HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Firefly molecule could quickly shed light on how well new drugs work

ANN ARBOR, MI The process that makes fireflies glow bright in the summer night can also shed light on how well new medicines work, showing immediately whether the drugs are effective at killing cells or causing other effects.

That's the conclusion of a team of scientists from the University of Michigan Health System, who report that they have inserted the gene for a firefly's glow-producing molecule into mice with cancer, and kept it from producing its telltale beacon of light until the cells started to die in response to cancer treatment.

Using a highly sensitive camera, the researchers were able to immediately detect the faintest traces of the firefly light as it passed outside the bodies of the mice.

The findings, published in the Dec. 24 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and posted online last week, promises to give researchers a new way to get real-time information on whether new medicines are working.

It could be used to speed up the testing of new drugs for cancer, stroke, AIDS, auto-immune disorders, blood diseases, heart attack damage, nerve-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, and other disorders where drugs are needed to kill cells, or to stop cell death. It could also be used to monitor other cell processes.

"This is the first time anyone has been able to make real-time images of apoptosis -- the process of cell death that is so important to so many diseases and treatments," says lead author Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at the U-M Medical School and co-director of the U-M Center for Molecular Imaging. "This proves that we can see what's going on at the molecular level while the drugs are working, giving results in days or weeks instead of months or years.'

The process is made possible through the use of luciferase, the enzyme that triggers a chemical process that lights up the tails of fireflies. The light-emitting process, call
'"/>

Contact: Kara Gavin
umhsmedia@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
17-Dec-2002


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Firefly compound lights up protein dance in living animals
2. Firefly light illuminates course of herpes infection in mice
3. Summer Science: Firefly Babies Advertise Their Bitter Taste, UD Researchers Say
4. Small, Smac-like molecule encourages death of cancer cells
5. Tiny molecules have big potential as cancer drugs, Stanford researcher believes
6. Synthesized molecules studied as weapon to stop cell division in cancer cells
7. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
8. Sweet success in targeting sugar molecules to cells in living animals
9. Emory researchers map structure of anti-cancer molecule
10. UC Riverside researcher takes snapshots of the movement of molecules in a billionth of a second
11. Scientists pinpoint molecules that generate synapses

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/7/2018)... ... , ... CTL Medical Corporation has entered into a definitive ... includes its complete portfolio of spine-related patents and 510ks, as well as any ... will make CTL Medical the world’s exclusive provider of silicon nitride spine products ...
(Date:8/31/2018)... , ... August 30, 2018 , ... ... scientist, IBM Research. Jacklyn Novak, infrared materials engineer, LightPath Technologies. In the future, ... mathematician who just celebrated her 100th birthday. Today, they are among 26 scientists ...
(Date:8/29/2018)... ... August 29, 2018 , ... ... first non-invasive technology to identify specific chromosomal abnormalities using morphological assessment through ... Fertility and Australia-based Life Whisperer suggests that artificial intelligence ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/26/2018)... ... August 23, 2018 , ... LabRoots , the ... around the world, will host the 4th Annual Microbiology and Immunology Virtual Event ... disciplines, encompassing various research areas including medicine, agriculture, and space. , During ...
(Date:8/23/2018)... ... August 22, 2018 , ... ... on September 1st, making it the first fully-featured app for electronic data capture ... Combined, iOS and Android constitute 99 percent of the market share for mobile ...
(Date:8/21/2018)... ... August 21, 2018 , ... ... in medical device compliance and commercialization, has just released a new paper ... and presented by Dr. Mario Kossmann, ESEP at the 28th Annual INCOSE ...
(Date:8/17/2018)... ... August 16, 2018 , ... The opening of the new ... Chemko Technical Services in 2016. Chemko had a well established local presence, servicing the ... KSC on projects such as the ongoing work at the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: