Science Ahoy!

a legacy of our discomgoogolation

Posts Tagged ‘cancer

Cancer Stem Cell

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It has always puzzled me why some people are cured (at least temporarily) of cancer through various treatmnets, with no remission for extended periods of time, while a few others succumb to the disease despite medical intervention.  This could be why.

A growing body of evidence indicates that only certain cancer cells are capable of generating and maintaining a tumor. Dubbed cancer stem cells, they can divide indefinitely to perpetuate the cancer over time. They may also be the reason why some therapies fail to wipe out a cancer entirely: cancer stem cells seem to be particularly resistant to standard cancer treatments and can remain behind like the roots of a weed.

Identifying the root is half the battle won.

A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School has now developed a new way to find drugs that selectively kill cancer stem cells or prevent them from dividing.


Written by Elgie Shepard

October 9, 2008 at 4:40 am

Going Pink

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let us go pink to support the many survivors whose grit and courage helped them win over the killer.  And for all the scientists and doctors out there who are fighting the disease.

Written by Elgie Shepard

October 2, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Nano Shot

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Can you fool the cell?  Apparently you can.

Stellacci and his colleagues incorporated properties of the cell-penetrating peptides into their synthetic material. They coated gold nanoparticles six nanometers in diameter with alternating stripes of hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules, mimicking the ordered structure of the peptides researchers have tried to use in the past. They then labeled the gold nanoparticles with fluorescent dye and tested them on mouse immune cells. The group found that the nanoparticles entered the cells and distributed themselves throughout the cytosol, the cell’s internal fluid, without killing the cell. The researchers published their findings in a recent edition of Nature Materials[].

I have not read the original paper in Nature, but I wonder what the longterm impact on the cell is.  Coated or not, the nanoparticle is a foreign body, and I wonder if the cell gets a whiff of the trick soon enough.  Once cradle-to-grave studies are done, we could potentially find cure for diseases such as cancer.

Using nanoparticles for disease monitoring/detection is pretty hot in Europe –

The cost is prohibitive, I am sure.  But may be some day the technology will be perfected enough to be made accessable to all.

Written by Elgie Shepard

September 30, 2008 at 2:45 am