This alien metal was brought to Earth on the meteor that spoiled the dinosaurs – but now, it could be used to improve cancer, according to new research.
It is called iridium, the metal is the fastest element in the world. Experiments show that it penetrates the nucleus of cancer cells by tying to the protein of blood protein. After the metal is sprayed into the nucleus of cancer cells, the material can then be blown with a laser pitch to produce a toxic form of a fatal oxygen for tumor cells and innocent for healthy ones .
This procedure, known as photodynamic therapy, stimulates the metal to kill the cancer cells by "oxidation", where the cells oxygen itself is converted to a deadly form. More important, healthy tissue is not affected.
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British scientists say that it can revolutionize treatment for the most dead forms of the disease. Professor Peter Sadler, from the chemistry department at Warwick University, said: "It's astonishing that this large protein can penetrate into cancer cells and present an iridium that can selectively kill them on an actuated with visible light .
"If this technology can be transmitted to the clinic, it could be effective against resistant cancers and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy."
He said iridium can be used locally and in smaller doses. His international special international cover team used to stretch an iridium album, making it very bright. Under powerful microscopes, they traced it into a lot of lung cancer tumors that were grown in the laboratory and found that the process had destroyed the growth. The next step for the treatment is pre-clinical animal trials.
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Photodynamic therapy is based on chemical compounds of the name of photosensitizers that produce oxidation species when lasers turn. It is already used to treat a range of common cancer including some skin, breast and lungs.
The study was published in Aberystwyth International Edition Angewandte Chemie Find out that the iridium-based compound is an excellent photographer.
What's more, aluminum was able to present it properly into the nucleus of cancer cells, which contains all genetic cancer material.
Then the idle irritation can be stirred after irradiating red laser light, and destroying its center. The bright spread of the iridium allowed to accumulate it in the tumor nucleus – and its operation leads to cell death – to follow in real time.
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Dr, Cinzia Imberti, who also from Warwick, says co-author: "It's interesting how aluminum can present our photosensitors so specific to the kernel.
"We are at a very early stage, but we look forward to seeing where the pre-clinical development of this new compound can lead".
With cancer resisting some treatments, it is essential to find other methods like this.
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Iridium in Mexico City stripped 66 million years ago on the huge seven-mile wide space rock that killed 70% of live species – including the dinosaurs. The white white white metal has now found in the world-famous Chicxulub crater under the Yucatan Peninsula, created as a result of the asteroid strike believed to be responsible for the death of the dinosaurs.
The precious metal platinum has already used in more than half of the cancer chemotherapies.
Sadler believes that other precious metals such as iridium – which are safe with smallest side effects – may be resistant to treatment, saying: "It is certainly time to try and make good medical use of & # 39 ; r iridium presented to us by asteroid 66 million years ago. "
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