Trojan horse cancer-fighting nanoparticle discovered - They identify a nanoparticle that causes cancer cells to self-destruct: this is how this 'Trojan horse' could fight cancer.

One of scientists ' latest pioneering methods of treating cancer is prompting cancer cells to self-destruct without the need to use any drugs, according to Science Alert.

Currently there are options such as immunotherapy that, as its name suggests, seeks to stimulate the immune system to fight the disease.

However, other options also propose using agents such as' Trojan horses ' to promote self-destruction of harmful cells.

In this regard, researchers at Nanyang University of Technology (Singapore) have identified a nanoparticle that causes cancer cells to self-destruct in mice, thereby reducing tumor growth, which promises to improve the design of nanotherapies.

Previously, it was known that tumor growth can slow —and even prevent-if cancer cells are deprived of amino acids, which can be achieved with fasting or specific diets.

However, these regimens do not necessarily work in all patients and are very difficult to maintain in the long term.

Trojan horse cancer-fighting nanoparticle discovered

Thus, the researchers used a silica nanoparticle that, although dangerous to cancer cells, according to the classification of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is 'generally recognized as safe' and coated it with L-phenylalanine.

L-phenylalanine is a specific amino acid vital to cancer cells and is considered essential, as the human body cannot produce it on its own. Thus, in order to obtain it, it is necessary to consume meat and dairy products.

The nanoparticle was named as a mimicry of nanoscopic phenylalanine porous amino acids (Nano-pPAAM) and has a diameter of 30 nanometers —approximately 30,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair.

Then they have built a nano Trojan horse.

In this sense, they have disguised an amino acid medicine that will come pretending to be a food for cancer cells, but that will eventually encourage their self-destruction.

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, our approach was to use nanomaterial as a drug rather than as a drug carrier," said Dalton Tay of the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore.

"Here, the carcinogenic and killer properties of Nano-pPAAM are intrinsic and do not need to be activated by any external stimulus. The amino acid L-phenylalanine acts as a Trojan horse - a layer to mask the nanotherapy inside," he added.

At the time of testing the efficacy of Nano-pPAAM in laboratory and mice, they have discovered that the nanoparticle is effective in eliminating cancer.

In fact, they have reported that Nano-pPAAM killed about 80% of the cancer cells of the breast, skin and stomach, showing similar effectiveness to those of traditional chemotherapies such as cisplatin.

” By eliminating the drug component, we have effectively simplified the formulation of Nanomedicine and can overcome the numerous technological obstacles that hinder the translation of Nanomedicine based on laboratory drugs to the head, " explained Dalton Tay.

So far, only laboratory and mouse tests have been performed. However, the findings are promising in a context where new therapies against the disease are a priority.

Scientists will now focus on improving the design and composition of the Nano-pPAAM to make it more specific.

In addition, the new research will help in recurrent cancers that eventually become resistant to the drugs they fight. And it's just, there's no medication involved here, so there's nothing you can get resistant to.

"This novel approach could be very promising for cancer cells that have not responded to conventional treatment such as chemotherapy," said breast cancer specialist Tan Ern Yu of Singapore's Tan Tock Seng Hospital, who did not participate in the study.

End of Trojan horse cancer-fighting nanoparticle discovered


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A security hole in Instagram could turn your phone into a spy device with the simple sending of a photo: everything you need to know

A single photo stored on your mobile and a security error on Instagram would have left your phone exposed to cyber attacks. This is what researchers at Check Point warned last week in a recent publication on their website. The security error, which receives the identifier CVE-2020-1895, has already been patched by Facebook, the owner of the social network photography.A

According to Forbes, the vulnerability would affect any mobile device-Android or iOS-with the Instagram app installed. Cybercriminals would send their victims an image via WhatsApp, email or any other channel. The file would camouflage malicious code that would be activated once the user opened Instagram.

Although initially this vulnerability has not been actively exploited by cybercriminals —and there are no known victims of it - it does serve to highlight how the danger of downloading images or files on the phone remains latent.

"Critical vulnerability (...) would allow attackers to perform any action within Instagram —read private messages, delete or post content, manipulate account details - as well as the ability to turn the victim's phone into a spy tool thanks to GPS location, phone contacts and camera, " the researchers at Check Point detail.

Facebook, Instagram's owner, told Forbes: "Check Point notes an error that we have fixed quickly and there is no reason to believe it has affected anyone." "According to its own research, Check Point was not able to exploit this error successfully."

The cybersecurity company rejects this extreme. "By entering a modified photo into the app, anyone can steal the process from the running app and do with it whatever they want, as if they were the app itself. Since Instagram Instagram enjoys many permissions-camera, GPS, contacts - this means that attackers can access all of them and virtually spy on anyone who uses Instagram."

Once Check Point has made public the details of its investigation, Facebook has gone to the step removing iron from the matter. However, the security firm does warn that already warned the technological in February 2020 - and also in April and September of this year-of the problem. Now that the bug has been made public, Facebook denies that it is a dangerous code that can be run remotely.

When a user opens Instagram, the app— which is still a social network focused on photos-loads the galleries present on the mobile. This is why users can access the images they store on their phone, as the program gives them the option to upload and share them with their contacts.

Check Point has detected that the moment a user with an image with this malicious code opens Instagram, the code present in that file is executed.

The social network, for its part, defends that the code would only be executed if a user decided to upload that photo to the platform. This is the main point of debate between Facebook, which affects that it has already solved the bug, and Check Point, the computer lab that has uncovered it. Instagram, for its part, points out that the worst case scenario would result in a user's account being hijacked, and would not imply "deeper" attacks on the platform.

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