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A team of international collaborators has introduced a drug-screening technique that relies on nanostructure chirality as its fundamental property. (Chirality is a quality that, for a physical object, means it cannot be superimposed on its mirror image; think “left hand/right hand.”) The new technique uses gold nanorods to twist light, and a red glow can indicate the failure of a medication aimed at treating diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Chiral nanostructures — in the study, a protein marker for such amyloid diseases called islet amyloid polypeptides — link into twisted, fibrous chains and accumulate in tissue in the shape of corkscrews. These proteins coated the 50-nm-long,…READ MORE