Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes to be ’flipped’ for drug-free treatment

10.05.2004


The body’s own defences could be programmed to attack disease to order if two University of Leeds’ scientists succeed in proving their innovative theory.


Dr Graham Cook and Dr Erica de Wynter from the Molecular Medicine Unit, University of Leeds



Dr Graham Cook and Dr Erica de Wynter from the Molecular Medicine Unit have secured £125,000 to investigate the unique way antibody genes are assembled and how they can be harnessed to fight disease.

Scientists don’t often get funding for research where there is no preliminary data or background information but the pair have been funded by the Wellcome Trust’s Showcase scheme to research new ways to repair damaged immune systems.


Their research into ‘flipping genes therapy’ met the Trust’s criterion of being ‘speculative, novel, adventurous, innovative’.

Dr Cook said antibodies can be made to respond to every kind of pathogen. “Antibodies are created by taking bits of genes and reassembling them into different combinations, like a giant Lego set. If we can understand the mechanism by which genes are ‘flipped’ in this way, we can insert genes for the body to naturally rearrange, delivering treatments directly to the immune system.”

If their idea works, it could open the door to new therapies for treating immune-deficiency disorders and even provide a treatment for cancers of the immune system, by adding genes to make the cancerous cells die.

“The benefit of this kind of treatment is that it would use the cell’s natural mechanism to help fight disease,” said Dr de Wynter. “Our body uses this system to produce diversity, an insurance system against the ever changing pathogens it has to fight. Our problem is we want to specify the mechanism to create just one antibody, and while we believe it can work, we’ve now got to prove it. We think we can prove our idea is possible in the next two years.”

Vanessa Bridge | University of Leeds
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/498/s4.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers find new potential approach to type 2 diabetes treatment
11.11.2019 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation
07.11.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

Smart lasers open up new applications and are the “tool of choice” in digitalization

30.10.2019 | Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Necessity is the mother of invention: Fraunhofer WKI tests utilization of low-value hardwood for wood fiberboard

13.11.2019 | Materials Sciences

With Mars methane mystery unsolved, curiosity serves scientists a new one: Oxygen

13.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

AI-driven single blood cell classification: New method to support physicians in leukemia diagnostics

13.11.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>