Exciting Cancer Research & Iceland Finally Stops Whaling
Cancer Breakthrough: A team of researchers at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom has found that a newly-discovered part of our immune system could be used to treat a wide variety of cancers.
They discovered a new type of T-cell in our blood that could be adapted, genetically modified, to hunt and kill most types of cancer cells. T-cells are white blood cells which help our body to fight infections and other threats.
Science Alert: "In T-cell therapy – the most common form of which is called CAR-T (for Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells), scientists hijack and augment this natural function of T-cells to steer them towards tumour cells in particular."
"In CAR-T treatments, doctors extract T-cells from patients' blood, genetically engineering them in the lab to make them specifically identify and target cancer cells. The edited T-cells are then multiplied in the lab before being administered to patients."
The scientists caution that so far the therapy has only been tested on mice and on cells in the laboratory, and more research will be needed before human trials could start. However, it represents an important breakthrough that could change how we treat many cancers in the future.
Science Alert: "Cancer-targeting via MR1-restricted T-cells is an exciting new frontier," says senior researcher and cancer immunotherapy specialist Andrew Sewell.
"It raises the prospect of .. a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population. Previously nobody believed this could be possible."
Iceland Stops Hunting Whales: Iceland is one of only three nations that still allows commercial whaling, defying the 1986 ban enacted by the International Whaling Commission, the global body created to protect whales as their numbers slid toward extinction.
However, in 2019, no Icelandic fishing company hunted whales, even though the government had approved some whaling permits earlier in the year. The companies that were granted permits simply decided not to use them. There is a generational change going on in Iceland. Fewer individuals have a taste for whale meat and more younger people oppose it on ethical grounds. So, the industry is dying because it's simply not viable anymore. Great news.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content