A virus that exploits a gene defect common to cancer cells and selectively kills them may offer a new avenue for therapy, suggest researchers in Nature.
The gene p53 is mutated in about half of all human cancers (an event directly implicated in tumour progression) so a way of killing such cells offers the attractive possibility of treating multiple cancer types with one drug. The human adeno-associated virus (AAV) selectively induces cell death in p53-defective cells, Peter Beard and his colleagues of the Swiss Institute for Cancer Research (ISREC) in Epalinges, Switzerland, have now discovered. Cells retaining their copy of p53 instead halt cell division.
Even AAVs engineered to lack all genes and containing only hairpin-looped DNA ends cause cell death, suggesting that the viral DNA structure mimics DNA damage in the cell. Cells have very sensitive sensors for DNA damage that can activate repair mechanisms or drive them to suicide to prevent mutation accumulation and hence potential oncogenic transformation. Tumours in mice were also reduced by injection of the virus, the team found.
Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto 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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