Gold nanowires zap cancer
Australian researchers have found that the most popular herbal medicines used by Australians are aloe vera, garlic and green tea. A new study by Professor Charlie Xue of RMIT University and his colleagues, is the first study of its kind to show how people use herbal medicines. Professor Xue says previous studies have shown a
Full Post: Marked increase in the use of herbal medicines by Australians
The next big thing in cancer treatment may be hotter, covered in more gold, and even be a better swimmer than recent Olympic champion Michael Phelps.
Scientists at the University of Idaho are engineering multifunctional and dynamic nanowires coated in gold that swim through the bloodstream and attach to specific cancerous cells. Once there, an electromagnetic field heats the nanowires, which destroys the targeted cells. The research is supported by a new $425,000 grant, part of a multimillion dollar project funded by the Korean government as part of the International Global Collaboration Pioneer Program.
“Cancer is a dangerous enemy because radiation and chemical treatments cause a lot of side effects,” said Daniel Choi, associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Idaho and leader of the project. “We can’t avoid side effects 100 percent, but these nanowires will minimize the damage to healthy cells.”
The technology involves many steps requiring lots of continuing research, but each of the basic concepts already have been proven in laboratory tests.
Choi and his team have already created nanowires that can “swim” to their targets and heat up when exposed to low frequency electromagnetic fields, which are not harmful to human body. The next step is to make them biocompatible, meaning safe to introduce to the human body, and able to seek out specific cancer cells.
Choi believes the gold plating will take care of the biocompatibility. If not, he has several polymers in mind that he also believes would work.
As for seeking out specific cancer cells, Choi also is a member of and working with a University of Idaho group called BANTech - an interdisciplinary group that integrates nanomaterials research with cell biology and bioscience research. The group has identified several promising candidates for antibodies with which to coat the nanowires that would seek out and attach to specific cancer cells.
Once the technology has proven itself in the laboratory, it will be tested in live animals, and eventually human beings. Several Korean institutions, which are helping in every phase of research, will take the lead in that project. The institutions are Seoul National University, Korea University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.
“Collaborating with Korean institutions has been a wonderful experience full of mutual benefits and great achievements,” said Choi. “Multi-institutional, multi-national projects can provide students and researchers with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge investigations within an international research environment, which is very important to advancing science.”
The metastasis or spread of breast cancer to other tissues in the body can be predicted more accurately by examining subnetworks of gene expression patterns in a patient’s tumor, than by conventional gene expression microarrays, according to a presentation at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 48th Annual Meeting, Dec. 13-17, 2008 in San
Full Post: Gene subnetworks provide new prognostic markers for breast cancer
A handheld, ultra-portable device that can recognize and immediately report on a wide variety of environmental or medical compounds may eventually be possible, using a method that incorporates a mixture of biologically tagged nanowires onto integrated circuit chips, according to Penn State researchers. “Probably one of the most important things for connecting to the circuit
Full Post: Biologically tagged nanowires integrated onto circuit chips
Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms are highly prevalent in different geographic populations and cause various gastrointestinal symptoms that greatly inconvenience the lives of those affected. Examples include GERD, uninvestigated dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic constipation. These problems have an impact on the individual’s quality of life. There is a lack of community-based research evaluating the impact
Full Post: Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in Korean population
DHEA is a natural circulating hormone and the body’s production of it decreases with age. Men take DHEA as an over-the-counter supplement because it has been suggested that DHEA can reverse aging or have anabolic effects since it can be metabolized in the body to androgens. Increased consumption of dietary isoflavones is associated with a
Full Post: New evidence suggests preventive effect of herbal supplement in prostate cancer
Using cancer cells from an ovarian cancer patient and human embryonic stem cells, Israeli researchers have created a cancerous tumor in a mouse that mimics the way the tumor would develop in the patient’s body. The result is a pre-clinical experimental model for cancer research that could facilitate the development of personalized cancer therapies. The
Full Post: Stem cells could be used for personalized cancer treatment