Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nanomotors - the Medicine of the Future? by Lauren Harrington

Cancer is pretty serious, even if what you have is easily removed and not malignant. When I found out my mom had (a very easily treated type of) breast cancer, I knew she’d have to get surgery and go through chemotherapy. That’s what most people do, because when you are diagnosed, you usually just have three options: Surgery followed by chemotherapy, surgery without chemotherapy, or just let it grow. With a new development in science, we will have a fourth option: Nanomotors.

Nanomotors. The name seemed like a misspelling of “nanometers” to me, and spellcheck even red flags the word. Nope, “e” and “o”are far from eachother on the keyboard, and there are other words spellcheck doesn’t recognize. So I checked it out.

Nanomotors are nanooscopic motors (hence the name) that can explore human cells. Previously they had been discarded in medical practice due to their inefficient fuel source. With their new design, they are fueled by acoustic waves, and controlled by magnets. 

What do they do? Well, they go inside cells. Cell membranes actually eat the motor, like they would absorb a nutrient. Once inside, the motor is remotely turned on, and the propeller spins away, hacking at the organelles like Yao Guai. They can kill cancerous cells this way, and scientists want to put gold rocket-shaped nanomotors to use in the future to kill cancer cells with more ease.

Now, think about it. Little gold rockets, zooming about your cells. It sounds crazy, right? Maybe even a little scary? That’s really not a problem. They won’t pull a chestburster on you—they’re far too tiny for that. They’d be injected with a typical syringe. To put it into proportion: Have you seen an individual blood cell with your bare eye? How about with a hand-held, ant-burning magnifying glass? No? Good, then you aren’t a mutant. That also means that, even if they did come out of your skin, you wouldn’t feel it. Maybe an itch, like a loose thread, at most. But, that’s not how they would come out of you, anyway. They’d be flushed from your system the way most things are—through the toilet. If it wouldn’t hurt coming out of your skin, it won’t hurt coming out… elsewhere. You’d also be excreting gold, just as if you’d taken one of those pills that are filled with gold flakes, except these would be exponentially smaller. And, on top of it, you’d be one treatment closer to cancer-free, all thanks to those little gold rockets.

So, if you are diagnosed with cancer, in the future you may have these options: Surgery, surgery followed by chemotherapy, let it go, or use the power of bling to wipe it out. I don’t know about you, but I’d go with the  bling.

1 comment:

  1. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot!
    cool image