Tag: Stem Cells

Helping transplanted stem cells stick around and do their jobs: New microgel encapsulation method paves the way for more efficient cell therapies

Bone marrow transplants of hematopoietic stem cells have become standard treatment for a host of conditions including cancers of the blood and lymphatic systems, sickle cell anemia, inherited metabolic disorders, and radiation damage. Unfortunately, many bone marrow transplants fail due to rejection by the patient’s immune system or graft-versus-host disease (in which the transplanted marrow

Molecular scissors stabilize the cell’s cytoskeleton

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen, Switzerland, have for the first time elucidated the structure of important enzymes in human cells that alter essential building blocks of the cellular cytoskeleton. This reveals the missing part of a cycle that regulates the build-up or breakdown of supporting elements of the cell. The enzymes

How hepatitis B and delta viruses establish infection of liver cells: Researchers explore infection using new cell culture system

Princeton University researchers have developed a new, scalable cell culture system that allows for detailed investigation of how host cells respond to infection with hepatitis B (HBV) and delta virus (HDV). The paper describing their findings was published online on June 18, 2019 in the journal Hepatology. HBV causes an acute illness that is usually

New method for engineering metabolic pathways: Two approaches provide faster way to create complex molecules

Cells are incredibly adept at creating complex molecules, like therapeutics, and can do so much better than many of our best factories. Synthetic biologists look to re-engineer cells to make these molecules for specific needs, including pharmaceuticals and energy applications. But the trial-and-error process is difficult and time-consuming, and often competes with the cell’s other

New strategy of reprogramming regulatory T cells may improve cancer therapies: Converting immunosuppressive cells into inflammatory cells appears to prime tumors for immune checkpoint blockade

While therapies that harness the power of the immune system against cancer have made remarkable progress against certain types of tumors, they still remain ineffective in most cancer patients. A new study from the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describes a method of reprogramming the regulatory T cells

Targeted therapy proves effective against aggressive rare blood cancer: Clinical study treating BPDCN with tagraxofusp led to first FDA approval for the disease

A multi-institutional clinical trial has given good results for a targeted therapy to treat a rare, aggressive blood cancer known as blastic plasmacytoid dendritic-cell neoplasm (BPDCN). Details on the trial, which supported Food and Drug Administration approval of the tagraxofusp therapy in December 2018, have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Diagnosed

What Are Stem Cells?

The term "stem cells" has become part of the mainstream lexicon, likely to be overheard in conversations anywhere from a baseball game to cocktail get-togethers. But what exactly are these cells? Along with phrases such as "that's just immoral" or "stem cells could be the end-all cure," one could easily weave in some technical tidbits

New imaging technique reveals ‘burst’ of activity before cell death: Novel dual-PWS platform reveals connections between macromolecular structure and dynamic movement in the chromatin within eukaryotic cells

Studying the movement of tiny cells is no small task. For chromatin, the group of DNA, RNA, and protein macromolecules packed within our genome, motion is an integral part of its active role as a regulator of how our genes get expressed or repressed. “Understanding macromolecular motion is critical, but scientists know very little about

Research reveals how the most common ALS mutation dooms cells: Scientists offer insight into the toxicity at the heart of devastating neurological disorders

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have cracked the mystery surrounding the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The research suggests possible new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of the lethal disorder. The findings appear online today in the journal Molecular Cell. About 35 percent of ALS cases

Sun Protection to patients with rare genetic disease

Skin cells taken from patients with a rare genetic disorder are up to ten times more sensitive to damage from ultraviolet A (AVA) radiation in laboratory tests, than those from a healthy population, according to new research from the University of Bath. It is hoped that the work, which has involved designing a brand new

Specialized lung cells appear very early in development: Fetal signaling pathways may offer future targets for treating lung injury

Specialized lung cells appear in the developing fetus much earlier than scientists previously thought. A new animal study reports how cells that become alveoli, the tiny compartments in which gas exchange occurs in the lung, begin their specialized roles very early in prenatal life. The researchers say that investigating the fetal signaling pathways active in

New light on blocking Shiga and ricin toxins — And on an iconic biological process: CRISPR genomic screen reveals newly recognized proteins toxins need to enter cells

Min Dong, PhD, and his lab are world experts in toxins and how to combat them. They’ve figured out how Clostridium difficile‘s most potent toxin gets into cells and zeroed in on the first new botulinum toxin identified since 1969. Now, setting their sights on Shiga and ricin toxins, they’ve not only identified new potential