Researchers use UV light to kill cancer cells in mice

ultraviolet light kills cancer cells optogenetics imetronic
Optogenics Research Equipment Creative Commons
Science fiction has repeatedly displayed ultraviolet light as a weapon against blood-sucking creatures of the night, but now hard science is giving the method a shot against a real everyday danger: cancer. Early test results indicate that it has the potential to be highly effective.

Chemotherapy can be a devastating course of treatment for cancer patients. It enervates patients in hope of buying more time at the very least, and remission at best. It is one of the few treatment options for hard-to-reach or inoperable tumors, and is one of the most trying treatments that one can face.

A new experimental treatment has shown promising results in lab tests, eliminating 95 percent of targeted cancer cells in mice in only two hours, according to Engadget. The treatment is based on an experimental concept called optogentics, which uses light in the fight against cancer cells. This method may give patients who were considered too high-risk for other treatments another option.

The process is simple in description, as well as less invasive than other methods. Researchers first inject the chemical nitrobenzaldehyde into the tumor, and give it time to spread throughout the cells. They then focus a beam of ultraviolet light on the tumor.

The combined effect causes cells to become extremely acidic, which in turn causes the cells to die. Researcher Matthew Gdovin, an associate professor at the University of Texas San Antonio told Medical Xpress, “Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide.”

One benefit to this type of approach is it allows treatment to a specific region of the body, unlike chemotherapy that affects the entire body. It is also a much less intrusive method, as it only requires an injection of the nitrobenzaldehyde and a flash of ultraviolet light.

While not yet widely available, researchers hope that it will soon be a viable treatment option for those who have tumors in areas that are difficult for surgeons to treat, such as the brain stem, aorta, or spine. It would also be an option for those who have had the maximum possible radiation treatment or children at risk of mutation from radiation treatment.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Scientists successfully grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish

Researchers have managed to grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish for the first time, and even to successfully implant them into live mice. The results could be a game-changer for diabetes.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Emerging Tech

Stomach implant device uses jolts of electricity to fight obesity

An implant created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could help fight obesity by attaching to users' stomachs and then suppressing feelings of hunger using jolts of electricity.
Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…
Product Review

One breath into this device could change what you eat forever

Anyone living with a food intolerance knows the pain — literally and figuratively — of dealing with it, and even identifying what the cause of the problem is. The FoodMarble Aire wants to solve this, and we took a closer look at CES…
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Health & Fitness

Futuristic mask filters out air pollution for cyclists and runners

A concern for cyclists in urban environments is staying safe from airborne pollutants. A cycling mask shown off at CES 2019 could help combat this problem by blocking out air pollution to keep cyclists' lungs clear as they ride.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.