Antibody Engineering Cuts the Collateral Damage of Cancer Drugs

Killing cancer cells, while leaving normal tissue unscathed, is almost impossible.

Nanotechnology may do the trick, but big pharmaceutical companies are far from embracing that strategy. In the meantime, highly-engineered biological molecules will fill the void.


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Killer carbs: scientist finds the key to overeating as we age

A Monash University scientist has discovered key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and potentially weight-gain as we grow older.
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Researchers converts biodiesel byproduct into omega-3 fatty acids

The typical American diet often lacks omega-3 fatty acids despite clinical research that shows their potential human health benefits. Zhiyou Wen, assistant professor of biological systems engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, found a way to grow these compounds using a byproduct of the emerging biodiesel industry.

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Coatings to help medical implants connect with neurons

Plastic coatings could someday help neural implants treat conditions as diverse as Parkinson’s disease and macular degeneration.

The coatings encourage neurons in the body to grow and connect with the electrodes that provide treatment.
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Cranberry juice creates energy barrier that keeps bacteria away from cells

For generations, people have consumed cranberry juice, convinced of its power to ward off urinary tract infections, though the exact mechanism of its action has not been well understood. A new study by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) reveals that the juice changes the thermodynamic properties of bacteria in the urinary tract, creating an energy barrier that prevents the microorganisms from getting close enough to latch onto cells and initiate an infection.
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Slipping through cell walls, nanotubes deliver high-potency punch to cancer tumors in mice

The problem with using a shotgun to kill a housefly is that even if you get the pest, you’ll likely do a lot of damage to your home in the process. Hence the value of the more surgical flyswatter.

Cancer researchers have long faced a similar situation in chemotherapy: how to get the most medication into the cells of a tumor without “spillover” of the medication adversely affecting the healthy cells in a patient’s body.

Now researchers at Stanford University have addressed that problem using single-walled carbon nanotubes as delivery vehicles. The new method has enabled the researchers to get a higher proportion of a given dose of medication into the tumor cells than is possible with the “free” drug-that is, the one not bound to nanotubes-thus reducing the amount of medication that they need to inject into a subject to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.
Continue reading “Slipping through cell walls, nanotubes deliver high-potency punch to cancer tumors in mice”