Amsterdam, NL – Since 1993, when the gene that causes Huntington's disease (HD) was identified, there has been intense focus on understanding how this genetic mutation causes the disease's severe progressive neural deterioration. In a new study published in the Journal of Huntington's Disease, investigators have discovered that the HD mutation may alter the interactions of Huntingtin, the large protein produced by the HD gene, with Rac1, a protein that directs changes in cell shape.
News & Commentaries
Galveston, TX, USA – Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have developed a promising drug that has proven to significantly increase muscle size, strength and metabolic state in aged mice, according to a study just published in Biochemical Pharmacology.
Amsterdam, NL – Cell replacement may play an increasing role in alleviating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease in future. Writing in an open access special supplement the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, experts describe how newly developed stem cell technologies could be used to treat the disease and discuss the great promise, as well as the significant challenges, of stem cell treatment.
Minneapolis, MN, USA – The University of Minnesota Medical School continues its legacy of advancing cell replacement therapies with a scientific breakthrough that highlights the promise of cell therapies for muscular dystrophy.
Bergen, Norway – For the first time, researchers have shown that ordinary human cells can change their original function. The University of Bergen-research published in Nature may give new hope for diabetes patients.
Rochester, MN, USA – Induced pluripotent stem cells, the workhorse of many regenerative medicine projects, start out as differentiated cells that are reprogrammed to pluripotent stem cells by exposure to a complex set of genetic cocktails. Mayo researchers now report that using the measles virus vector; they’ve trimmed that multi-vector process with four reprogramming factors down to a single “one cycle” vector process. They say the process is safe, stable, faster and usable for clinical translation. The findings appear in the journal Gene Therapy.
Stanford, CA, USA – An antibody-based treatment can gently and effectively eliminate diseased blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow to prepare for the transplantation of healthy stem cells, according to a study in mice by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Kobe, Japan – The bone marrow disease myelofibrosis is stimulated by excessive signaling from vitamin D and immune cells known as macrophages, reveals a Japanese research team. These findings could help to develop alternative treatments that do not target problem genes. The team was led by Research Fellow Kanako Wakahashi and Junior Associate Professor Yoshio Katayama (Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine) and the findings were published on February 4 in the online edition of Blood.
Seattle, WA, USA – New information is unfolding on the genetic controls of an early turning point in pregnancy. As the tiny, dividing cell mass, the blastocyst, travels from the oviduct and lodges in the wall of the uterus, the cells must exit their pre-implantation state and be ready for post-implantation development. Failure of embryos to embed in the uterine lining is a main cause of human infertility. Many pregnancies suddenly stop at this stage, often before the women realize that they had conceived.
New York, NY, USA – Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine have used human embryonic stem cells to create a new model system that allows them to study the initiation and progression of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The study, which will be published February 8 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals the distinct roles played by two critical tumor suppressor genes that are commonly mutated in these highly lethal cancers.