Dr Pan Pantziarka

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Dr Pan Pantziarka is a computer scientist, mathematical modeller and author, currently working with a diverse group of academics, oncologists and patient advocates in drug repurposing for oncology (publications in the works). He has previously published on Li Fraumeni Syndrome and is founder of the UK's only charity devoted to this rare genetic cancer pre-disposition condition – www.tp53.co.uk. He also blogs at www.anticancer.org.uk.
IBM 5150 PC

Don't believe the hype: When that DATA seems just too good

I admit, I tend to the slightly conservative when it comes to publishing in peer-reviewed journals – a title such as ‘Li Fraumeni syndrome, cancer and senescence: a new hypothesis’ is as racy as it gets. Not so with some authors: Aussie computer scientist Dr Peter Vamplew scored headlines worldwide when the International Journal …
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

A solid tumour is the perfect example of a complex adaptive system at work. It is an ecosystem with competitive and cooperative networks of cells at play. This is one of the reasons why cancer is so difficult to treat. Historically, the approach has been to blast tumours with the most toxic drugs at our disposal – cytotoxic …
Richard Bedford's bacon on a roll with melted cheese

Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Have our health authorities been spouting unscientific nonsense for the last few decades? Dr Pan Pantziarka looks at whether official advice on fatty foods has been wrong all along. Richard Bedford A reduction in dietary fat consumption, especially saturated fat, has been the cornerstone of official dietary advice for as …
Toilet

The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS

This is an article that some readers, particularly those of a fainter-hearted disposition, might want to avoid. It’s about a big movement that some people might find a tad distasteful. For those of a more intrepid nature: we’re going to be looking at something called “microbiome” and the impact this is having in a wide range of …
An obese belly, dangling freely. Pic: Tony Alter

Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

The messaging cannot be any clearer. We, like much of the developed world, are in the midst of an obesity crisis caused in large part by eating too much. Our super-size culture of fast food, sugary drinks and junk diets is turning us into a nation of over-sized and unhealthy slobs with expanding waist lines and it’s getting …
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Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?

In theory, the definitive treatment for early stage cancer patients should be surgical resection. Just get in there and cut the tumour out. If the lump is small and well-constrained, then surgical removal is all that should be needed. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually what happens. Even when the tumour is nice and small and …

Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Comment One of the primary drivers of the growth in organic food sales over the last couple of decades is the perception that organic food is healthier than conventionally farmed food. It stands to reason, doesn’t it? After all conventional crops depend on chemicals and organic food doesn't. And we all know that chemicals, in this …
PHP

NetBeans extension makes simple work of PHP

Arriving with the NetBeans 6.1 release last week was the NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP. This provides a complete PHP integrated development environment hosted in NetBeans, re-using the infrastructure NetBeans has already employed for Java and Ruby. Having walked through the main NetBeans IDE, I thought it worth looking …
Sun

NetBeans 6.1 packs welcome additions

Hot on the heels of a successful 6.0 release, which we covered here and here, Sun Microsystems has delivered NetBeans 6.1, just in time for the company's annual JavaOne and CommunityOne events in San Francisco, California. As you'd expect from an incremental release, the aim is to introduce enhancements and bug fixes rather …
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Pump some IronPython with Studio IDE

Hands on part 2 When I looked at IronPython in part one, I focussed on how it marries the Python language and libraries with Microsoft's .NET framework. The sample code that was developed used the Python console (ipy) and a text editor - in other words with simple text-based tools for writing short scripts. But for bigger projects, or when …
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Quick scripting for .NET with IronPython

Hands on, part 1 While Ruby and Groovy seem to get all of the attention, there's one scripting language that has been around for a lot longer and that has quietly been picking up in popularity over the long run. That language is Python, and, according to the TIOBE Programming Community Index Python was the language of the year for 2007. While …
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Ruby runs on Rails with NetBeans

NetBeans and Ruby, part 2 Having limped along in the wake of Eclipse, Sun Microsystems' NetBeans is getting its second wind. One thing that's helping is a fresh focus on scripting, particularly around Ruby on Rails. In this piece, I shall show how well Ruby on Rails has been integrated into NetBeans using the creation of a very simple application as an …
Ruby on Rails teaser

Polished NetBeans means Ruby

NetBeans and Ruby, part 1 Let's be honest, the rise of the Eclipse development platform is the best thing to ever happen to Sun Microsystems' NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE). Eclipse rolled out a solid platform, with good performance, high levels of extensibility and a rapidly expanding ecosystem of commercial and open source plug ins …
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Light reading for XML with Groovy

Hands on, part 2 Groovy, unlike Java, provides a relatively streamlined way to read and write XML documents. In the first part of my two-piece tutorial, I looked at how you can use Groovy's flexible strings, closures and iterators to quickly create XML fragments and files. The emphasis was on making the most of Groovy as a scripting language …

Groovy: XML without the bloat

Hands on, part 1 You may find this hard to believe, but there was a time before XML hell, when the idea was that XML was going to solve just about every tricky problem in software development. From swapping data between applications or platforms, to storing complex data structures in a portable format - XML was the answer. Growing up around …
MySQL

Get into data with Groovy

Hands on In the first part of this two-part series we looked at how Groovy provides a simple and intuitive approach to accessing MySQL. Compared to Java, Groovy is less verbose and more focused on what the developer wants to do with the database. Additionally, things like opening and closing database connections, writing boilerplate …
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Learning Ruby

Book review To some, Ruby is going to take over the world. With prominent Java developers and propagandists jumping ship, there has seemed to be no stopping its momentum, particularly in web development. Part of the reason for the popularity with hackers (in the programming sense of the word), is that it's easy for a programmer in an …
MySQL

Groovy way to MySQL

A very traditional niche of scripting languages, (such as Perl, Python or Ruby), has been in the ad hoc manipulation of databases – from grabbing data, transforming it, performing bulk updates, right on through to full-on data migration projects that move data from one platform or RDBMS to another. Scripting languages are …
Google

Getting Google’s Web Toolkit going

Developers looking to build Ajax-style rich internet applications (RIA) are pretty much spoilt for choice at the moment. There are dozens of RIA tools and frameworks littering the development landscape, from those providing minimal sets of JavaScript libraries to heavyweight contenders such as Adobe’s Flex, Microsoft’s …
The Register breaking news

Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk

Like unit testing and automated builds, continuous integration is one of those development best practices that everyone can agree on, from the most extreme programmers to the most dogmatic of RUPistas. System integration – the moment when all of the different components of an application come together to produce a harmonious and …
beautiful code

Shall I compare thee (code) to a summer's day?

Book review Beautiful code? Well, we've all seen plenty of ugly code in our time. If we're being honest, we'd probably even admit to have written some dog-ugly code at one time or other (no doubt with every intention to refactor it later so that it's a bit less brutally repulsive). But code that's beautiful? What does that even mean? …
Microsoft Linq

Introducing Microsoft LINQ

Book review Microsoft's Language Integrated Query (also known as LINQ), is one of the key features on the .NET horizon. Already out as a beta, it's slated for release as part of Visual Studio 2008 (which goes under the code name of Orcas, which conjures images of packs of killer whales rather than shrink-wrapped development software). …
Smart and gets things done

'Smart and gets things done'

Book review Smart and gets things done is a pretty apt description of the kind of people we want to recruit into our development teams. Unfortunately, this is no easy matter. And, given the consequences of a wrong choice for either party, it can often be a pretty hit and miss affair. Joel Spolsky, of VBA and Joel On Software fame, has put …
The Register breaking news

Programming Flex 2

Book review The move towards rich internet applications (RIA) seems to be unstoppable. Aiming to offer browser-based applications with the speed, flexibility and functionality of traditional desktop applications, companies like Google and others continue to raise the bar as to what you can do in a browser. One of the key technologies in …
JBoss Seam

Ironing down the JBoss Seam

Book review We might as well get this over and done at the outset. Yes, JBoss Seam is another Java framework. I know, you thought there couldn't possibly be any room for another one, but you're wrong. What's more, it's another Java EE framework, built to make life for the enterprise developer more productive, more efficient, more …