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Jellyfish cells to be used by private medical cover providers for cancer diagnosis?

Published on 03/11/2010
Private medical cover providers could use jellyfish cells to diagnose cancer in the future following new research.

Scientists from the Yorkshire Cancer Research Laboratory at The University of York have developed a technique that uses the luminous quality of the jellyfish cells to detect tumours deep within the body, that might otherwise be missed.

Lead researcher Professor Norman Maitland, explained: "Cancers deep within the body are difficult to spot at an early stage, and early diagnosis is critical for the successful treatment of any form of cancer.

"What we have developed is a process which involves inserting proteins derived from luminous jellyfish cells into human cancer cells. Then, when we illuminate the tissue, a special camera detects these proteins as they light up, indicating where the tumours are."

The technique uses a specially modified version of the green fluorescent protein found in jellyfish that has been altered to show up as red or blue to make it more easily visible.

Viruses containing the protein, which are programmed to attach themselves to cancer cells, are then injected into the body

The viruses then start to grow and make more of the red fluorescent proteins, making them easily detectable to the specially designed camera.

It is anticipated the method will be ready for clinical trials within five years.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


Categories:  Medical
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