Researchers at Northwestern University are one step closer to developing a skin cream that can alter human genes, helping to treat diseases like psoriasis and melanoma.
According to lead researchers Amy S. Paller and Chad Mirkin, the treatment combines a new form of nucleic acid with topical skin lotion to help turn off DNA strands that make cells receptive to cancer. The individual agglomerations of acid are 1,000 times thinner than the diameter of human hair and can therefore penetrate each layer of skin and enter cells.
Once in the cells, the acids can control gene's responsiveness to various ailments. According to Mirkin, the toughness of human skin has been a major boundary in their research.
"The skin is a very tough barrier to go through, which is why this effective gene knockdown has not been accomplished before," Mirkin says.
The study can be found in the July 3rd edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
by RTT Staff Writer
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