Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tick Saliva May Cure Skin, Liver and Pancreas Cancer

Okay, don't underestimate the power of creepiness what I'm going to tell you about today. I am talking about the tick. The tiny creepy crawling creature, that gives you an itchy bite. There are many species of tick, anyway. Brazilian researchers Amblyomma cajennense tick, found in horses and donkeys contains interesting protein in its spit.
According to AFP, the Factor X active protein in the tick spit "shares some characteristics with a common anti-coagulant called TFPI (Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor), specifically a Kunitz-type inhibitor which also has been shown to interfere with cell growth." Since a cancer is basically a group of cells that are growing out of control, controlling this growth is very important.

The protein was tested on cultures of cancerous cells and "exceeded all expectations." It didn't kill normal cells, just those with cancer!

So that little blood suckers might be the key to cure cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas. But of course, these results are still just phase 1, scientists might yet hit speed bumps, or even walls, and not be able to turn this into a cancer treatment. And even if everything works fine, it could take a few years before a drug is made.

But we have to admit it's very promising, and goes to show that we still have much to learn from nature and that when we destroy it, we could be losing things like... tick spit.

1 comment:

  1. Pancreas is one regarding which there is a varied understanding in today's day. There are many discoveries around the pancreas.. I made these flashcards to ensure that everyone can understand the many details about this organ.