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Medicine Biotech Science

MIT Researchers Develop Triple Helix MicroRNA Cancer Treatment (mit.edu) 29

Eloking sends a report on new research from MIT, where scientists have developed a promising technique to shrink cancerous tumors. By "twisting RNA strands into a triple helix and embedding them in a biocompatible gel," they were able to efficiently deliver the RNA to tumor cells. "Using this technique, the researchers dramatically improved cancer survival rates by simultaneously turning on a tumor-suppressing microRNA and de-activating one that causes cancer. They believe their approach could also be used for delivering other types of RNA, as well as DNA and other therapeutic molecules. ... Once placed on the tumor, the gel slowly releases microRNA-dendrimer particles, which are absorbed into the tumor cells. After the particles enter the cells, enzymes cut each triple helix into three separate microRNA strands."
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MIT Researchers Develop Triple Helix MicroRNA Cancer Treatment

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  • I wonder what does "twisting RNA strands into a triple helix" looks like without use of contraptions that grab it from both ends and then twist it like a peace of cloth.
    • It looks like magnetism. The shit just collects, snaps on and builds up. The twisting and the angles are a result of the geometry that the local sets of molecules want to connect at.

  • by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @09:21AM (#51087675) Homepage

    "Once placed on the tumor, the gel slowly releases microRNA-dendrimer particles, which are absorbed into the tumor cells. After the particles enter the cells, enzymes cut each triple helix into three separate microRNA strands."

    And? Aaaand?!... The suspense is just killing me! For Pete's sake man - just tell me what happens next!

    • Re:Slashdot write up (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @09:27AM (#51087695)

      "Once placed on the tumor, the gel slowly releases microRNA-dendrimer particles, which are absorbed into the tumor cells. After the particles enter the cells, enzymes cut each triple helix into three separate microRNA strands."

      And? Aaaand?!... The suspense is just killing me! For Pete's sake man - just tell me what happens next!

      Science. Science happens.

  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @09:57AM (#51087799)
    Things are looking brighter for a cure for cancers and I love it. What will it be like to live in a world in which friends and family are not ripped apart by this awful disease? Now can we get this treatment into the hands of every person that needs it or must the poor die even though a cure exists?
    • Overpopulation + 1?
      • by Eloking ( 877834 )

        Overpopulation + 1?

        About this, I'll bring one of my answer to a similar statement about the fear of overpopulation.

        I actually want to start this argument.

        What is the problem with "overpopulation" How do you define it?

        Is a planet overpopulated because we can't produce enough food for everyone? About this, here's a conceptual 21th centory farming tower : http://www.popsci.com/cliff-ku... [popsci.com]

        With this, you can produce food for 50k people with a 30 story tower. So, unless I make a huge mistake somewhere, it's untrue that the earth can only produce food for 10 or so billion people.

        Or is it the pollution and the destruction of the nature? I am going to say something really sad here, but will humanity really need nature to survive in the 22th century? A good image is the planet Coruscant from the Star Wars franchise, the planet is one big city, nothing else. Yeah it's sad and I love nature too, but there's tech to remove our dependency of mother nature.

        Or is it the pollution and the global warming? Well, there is something to be worried. But I'm a optimist one. The reason why we are slow to fight global warming is mostly an economical one. But guess what, one of the first city to drown will be New York with a estimated GMP over a trillion dollars. So I think that, soon enough, there'll suddenly a lot more money available to fight global warming (Well, "soon" is a long shot since the sea is rising a few millimetres each years). And I also have faith in new green tech on the way to help us out.

        • I believe in optimism, but think that the problems are enormous. Scenes from movies are not solutions, and no one is building self sustaining cities or story towers for everyone else out of good will alone.

          I'm also all for extending life and eradicating disease, but we have a lot of issues to work out.

          As for covering the planet, that is a horrible thought.

          "I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the
          properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.
          It's said n
          • by Eloking ( 877834 )

            I believe in optimism, but think that the problems are enormous. Scenes from movies are not solutions, and no one is building self sustaining cities or story towers for everyone else out of good will alone.

            I'm also all for extending life and eradicating disease, but we have a lot of issues to work out.

            As for covering the planet, that is a horrible thought.

            "I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the

            properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.

            It's said now that people will be shorter in height,

            they can fit twice as many in the same building site."

            - Genesis (Peter Gabriel, Anthony Banks, Phil Collins, Steven Hackett and Michael Rutherford)

            Funny that you criticize my reference in a movie but use a reference from a song yourself in the same post. And to be clear here, I've used that reference to illustrate my thoughts, they weren't based on it. And no matter how we hate it, it's probably where we're heading unless humanity get wiped out.

            As for saving the world on goodwill. No but money is. And when, in the future, we'll reach the limit of traditional farming while the demand continue to grow, the consequence will be the grow of the value of fo

            • Fine by me that you use a movie as a reference to express a thought. To be specific, I don't believe that one illustrates a solution. Cut down the trees and we now have to produce our own oxygen, filter our own air and water. The structures themselves require maintenance; we are creating more problems and complexity. By the time we are that advanced we might as well be in space. Overpopulation precedes that.

              In my reference, I was also alluding to the fact that these are not new ideas, and they lead
    • by e r ( 2847683 )

      Now can we get this treatment into the hands of every person that needs it or must the poor die even though a cure exists?

      Noble.

      There's a town in an oasis surrounded by desert. Two hundred people live there. A hundred of the people work diligently at their farms and reap just enough food to feed themselves; the other hundred are either extremely unlucky, or indolent, or foolish in their labours and do not raise enough food to feed themselves.

      Taking food from those who have it can be stretched to a point; perhaps enough to barely feed a hundred and fifty but not enough to feed everyone.
      What is the correct course of action?

      • There's just one problem with your story. That indolent society ? Has literally never existed. It's entirely a fantasy of the extreme economic right. Ayn Rand cultists happilly embrace the fantasy that basically everybody else is a lazy moocher.

        Reality just doesn't agree. Study after study after study has consistently proven the opposite to be true - people hate not being busy. That's why under universal income schemes employment consistently goes *up* - people who suddenly have enough money to live on with

    • It's only 5 years away ...
  • I'm working on a sextuple-helix ultra-micro-QNA therapy!

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