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UNNATURAL KILLERS

Nanoparticles poison blood, for CTCs only

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, January 10, 2014
Scientists have engineered a nanoparticle that attaches to white blood cells in the blood stream and essentially uses them to hunt down circulating tumor cells (CTC). The team has named the combination of white blood cells and their payload “unnatural killer cells,” because they mimic the activity of the immune system’s natural killer cells. The researchers, who are at Cornell University, published their work in the Jan. 6, 2014, advance online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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