Ariel Schwartz

Nanotech Robots Travel Through Blood to Turn Off Tumor Cells

by , 03/25/10
filed under: Design for Health

nanotech, cancer, robots, tumors

The nanobots are coming! Scientists have found that nanotech robots, once the stuff of science fiction, can travel through the blood and turn off cancer genes in tumors — effectively providing all the benefits of chemotherapy without the nasty side effects. The therapy was recently tested for the first time on humans.


According to a study led by Mark Davis at the California Institute of Technology, nanotech robots can use a method called RNA interference to find proteins associated with cancer growth and turn them off. In a study of three patients with melanoma, small polymer robots covered with transferrin (a protein) were able to get inside tumor cells. No word on if the nanobot injections were able to shrink the tumors, but it is encouraging to see that the ‘bots can at least find their way to the cancer.

And then there are, of course, the potential safety issues. What do you think–would you allow researchers to inject tiny robots into your blood? It’s an imperfect science, to say the least, and one that has been speculated about by fearful science fiction buffs for years.

+ Nature

Via CNN

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4 Comments

  1. lordelisah December 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    It will always be illogical to risk your life by embracing human-made robots into your veins and let them wander inside. But even I’m not one of those who suffer from cancer, I approve this style of treatment for cancer which is a nightmare upon most of us. And also I agree with Pho3b3 who says ”anyone in the last stages of terminal cancer would jump at the chance of survival.”

  2. Medical Dressing Uses N... July 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

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  3. Pho3b3 April 14, 2010 at 3:53 am

    I think anyone in the last stages of terminal cancer would jump at the chance of survival.

  4. rie March 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    “What do you think–would you allow researchers to inject tiny robots into your blood?”

    If you are diagnosed with an advance stage cancer, with only around 30% of 5 years survival rate with the present chemotherapy technique ( that is, 70% of those with similar condition will die within 5 years, and not knowing whether you’ll be those who’ll die, or those who’ll live), what do you think?

    Cancer is much more common than you think. and the modern medicine, at best, can only prolong your life. And that life is not the kind of life that you now taken for granted. it’s a life in a downward spiral into suffering and dependancy, where your natural body function will fail, one by one, taken over by the cancer tissue.

    If that question is asked to my patients, i think most of them would say “yes, please”.

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