Deadly Beauty: Drugs under the Microscope These gorgeous images are of drugs that kill our cells as surely as they…

Deadly Beauty: Drugs under the Microscope These gorgeous images are of drugs that kill our cells as surely as they may heal us. Widely used in cancer chemotherapy and other disorders, they make us wonder at their beauty and question how they are used.

Mitomycin: DNA crosslinker antibiotic from Streptomyces. Used in glaucoma and lasik surgery, bladder, oesophageal and other cancers. Works by blocking DNA replication in dividing cells.

Azacititine: DNA methylase blocker used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, and in clinical trials for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Masquerades as a “C” nucleoside but cannot get modified so it blocks DNA methyltransferase and thus activate tumor suppressor genes silenced by hypermethylation.

Mitoxantrone: DNA topoisomerase inhibitor, used to treat metastatic breast cancer, AML, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,and prostate cancer. During replication, DNA becomes “overwound” ahead of the replication fork. The topological tension is relieved by topoisomerases.The enzyme binds to “tense” DNA and cleaves the phosphate backbone; the DNA unwinds and, then topoisomerase reseals the break.

Fluoxetine (Prozac): Antidepressant blockbuster drug, works by inhibiting serotonin reuptake. Also used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders.

Trastuzumab (Herceptin): A monoclonal antibody that blocks the HER2/neu receptor and is used in the treatment of certain breast cancers. The HER2 gene is amplified in some cancers where it causes excessive cell growth. The treatment is very expensive ($100,000 a year) and cancers tend to become resistant.

ScienceSunday , #sciencesunday

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18 Responses to Deadly Beauty: Drugs under the Microscope These gorgeous images are of drugs that kill our cells as surely as they…

  1. Jaz Emminger says:


    Wow…they look like alien landscapes.


  2. Work of art, stunning beautiful.


  3. All are beautiful, but the fern-like Herceptin is my favorite.


  4. Rajini Rao they have killer looks at least 🙂

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    I forgot to mention that nearly all these images have won some award or other, from Nikon Small World competitions. Check out http://www.wix.com/oechsli/photomicrography/visualization-of-cancer-drugs

  6. E.E. Giorgi says:


    oooohhhh…. so cool! thanks for yet another awesome share!!

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney , believe me, I’ve trolled that Olympus site many times and poached their images for my science posts 😉 I had forgotten about the Nikon Small World contest though..they post tons of prizewinners.

  8. Chad Haney says:


    I posted it because I knew I had seen something similar a while ago but the Nikon images were not the ones. Then I remembered it was Olympus.

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney , the way my brain works, for better or worse, is that I see an image that inspires me to write about the biology behind it. I probably have more fun digging up the information to go along with the image than anyone looking at the post, LOL. No image, no ideas for G+ posts 😛

  10. Jill Saur says:


    Rajini Rao, this is truly fascinating!

  11. Gregory Esau says:


    The odd places we can find beauty. There is something to be said about that.

  12. alev uneri says:


    tese are amazing… I didn’t see this kind of drug photos before…thank you

  13. Satish Kaul says:


    sceneric drugs used for curing the deadly diseases


  14. The thing That looks beauty but kill others beauty. so Beauty kills the beauty Right Rajini Rao


  15. This just seals my resolve to purchase a high quality microscope, with camera adapter!

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