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Tobacco plant has key to fighting cancer

Tobacco plant has key to fighting cancer

Media issued by La Trobe University

Scientists at La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science have identified a tobacco plant's natural defence mechanisms could be harnessed to kill cancer cells in the human body.

The defence molecule, called NaD1, works by forming a pincer-like structure that grips onto lipids present in the membrane of cancer cells and rips it open, causing the cell to expel its contents and explode.

The discovery is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration. The research utilised equipment at the Australian Synchrotron and was supported by an ARC Discovery Project grant, Hexime Ltd., Balmoral Pty Ltd.

 

Image Credit: Rehman Asad/Barcroft Media 

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