Researchers at the California Institute of Technology developed synthetic RNA that destroyed lab grown human brain, prostate and bone cancer cells seemingly without harming healthy ones. The synthetic RNA reacts to the mutated RNA in a cell that is causing it to be cancerous. The result is that a third type of RNA is created in the cell which is attacked by the body's own immune system. (The immune system thinks it is a virus.)  The cancerous cell resultantly dies. Noncancerous cells were not measurably affected. The work has been published in the 9/6/10 issue of the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

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Hail Mutha Fucking Science!!!!!!
This is based off of RNAi work that won a Nobel in medicine a while back...and people were confused why it was a medical breakthrough.

Look for more awesomeness out of this kind of treatment for, well, anything that is genetic where you can do without the diseased gene.
for, well, anything that is genetic where you can do without the diseased gene.

This latest process seems to spare healthy RNA and DNA so would it not work even if these things were needed?
Well, say you have two copies of a gene that causes an illness, but still does something needed, like make a metabolic product. If you knock it down with this RNA interference, then instead of having a messed up copy, you'd have no copy, which is sometimes worse.

Now if you are heterozygous (one healthy copy, one diseased one) you can just knock down the diseased one with a well designed RNA interferer. The healthy copy, however, may still not be able to compensate depending on how your cells deal with dosage compensation for that particular gene product.

I suppose that makes cancer an especially good target now that I think about it, because the diseased gene is really just limited to the cancer tissue itself.
HOOBOY! Now the question is whether or not this same technique can be applied to OTHER cancers! And of course determining long-term effects of the therapy, but if it works ... like I said:

HOOBOY!!!
Indeed! Hopefully it can be cross-pollinated to other problems like HIV/AIDS. But to be honest I'm worried that it will lead to a brick wall.
A brick wall like say the GOP? Fear mongering fools will slap it down unless there is a way to make $, and a cure is a zero sum game... god damn I cant stand those bastards.
Oooh, but this gene therapy isn't a cure always, it could be a treatment that is life long. For instance, MS or cystic fibrosis sufferers would need to take this med forever.

That and the whole "people don't want to cure diseases anymore" is just bunk. We cured all the easy ones, now we are trying to cure the tough ones.
I know most people in the industry get into it for the very reason of curing diseases and that the vast majority of scientists in pharma do want too, that having been said, big pharma is big business with share holders and executives that are very much not interested in life or death, only money. Profitability is key to any business and I guarantee there are those at the decision making level who dread a cure for anything as lucrative as cancer. But I hope you are right... the evidence is not with you though.
I agree. Its terribly unfortunate but, HIV/AIDs isnt a rich mans disease.
HIV/AIDS might be tough because this specifically uses our anti-viral defenses to function, and HIV might well have a way around those defenses already.
That is great. I wonder how much longer it will be before we can use it safely and effectivley without a bunch of religious nuts telling us its against their religion or against nature or any other absurd argument.

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