‘Mystery food’ can save lives
Scientists have developed a technique for “recovering” an ancient plant, a miracle remedy for an ancient illness or a miracle cure for cancer.
The technology is so simple that its application to humans is still far-fetched.
The new technique was published on Thursday in the journal Nature Medicine.
It uses an enzyme called NAD+ to break down the sugar of a plant called organics.
The enzymes can be used to digest plants, too.
The enzyme can be broken down into smaller, less toxic molecules, like those produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
These smaller molecules can be processed into a small amount of the active compound in the plant that causes the disease or illness.
In some cases, this enzyme is already present in the organism, so it can be produced from a plant that was contaminated with a harmful toxin, says lead researcher Dr Chris Dyer from Imperial College London.
When the enzyme is broken down, it turns into the molecule NAD+, which can be purified and then used to treat the disease.
“The problem is that this process is a very complicated one,” he says.
“We have to know how to make the molecule, what the molecule looks like, how to break it down, what kind of enzymes to use to break the molecule down, and so on.”
The enzyme is called NAD+.
Dr Dyer explains how NAD+ is broken.
NAD+ molecule: a single electron molecule with two protons and one neutron.
The molecule has a number of electrons, called electrons, attached to a single proton.
When a proton moves from one side of the molecule to the other, a pair of electrons moves from the left to the right side of that molecule.
When an electron is in the opposite direction, a negative charge is added to the proton, and a positive charge is taken from the opposite side of each electron.
When NAD+ has been broken down to its two electrons, it can then be purified, stored and used as a powerful antibiotic.
“When NAD+ gets broken down in nature, we don’t have to worry about it being toxic to humans,” he explains.
“It’s a very simple molecule.”
A key ingredient in the enzyme’s effectiveness is a molecule called NADH.
NADH has a hydrogen group attached to it, which is the same as an electron in the molecule.
“You need NADH to break these down into the active molecule.
It’s not as easy to make as it is for an enzyme to break things down,” he adds.
“So you need to be very careful when you put it in your body.
It will not just be broken into these smaller pieces and put into your body.”
The NADH molecule is broken by the enzyme NAD+.
A single electron with two proton and one neutron.
When you combine two NADH molecules with the enzyme, they form the active NAD+ and the enzyme works.
When two NAD+ molecules are combined, they can form a molecule that can convert NADH into NAD+.
“You can’t synthesise it by just adding the right amount of NADH,” Dr Dyrk says.
Instead, the enzyme has to be mixed with the right quantities of other substances to form an effective NAD+-containing compound.
The active NAD+, and the NADH-containing NAD+, can then act together to convert NAD+ into NAD+ in the body.
The technique works on many different plants.
It works on some common plant components such as fruits, nuts and berries, which are all essential for the body to function, and to protect itself from certain diseases.
It can be useful for many different diseases.
In the case of cancer, for example, it has been shown to help to reduce the progression of the disease in a number in the most common cancers, such as breast, prostate and lung.
The scientists are also working on ways to convert it into other drugs that are more effective at curing other diseases.
“I think the technique will be useful to use in a variety of diseases and other diseases that we don.t yet understand,” Dr Darcy says.
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