Friday November 16, 2018

Here’s How Gold-plated Nanoparticles can Help in Detection of Cancer at an Early Stage

Moreover, the new diagnostic technique costs less and is faster than traditional methods

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay
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Researchers have developed a novel, low-cost finger prick blood test that deploys gold-plated nanoparticles for early detection of cancer.

The research team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney used nanoparticles to latch on to the targeted microRNAs (miRNAs), even in ultralow levels, which enabled them to be easily extracted.

“We are detecting small molecules found in the blood which could also identify the type of cancer, while they are looking for rare cells that are responsible for the spread of cancer,” said Justin Gooding, Professor from the varsity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team reported modifying gold-coated magnetic nanoparticles (Au@MNPs) with DNA to match the miRNA they wanted to detect.

Gooding said the nanoparticles are, in effect, dispersible electrodes. When circulated through the blood they capture the miRNA before a magnet is used to recapture the nanoparticles with the newly attached microRNA.

“Now we get more of the microRNA because the dispersible electrodes capture nearly everything in the sample,” Professor Gooding said.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“Because the capture is so effective, we get higher sensitivities and can detect much lower limits.

“And since we bring them back to the electrode under a magnet, our response time is much faster,” he noted.

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Moreover, the new diagnostic technique costs less and is faster than traditional methods.

“Our method takes 30 minutes compared with almost 12 hours for quantitative polymerase chain reaction,” Gooding said.

Gooding said he expects the technology to be available within three years, pending regulatory approvals. (IANS)

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High Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation Increase Risk of Cancer

Interestingly, the team found that rats exposed to whole body RFR lived longer than rats unexposed to any radiation

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High exposure to radio frequency radiation linked to cancer. Pixabay

Exposure to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) — used in 2G and 3G cell phones — can increase the risk of cancer tumours in the heart, brain and adrenal gland, researchers have warned.

The study, led by the US National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Programme (NTP), looked at the effects of exposing rodents to extremely high levels of radiofrequency throughout the entire body.

While high levels of RFR caused cancerous tumours in the heart (found very rarely in humans), brain and adrenal gland, of male rats, the findings on female rats were ambiguous.

“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone. In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies,” John Bucher, researcher from the NTP, said in a statement.

“By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone,” Bucher added.

For the study, the team housed the animals in chambers specifically designed for the study.

Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at 5 to 6 weeks old for mice, and continued for up to two years, or most of their natural lifetime.

Breast Cancer
Cancer ribbon. Pixabay

However, the RFR exposure was intermittent — 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off — totalling about nine hours each day.

In addition, the RFR levels ranged from 1.5-6 watts per kilogram in rats, and 2.5-10 watts per kilogram in mice.

“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumours in male rats is real,” Bucher noted.

Interestingly, the team found that rats exposed to whole body RFR lived longer than rats unexposed to any radiation.

“This may be explained by an observed decrease in chronic kidney problems that are often the cause of death in older rats,” the researchers noted.

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According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while animal studies contribute to discussions on the topic, “this study was not designed to test the safety of cell phone use in humans, so we cannot draw conclusions about the risks of cell phone use from it.”

Since the exposure levels and durations in the studies were greater than what people experience, “we agree that these findings should not be applied to human cell phone usage”, the FDA said on Thursday. (IANS)