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Fighting cancer cells with gold-plated discs

gold.jpg

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Lab and the University of Chicago have developed a new method of targeting brain-cancer cells and inducing them to commit "cell suicide" using gold-plated iron-nickel discs. From ScienceDaily:

The discs posses [sic] a spin-vortex ground state and sit dormant on the cancer cell until a small alternating magnetic field is applied and the vortices shift, creating an oscillation. The energy from the oscillation is transferred to the cell and triggers apoptosis, or "cell suicide."

Since the antibodies are attracted only to brain cancer cells, the process leaves surrounding healthy cells unharmed. This makes them unlike traditional cancer treatment methods, such as chemotherapy and radiation, which negatively affect both cancer and normal healthy cells.

The researchers are planning to begin animal testing soon, but they say human trials will be several years away.

Photo by lazha
Via kottke.org

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