Animal Rights

Technology or Mice

| by Dr Ray Greek

An announcement from Blacksburg states that Virginia Tech chemical engineers discover an enhanced delivery method of DNA payloads into cells. This accomplishment is the result of chemical engineering and will eventually be used

. . . to create genetically modified cells for cancer immunotherapy, stem cell therapy and tissue regeneration . . . One of the most widely used physical methods to deliver genes into cells "is incredibly inefficient because only a small fraction of a cell's total membrane surface can be permeated," said Lu, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Virginia. The method Lu is referring to is called electroporation, a phenomenon known for decades that increases the permeability of a cell by applying an electric field to generate tiny pores in the membrane of cells.

Lu’s method “enables uniform DNA delivery over the entire cell surface.”

Along similar lines:

A new system for the controlled delivery of pharmaceutical drugs has been developed by a team of University of Rhode Island chemical engineers using nanoparticles embedded in a liposome that can be triggered by non-invasive electromagnetic fields.

Technology is also being used to develop Instant Testing for Sore Throats by using DNA barcodes. This test will allow the consumer to determine whether a child has strep throat.

Society can fund research to learn more about mice or research that leads to advances like these.