字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hi, this is Kate from MinuteEarth. Cancer killed nearly 10 million people in 2018; it’s one of the planet’s most prolific killers. That’s because cancerous cells go rogue - they divide quickly, messing with our own cells and the body’s normal processes - what’s more, each of these cells can essentially live forever. There is a way to exploit cancer cells’ rogue behavior - we can treat cancer by just decimating cells that divide rapidly. But some healthy body cells also divide quickly, and these treatments can’t tell the difference, which is what causes nasty side effects like hair loss and nausea. If only we could figure out how to specifically target just cancer cells for destruction...which is exactly what some researchers made possible back in 1975 - by accident. These scientists weren’t actually trying to treat cancer at all; they were investigating natural disease-fighting molecules called antibodies, each of which fits - like a key in a lock - with a recognizable part of a given intruder, flagging it for destruction by other immune cells. For their work, the researchers wanted a steady supply of certain antibodies, but the cells that make antibodies only live for a few days before dying. In the body, they simply get replenished by their parent cells, but in the lab, they’re on their own, so the supply of antibodies gets totally cut off. The researchers essentially needed some way for these cells to live forever and reproduce endlessly - which sounds, well, EXACTLY like rogue cancer cells. Eventually, they found that by fusing immune cells with cancer cells in the lab, they could create hybrid cells with the antibody-producing power of the immune cell, and the longevity of the cancer cell. This basic research was really useful...for a handful of researchers studying specific questions about the immune system. But after a few years, other researchers stumbled on the discovery and realized that these part-immune, part-cancer cells could also help solve that pesky collateral damage problem in cancer treatments. For instance, in the lab we can mass-produce TONS of just the right antibody, tailor-made to bind to specific, troublesome cancer cells and flag them - and only them - for destruction. And we can even engineer antibodies that carry tiny doses of chemotherapy or radioactive particles, delivering these weapons directly to the cancer cells they’re designed to recognize. Today, these manufactured antibodies serve as the basis of dozens of cancer-fighting drugs. And also, since we can pump out antibodies specific to all sorts of stuff, they can fight everything from autoimmune diseases to organ transplant rejection. The uses of the technology continue to grow, with no end in sight...kind of like those rogue cancer cells it relies on. Thanks to the Swiss National Science Foundation for sponsoring this video. The SNSF funds basic research projects in Switzerland. The SNSF believes that researchers get the best results when they have the freedom and funding to follow their own curiosity and that this leads to innovative applications for society. We’ve worked with the SNSF to tell a few other stories about discoveries based on basic research. To watch them, check the links to the SNSF channel below or just click on this video.