Protectan May Guard Us From Radiation Damage
A new drug developed from bacterial flagellin appears to prevent tissue damage caused by radiation. The work is based on previous studies that cancerous cells use nuclear factor kappa-beta--a transcription factor, or protein that turns on or off a gene's protein-making ability--to outlive normal cells and achieve runaway cell growth.
But healthy cells in the gut switch on the same transcription factor when they interact with benign and beneficial bacteria that reside there. Specifically, the protein flagellin in some of the microorganisms' whiplike tails [flagella] (which they use for propulsion) binds with a receptor on the gut cell and triggers the production of the transcription factor.
(E. coli bacterium powered by flagella)
Molecular geneticist Andrei Gudkov, chairman of the cell stress biology department at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and his colleagues injected purified flagellin into mice just before exposing them to lethal doses of radiation.
The injection appeared to protect the cells of the mice; it also seemed to toughen them against the effects of free radicals and in general beef up their immune systems.
Mice without the injection died following exposure.
The researchers have based a new drug called CBLB502 on flagellin; it protected 87% of the mice from lethal doses of radiation. The new drug, called Protectan, could be used in a variety of contexts.
If given no more than one hour before radiation treatments, it could protect human patients undergoing treatments involving radiation. It could also provide protection to rescue workers called in to help with a "meltdown" or other release of radiation at a nuclear power plant.
Science fiction fans received an early dose of this idea. In The Deadly Years, a Star Trek episode first broadcast in December, 1967, the Enterprise investigates a mysterious illness at an experimental space colony. When it is found that the colonists (and some members of the Enterprise) were exposed to radiation, Dr. McCoy prepares an injection of Hyronalin, a special drug that counters the effects of radiation.
Read more about this drug research at Scientific American; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip and the sf reference for this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/18/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.
Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...' - Larry Niven, 1968.
MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.
Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'
Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'
Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'
FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.
Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '
Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories