Cautionary Tales Science & Technology Video Clips

This is Your Body Attacking Cancer

Cambridge University’s Under the Microscope series takes a close-up look at the world through the lens of a microscope. The latest video shot by PhD student Alex Ritter captures the showdown between a dangerous cancer cell and a Cytotoxic T cell, a special type of white blood cell that is one-tenth the width of a human hair. Its mission in life is to destroy virally infected cells. Professor Gillian Griffiths of Cambridge University explains:

Cells of the immune system protect the body against pathogens. If cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, then killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. Cytotoxic T cells are very precise and efficient killers. They are able to destroy infected or cancerous cells, without destroying healthy cells surrounding them. The Wellcome Trust funded laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths, at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, investigates just how this is accomplished. By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control killer cells. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies.”

The video is filmed at 92 times faster than real time.

See more Under the Microscope videos on YouTube.

[via io9]

Arty Cautionary Tales Featured Flash Games

Play This: One Chance

In the world of video games, we don’t normally have to worry about messing up. No biggie, we just simply restart the chapter or go to the autosaved checkpoint and try again. Indie developer, Awkward Silence Games, has crafted a deeply moving flash game with a twist – the restart mechanic does not work.

In the cautionary tale that is “One Chance”, you play the role of scientist John Pilgrim and your team has finally found a cure for cancer. The celebration is short-lived as the cure turns deadly and starts killing every organism on Earth. There are six days left to live and you must decide how to spend those days. Once the game is over, there is no replay feature, hence the title. You’re stuck with the decisions you have made.

You have one chance. Play it and let us know what happened.

[via VinylDestZA on Twitter]

Arty Featured Video Clips

A Touching Piece About A Man & His Dying Dog

Jason Wood is an ex-con and through all the good and the bad, his best friend has been by his side. Last minutes with ODEN is a touching story about Jason’s final farewell to that best friend – a three-legged dog named Oden.

Oden’s journey is about to come to an end, and this emotionally-charged six minute documentary directed by Eliot Rausch, follows Jason’s last minutes with Oden before the dog is euthanised. It’s teary stuff man.

Jason, I may not know you, but I know what you must have felt, as would a lot of pet owners out there. I went through the very same heart-breaking, tear-filled moments when we had to put down FurryLuce’s most beloved cat, Dorian Gray.

He suffered from Acute Renal Failure, and we tried all manner of meds to prolong his life, but it was a vain attempt at avoiding the inevitable. I’m sure Dorian knew he was going to die and instead of making a fuss, he found a quiet place in the house to sleep, waiting for the darkness. I think we tend to suffer more when our pets are sick…

[via Urlesque]

Cartoons & Comics Lists Useful/Useless Info

Fascinating Cigarette Smoking Facts

During the last century, cigarettes have gone from being the darling playmate bunny that everyone wanted to shag to the drunken stepfather that you’d wouldn’t leave alone with your children. At one time, sportsmen, actors, and celebrities promoted the coolness of cigarettes on television, but now smoking is considered an nasty, socially-unacceptable habit that could endanger you and the people around you.

Here are some interesting cigarette smoking facts you, or president-elect Barack Obama, may or may not have known.

  • Cigarettes are the single-most traded item on the planet, with approximately 1 trillion being sold from country to country each year.
  • U.S. cigarette manufacturers now make more money selling cigarettes to countries around the globe than they do selling to Americans.
  • Urea, a chemical compound that is a major component in urine, is used to add “flavor” to cigarettes.
  • The ‘Cork Tip’ filter was originally invented in 1925 by Hungarian inventor Boris Aivaz, who patented the process of making the cigarette filter from crepe paper. All kinds of filters were tested, although ‘cork’ is unlikely to have been one of them.
  • Contrary to popular social belief, it is NOT illegal to smoke tobacco products at any age. Parents are within the law to allow minors to smoke, and minors are within the law to smoke tobacco products freely. However, the SALE of tobacco products is highly regulated with legal legislation.
  • Scientists claim the average smoker will lose 14 years of their life due to smoking. This however does not necessarily mean that a smoker will die young – and they may still live out a ‘normal’ lifespan.
  • The United States is the only major cigarette market in the world in which the percentage of women smoking cigarettes (22%) comes close to the number of men who smoke (35%).
  • Sugar approximates to roughly 20% of a cigarette, and many diabetics are unaware of this secret sugar intake. Also, the effect of burning sugar is unknown.
  • Smokers draw on ‘lite’ and menthol cigarettes harder (on average) than regular cigarettes; causing the same overall levels of tar and nicotine to be consumed.
  • Smokers often smoke after meals to ‘allow food to digest easier’. In fact, this works because the bodies priority moves away from the digestion of food in favor of protecting the blood cells and flushing toxins from the brain.
  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of cigarettes sold around the world are smuggled.
  • Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. It has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.
  • ‘Toppings’ are added to the blended tobacco mix to add flavor and a taste unique to the manufacturer. Some of these toppings have included; clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, dill seed oil, cocoa, carrot oil, mace oil, myrrh, beet juice, bay leaf, oak, rum, vanilla, and vinegar.

See more facts at The List Verse.