Definitive proof science is better than prayer
Magnetic discs kill cancer
Laboratory tests found the so-called "nanodiscs", around 60 billionths of a metre thick, could be used to disrupt the membranes of cancer cells, causing them to self-destruct.
The discs are made from an iron-nickel alloy, which move when subjected to a magnetic field, damaging the cancer cells, according to the study, published in Nature Materials yesterday.
One of the study's authors, Elena Rozhlova of Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, said subjecting the discs to a low magnetic field for around ten minutes was enough to destroy 90 per cent of cancer cells in tests.
"This provides an elegant and rapid technique for targeting tumour destruction without the side effects associated with systemic treatments such as chemotherapy," Mr Dobson wrote.
"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck