T-cells are white blood cells that naturally combat disease as part of our immune system, but these artificially engineered versions would be targeted at specific forms of cancer, potentially giving our natural defences a boost in attacking the disease.
Octopuses and squid have confirmed their reputation as Earth-bound “aliens” with the discovery that they can edit their own genetic instructions.
Unlike other animals, cephalopods – the family that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – do not obey the commands of their DNA to the letter.
Imagine, if you will, an ancient, engorged tick feasting on the blood of a monkey in a steamy tropical jungle as far back as 45 million years ago.
Suddenly, the monkey's companion discovers the tick while grooming its partner, and roughly flings it aside, where the injured, bleeding parasite sinks into a dense, sticky tree sap. Over time, the sap slowly fossilises into amber, preserving the punctured pest in a frozen time capsule, surrounded by the oozing blood droplets of its last meal.
As far as cancers go, one of the worst is a type of brain cancer called glioma - the disease has a five-year survival rate of just 5 percent, and no reliable method for early detection.
A giant study that pooled genetic data from tens of thousands of people could change that, finding more than a dozen new mutations for physicians to hunt for in an effort to identify who is at risk of developing glioma.