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Leaf of Many Colors

Leaf of Many Colors

“Doll’s eyes” is a member of the buttercup family. The latin name is Actaea pachypoda.

“Doll’s eyes” is a member of the buttercup family. The latin name is Actaea pachypoda.

Aussie Scientists Discover Potential Cancer-Blasting Drug…. In A Tobacco Plant
Australian researchers published findings this week on a newly-discovered plant compound that destroys cancer cells, but leaves healthy cells unharmed. They found it in possibly the last place you’d look for a cancer cure: the family of plants that brings us cancer’s number-one culprit, tobacco.
The research team at La Trobe University discovered the cancer-blasting protein in the flowers of Nicotiana alata, a relative of cigarette tobacco that’s usually planted as an ornamental (though it’s sometimes smoked in hookah pipes). A protein called NaD1 helps the plant fight off fungi and bacteria — and, it turns out, that same protein is like a sniper for cancerous cells.
On the cellular level, NaD1 works by plunging sharp pincers into fat molecules present in the outer membranes of cancerous cells. This action rips the cells open, spilling their guts and destroying them before they can spread their cancerous mutations to other cells.
“There is some irony in the fact that a powerful defence mechanism against cancer is found in the flower of a species of ornamental tobacco plant, but this is a welcome discovery, whatever the origin,” said Dr. Mark Hulett, lead investigator in the study.
The most promising aspect of NaD1 is how it specifically targets cancerous cells. Many of the most vicious, lifestyle-limiting side effects of current chemotherapy stems from the fact that the drugs tend to kill healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.
Now that the researchers have an idea how the mechanism works, they’re laboring to see how it can be put to use. Preclinical trials are underway at a Melbourne biotech company, though Dr. Hulett predicts it will take a decade before the substance finds its way to hospitals.
In the meantime, stay away from those tobacco products. The good cousin in the family may work out to be very good, but the bad cousin is still undeniably bad. [La Trobe University via Engadget]

Aussie Scientists Discover Potential Cancer-Blasting Drug…. In A Tobacco Plant

Australian researchers published findings this week on a newly-discovered plant compound that destroys cancer cells, but leaves healthy cells unharmed. They found it in possibly the last place you’d look for a cancer cure: the family of plants that brings us cancer’s number-one culprit, tobacco.

The research team at La Trobe University discovered the cancer-blasting protein in the flowers of Nicotiana alata, a relative of cigarette tobacco that’s usually planted as an ornamental (though it’s sometimes smoked in hookah pipes). A protein called NaD1 helps the plant fight off fungi and bacteria — and, it turns out, that same protein is like a sniper for cancerous cells.

On the cellular level, NaD1 works by plunging sharp pincers into fat molecules present in the outer membranes of cancerous cells. This action rips the cells open, spilling their guts and destroying them before they can spread their cancerous mutations to other cells.

“There is some irony in the fact that a powerful defence mechanism against cancer is found in the flower of a species of ornamental tobacco plant, but this is a welcome discovery, whatever the origin,” said Dr. Mark Hulett, lead investigator in the study.

The most promising aspect of NaD1 is how it specifically targets cancerous cells. Many of the most vicious, lifestyle-limiting side effects of current chemotherapy stems from the fact that the drugs tend to kill healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.

Now that the researchers have an idea how the mechanism works, they’re laboring to see how it can be put to use. Preclinical trials are underway at a Melbourne biotech company, though Dr. Hulett predicts it will take a decade before the substance finds its way to hospitals.

In the meantime, stay away from those tobacco products. The good cousin in the family may work out to be very good, but the bad cousin is still undeniably bad. [La Trobe University via Engadget]

Puya Berteroniana Blooming Blue by Joyce-Tex Buckner

Puya Berteroniana Blooming Blue by Joyce-Tex Buckner

bottle brush

bottle brush

Amazing Plant World

White Flower Cascade - Sources - Yutaka Kitamura and Alexander Reeder

White Flower Cascade - Sources - Yutaka Kitamura and Alexander Reeder

Raw Cashews

Raw Cashews

sweet tiny succulents

sweet tiny succulents

Thorn - Jose Benito Ruiz

Thorn - Jose Benito Ruiz

Bill Murray - horticulturist

Bill Murray - horticulturist

Phacelia plant in bloom by Danita Delimont

Phacelia plant in bloom by Danita Delimont

flowered clover

flowered clover