Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Oooooh, Shiny


When a patient undergoes surgery for cancer, it's important to get every last cell of the tumor out — but cancer cells can be hard to see. To help surgeons see cancer cells more clearly, a team of American and European researchers lit up the cancer cells and made them glow, says Veronique Greenwood at the 80beats blog. In their study published in Nature Medicine, the researchers describe how they tagged ovarian tumor cells with a glowing protein. Many ovarian cancer cells over-express a receptor for folate on their surfaces, and the researchers exploited this by infusing patients with a folate that had a fluorescent tag attached to it, Greenwood says. During surgery, the team shone a laser on the patient's ovaries, which lit up the tagged folate on a nearby computer screen. "This clear marker, they think, made it easier to remove every last bit of the tumors — in eight of their nine patients, the team noticed small tumors they would have missed otherwise," Greenwood adds. The study doesn't address what the long-term results of this surgical technique were, but that question could be addressed by larger, follow-up studies.

The Scan

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.

Study Offers Insights Into Role of Structural Variants in Cancer

A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

Computer Model Uses Genetics, Health Data to Predict Mental Disorders

A new model in JAMA Psychiatry finds combining genetic and health record data can predict a mental disorder diagnosis before one is made clinically.

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.