Chemoprevention involves the use of natural or synthetic products (drugs, vitamins, etc.) to prevent or delay the formation of cancer.
A research project in which postgraduate student Charles Simon is involved is looking at the chemopreventive properties of the natural products resveratrol (contained in grapes, red wine, nuts and berries), curcumin (contained in turmeric–curry) and tricin (contained in wild rice).
Cancer is the single largest cause of death in the UK and in most developed countries after heart diseases. Statistics from Cancer Research UK indicate that more than one in three people will be affected by cancer at some point in their life (by having cancer themselves, or friends or relatives who have the disease).
Charles Simon commented: “The prevention of cancer is an alternative to the treatment of the disease using chemotherapy which has many unpleasant side effects. The aim of this project is to learn lessons from those compounds to produce treatments with little or no side effects.”
The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on Thursday 26th June. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.
More information about the Festival of Postgraduate Research is available at: www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival
Ather Mirza | alfa
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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