Researchers have developed a molecular 'logic circuit' to identify and kill cancer cells. The researchers first identified a group of RNA molecules that are found at very high or very low levels in HeLa cancer cells (marker RNAs). They then constructed genetic tools that can measure the levels of the marker RNAs inside living cells. Lastly, they set up the system so that if (and only if) all the marker RNAs are at the right levels, the cells are killed. The system was shown to kill cells in culture and will be tried next in animals.
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