Advances in Targeting and Manipulation

Interesting research: the cutting edge is becoming quite sophisticated. "Current treatments for diseases like cancer typically destroy nasty malignant cells, while also hammering the healthy ones. Using new advances in synthetic biology, researchers are designing molecules intelligent enough to recognize diseased cells, leaving the healthy cells alone. ... We basically design molecules that actually go into the cell and do an analysis of the cellular state before delivering the therapeutic punch ... When you look at a diseased cell (e.g. a cancer cell) and compare it to a normal cell, you can identify biomarkers - changes in the abundance of proteins or other biomolecule levels - in the diseased cell ... [the] research team has designed molecules that trigger cell death only in the presence of such markers. ... A lot of the trick with developing effective therapeutics is the ability to target and localize the therapeutic effect, while minimizing nonspecific side effects."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/su-eci021309.php

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