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Biotech Medicine Science

Biological 'Logic Circuit' Destroys Cancer Cells 98

intellitech writes "Researchers led by ETH professor Yaakov Benenson and MIT professor Ron Weiss have successfully incorporated diagnostic biological information processing in human cells. In a study recently published in Science (abstract), they describe a multi-gene synthetic 'logic circuit' whose task is to distinguish between cancer and healthy cells, and subsequently target cancer cells for destruction. This circuit works by sampling and integrating five intracellular, cancer-specific molecular factors and their concentration. The circuit makes a positive identification only when all factors are present in the cell, resulting in highly precise cancer detection. Researchers hope it can serve a basis for very specific anti-cancer treatments."
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Biological 'Logic Circuit' Destroys Cancer Cells

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  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <> on Friday September 02, 2011 @04:04PM (#37290592)

    Sorry, your "universal cure" is so much more difficult that I don't see it as even worth working on right now.

    Problems are:
    1) Different cells do different things, and have different genes active at different times.
    2) We are rather dependent on lots of micro-organisms that aren't human. So much so that they usually add up to around half our weight (I'm quite uncertain of the exact percentage, but it's hugely more that is commonly believed.) So you'd need to identify and exclude all of the necessary microorganisms from the "cure". And even then it's more complicated, as most of the microorganisms are only allowed to exist in certain parts of the body. So you've got to map micro-organism against location in your exclusion list.

    Much easier to just tackle one problem at a time.

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977