Philip Burroughs is a committed philanthropist based out of Mechanicsville, MD

Tag: technology


Unique Ways to Donate This Holiday Season

Winter is coming. And with it comes the unavoidable holiday shopping season. And with that comes a bevy of other traditions and seasonal activities. One of the most common traditions during this time is an increase in giving. The holiday season is meant to inspire and promote cheer and charity. For most, this is the only time of year worth donating either time or money; for others, this is the time of year to really go all out with charity and giving. Soup kitchens fill up, homeless shelters are chock full of volunteers, and salvation army buckets are filled to the brim with dollar bills. And those are all fine methods of donating, but why not get a bit creative? Here are some unique ways to donate this holiday season.


Tabs for a Cause

The holiday season means shopping. We buy gifts for friends, family and sometimes, co-workers that we barely speak to. Odds are, you’ll be doing a lot of shopping over the next month. And if you’re like most holiday shoppers, you’ll be looking for the best possible bargains. Naturally, we all like to go gift shopping online, where we have multiple tabs open on our web browsers in order to compare and contrast prices. This year, turn those open tabs into charitable contributions! With Tabs for a Cause, for every tab opened, Tabs for a Cause’s various sponsors will donate a fraction of a penny! That may not sound like a lot, but just think about how many tabs are being opened just as we speak.


Charity Miles

The winter months are a great time to stay in shape. The short days, long nights and frigid temperatures can certainly put a damper on the holiday spirit, but that shouldn’t stop you from maintaining a healthy body. Go out there and stay fit, and be charitable while doing it. With Charity Miles, you can rack up dollars for donations through exercise. Simply download the app for your iOS or Android device and track your activity. Different activities account for different donations. For example, bicycling earns 10 cents per mile, while walking or running can earn 25 cents per mile.


This holiday season will be here before you know it. While I like to promote philanthropy and charitable giving all year long, I understand that this is just a very popular time for giving. So, with that being said, utilize your holiday time with family and friends, but also make sure to give however you can.


Have a safe and happy holiday.

Philip Burroughs Detecting Cancer More Efficiently

Detecting Cancer More Efficiently

Cancer is never easy. It can be a difficult illness to deal with, and the fact that there is no known cure makes the road even more challenging. And as scientists work day and night to develop a long-lasting cure, others are working on an equally important aspect of cancer: detection. And a group of researchers and scientists seem to have made a significant development in early detection of cancer.


According to a report from Digital Trends, researchers from UCLA and USC have developed a program that can not only detect if a patient has cancer, but where that cancer is located. Aptly titled the CancerLocator, the program can detect and track cancer by analyzing a sample of the patient’s blood.


With so much attention focused on battling cancer (and rightfully so), diagnosis can easily be overlooked. But it is just as important to detect the disease. The earlier it can be detected, the better the chances of survival. And while CancerLocator’s ability to detect cancer is impressive, its potential to offer more effective treatments is even more groundbreaking.


How Does it Work?

By saying that CancerLocator works by analyzing blood is a gross oversimplification. In reality, there is so much more to the process. CancerLocator measures the amount of methyl groups located in cells after they die, which signal whether or not they are cancerous. And since cells have different gene expressions, CancerLocator can use this information to detect the cancer’s location. In the same Digital Trends article, Project Researcher Wenyuan Li explains the technical aspects of the process, stating, “Using the large amount of DNA methylation profiles of various tumor types in the public database, we can identify the DNA methylation signatures that differentiate multiple cancer types as well as normal plasma.”

According to the official press release from UCLA, CancerLocator had an accuracy rate of 80 percent, far better than various other methods.

Could CancerLocator change the future of cancer research? Only time will tell, but I am incredibly eager for what the future holds.

Philip Burroughs IBM’s Watson to Study Genomics For Cancer Research

IBM’s Watson to Study Genomics For Cancer Research

One of humankind’s deadliest diseases is cancer. It is not only deadly for the amount of victims it claims, but for the fact that there is still no known cure. While certain treatments like chemotherapy can be used in the fight against this terrible affliction, they do not always succeed. That is why IBM and genetic research company Illumina are teaming up to use IBM’s Watson to take cancer head on.

Watson is a cognitive technology that was designed for the sole purpose of analyzing data and answering some of the world’s toughest questions. The two companies have come together to create Watson for Genomics. Watson for Genomics hopes to both simplify and create an industry standard for genomic data interpretation in cancer research.

Scientists who are using Illumina’s BaseSpace Sequence hub and tumor sequencing process will now be able to analyze the information collected much faster. According to an official statement from IBM, Watson for Genomics will essentially read through a breadth of academic research as well as genetic files produced by Illumina’s TruSight Tumor 170 and create a report that researchers can use in mere minutes. The TruSight Tumor 170 is a solid tumor profiling panel created to detect several variants across 170 genes.

All of this is tremendous news for cancer research. Understanding genomics is a crucial element to fighting cancer. Recent studies suggest that by understanding the genomic element of a tumor, physicians can better tailor a specific treatment to a patient, instead of applying a general treatment, which may not provide any help.

In the same statement, President and CEO of Illumina, Francis deSouza, noted his thoughts on the incredible potential of the team up. “To enable precision cancer medicine on a large scale, we need new tools to overcome the data barriers of genomic research,” said deSouza. “With a comprehensive assay of Illumina and the power of Watson, we hope to deliver a rapid turnaround of the genomic alteration results.”

As Watson continues to grow and learn, its implementation into genomic research can do wonders for cancer research. Hopefully, this team up can prove fruitful and create the long-awaited cure for cancer.

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