Scientists Engineer Bacteria to Detect Cancer Cells Using Innovative CATCH Technology
Breakthrough Technique Holds Promise for Cancer Detection and Targeted Treatment
A groundbreaking development in cancer detection and potential treatment has emerged from an international team of scientists, who have harnessed genetic engineering to create a revolutionary technology known as CATCH (cellular assay for targeted, CRISPR-discriminated horizontal gene transfer). Published in the journal Science, the technique involves genetically modifying bacteria to identify cancer cells in challenging anatomical locations, with the potential to open doors for targeted therapy.
The innovation revolves around the utilization of a bacterium called Acinetobacter baylyi, known for its natural ability to absorb DNA from its surroundings and incorporate it into its genome. The researchers genetically engineered A. baylyi to carry extended DNA sequences resembling those present in human cancer cells. These sequences essentially act as complementary halves of a molecular zipper, selectively binding to cancer DNA. The focus of their experimentation was the mutated KRAS gene, commonly linked to colorectal tumors.