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Powerful X-Rays Enable Development of Successful Treatment for Life-Threatening Diseases

(Science Daily) Powerful X-ray technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) national laboratories is revealing new insights into diseases ranging from Alzheimer's to the swine flu, and, most recently, enabled the discovery of a groundbreaking new drug treatment for malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The drug, Zelboraf (vemurafenib), has just received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In showing the structures of diseased and disease-causing molecules at their basic level, these extremely bright light sources enable scientists to suggest potential new treatments.
"This technology is a wonderful example of how innovations at our national laboratories lead to discoveries in a wide variety of fields," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "In this case, we are pleased to have been involved in research that has shown great promise in the battle against life-threatening melanoma."
An increasing number of drug discovery companies and medical researchers are turning to the powerful X-ray facilities at the DOE national laboratories to probe the causes of disease and develop new treatments.
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