Nobel Prize Winner Kōichi Tanaka’s Team At It Again: Discovers How to Diagnose Disease with One Drop of Blood

Nobel Prize Winner Kōichi Tanaka’s Team At It Again: Discovers How to Diagnose Disease with One Drop of Blood
Yomiuri Shimbun: 血液一滴で病気診断…あの田中耕一さんらが成功
November 9, 2011

Nobel Prize Winner Kōichi Tanaka’s team, sponsored by a Shimadzu Corporation fellowship, discovered that a certain disease makes blood over 100 times more sensitive to a certain protein than normal and subsequently developed a method to diagnose this disease using a single drop of blood. The study will be published by The Japan Academy in an electronic English language scientific research journal on the 11th.

When an antigen, a protein which is not naturally found in the body, invades the body, the body produces an antibody to engage and fight with the antigen. An antibody is shaped like the letter Y; the tip of the root which connects the two legs engages the antigen.

Dr. Tanaka’s team altered an antibody by inserting an elastic high molecular body, polyethylene gycol, into the base of the Y. Like a spring, it impulsed the two legs to become flexible and engage with the antigen themselves.

When a protein related to Alzheimer’s disease was introduced as an antigen, the newly created antibody was found to capture this antigen at a very strong rate, more than 100 times higher than normal. “This technology ties together an early diagnosis and a medicinal treatment, which would use this antibody,” Dr. Tanaka said.





(2011年11月9日14時12分 読売新聞)

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