MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: VRD--controlling the spread of cancer

Date: Thu Nov 2 17:52:04 2000
Posted By: Mike Crawford, Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 972573383.Me


Unfortunatly, there are quite a few web sites that link to ours, we don't always know where the web surfer is coming from.
I personally don't know anything about the Newton's Apple shows, but you seem to be on the right track with your experiment.
In fact, it is a classic experiment for measuring the effects of various drugs on growth rate,
which is akin (albeit not as sophisticated, of course) to measuring the growth/spread of cancer cells.
One thing that might be a problem--I don't think that fungii will be susceptible to some the chemicals you mentioned.
Penicillin, for example, is an antibacterial agent that probably wont work on fungus.
Peroxide probably will at high concentrations--as well as some 'fungicidal' soaps.
You might also want to try something that's specifically anti-fungal, such as athelete's foot spray.
It turns out that some anti-cancer treatments used in humans will also work on fungus--as there is a remarkable amount
of conservation in what mechanisms are used to control cell division and growth.  There are differences of course, fungus has
this thick 'covering' to protect it from many chemicals, but in other cases fungus can be  a good 'model' organism.  You probably 
should stick with some of the commercially available things you (and I) mentioned, as most of the agents used to treat cancer
would be expensive and toxic!

Hope this helps
Michael Crawford


Re: VRD--controlling the spread of cancer
I wrote to the public television station that produces Newton's
>Apple to try to find some guidance on a science fair project my 11
>year son is working on, and the links led me to you.
>My son is working with Newton's Apple show numnbers 904 and 905
>regarding cancer causes and treatments.  We are stumped, howsever,
>how we can determine how to simulate 

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