Tuesday February 25, 2020

Researchers Develop New Tool That Can Detect Cancer

The technology could be used as a screening tool to help rule out cancer, which could mean fewer unnecessary follow-ups

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Cancer
The devices distinguish cell types with higher specificity than previous methods, thus the researchers hope their work might improve diagnosis, and give Cancer therapies better aim. Pixabay

Researchers from Duke University in the US, have created a new Cancer-Detecting Tool, which uses tiny circuits made up of DNA to identify Cancer cells by the molecular signatures on their surface.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the research team fashioned the simple circuits from interacting strands of synthetic DNA that are tens of thousands of times finer than a human hair.

Unlike the circuits in a computer, these circuits work by attaching to the outside of a cell and analysing it for proteins found in greater numbers on some cell types than others.

If a circuit finds its targets, it labels the cell with a tiny light-up tag.

Because the devices distinguish cell types with higher specificity than previous methods, the researchers hope their work might improve diagnosis, and give cancer therapies better aim.

For the findings, the research team designed a DNA circuit that must latch onto that specific combination of proteins on the same cell to work.

“As a result they’re much less likely to flag the wrong cells,” said study researcher John Reif.

Each basic element of their DNA circuit consists of two DNA strands.

Cancer
Researchers from Duke University in the US, have created a new Cancer-Detecting Tool tool, which uses tiny circuits made up of DNA to identify Cancer cells by the molecular signatures on their surface. Pixabay

The first DNA strand folds over and partially pairs up with itself to form a hairpin shape.

One end of each hairpin is bound to a second strand of DNA that acts as a lock and tether, folding in such a way to fit a specific cell surface protein like a puzzle piece.

Together these two strands act to verify that that particular protein is present on the cell surface.

To look for cancer, the circuit components are mixed with a person’s cells in the lab.

If any cells are studded with the right combination of proteins, the complete circuit will attach.

Adding a strand of “initiator” DNA then causes one of the hairpins to open, which in turn triggers another in a chain reaction until the last hairpin in the circuit is opened and the cell lights up.

Cancer
For the findings, the research team designed a DNA circuit that must latch onto that specific combination of proteins on the same cell to work to detect Cancer. Pixabay

Test runs of the device in test tubes in Reif’s lab showed it can be used to detect leukemia cells and to distinguish them from other types of cancer within a matter of hours, just by the strength of their glow.

The devices can be easily reconfigured to detect different cell surface proteins by replacing the tether strands, the researchers said.

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The technology could be used as a screening tool to help rule out cancer, which could mean fewer unnecessary follow-ups, or to develop more targeted cancer treatments with fewer side effects.

In the future, Reif plans for the DNA circuits to release a small molecule that alerts the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cell. (IANS)

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“India Has Opportunity To Become One of The Top Three Economies in The World”, Says Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani

The RIL chairman said that empowering small and medium businesses would be key to driving India's growth faster

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Mukesh Ambani
The RIL chairman said that empowering small and medium businesses would be key to driving India's growth faster. Wikimedia Commons

Riding on the power of technology, India has the opportunity to become a premier digital society and one of the top three economies in the world, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said here on Monday.

Ambani said that India has the opportunity to become the most technically-enabled society where all the development could be powered by the tools of technology. “We can argue about whether it will happen in five years or 10 years but it is going to happen, and we will be in the top three countries in the world,” he said in a fireside chat with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

The RIL chairman said that empowering small and medium businesses would be key to driving India’s growth faster. “Every small business and entrepreneur in India has the potential to become a Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates. And that is the power that differentiates India from the rest of the world,” he said during Microsoft’s “Future Decoded Summit” here.

“I think that the entrepreneurial power that we have at the grassroots is enormous. We have to realise that small, medium and micro enterprises provide 70 per cent of India’s employment. They drive 40 per cent of India’s exports,” Ambani added. India has transformed tremendously over the past two decades — from a $300 billion economy in early 1990s to becoming a $3 trillion economy in 2020.

“And I think, I can easily say that the mobile networks in India now are better or at par with anybody else in the world,” he said. About 38 crore people have migrated to the 4G technology platform offered by Jio in about three years, Ambani informed, adding that since the establishment of Jio, average data rate has come down drastically in India — from Rs 300-Rs 500 per GB to Rs 12-Rs14 per GB.

Congratulating Nadella for his leadership of the organisation, Ambani said that the collaboration between Microsoft and Jio would be a defining partnership of the decade. RIL in August last year announced partnership of its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm with Microsoft in the technology space, including creation on cloud solutions.

As per the partnership, Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses. Jio will set up data centres in locations across India, consisting of next-generation compute, storage and networking capabilities, and Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform in these data centres to support Jio’s offerings.

Mukesh Ambani
Riding on the power of technology, India has the opportunity to become a premier digital society and one of the top three economies in the world, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said here on Monday. Wikimedia Commons

Nadella said that the mission of Microsoft is to help organisation to become independent — not dependent — to build their own Artificial Intelligence and other tech capabilities, and tech intensity. “In the next decade, our main investment will be on making software engineeres that organisations hire more productive,” Nadella said, adding that Microsoft will build complete toolchain for developers.

The Microsoft CEO said that the increasing rate of digitization of people, places, and things, will be the defining secular trend over the next 10 years. Saying that Microsoft’s differentiated approach across the cloud and edge is winning customers, Nadella said that Microsoft now has 57 data centre regions in the world.

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In India, Microsoft has three data centre regions — Mumbai, Pune and Chennai — besides a Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in New Delhi. (IANS)