Liver cancer affects over 2,800 people in the UK each year, of which nearly 2,700 die, according to Cancer Research UK. Surgery is the best option, but is unsuitable for most patients, and liver tumours are very resistant to chemotherapy.
Studies in mice by Zhi Yuan and his team at Nankai University, China, revealed that the liquorice compounds, glycerrhetinic acid and glycerrhizic acid, preferentially accumulate in the liver. And when attached to anti-tumours drugs, they are more effective tissue-specific drug carriers than the traditionally used antibodies and oligopeptides (Polymer International DOI 10.1002/pi.2051). ‘Our primary results show that they are effective as liver targeting carriers,’ says Yuan. Clinical trials are planned for the near future. In addition, glycerrhizic acid is tens of thousands of times cheaper and easier to isolate than the antibodies usually used.
Tim Meyer, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal Free Hospital London agrees, that tissue-specific drugs could potentially provide more effective treatment, because a higher concentration of the drug is delivered to the tumour. This would reduce the dose required and significantly decrease toxic effects on other parts of the body.
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
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