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Time-lapse captures the death of white blood cells for the first time

By - June 15, 2015 1 Picture

With a pivotal role in fending off infections and disease, white blood cells are the engine room of the body's immune system. But little was known about what happens exactly when these cells reach the end of their life cycles. Scientists have now captured the death of white blood cells on camera for the first time, showing that they eject much of their contents while decomposing. One reason for this could be to warn neighboring cells of dangerous pathogens in the area. The researchers say learning more about their expiration could help bring about improved health treatments in the future.

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— Science

MIT's acoustic tumor cell sorting method is now up to 20 times faster

By - April 9, 2015 2 Pictures
A team of researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University and Carnegie Mellon University has announced key improvements to its acoustic wave-harnessing cell sorting method unveiled last year. The device, which is intended for use in the detection of cancer cells in the bloodstream, is now able to obtain accurate results from a patient sample in as little as five hours. Read More
— Medical

Researchers identify how cells get their orders to heal wounds

By - March 18, 2015 2 Pictures
When you cut on your finger or scrape your knee, cells rush to the wound and repair or replace the damaged tissue. But how exactly this works – in particular how certain cells become "leaders" in the process – has long been a mystery. Now researchers at the University of Arizona (UA) have identified the mechanisms that cause and regulate this collective cell migration. Armed with this knowledge, biomedical engineers will be able to design new tissue regeneration treatments for diabetes and heart disease as well as for slowing or stopping the spread of cancer. Read More
— Science

3D Cell Explorer produces 3D holograms of living cells in near real time

By - March 11, 2015 11 Pictures
Swiss company Nanolive has created 3D Cell Explorer, a new technology that creates vibrantly detailed 3D holograms of living cells on the nanometric scale. Created through combining 3D imagery with digital staining, the new microscope offers researchers and hospitals a novel tool to non-invasively peer inside living cells almost in real time, opening up new areas of biological research. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Researchers shed new light on skin-based immune system

By - February 10, 2015 1 Picture
The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases. Read More
— Science

First contracting human muscle ever grown in laboratory

By - January 14, 2015 1 Picture
Researchers working at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering claim to have produced a laboratory first by having grown human muscle tissue that contracts and reacts to stimuli. Electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals have all been used to produce reactions in the tissue that show it behaves in the same way that natural human muscles does. As a result, laboratory grown tissue may soon provide researchers with the ability to study diseases and assess drugs without invasive procedures on human subjects. Read More
— Medical

Compound kills off malaria by making infected cells appear as aging red blood cells

By - December 7, 2014 2 Pictures
Though recent research has given hope to the anti-malaria cause, the deadly disease still claims more than half a million lives each year. A study led by researchers at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis suggests that a certain compound results in the body's immune system treating malaria-infected cells the same way it does aging red blood cells, leading to the parasite becoming undetectable in mice within 48 hours. Read More
— Medical

Platelet-like nanoparticles improve on nature to stem the blood flow

By - November 20, 2014 2 Pictures
The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection. And when this barrier is broken, or an internal organ is ruptured, it is the process of coagulation, or clotting, which relies largely on blood cells called platelets, that seals the breach and stems the flow of blood. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have now synthesized nanoparticles that mimic the form and function of platelets, but can do more than just accelerate the body's natural healing processes. Read More
— Medical

New device delivers unprecedented view of cancer cells spreading

By - November 3, 2014 4 Pictures
There is not a lot known about how exactly tumor cells travel to different parts of the body to form secondary cancers, a process known as metastasis. But now engineers from John Hopkins University have created a device that is offering an entirely new perspective, allowing researchers an up-close look at the cells as they spread and potentially unearthing new methods of treatment. Read More
— Science

MIT "microwalkers" stroll across cell surfaces to seek out target areas

By - October 27, 2014 2 Pictures
Ever wonder how a germ knows where to attack the body or how a white blood cell knows where to counter attack? How bacteria find food? Or how cells organize themselves to close a wound? How can something so simple do things so complex? A team of MIT researchers is seeking the answers as they develop "microwalkers" – microscopic machines that can move unguided across the surface of a cell as they seek out particular areas. Read More

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