A scientist prepares protein samples for analysis in a lab at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Britain, July 15, 2013. (Stefan Wermuth/File Photo)
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The Zika virus can wreak havoc on the brain of a developing fetus, but its destructive power may also be harnessed to fight a stubborn form of adult brain cancer, researchers said Tuesday.Early studies have shown the mosquito-borne virus can destroy cells responsible for glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer.The secret to Zika's apparent success, the latest experiments show, is that the virus specifically takes aim at brain cancer stem cells, the kind that tend to survive chemotherapy and spread.Extra studies on Zika's effects on the brain tissue of epilepsy patients showed the virus did not infect non-cancerous brain cells.
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