Killing the disease without killing the patient is an old dilemma for doctors fighting cancer and some of the tougher microorganisms such as fungal infections in individuals with suppressed immune systems. Drugs have little effect when a patients own immune system isnt available to help, and these fungi can resist external radiation that would kill even a perfectly healthy human. But they can be easily killed by a very small dose of radiation inside their cells.
Monoclonal antibodies can be designed to deliver radiation to specific cell types while sparing surrounding tissue. These designer antibodies, armed with radioactive isotopes, have been found to be highly effective against some types of cancer, but the combination may also be useful in other types of serious disease. This technique is known as radioimmunotherapy (RIT).
A study appearing in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine demonstrates that radioimmunotherapy (RIT) provides a new, highly effective way to kill Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum, the fungi responsible for fungal meningitis and pneumonia, using much smaller levels of radiation than required to kill the fungi by external radiation. The study used organism-specific monoclonal antibodies coupled with radioactive isotopes of bismuth or rhenium.
Gavin McDonald | EurekAlert!
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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