The 1st of January issue of SpectroscopyNOW is live:
MRI nanoparticles seek and destroy cancer cells – A single nanoparticle can be tracked using real-time MRI as it homes in on cancer cells. A fluorescent dye used to tag the nanoparticle couples with heat therapy to kill the targeted cells. Naomi Halas and Amit Joshi of Rice University and their colleagues there and at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), both in Houston, Texas, have demonstrated the “theranostics” approach in laboratory cell cultures so far but are confident that they will, one day, be able to use this approach to MRI tracking and cancer cell targeting in animals, then people. The all-in-one particle is another example of the growing field of theranostics being developed to allow physicians to diagnose and treat disease in a single procedure. The team reports details in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
NMR test for pneumonia – The first demonstration of how metabolic analysis using NMR spectroscopy to analyse a urine sample for diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia has been undertaken. The simple diagnostic could be useful as the incidence of community-acquired pneumonia rises across the globe.
Regulatory crystallography – The structure and function of a chromatin regulator in yeast has been determined using X-ray crystallography. The structure provides new insights into epigenetics and may ultimately represent a target for the development of pharmaceutical therapies for a whole range of diseases.
Raman targets bacterial cell walls – Bacterial cell walls are a key target for antibiotics but they can change structure during reproduction. Now, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy have been used to home in on these changes in a bacterium and so provide important clues about the biochemical changes that occur at the cellular level.
Snagging supernova spectra – Spectroscopy reveals that an extraordinarily bright, very long-lasting supernova named SN 2007bi, spotted in the night sky by a robotic telescope is the first example of the earliest type of star in the universe