Health News

Human cells can also change jobs

Biology textbooks teach us that adult cell types remain fixed in the identity they have acquired upon differentiation. By inducing non-insulin-producing human pancreatic cells to modify their function to produce insulin in a sustainable way, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, show for the first time that the adaptive capacity of our cells […]

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New therapy for aggressive blood cancer discovered

Researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research have identified a new therapeutic strategy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), the most common form of acute leukemia. They found that the activity of the mutated oncogenic protein C/EBPα is dependent on a functional epigenetic helper, the MLL1 histone methyltransferase complex. Laboratory […]

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A better way to measure cell survival: New test rapidly evaluates the effect of drugs and potentially toxic compounds on cells

Measuring the toxic effects of chemical compounds on different types of cells is critical for developing cancer drugs, which must be able to kill their target cells. Analyzing cell survival is also an important task in fields such as environmental regulation, to test industrial and agricultural chemicals for possible harmful effects on healthy cells. MIT […]

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When mucus can be key to treating colon and airway diseases

New research reveals how healthy cells in our bodies produce mucins — the main component of mucous, which protects our intestine and airway from pathogens, toxins and allergens. Scientists have already linked defects in mucins secretion to airway and colonic diseases, such as asthma or ulcerative colitis. Now, researchers at Malhotra’s laboratory in Barcelona, reveal […]

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Measuring stress around cells: Findings offer clues as to how cells act collectively to shape tissues and organs

Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to “sculpt” biological structures. Thanks to a new tool developed at McGill University, scientists will now be able to watch, and map these forces. Christopher Moraes, an assistant professor in McGill’s Department of Chemical Engineering, and colleagues […]

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Discovery casts doubt on cell surface organization models

Like planets, the body’s cell surfaces look smooth from a distance but hilly closer up. An article published in Communications Biology describes implications, unknown to date, of the way data from cell surfaces are normally interpreted; i.e. as if they lacked topographic features. When Earth is studied from space, its surface looks smooth, but on […]

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When less is more: A promising approach for low-cell-number epigenomic profiling

Scientists at Kyushu University and Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan have developed a technique that enables analysis of DNA-protein interactions using very small numbers of cells, ranging from 100 to 1,000. Their method could capture previously unexamined epigenomic information, facilitate biomarker discovery and open new avenues for precision medicine. A collaborative study by researchers […]

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A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

When bacteria or viruses enter the body, proteins on their surfaces are recognized and processed to activate T cells, white blood cells with critical roles in fighting infections. During T-cell activation, a molecular complex known as the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) moves to a central location on the surface of the T-cell. Microtubules have several important […]

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A Trojan horse delivery method for miRNA-enriched extracellular vesicles

A method for large-scale production of extracellular vesicles enriched with specific microRNAs (miRNAs) has been developed in the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) labs, offering a manufacturing standardization process which may have therapeutic applications and clinical impact. Extracellular vesicles are currently of particular interest in the scientific community for their therapeutic potential as […]

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Single protein controls thousands of genes essential for sperm development: New regulatory mechanism could underlie male infertility

A single protein regulates a battery of key genes inside developing sperm, according to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Scientists discovered the protein — called Dazl — controls a network of genes essential for developing sperm to replicate and survive. The findings, published in Cell Reports, could lay […]