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Scientists Deliver Bee Toxin To Tumors Via "Nanobees" 98

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the stop-calling-everything-nano dept.
ScienceDaily is reporting that Washington University School of Medicine researchers have found a way to deliver bee toxin to tumors using nano-spheres they call "nanobees." The results in mice showed a cessation of growth or even shrinkage of tumors while the surrounding tissue was protected from the toxin. "The core of the nanobees is composed of perfluorocarbon, an inert compound used in artificial blood. The research group developed perfluorocarbon nanoparticles several years ago and have been studying their use in various medical applications, including diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis and cancer. About six millionths of an inch in diameter, the nanoparticles are large enough to carry thousands of active compounds, yet small enough to pass readily through the bloodstream and to attach to cell membranes."
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Scientists Deliver Bee Toxin to Tumors Via "Nanobees"

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  • Holy dupes batman (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hubbell (850646)
    Lets get serious now editors, this is a dupe, half the fucking articles posted nowadays are dupes, wtf?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Boo hoo.

      Nobody likes people who cry and whine over trivial mistakes that don't really matter.

      Also, you missed an apostrophe.

    • by eln (21727) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:03PM (#29267217) Homepage
      I don't get it, if you're trying to compliment the editors on the fact that only half the articles are dupes these days, rather than the more historically typical 75 or 80%, why do you seem so angry about it?
      • by selven (1556643) on Monday August 31, 2009 @06:45PM (#29268153)
        By definition, only half of articles can be duplicates. If you go beyond that, they become "trips".
        • by lawpoop (604919)
          If there really were trips, would 1/3rd be trips, 1/3d be dupes, and the rest, originals?
          • If there really were trips, would 1/3rd be trips, 1/3d be dupes, and the rest, originals?

            The ratios in this discussion have been simplified for the math challenged.

            >> Really if EVERY article was a triplicate, it would be a self-reproducing fractal that went back in time recursively, and would have to destroy duplicates of it self in the present. Likely, this process would destroy reality itself as each duplicate was forced to become a triplicate, and each original a duplicate.

            We might want to say; "al

        • by Kjella (173770)

          By definition, only half of articles can be duplicates. If you go beyond that, they become "trips".

          Well, I wouldn't be too surprised if the editors have sometimes been on "trips"...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's Slashdot's management's cost reduction plan. You see, they have their editors post a story two or three times. We all comment on them again and in the meantime, Slashdot get's the ad revenue! See?

      The new plan will be they run a bunch of articles in the morning and the morning folks comment on those, then they run the same articles in the afternoon and the afternoon folks comment on those - kinda like how the History Channel does their programming in the middle of the week.

      Now, the night folks get tom

      • There's more, but I don't want to tip off the Slashdot management as to who their leak is.

        Anonymous Coward is the leak? I could have guessed that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      What evidence do you have that this is a dupe?

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:51PM (#29267071) Journal
    Just out of curiosity (totally medically ignorant here) would such things trigger a bee-sting allergy? Someone close to me is extremely sensitive to bee products (milligram of honey is worth a long distance migrane). The delivery mechanism is interesting, but the toxin is scary to me.
    • Just out of curiosity (totally medically ignorant here) would such things trigger a bee-sting allergy? Someone close to me is extremely sensitive to bee products (milligram of honey is worth a long distance migrane). The delivery mechanism is interesting, but the toxin is scary to me.

      I don't know if the post was meant as a joke, but this method of drug administration could in no way cause allergy - not unless the "nanobees" were packed with allergens derived from actual bees.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by NAR8789 (894504)

        From the title, "Scientists Deliver Bee Toxin To Tumors..."

        Although, I did have the same initial reaction. I think the term "nanobee" is just far too distractingly catchy.

        • ...for the entertainment of the Slashbot:

          The bee is such a busy soul,
          He has no time for birth control.
          And that is why, at times like these,
          There are so many sons of bees.
    • by jfdawes (254678) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:22PM (#29267435)

      What exactly do you mean by "bee-sting allergy". These nanobees are filled with melittin, which may or may not be the same thing.

      Interestingly, if you inject melittin you'll cause "widespread destruction of red blood cells" but these things don't. That might be because they target "growing blood vessels". Presumably, if the only areas of growing blood cells are tumors, you might be able to get away with injecting someone who is allergic.

      Or, assuming your friend is allergic to melittin and not one of the other fun things in a bee string, they might end up a writhing blob of agony.

    • I have no idea how you find this scary. Do you think they're going to skip extensive clinical testing that includes people with bee allergies, if they're using the part of the toxin that people can be allergic to? Do you think they're going to stick it into the water without your knowledge or consent when it proves fatal to people with bee allergies?

      Or is it just because they're using something potentially dangerous as medicine? Because if so, let me remind you that the current preferred treatment methods
  • beez (Score:1, Funny)

    by Conditioner (1405031)
    are they black and yellow, and do they buzz ?
  • Nano this! (Score:4, Funny)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:53PM (#29267087)

    Can somebody whip up a Greasemonkey script that replaces the word or prefix "nano" with "really fucking small"? It would be a service to your fellow slashdotter.

  • by Maniacal (12626) on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:55PM (#29267121)

    Yeah, sure. This will work fine and dandy until some hop on a cargo ship and the US is slowly but surely colonized by Africanized Nanobees. Don't say I didn't warn you

  • ... are Trojan nano-bees, you get injected and out pours honey from every pore in your body.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I imagine that some day they will cure acne this way.

    • This... might be a good thing.
    • by Jedi Alec (258881)

      Don't tell your papa, don't tell your sister, little honeybee.

      With apologies to Tom Petty.

      Anyway, sounds like fun for...specific occasions, but getting licked by co-workers all day long would get tedious pretty fast, even when you work in a callcenter.

  • The scientists are now working on a delivery mechanism they call the 'nanodog,' to shoot the nanobees from a specialized orifice they are calling a 'mouth'.
    • by idontgno (624372)
      The successful scientists are cyberneticists working on a robotic Richard Simmons. Truth.
  • Six millionths of an inch is 150 nm. Wouldn't it be easier to just write "150 nm", or "six millionths of an inch" is somehow easier to comprehend?
    Why not "five trillionths of a feet" then?

    • by Goalie_Ca (584234)
      150nm means something to people who actually study materials and science. I don't think 6/1e6 of an inch makes any visual sense other than (really tiny) to any one who even knows what an inch is anyways.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:17PM (#29267377) Journal
      Exactly. Inches? What kind of crazy units are they using? Why not convert it to something easy to understand, like Slashdot International Units. For reference, six millionths of an inch is approximately 41.4 zepto light-fortnights.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Someone who still hasn't learned the simple maxim of "target your audience." Science Daily is a general science news website. So while the people reading it are interested in science, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are scientists themselves. Once you learn this simple (but useful) maxim, you'll find that you are much more able to easily communicate with a wider range of people.
      • Wouldn't a better approach be 150(hyperlinked)nm(/hyperlinked). Then you are clear and you educate. Six millionth's of an inch? Wtf?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Urza9814 (883915)

      Why not "five trillionths of a feet" then?

      Because there is no such thing as 'a feet'. "Five trillionths of a foot" would be entirely acceptable though. In fact, that would work quite well, because you could look down at your shoe and say 'hmm, about five trillionths of that...' instead of having to try to compare it to that bone in your finger or the graphite in your pencil.

      And yes, for those of you who don't get it, this post is entirely sarcastic.

    • by oldhack (1037484)
      How did you get that? "six millionths of an inch" is about 4nm.
  • Are these 10^-9 times the size of bees, or only 1/2^30? It's a ripoff, somebody sue Apple into the ground!
  • Another non-starter? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SecondCobra (1628707) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:12PM (#29267321)
    Sooo tired of reading these "new cancer treatment" stories. Been reading about them for years and yet if you get cancer what happens? You're given a cocktail of drugs and blased with radiation. I would like to see one of these things actually turn into a real treatment that means people have cancer cured without all the suffering that Chemo causes.
    • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:27PM (#29267473)

      Sooo tired of reading these "new cancer treatment" stories. Been reading about them for years and yet if you get cancer what happens? You're given a cocktail of drugs and blased with radiation. I would like to see one of these things actually turn into a real treatment that means people have cancer cured without all the suffering that Chemo causes.

      The problem with "cure for cancer" is that there are a lot of different cancers and a lot of different causes. There are cancers that have very high cure rates and cancers that you get and know that you will die in 5 years unless someone comes up with a life-saving Eureeka!. Much like how the "common cold" is not a single, treatable virus, rather a list of similar symptoms caused by a variety of weak viruses, cancer as we know it tends to be more a list of symptoms than the actual problem. The more ways we come up with combatting the life-threatening symptoms or the cancer itself, the less "only-defense" our chemotherapy needs to be. Instead of "Kill the patient slowly, hoping the cancer dies first" is a very primitive method of treating a disease which overextends its own energies in multiplying, and has been effective in many cases, we can find better ways, and are finding better ways -- but these usually target specific cancers and their symptoms, or specific symptoms, rather than an all-curing panacea.

    • And that cocktail is getting better.

      When my dad had CLL and then came out of remission and had to get treatment again he said the difference between the 1st treatment and the second was night and day, even though it was only 3-4 years difference.

      Things are improving.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      I too want to skip right to the goals of research without having to actually go through the slow, torturous process of getting there, without any of the inevitable dead-ends. Do we really have to research cancer treatments, have an idea, test it on multiple levels to make sure it works and doesn't kill you, develop it, just to cure cancer? Why can't we skip right to the part where we cure cancer?

      Along those same lines, why do I have to make a cake or buy one in order to have my cake or eat it? Why can't

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Several classes of novel treatment are already in use. Monoclonal antibodies for example. There are several of those approved for use in cancer treatment today, and a few more used "off label" in cancer treatment for specific cases.

      We also already routinely treat some cancers with surgery, and even with "watchful waiting" (doing nothing because it might not get any worse). So it's certainly not the case that whatever cancer you're diagnosed with they'll prescribe drugs and radiation. Not at all.

      But there is

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by geekoid (135745)

      What the hell do you mean by real treatment? Chemo is a real treatment.

      Cancer is more survivable then it's ever been. Of course we are tlaking in generalities. We ahve a vaccines against some cancers, 80% survival rate in other, and some are still very nasty.

      There all a little different.

      "blased with radiation."

      Um, yuo take your chemo pills, and have an exat and precise amount of ratio applied externally.

      Not 'blased'(assuming you meant blasted.)

  • Do they call them Eric, or are they too big for that?

  • have small objects measured in millions of an inch, or tenths of a millionth of a meter, been "nano" scale? I think SI already has a prefix for this... Oh, yeah, "micro". Microbees*, perhaps. Nano, not so much.

    *Maybe our intrepid scientists were afraid of colliding with the trademark of this [wikipedia.org] obscure microcomputer from Australia. (Yes, from the land Down Under, and released at about the same time as the song [wikipedia.org] with that name. Amazing coincidence, though nothing to do with bees, micro, nano, or otherwise.)

    • by sjames (1099)

      Urm, 1/10th of a micro-meter is 100 nano-meters, that is, NANO scale by definition.

      In this case, 6E-6 inches = 159e-9 meters = 159 nanometers. Presumably the article translated to inches for the sake of people who suffer an aneurysm if they see a metric unit. Of course on the scale of millionths or billionths, I fail to see why they would have a better conception of the size just because a "familiar" unit like inch was involved. People are often very bad at conceptualizing fractions that small anyway.

  • We knew how much you liked flyn'
    ...So we put a bee inside your bee. So you can fly while you're flyn'
    --Xzibit
  • Enough said.

  • trend of naming complex things anthropomorphically? theyre nanospheres. they dont pollinate, they dont reproduce, and they certainly dont have wings.

    calling them "bees" just gives the average american another excuse to avoid reading something other than harry potter novels, the average professor more funding for "shit that sounds fun and awesome" and the average pharmaceutical company advertising ideas that involve more CGI bumblebees.

    at the risk of sounding like an asshole, our environmental pollu
  • Killing me won't bring back your goddamn honey!
  • After you have cured your cancer, you can use leftover nanobees to cool your Cray-2 supercomputer.

    The Cray-2 was immersed in perfluorocarbon to improve heat dissipation.

    -Todd
  • Wu-Tang nano bees on the swarm

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