Reprogramming Cancer Cells to Undergo Cellular Death

  Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer. New treatments tend to be in high demand because current treatment options offer limited efficacy and can be ineffective in up to 70% of patients, in part due to genetic variation, rendering personalized medicine to be increasingly important. Argonaut Therapeutics plans to reboot the cancer cell so that it undergoes the body’s natural cell death process, known as apoptosis. Essentially, their therapies will target a “switch” that p...
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A study on Taste

New study proves that sense of taste is hardwired in the brain, independent of learning or experience. Most people probably think that we perceive the five basic tastes sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (savory) with our tongue, which then sends signals to our brain “telling” us what we’ve tasted. However, scientists have turned this idea on its head, demonstrating in mice the ability to change the way something tastes by manipulating groups of cells in the brain. “Taste, the way you and I th...
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2015 Nobel Prize In Chemistry awarded for mapping how cells repair damaged DNA.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 has been awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair.” The three scientists outlined chemical pathways that cells in living things, including human beings, use to repair damaged DNA. "Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments," the academy said. The organization tweeted graphics explaining the scientists'...
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Wasp’s Venom could be a powerful weapon against Cancer

A toxin in Polybia paulista's sting reportedly kills tumor cells without harming healthy ones. It seems like an oxymoron, but scientists say the venom of Polybia paulista, a wasp native to Brazil, fits that description. According to a study published in the Biophysical Journal this week, the wasp’s venom contains a toxin, named MP1, that selectively destroys tumor cells without harming normal ones. The BBC called the venom a potentially powerful “weapon against cancer.” In lab tests, MP1 was ...
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Scientists Can Now 3D-Print The Building Blocks of Life

Scientists have developed a 3D-printing method capable of producing highly uniform blocks of embryonic stem cells. These cells are capable of generating all cell types in the body and could be used as the ‘Lego bricks’ to build tissue constructs, larger structures of tissues, and potentially even micro-organs. They could also be used for stem cell regulation and expansion, regenerative medicine, drug screening studies, and potentially even for the construction of micro-organs. “It was really ...
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HIV breakthrough could lead to a cure

Scientists identify markers on immune cells that 'predict who can stop drug therapy and stay well.' Scientists have discovered the way a patient's immune system responds to HIV infection could offer clues as to whether they will go on to achieve remission after drug treatment. The breakthrough sheds light on the phenomenon known as 'post-treatment control' where the virus remains undetectable in some patients even after medication is stopped. The findings could open new avenues for understand...
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New Technology to Monitor Cancer Cells

Deborah Kelly, a biologist at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has developed a "microchip-based toolkit" to watch the breast cancer affiliated BRCA1 gene act inside a human breast cancer cell. This new technology allows scientists to watch cancer cells in action at unprecedented resolution. They can now peer closely into the world of cells and molecules within a native, liquid environment. Kelly and colleagues have developed a way to isolate biological specimens in a flowing, liquid en...
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Kidney created from stem cells

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) principal faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have established a highly efficient method for making kidney structures from stem cells derived from skin taken from patients. The kidney structures formed could be used to study abnormalities of kidney development, chronic kidney disease, and the effects of toxic drugs, and could be incorporated into bioengineered devices to treat patients with acute and chronic kidney injury. In the longer term, these me...
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Brain cells can be activated by a prosthetic hand.

Researchers from Stanford University have improved artificial hands by attaching some flexible sensors on the fingertips, which can generate some electrical signals that can communicate with our brain directly instead of via a processor or a computer to translate back the signals to our brain. Engineers have built a flexible sensor that detects touch and, just like skin, produces electrical pulses that get faster when the pressure increases. They have also used those pulses to drive neuronal ...
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Malaria protein may hold key for cancer cure.

Danish scientists who were working on ways to fight malaria in pregnant women have accidentally discovered that the malaria protein they were using in their vaccine, when armed with a toxin, could kill cancer cells. The test was conducted on mice, and showed that the malaria protein first attached itself to the carbohydrate of the cancer cell, which later was killed off by the toxin. They hope to be able to begin tests on humans in the next four years. For decades, scientists have been search...
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Molecular “kiss of death” wins Noble Prize in Chemistry

Three researchers who unraveled the mechanism behind a molecular kiss of death, a tag that marks proteins for destruction, have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Irwin Rose of the University of California, together with Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, transformed cell biology during the early 1980s through their studies of how proteins are broken down inside cells. Their work sparked new ideas about how cells regulate themsel...
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Tension helps heart cells develop normally in the lab.

Stanford researchers Beth Pruitt and Alexandre Ribeiro have discovered that a heart cell matured from stem cells in the lab looks and behaves like a normal adult heart cell when grown in a long, thin shape and on a surface that provides some tension. Pruitt and her colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine began working on the problem of how to develop more normal looking heart cells through a Stanford Bio-X grant in 2010. At the time, their goal was to find ways of probing the me...
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Miniature human kidney grown in a dish.

Miniature human kidneys have been grown in a Petri dish using stem cells as the starting point, report scientists in Australia. The mini-kidneys, measuring up to 1cm, were the equivalent of the developing organ in a 13-week-old foetus. The team say the findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new ways of testing drugs and eventually a way of replacing damaged kidneys. Experts said there was still a long way to go. The scientists were mimicking the process that takes place insi...
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Protein-based sensor detects viral infection, kills cancer cells

A revolutionary discovery that protein-based sensor could detect viral infection or kill cancer cells. MIT biological engineers is that they have developed a modular system of proteins that can detect a particular DNA sequence in a cell and then trigger a specific response, such as cell death. This system can be customized to detect any DNA sequence in a mammalian cell and then trigger a desired response, including killing cancer cells or cells infected with a virus. This technology is ...
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A new sunblock that does not penetrate the skin

Researchers at Yale have developed a sunscreen made with bioadhesive nanoparticles that is not only waterproof, but does not penetrate the skin barrier, eliminating the health concerns associated with commercial sunscreens. While sunblocks are good at preventing sunburn and decreasing the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure, nanoparticles designed to reflect or absorb cancer-causing ultraviolet light, can go below the skin’s surface and enter the bloodstream. As a result, they pose possible...
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Viruses are Alive

A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today. Until now, viruses have been difficult to classify because of the abundance and diversity of viruses. Less than 4,900 viruses have been identified and sequenced so far, even though scientists estimate there are more th...
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Improving Solar Efficiency with Stanford coating

Stanford engineers invent transparent coating that cools solar cells to boost efficiency. A transparent material that can improve the efficacy of solar cells, this coating has been invented by three Stanford engineers and has the tendency to radiate thermal energy into space which is released by solar cells, making cells cool. This invention shunts away the heat generated by a solar cell under sunlight and cools it in a way that allows it to convert more photons into electricity. The gr...
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Building a brain from the inside out

Researchers at UC San Francisco have succeeded in mapping the genetic signature of a unique group of stem cells in the human brain that seem to generate most of the neurons in our massive cerebral cortex. The human cerebral cortex contains 16 billion neurons, wired together into arcane, layered circuits responsible for everything from our ability to walk and talk to our sense of nostalgia and drive to dream of the future. In the course of human evolution, the cortex has expanded as much as...
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Paralyzed man walks again after cell transplant

The world's first cell transplant enables paralyzed man to walk. A ground-breaking cell transplant, the world's first, was carried out by surgeons in Poland in collaboration with scientists in London on Darek Fidyka who was paralyzed from the chest down after a brutal knife attack in 2010 left with an 8mm gap in his spinal column. He showed no sign of recovery despite many months of intensive physiotherapy. Darek's injuries were so severe that no level of therapy could give him feeling bac...
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Revolutionary Invention Created to Build Human Organs

A new technology that  uses three dimensional human tissues to build organs. Organovo is an early-stage medical laboratory and research company which designs and develops three dimensional human tissue for medical research and therapeutic applications. The latest science invention from Organovo is a technology (novogen) which allows living tissue cells to be assembled into patterns and complex structures such as organs. Organovo has partnered with Invetech., a company based in Australia to...
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