Precious metal flecks could be catalyst for better cancer therapies

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Tiny extracts of a precious metal used widely in industry could play a vital role in new cancer therapies.

Researchers have found a way to dispatch minute fragments of palladium — a key component in motor manufacture, electronics and the oil industry — inside cancerous cells.

Scientists have long known that the metal, used in catalytic converters to detoxify exhaust, could be used to aid cancer treatment but, until now, have been unable to deliver it to affected areas.

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Why Palladium’s suddenly an especially precious metal

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For the first time in more than a decade, palladium is rivaling gold in value. A key component in pollution-control devices for cars and trucks, the metal’s price has surged as much as 50 percent in about four months, making it at times more expensive than gold. The rally shows few signs of fizzling.

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Car Thieves Leave Cars, but Take the Catalytic Converters

 Car Thieves Leave Cars, but Take the Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter is made with trace amounts of platinum, palladium and rhodium, which speed chemical reactions and help clean emissions at very high temperatures. Selling stolen converters to scrap yards or recyclers, a thief can net a couple of hundred dollars apiece. Exactly how much depends on the size of the car and its converter.

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