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Eye-surgery by magnetically-guided microrobots moves toward clinical trials (robohub.org)
147 points by robotgal 1367 days ago | hide | past | web | 10 comments | favorite

Pretty awesome. One of the more interesting developments in robotics of late, for me, has been huge leaps in the ability to image robot swarms and then communicate with the swarm in order to get it to do something. The quad-copters juggling, and now very small robots driving around inside an eye.

It suggests that a future treatment for cancers might be to "drive" a robot to a tumor cell where the end of the robot has a resonant cavity and them beam the patient with the required frequency radio signal which blows up the cell that the robot has inserted its resonant cavity into. I can't imagine yet how you could do that at the same time as imaging the cancer cells but clearly there are interesting opportunities here.

There are some non-robot implementations of this kind of idea out there, including: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibritumomab_tiuxetan

and more generally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoclonal_antibodies

tl;dr: use cancer-specific antibodies with a payload of a drug, gene vector, or radioactive particle (!) to very specifically kill cells.

It's amusing that after 2 hours on the front page there are absolutely no comments on this story. I guess that's the HN equivalent of sitting wide eyed with a dropped jaw in amazement.

I've noticed there is an often a correlation with article quality and comment-to-upvote ratio. When something has X upvotes and X+ comments I've learned they often tend to descend into low-quality back-and-forths over oft-tread topics and tangents, often because the article itself makes poor or overly confident statements about a topic that lends itself to the low-quality back-and-forth cycle. Meanwhile, a quality article gets hardly any comments because people have fewer "contrarian" things to spit out and others have fewer "contra-contrarian" things to respond. Wonder if this is already taken into account when ranking articles, or could be.

Sadly the self-aggrandizing belittling comment has become standard fare on HN. It's an evolutionary process methinks, similar to memes being upvoted because they're quick to consume. Tearing stuff down seems to emotionally appeal to some part of the HN crowd, and it's relatively easy to generate (or regurgitate) intellectual-sounding but ultimately content free objections.

If novelty accounts were allowed, I should like to start one called "HNtrarian". ;)

It's kind of mindblowing how trafficked the front page of HN is.

HN is, basically, its front page. HN gets 100k uniques a day.

I was once at an outdoor concert along with 50k others. I remember looking around and being amazed at the sheer size of the crowd. If you've never been at an event that large, it's hard to get a feeling for just how many people 50,000 people really is. You have to imagine all of the people you've ever directly interacted with in your entire life, then somehow mentally multiply them by about 30x, then gather them all into the same field, watching the same concert stage.

HN is exactly that, except twice as big, and everyone can jump on stage at any time and speak to the entire crowd of 100k other people. Seriously, a tenth of a million!

It seems inevitable, then, that since writing a quality comment involves a lot of effort, most people who want to say something will default to the relatively effortless game of intellectual whack-a-mole against perceived flaws in other people's work. I'm sure it gives some people comfort that other people agree with them, and nothing unites people like a common enemy. So the karma counter may have inadvertently become the fuel for the middlebrow dismissals plaguing HN.

It's the bikeshed principle: nobody here feels qualified to comment on the nuclear reactor design.

I'm seeing incredibly versatile applications of this tecnology. One idea would be stem cell therapy for treating tinnitus, where the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged.

If my understanding is correct, this could be healed if stem cells could be delivered precisely. This could concievably be possible with a system like this.

Still seeing that as "magically-guided" even after reading the article.

How long until they can fix my vitreous floaters?

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