Attacking Cancer With Light-Controlled Bacteria? | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: January 21, 2014

Attacking Cancer With Light-Controlled Bacteria?

Synthetic Biology: A team of undergraduates program bacteria to release toxic payload in response to blue or red light, possibly paving the way for a new cancer therapy
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: optogenetics, synthetic biology, therapeutic bacteria, cancer therapy

As a possible new anticancer strategy, synthetic biologists have engineered bacteria to secrete a toxic protein that kills surrounding cells when exposed to blue or red light (ACS Synth. Biol. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/sb400174s). These bacteria could someday help doctors specifically attack cancer cells and limit damage to healthy ones, the researchers say.

Conventional cancer drugs often kill . . .

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