Monday, April 15, 2013

Scorpion Venom Helps Fight Cancer

My opinion:  Though I don't often hear of bizarre phenomenon as this, there are probably many natural chemicals that may be utilized to our advantage.  The issue is, it takes a lot of time to find them and learn what there effects are.  I've read that, if searching for such chemicals in a natural environment, only 1 in 100,000 may prove to be of any use.  The time and money that is put into this type of research is tremendous, as well as the impact on the environmentToday, many scientists synthetically create medicine in order to save themselves quite a bit of trouble.  The issue is, do scientists always know what to create?  I think that naturally occurring chemicals may be used as a reference point.  Perhaps if scientists research how these chemicals are effective, it will be easier to create different ones that have the same or similar properties.  Hence, the natural world must be studied (but preferably in a non-invasive manner) in order to progress in other scientific and medical venues.  Could this be incorrect, though?  Feel free to answer.

 Scorpions: Crush Cancer

Scorpion venom may serve a surprisingly beneficial purpose: helping brain surgeons excise malignant tissue easily and accurately. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the University of Washington combined an extract of scorpion venom that naturally (and safely) targets only cancer cells with a molecule that glows under a special light. During surgery for brain tumors, doctors could inject the substance, spot glowing cancerous tissue, and remove every last millimeter of it, leaving only healthy tissue behind. Early studies suggest that the chemical could also illuminate prostate, breast, colon, and some skin cancers. Researchers have used the technique to treat cancer in animals; human trials are planned for the end of this year.

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