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  • Very interesting filter machine which is combatting cancer

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by tmark938, Jan 10, 2019.

    1. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Check out this announcement:-

      https://otp.tools.investis.com/clie...regulatory-story.aspx?cid=1560&newsid=1223545

      Which relates to a break through in cancer diagnostics. From an engineering perspective it is a simple system which filters out certain cells from blood (by size) and isolates them for analysis. I am sure it sounds much simpler than it actually is but this new breakthrough could change the way we treat cancer.
       
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    3. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      A friend of mine was working in a research lab for onco genes where he would genetically modify a gene of a bacteria that’s harmless to the human body (actually it was also found in human feces) and that would go and attach itself to the cells that are cancerous and just mark the cells. Then the white blood cells would attack and kill the bacteria, also killing the cancerous cells in the process. This was one of the most innovative cancer treatment I had seen. It was being developed for colon cancer specifically. I wonder how it has been going. After he left the lab I couldn’t find out any more information about it.
       
    4. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I think that sometimes we have this idea in our minds that everything needs to be complicated and we need to reinvent the wheel every few years. History shows that going back to basics can create some very simple yet very effective solutions to so many different problems. Who would have thought that a blood cell filter machine would be causing such ripples across an industry when billions upon billions are spent each year trying to reach this stage.
       
    5. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, I agree. Some of the best ideas come from either copying something that already exists in nature, or taking an existing technology and applying it in new way or to a new field.
       
    6. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      For example, best airplanes are made by improving on a design based on 1950s and constantly improving it. It never ends.

      Also I guess the biggest thing in engineering is to keep the idea very simple. The simpler it is the more easily manufacturable the product. The more easy to sell it.

      Also during engineering school I was thought to have ideas that are very simple to solve an existing problem. If there were any homeworks and we would come up with complicated (but correct solutions) we would be marked less than anyone who would come up with a simpler solution.

      Also if we were doing numerical analysis and the simpler code had comparable results to a code that’s very complicated. The more complicated one would usually fail the course. So the professors do try to built it in, into us that we try to think about things very simply. And try to find solutions that are easy to adapt.

      I remember a professor even went extra lengths and gave points to students who could make his work simpler. He was designing a lifting mechanism for a specific tractor but he had designed a very complicated arc that would work with a motor to open and close the hood.

      A student suggested using gas spring to open the hood and let the hood use the motor only to close the hood. And he was highly praised for this. Because the idea made the design 20% lighter.

      In another instance, there was a very complicated rear door locking design in a very light aircraft, it used a lot of gears to make sure all the pins were in the locked position. and the airplane was a commercial success, it was sold with that locking mechanism until another engineer figured out a see-saw mechanism for the doors to lock all the hooks at the same time and it costed fraction to build that door.
       
    7. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yes, I totally agree. In university we had the 'Kiss Rule' constantly drilled into us - "Keep It Simple, Stupid!".

      Simpler designs are usually much better - cheaper, easier to make, less prone to breaking!
       
    8. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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    9. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      It's always a trade-off. I mean, who would imagine that a helicopter would actually work - it's so complex, with so many areas that could go wrong?!

      It's hard to tread the line between sticking to existing, tried-and-tested designs, and between developing new things which may seem unnecessary but ultimately do the job better.
       
    10. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      That is so true john, must agree with you on that. Complex machines work because smaller machines that are not so complex are out together to function as a team and do a greater job. engineering is like legos, building blocks. We need to try and test each block and place them in a machine to make the whole thing work.

      This is also good because if something goes wrong with one block you can change it, makes the job simpler. No need to bother yourself with the whole complex machine.
       
    11. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      That's a great way of looking at it. It's basically, "standing on the shoulders of giants" but for machines.
       

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