Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
is most common leukaemia in adults and is incurable. The medicines used right now can only prolong the life (luckily the sickness itself is pretty slow) but not cure the disease. However, Polish scientist Ida Franiak-Pietryga from Łodż's Copernicus Hospital has discovered a substance that specifically targets the sick cells and makes them commit suicide (apoptosis
). Dendimers are polymers (like plastic) that have branched, symmetric and spherical structure with a lot of empty space inside and a lot of functional groups on the outside. Due to that structure they are favourite nanotechnology testing material because you can both hide something snide them and stick something to the surface that will allow you to target for specific applications. Dendimers have been known before to be able to attach themselves to and kill cells. The version made by Ida Franiak-Pietryga seem to specifically target leukaemia cells and make them go through the programmed cell death. (in Polish)
It still doesn't seem to have made the English language news so all I can give you is link to the original paper
and wikipedia explanation of dendimers
It's been long known naked mole rats don't get cancer despite being extremely long lived for their size but no one knew why. Till now. The substance responsible is called hyaluronan (HMW-HA) and it's a high molecular mass sugar and it’s common in the skin, cartilage, and other connective tissues where it works as a thickening agent.
It's produced by the skin cells of naked mole rats in quantities over five times bigger than ours. Its anti-cancer qualities seem to be the result of the way it prevents cells from breaking free and growing into tumours. It may also prevent cells from dividing when they become too crowded (a process called contact inhibition).
Thanks to a donation scientist in Germany were able to make a highly detailed 3D map of the human brain
. They put 65-year old woman's brain in wax to make it more stiff so the task of slicing it into 20 micrometres thick sections would be easier. Then they made digital images of the slices at a resolution of 20 micrometres. And finally put more than 7400 sections together which took 1000 hours on a supercomputer. The final resolution of the model is so high, that all the folds are shaped correctly, even if the slice had been cut at an angle. Maps like this will allow us tu understand relations between structure and function better and somday even model the brain (uploading here we come).As Hank Green song teaches us
quarks are fundamental constituents of matter and there are 6 of them - up, down, strange, charm, top, bottom, and they usual create particles usually by combining in threes e.g.: two ups and one down make a proton, while two downs and one up make a neutron but sometimes also in twos - kaons and pions. Although it's not forbidden theoretically no one ever observed particles made from more then 3 quarks. Until scientists at Belle collaboration at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan and at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider in China each independently reported evidence for the 4 quark particle called Z_c(3900).
There is not enough observations so far to be 100% sure it's 4 quark particle instead of two particles orbiting each other - a hadron molecule that's made of two D-mesons that form a loosely bound state. But that would also be a new form of matter so it's weird no matter what.
I started with patriotic bit and I end with the one that is for my new local affiliation - 3 year old boy hears his father for the first time: