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mri with brain tumor. Magnetic resonance imaging.

New Way to Find Brain Cancer: Catching Tiny DNA Bits in Pee Using Tiny Wires

At our awesome research organization, we work hard to make big changes in medicine. We’re super excited to tell you about a new invention that could change the way we find cancer and help sick people get better. A group of smart scientists at Nagoya University in Japan, led by our team, have come up with a cool way to catch and study tiny pieces of DNA from pee.

DNA Structure

Cancer, especially brain cancer, is a really tough sickness to fight. It’s often found too late to treat properly. One kind of brain cancer, called gliomas, is especially bad because people usually only live 12-18 months after they find out they have it. The earlier we can find the cancer, the better the chance we have to beat it.

To help solve this big problem, our team used nanotechnology, which is science that works with really, really tiny things, to make a new way to find brain cancer using just a pee sample. We found out that brain tumors have a special thing – they let out little bits of DNA. When tumors grow and get rid of old cells, they let go of these tiny DNA particles, and some of them end up in pee. We created a method to find and study these DNA bits to find changes that show there might be gliomas.

Female researcher working in the medical lab

One big problem with using pee to find cancer was it’s hard to get the tiny DNA bits. Normal ways didn’t work well because the DNA bits were too small, broken, and not many in number. But our team found a way around this by using a catch-and-release method with tiny wires covered with a substance called zinc oxide. The tiny wires can hold onto water molecules, so they can also grab the DNA bits from the pee. We can then wash the DNA bits off the wires and study them.

Our research has had some awesome results. We were able to get the DNA bits from pee, which was really hard to do with old methods. Plus, we found a certain change in the DNA, called the IDH1 mutation, from a pee sample as small as half a teaspoon. This is the first time someone has ever found this change in such a tiny pee sample.

Close up of computer with biotechnology animation of dna

What we’ve found could help a lot of people. Our new method doesn’t have the problems old methods had and gives us a better way to use DNA bits from pee in the clinic. It could change the way we find cancer by finding it earlier. Even though we focused on gliomas at first, our method could also help find other types of tumors. If we change our method a bit, we could find different changes in DNA that show other types of tumors that were hard to find with old methods.

Our research could help a lot of people. We combined chemistry, biology, medicine, and nanotechnology to make a tool that could change the way we find cancer early. This cool new tool could help sick people get better and push forward cancer research.

micro organisms cells magnification

We’re really proud of what our team has done and what this technology could do. We’re always looking to find new things and push science forward. We dream of a future where we can find and treat cancer as early as possible, giving people a better chance to get better.

To learn more about this cool research, you can read our paper in the fancy science journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Takahashi, H., et al., 2023). We’re really excited to help in the fight against cancer.

In simple words, the team at Nagoya University has made a new way to find and study tiny DNA bits in pee to find brain cancer. This could help find cancer earlier and make sick people better. They used tiny wires coated with zinc oxide to

Nagoya, Japan Skyline

catch the DNA bits, which was really effective. If we use this method to find other types of tumors, we could change the way we find cancer and help make medicine better.

*Note: This article is based on the work done by the team at Nagoya University and published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Takahashi, H., et al., 2023).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is this new cancer detection method all about?
A1: The new method is about finding tiny bits of DNA, called cfDNA, in pee. These DNA bits come from brain tumors and can be caught using very tiny wires. By studying these DNA bits, we can find signs of a brain cancer called gliomas.

Q2: How does this method work?
A2: First, we collect a pee sample. Then, we use tiny wires covered with a special substance to catch the tiny DNA bits in the pee. After that, we wash the DNA bits off the wires and study them to look for signs of cancer.

Q3: Why is it important to find cancer early?
A3: Finding cancer early is important because it gives doctors a better chance to treat it. If cancer is found late, it can be much harder to treat and may have spread to other parts of the body.

Q4: Can this method be used to find other types of cancer?
A4: Yes, our team believes this method could be used to find other types of tumors. We would just need to adjust the method a little bit to look for the specific DNA changes that show the presence of different types of tumors.

Q5: What is the IDH1 mutation?
A5: The IDH1 mutation is a change in a gene that is often found in gliomas, a type of brain cancer. Finding this mutation in someone’s DNA can be a sign that they have this type of cancer.

Q6: How can I learn more about this research?
A6: You can learn more about this research by reading the paper our team published in the scientific journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Takahashi, H., et al., 2023).

Q7: Is this method available in hospitals now?
A7: As of now, this method is still in the research stage. It’s not yet available in hospitals, but we hope that it will be in the future. It has the potential to really change the way we find and diagnose cancer.