03.26.10 8 years ago

Nanotech has been generally portrayed two ways: either the gateway to a Sci-Fi land of abundance or the key to a grey goo scenario where micro-disassemblers turn us all into something with the consistency of baby food. Well, a new development is much more on the positive side, as Caltech has come up with a way to make nanoparticles attack tumors by attacking the tumor’s genes.

Basically the particles target the tumors ability to make proteins by targeting the messenger RNA (mRNA) that allows genes to create proteins. The process uses a four-component system that uses a polymer to self-assemble into a targeted nanoparticle and is dose-dependent – which means the more nanoparticles you put into a person, the more attack the tumors. (Instead of just ending up any old place on your body.)

It’s still in a testing phase, but it’s already the coolest weapon ever devised to fight cancer…I mean which you rather have? Drugs, radiation, or tiny self-assembling nanobots targeting tumors like tiny doctor robocops?

[Caltech via Gizmodo]

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