about mathematical modeling the behavior of tumors. Aside from the minuscule size (they seem to have no larger version online), there’s at least one bizarre omission.

In case you can’t read the teeny-tiny text in the image, it says, in clockwise order from top left: “tumor,” “tumor slice,” “tumor in lattice,” “tumor cells,” “mathematical representation of tumor growth and invasion,” and… Nothing. The last image in the series has no label. From the article, you can glean that the final result is a prediction of tumor growth, but it does seem as though that could be directly addressed in the teeny-tiny graphic.

Or maybe the message is that “mathematical representation of tumor growth and invasion” leads to… Pretty flower-like pictures? Small explosions? Low-res graphics and trapped white space?