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Now scientists have developed a new method of killing tumours. They can now choke tumours by cutting off the supply of a specific sugar known as GlcNAc (glick-nack), which they have identified for the first time. Tumours need abundant supplies of cellular building blocks, specifically amino acids and nucleotides (a compound), to keep multiplying fast under harsh conditions.
When scientists from California Institute of Technology (Caltech), led by Linda Hsieh-Wilson, professor of chemistry, blocked the addition of GlcNAc to a particular protein in mice, it hit tumour-cell growth, according to a Caltech statement.
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