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Scientists discover new method to destroy 99% of cancer cells

Scientists discover new method to destroy 99% of cancer cells Scientists discover new method to destroy 99% of cancer cells (Getty Images)

An innovative method to destroy cancer cells by vibrating molecules was discovered by a joint research team from Rice University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas, according to Science Alert.

The process includes shining near-infrared light on aminocyanine molecules making them vibrate synchronically, and breaking apart cancer cell membranes. These molecules, commonly used as synthetic dyes in bioimaging, adeptly attach to cell exteriors when used in low doses for cancer detection.

Scientists discover new method to destroy 99% of cancer cells

How the process looks like (Science Alert)

The study was published in Nature Chemistry. It is a groundbreaking approach surpassing the effectiveness of previously developed Feringa-type motors, designed for disrupting cell structures, scientists say.

"It is a whole new generation of molecular machines that we call molecular jackhammers," notes chemist James Tour from Rice University, adding that these new molecular machines operate over a million times faster in mechanical motion than their predecessors.

The use of near-infrared light is essential as it allows deeper penetration into the body, potentially treating cancer in bones and organs without resorting to surgery.

In experiments on cultured cancer cells and mice with melanoma tumors, the molecular jackhammer method exhibited a remarkable 99 percent success rate in destroying cells, rendering half of the tested animals cancer-free.

What is more, this method might be tricky for cancer cells to resist. The researchers are also exploring other molecules that can be used similarly.

We also reported Moderna and Merck revealed a vaccine that offers promising effectiveness in treating the most lethal form of skin cancer. Read about 5 ways to prevent cancer and maintain long-term health and a study on the food that enhances the response of immune cells to cancer.

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