This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Nature Peer review could reject breakthrough manuscripts, study shows Well known and respected journal, Nature, will begin next month offering researchers who submit their work for peer review, the option of having it done via the double-blind method—whereby both submitters and reviewers names are kept anonymous. In an Announcement piece, the journal explains why it has chosen to take this step and what it hopes to achieve by doing so. Citation: Nature journal to begin offering double-blind peer review (2015, February 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-nature-journal-double-blind-peer.html Up till now, the peer review process at Nature has been conducted in single-blind fashion—reviewers could see the names of the authors of the work, but the authors (and everyone else) were not able to see the names of the reviewers. As Nature points out, there have been many calls in the science community for changing the system over the course of the past few years because of a perceived bias by reviewers—due to gender for example, or reputation.Single-blind reviews have become the norm for two main reasons; the first is because of the perception that reviewers would be hesitant to be completely honest in their reviews if they know ahead of time that their names will be attached to their work. The second is because of hesitancy on the part of respected journals to offer a service that they do not believe they can fully ensure—sometimes, it is not that difficult to figure out who an author is because of the small numbers of people working in a particular field, because they cite themselves or because their work is already so well known. As part of its announcement, Nature has said that ensuring the anonymity of researchers going forward will fall to the writers of the papers.Others have called for open reviews, where the names of both writers and reviewers are printed, but few in the research community seem to be interested in such a scheme. Nature claims that double-blind reviews are wanted by researchers—they cite an international study done back in 2009 where 76 percent of researcher respondents indicated that they felt that double-blind reviews were an effective reviewing system. Nature will allow researchers who prefer to stick with the single-blind system to do so if they prefer, but the default will change over starting at the beginning of March. At this time it is not clear if other major journals will make the switch as well. © 2015 Phys.org Explore further
More information: Rong-Hui Deng. Mei-Zhen Zou, Diwei Zheng, Si-Yuan Peng, Wenlong Liu, Xue-Feng Bai, Han-Shi Chen, Yunxia Sun, Pang-Hu Zhou, and Xian-Zheng Zhang. “Nanoparticles from Cuttlefish Ink Inhibit Tumor Growth by Synergizing Immunotherapy and Photothermal Therapy.” ACS Nano. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b02993 Researchers have found that cuttlefish ink—a black suspension sprayed by cuttlefish to deter predators—contains nanoparticles that strongly inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. The nanoparticles consist mostly of melanin by weight, along with amino acids, monosaccharides (simple sugars), metals, and other compounds. The researchers showed that the nanoparticles modify the immune function in tumors, and when combined with irradiation, can almost completely inhibit tumor growth. Due to these costs, some researchers have turned to nature for alternatives. Previous research has shown that certain natural compounds, including those found in brown algae and some bacteria, contain polysaccharides that have the ability to reprogram macrophages from the M2 type to the M1 type. In the new paper, the researchers found that cuttlefish ink nanoparticles, which are spherical and approximately 100 nm in diameter, also have this ability. After confirming the biocompatibility of these nanoparticles, the researchers performed several experiments both in vitro with tumor cells and in vivo with tumor-afflicted mice. In the in vitro experiments, the researchers found that irradiating the nanoparticles with near-infrared irradiation killed approximately 90% of tumor cells, although the nanoparticles displayed almost no cytotoxicity without irradiation. The researchers explained that the high melanin content of the nanoparticles plays a key role in the irradiation process, as melanin has an intrinsically good photothermal conversion ability.In mice, nanoparticle treatment proved to be effective both alone and in combination with irradiation, although irradiation further improved the outcome. Bioluminescent imaging revealed that treated mice exhibited significantly lower tumor bioluminescence compared to controls, indicating greatly reduced metastases on internal organs. Mice treated with both nanoparticles and irradiation exhibited a nearly complete inhibition of tumor growth.By performing a gene analysis, the researchers identified 194 differentially expressed genes involved in immune functions that were associated with the regulation of the inflammatory response and cell killing, and which were either up- or down-regulated by the treatment. The analysis indicated that a certain signaling pathway is responsible for the conversion of M2 macrophages to M1 macrophages. This mechanism not only leads to phagocytosis of tumor cells, but also stimulates the immune system to produce various antitumor factors, all of which play a role in inhibiting tumor growth.In the future, the researchers plan to explore other natural materials that have anti-cancer properties.”Our research team is currently studying the biomedical potential of natural materials such as hair, cuttlefish ink, bacteria, fungi, and even the cells of the human body as a therapeutic drug carrier,” Zhang said. “By drawing inspiration from nature and taking advantage of its own characteristics, we expect to find some valuable research that will provide new and effective solutions for the treatment of clinical diseases.” Journal information: ACS Nano Explore further Citation: Cuttlefish ink found promising for cancer treatment (2019, July 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-cuttlefish-ink-cancer-treatment.html © 2019 Science X Network This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Elegant antibody nanoparticles override immunological tolerance of tumors (Left) A cuttlefish. Credit: North Atlantic Stepping Stones Science Party, IFE, URI-IAO; NOAA/OAR/OER. (Right) Comparison of tumor size after 16 days of different treatments, including cuttlefish ink nanoparticles (CINPs) and CINPs with irradiation. Credit: Deng et al. ©2019 American Chemical Society The researchers, led by Pang-Hu Zhou at the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and Xian-Zheng Zhang at the Chemistry Department at Wuhan University, have published a paper on the ability of nanoparticles from cuttlefish ink to inhibit tumor growth in a recent issue of ACS Nano.”We found natural nanoparticles from cuttlefish ink with good biocompatibility that can effectively achieve tumor immunotherapy and photothermal therapy simultaneously,” Zhang told Phys.org. “This finding might inspire more exploration of natural materials for medical applications.”Tumor immunotherapy involves fighting cancer by stimulating the body’s own immune system. One strategy is to target leukocytes, or white blood cells. Macrophages are the predominant leukocyte found in some tumors, and they can take one of two forms: M1 or M2. The M1 phenotype engulfs and destroys tumor cells through the process of phagocytosis and with the activation of T cells (other white blood cells). In the M2 phenotype, on the other hand, this immune function is suppressed, allowing tumor growth to continue unchecked. In tumor environments, the M2 phenotype almost always outnumbers the M1 phenotype.Recently, researchers have been working on the development of small molecules and antibodies that can convert protumor M2 macrophages to antitumor M1 macrophages. At the same time, they are designing nanoparticles such as photothermal agents that, when exposed to irradiation, locally destroy cancer cells by thermal ablation. These agents can be integrated into synthesized nanoparticles, and then potentially administered to patients. One of the drawbacks, however, is that these synthetic nanoparticles are expensive and require complicated preparation methods.