A Cure for Cancer Essay

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For years people have been looking for a cure for the devastating disease of cancer. Cancer is the third highest killer in the US with over 2,500,000 victims per year. Oncologists and scientists around the country are researching all forms of cancer in an effort to understand, treat, and ultimately defeat this disease. Already there have been numerous advances in the field, such as chemotherapy and gene therapy. One advance has been the use of a cell process known as apoptosis. By harnessing this normal cell process, scientists hope to have found an effective way to combat cancer. Cancer is a disease that affects human somatic cells. It causes the cells to divide uncontrollably and form masses known as tumors. There are two different…show more content…
This process uses enzymes to cut and insert piece of DNA into a plasmid vector. This vector is then transfected into cells. The different pieces of DNA that were being inserted into this plasmid were a control and three different mutants (an alpha-5-tailless mutant, full-length alpha-5, and full-length alpha-2). These pieces of DNA code for integrins. Once these pieces of DNA were inserted into the plasmid vector, the plasmid needed to be inserted into a cell where it would be able to replicate. In these tests, rat intestinal epithelial wild-type cells (cells that would be found in nature, not cells grown in the laboratory) were used. To insert the plasmid into these cells lipofectamine plus was used. Lipofectamine plus acts like a detergent and opens the membrane of the cell so the plasmid can enter. Also, the plasmids that were transfected into cells were all treated with G-418, an antibiotic. When the cells were plated and allowed to multiply, only those containing the plasmid with the antibiotic would live. This made it possible to know which cells actually received the plasmid and properly underwent mitosis, and to eliminate those cells that never took up the plasmid in the first place. To collect the cells that underwent a stable transfection, the cell lines were treated with antibodies. These antibodies hooked onto the cells that had integrins along their membrane. The antibody had a tail that contained a tiny magnetic bead at the end, so the magnet would
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