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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.