News of Interest
Scientists at the University of Delaware have developed a fascinating new polymerization technique--deposition polymerization (DP). It involves depositing monomers on a surface in a vacuum, then exposing the coated surface to ultraviolet radiation--which triggers a polymerization reaction. Reportedly the thickness of the coating can be controlled to a precission of a billionth of a meter.
Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have learned more about how the migration of cells from one location to another is orchestrated. This research could have a bearing on the prevention of malignant metastasis, and also may lead to a means to control cell migration from outside the body--an intriguing idea to bio-futurists.
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a way to augment the anti-cancer effect of butyrate--a natural product of fiber fermentation in the human GI tract. Butyrate has exhibited an anti-cancer effect against several types of cancer, including colon cancer, tongue carcinoma, hematologic malignancies, prostate cancer, and others.
By combining butyrate with N-acetyl-D-mannosamine (ManNAc), the researchers both increased cancer cell uptake of butyrate, and increased the overall apoptosis in the malignant cells due to the synergistic effects of butyrate with sialic acid--a metabolite of the ManNAc.
Butyrate is a simple essentially non-toxic molecule, but it apparently has a profound effect on the cell cycle, the apoptotic cascade, and even the re-differentiation process in cancer cells.