Accidental innovation and cancer research
Through a process of serendipitous innovation, a team of biomedical researchers at the University of Rochester
Medical Center in New York may have discovered a new
way to attack cancerous tumor growths
. It turns out that what researchers originally thought was a "lab disaster" may actually be a new compound that breaks down the cell walls of tumors. The researchers will test the new compound for safety in the hope of developing it to treat cancers such as colon cancer,
esophageal cancer, liver and skin cancers. It all started when the researchers decided to use cancer cells instead of normal human cells:
Normal human cells are difficult to grow and study in the
lab, because they tend to die. But cancer cells live much
longer and are harder to kill, so scientists often use them. [Katherine] Schaefer was looking for drugs to treat the inflammation
seen in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which
cause pain and diarrhea.
She was testing a compound called a PPAR-gamma modulator.
It would never normally have been thought of as a cancer drug,
or in fact a drug of any kind. "I made a calculation error and used a lot more than I
should have. And my cells died," Schaefer said. A colleague overheard her complaining. "The co-author on my
paper said,' Did I hear you say you killed some cancer?' I said
'Oh', and took a closer look." They ran several tests and found the compound killed
"pretty much every epithelial tumor cell lines we have seen,"
Schaefer said. Epithelial cells line organs such as the colon,
and also make up skin. It also killed colon tumors in mice without making the mice
sick, they reported in the journal International Cancer
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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