HOW TO TARGET A TUMOR'S INFRASTRUCTURE
[Originally published on BioGPS's Gene-of-the-Week Series on June 30, 2014.]
America is failing.
Or rather… our infrastructure is. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition and performance of our infrastructure is so poor, that we failed their “2013 Report Card” with a resounding grade of D+. Besides being embarrassing, it’s potentially dangerous; California alone contains 2,978 deficient bridges and 807 high hazard dams! In fact, nearly 25% of the nation’s bridges were determined as either “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete”—and yet, there are still over 200 million daily trips across these deficient bridges. To resolve (just) our bridge issues, we’d need an estimated $20.5 billion annual investment—current spending is only at $12.8 billion.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in 1940, caught in rare video footage by a local camera shop owner. The only fatality was Tubby the cocker spaniel, who was so scared to leave the car that he bit his attempted rescuers. The bridge had been previously nicknamed “Galloping Gertie” for its tendency to flutter in the wind.
Besides being terrifying, these numbers serve as reminder for how critical infrastructure maintenance is. Otherwise, we’d have to cope with having no food in our grocery stores, no electricity in our homes, and—heaven forfend!--no internet on our phones. Facetiousness aside, these are real problems that everyone needs to consider… even tumors.