The Chicxulub impactor, popularly known as the “Chicxulub asteroid,” impacted the Earth about 66 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. But, according to a new study, the so-called “Chicxulub asteroid” brought some metal to Earth, and that might be a harmless, reliable cure for cancer. Known as iridium, the alien metal brought by the asteroid is the rarest metal on the surface of the Earth.
Now, after some experiments, the scientists concluded that the metal brought by the “Chicxulub asteroid” is the most potent tumor cells killer to date. The researchers injected the metal, iridium, into the nucleus of cancer cells. Then, by beaming a laser ray towards the material, the scientists produced a toxic form of oxygen which kills the tumor cells but leaves the healthy ones unharmed.
The treatment involving light beams is known as photodynamic therapy, and, when iridium is engaged, it kills cancer cells through oxidation. It’s not harming the rest of the unaffected cells.
“Chicxulub Asteroid” Brought An Alien Metal on Earth, And That Might Be The Most Potent Cure For Cancer To Date
“It’s amazing this large protein can penetrate into cancer cells and deliver iridium which can kill them selectively on activation with visible light. If this technology can be translated into the clinic, it might be effective against resistant cancers and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy,” said Professor Peter Sadler, from the department of chemistry at Warwick University.
“We are at a very early stage, but we are looking forward to seeing where the pre-clinical development of this new compound can lead,” added Dr. Cinzia Imberti, the co-author of the research.
“It’s certainly now time to try to make good medical use of the iridium delivered to us by [the Chicxulub asteroid] 66 million years ago,” concluded Professor Peter Sadler.