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Sat Dec 8, 2018, 06:20 PM

Cancer DNA Binds to Gold. That Could Lead to New Cancer Blood Test.

By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | December 4, 2018 02:10pm ET

Researchers have discovered a curious difference between the DNA from cancer cells and that from healthy cells, and this finding could lead to a new blood test for cancer.

The difference? Cancer DNA has a rather strong affinity for gold, according to a new study. This feature appears to be common to cancer DNA in general, regardless of the type of cancer, the researchers said.

Taking advantage of this finding, the researchers designed a new test that uses gold nanoparticles to detect cancer. The gold particles change color depending on whether or not cancer DNA is present. The result was a simple and fast test that could detect cancer in just 10 minutes, according to the study, published today (Dec. 4) in the journal Nature Communications.

"You can detect it by eye it's as simple as that," study senior author Matt Trau, a professor and senior group leader at the University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, said in a statement.


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