Finding cancer in a tiny drop of body fluid containing relatively few cells now may be possible with a new method of analyzing multiple genes in small samples of DNA, the cellular building blocks of our genetic code. The molecular test may be especially helpful in detecting cancer cells in breast fluid.
Preliminary tests of the new method, which can detect cancer in a sample with as few as 50 cells, were conducted on a small number of breast tissue samples and are reported in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research. "Our goal is to add a molecular solution to problems in cancer diagnosis where the sample is not adequate or microscopic evaluation of cells is unclear," says Sara Sukumar, Ph.D., the Barbara B. Rubenstein Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. "If additional studies prove the feasibility of this test, it will provide molecular clues to cellular pathology and mammography findings that may help to decide whether cancer is present."
The test, called quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR or QM-MSP, works by looking for unusually high levels of molecules embedded by a process called methylation within critical regions of DNA. In this process, small methyl groups regulate DNAs message-manufacturing process by attaching to the "on" switch of genes. Abnormal levels of methylation improperly turn the gene switch off, which ultimately leads to the loss of critical proteins found in normal cells. This adds to the cascade of genetic events leading to cancer.
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A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
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23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy