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Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:24 PM

 

Tobacco plant has key to fighting cancer



02 Apr 2014

La Trobe University research has revealed a tobacco plant’s natural defence mechanisms could be harnessed to kill cancer cells in the human body. Scientists at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science have identified that a molecule occurring in the flower of the plant that fights off fungi and bacteria also has the ability to identify and destroy cancer.

The defence molecule, called NaD1, works by forming a pincer-like structure that grips onto lipids present in the membrane of cancer cells and rips it open, causing the cell to expel its contents and explode. The results are published in the journal eLife today.

Lead investigator Dr Mark Hulett said the discovery has potential for use in cancer treatment. ‘There is some irony in the fact that a powerful defence mechanism against cancer is found in the flower of a species of ornamental tobacco plant, but this is a welcome discovery, whatever the origin,’ Dr Hulett said.

‘The next step is to undertake pre-clinical studies to determine what role NaD1 might be able to play in treating cancer. The preclinical work is being conducted by the Melbourne biotechnology company Hexima. So far the preliminary trials have looked promising. We are confident there is potential for this discovery to translate to therapeutic use in humans.’

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- Of course if you can consume the flowers, who'll buy their pills?



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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tobacco plant has key to fighting cancer (Original post)
DeSwiss Apr 2014 OP
enki23 Apr 2014 #1
cthulu2016 Apr 2014 #2
enki23 Apr 2014 #3
darkangel218 Apr 2014 #4

Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:33 PM

1. Re: "Of course if you can consume the flowers, who'll buy their pills?"

Probably for the same reasons that "If you can consume the mold colonies, who'll buy their pills?" And "If you can consume willow bark, who'll buy their pills?" and "If you can consume foxglove, who'll buy their pills?"

I have the answer: people with at least a modicum of "rational" to go with their "self-interest". Those people.

(I also have to say, whenever you see a claim that implies molecule X can magically target only cancer tumor cells, the proper response is "bullshit." It might be somewhat specific for some tumors. Might be. If you're lucky. What it's *actually* specific for, nine times out of ten, is rapidly dividing cells. That's why the hair loss, the GI troubles, the decreased blood cell counts, etc. etc. associated (to varying extents) with most broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic drugs. But that's science and physiology. Flower molecules contain magic flower energy, and are not subject to the usual caveats. They also automagically modulate the dose, because all plants of a particular type have the exact same concentration of various chemical compounds. And anyway, chemotherapy doesn't depend much on getting the dose right. Yup.)

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Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:36 PM

2. Why would every disease have an herb to cure it?

What environmental pressure would force the evolution of herbs to cure all diseases?

What environmental pressure limits the evolution of pathogens to comply with the available range of herbal remedies?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:42 PM

3. Nature pairs diseases with herbs to cure them because nature likes crunchy humans...

...and hates every other form of life on the planet.

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Response to enki23 (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:47 PM

4. What is a "crunchy human"?

 

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