In 10 seconds? Researchers accidentally discovered that nanoparticles extracted from tea leaves in the lab could kill cancer cells.
Wow, how did they do it? Scientists were trying to find a cheap and less toxic way to image tumors (helpful for cancer diagnosis) using a technology called quantum dots. Typically, quantum dots – a type of tiny fluorescent nanoparticles – help recreate images of tumors in cancer care. Their production involves a highly toxic metal, cadmium and is pretty costly. The teams came up with the bright idea of trying to create quantum dots in a non-toxic way, using the light-emitting feature of chlorophyll from tea-leaf extracts.