A Texas scientist was called ‘foolish’ for arguing the immune system could fight cancer. Then he won the Nobel Prize.

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It was Christmas Eve 1994, and James P. Allison was testing his theory that T cells, a type of white blood cell that fights viral and bacterial infections, could help the immune system fight cancer. That week, he was covering for a postdoc aide on a European trip, who’d injected cancerous mice with an antibody to activate T cells to go after tumors. The results were stunning: All of those given the antibody became cancer-free, while the mice not provided with the antibody saw their tumors grow until they eventually died.

Allison ran back the experiment. But this time, the cancer didn’t respond. Allison grew frustrated. “I was being told, ‘You’re just foolish, this is never gonna work,’ ” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That was one that really pissed me off.”

But when he returned four days later to check on his furry subjects, the tumors in the mice injected with the antibody had totally disappeared. “I went, ‘Wow,’ ” said Allison, 70. “That was a real turning point. I said, ‘Okay, we’re onto something here.’ I never expected that to happen. I did have a notion that if we could figure that out, then we might have a shot at cancer.”


Scientists like Jim Allison and Barbara McClintock faced harsh criticism for their discoveries. Independently, they both later won the Nobel Prize.



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This Week Has Been A Whirlwind. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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The news can often be hard to follow, but this week in particular has been a doozy.

There’s the seemingly endless staff changes in the Trump administration, the reported privacy breach and misuse of millions of Facebook users’ data, the death of the bombing suspect in Austin and the police shooting in Sacramento. It’s been a lot.

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest news that happened in the last seven days.


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Protesters march in Sacramento, California, on March 22, 2018, after two police officers shot and killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.



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‘Absolutely Massive’ Texas Flooding Leaves At Least 12 People Missing

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Recovery teams were resuming the search early Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river in Central Texas carried a vacation home off its foundation, slamming it into a bridge downstream.

The hunt for the missing picked up after a holiday weekend of terrible storms that dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, caused major flooding and spawned tornadoes and killed at least eight people in Oklahoma and Texas. More than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in Texas, and thousands of residents are displaced.

Authorities were also searching for victims and assessing damage just across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five unaccounted for.


!!!!!AbsolutelyMassiveFlooding1Lucas Rivas looks into the flooded Whole Earth Provisions Company on Lamar Street after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)



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Rashad Charjuan Owens Named As Suspect In SXSW Car Crash

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The Austin Police Department has named Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, as the suspected driver of a car that crashed into a crowd during the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Two people were killed and dozens were left injured from the incident.

Massive Music, a company with offices in Amsterdam, New York and London, said employee Steven Craenmehr, 35, died suddenly in Austin. Additional information wasn’t available.

The Travis County Medical Examiner identified the other person who died as 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West of Austin. West was on a moped that was struck by the car. Her husband, Evan West, was among those hospitalized.

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AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 13: Flowers lie on the ground near the scene of a deadly car accident at the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival on March 13, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Two people were killed and 23 injured when a car plowed into people in a blocked of intersection outside a venue called the Mowhawk. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) | Michael Loccisano via Getty Images
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‘Subversive’ Site Aims to Be Pirate Bay of 3D Printing

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Computer printers aren’t typically linked with the word “subversive,” but that’s the mission of a new site for 3D printer files.

Defcad was announced Tuesday at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. It is designed to give 3D printer enthusiasts access to files that allow them to create objects with their printers — even if those objects are protected by intellectual property laws.

Defcad is backed by Defense Distributed, an Austin, Texas group that recently made headlines by offering 3D printer files to make firearm parts.




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MirageTable: Microsoft presents augmented reality device

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Microsoft has shown off an augmented reality system that allows users at different locations to work together on tabletop activities, sharing objects which they can both handle.

The MirageTable was demonstrated at a conference in Austin, Texas and is outlined on the firm’s research site.


MirageTable demonstration
Researchers used the device to collaborate on how to
build an object out of blocks


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