The chemists are exploiting an activity called resonance energy transfer.

Among other activities, researchers could determine how infections invade a cell or how proteins operate in the physical body. Such technology also may help doctors pinpoint the exact location of malignancy cells in order to better concentrate treatment and minimize damage to healthy tissue. Outside the body, the technology could help speed up detection of such toxins as anthrax. The key to developing single-molecule tracking technology may be the development of better fluorescent nanoparticles. Fluorescent nanoparticles are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and so are similar in proportions to protein molecules, to which they may be attached.The results are significant as the protein can be maintained by FDA-approved drugs, in the marketplace readily. ‘With Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff, we’ve very little to provide families when it comes to therapeutics to greatly help their kids,’ says Igdoura. ‘They are orphan illnesses where there are few medications obtainable. But we feel that is a significant part of improving standard of living and potentially extending lives.’ Kids who are identified as having Tay-Sachs early in existence, die before they reach age 4 or 5 typically. ‘You can find distinct levels within the condition, so we wished to find targets we’re able to hinder, to delay the horrible result or halt it entirely,’ explains Igdoura. Using mice that have been modified to mimic Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff genetically, researchers found degrees of TNFa rose through the first stages of the illnesses significantly.