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  • Self-Assembling Anticancer Molecules

    Self-Assembling Anticancer Molecules

    A technique for the production of a variety of self-assembling molecules that could be used to treat both cancer and infection has been developed by the scientists from the University of Warwick.

    The small molecules produced, called peptides, and are the main components of the body’s natural defense system. Peptides are naturally occurring biological molecules. They are short chains of amino acid monomers linked by peptide (amide) bonds.

    The new technique, pioneered by Professor Peter Scott and colleagues, relies on chemical self-assembly and results in the rapid production of 3D helical molecules.

    Professor Peter Scott said “The chemistry involved is like throwing Lego blocks into a bag, giving them a shake, and finding that you have a model of the Death Star,” “The design to achieve that takes some thought and computing power, but once you’ve worked it out the method can be used to make a lot of complicated molecular objects.”

    The researchers have tested these peptides on a human colon cancer cell line and they were found to be highly toxic, but it will be a long time before they can be tested in human trials.

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