City scientists in aspirin find

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Scientists at Edinburgh University have for the first time identified how aspirin can prevent bowel cancer.

Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at Edinburgh and the University of Dundee have found that aspirin switches off mTOR, a protein that is over-active in bowel cancer cells.

The protein helps allow cancer cells to produce excess proteins, causing them to grow faster than they should. But aspirin activates another protein, which halts cell processes that need energy — including mTOR

Dr Farhat Din, clinician scientist fellow at Edinburgh University, said: “Our new work shows, for the first time, that aspirin is acting on two master regulators of energy in bowel cancer cells and this has given us a real insight into the disease.”