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Cells

In 2010, Darek Fidyka was paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a knife attack that left an 8 mm gap in his spinal column. Now surgeons in Poland, working in collaboration with scientists in London, have given Fidyka the ability to walk again thanks to a new procedure using transplanted cells from his olfactory bulbs. Read More
In cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, hundreds of thousands of cancerous cells are killed off. But if even one of these cells has a unique mutation, it can survive the treatment and start to multiply, giving rise to a set of more drug-resistant cells. Researchers at the Salk Institute in California have now gained new insights into what exactly is causing these variations in the cells, suggesting there may in fact be a way of switching off the mechanism and improving treatment effectiveness. Read More
One complication that can arise from a heart attack is the formation of scar tissue, which can the harden organ's walls and impede its ability to pump blood. This is caused by fibroblast cells which move to replace damaged muscle with the scar tissue. New research conducted at the University of North Carolina's (UNC) School of Medicine suggests these cells could be converted to endothelial cells which actually assist in recovery, potentially minimizing the damage caused during a heart attack. Read More
Stem cell researchers at Harvard University have devised a method for creating large quantities of human insulin-producing beta cells, which could soon lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes as well as a new treatment for type 2 diabetes. The cells are currently being trialled in animals and non-human primates with hopes human trials could take place in the near future.. Read More
Researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered an on/off switch for telomerase, an enzyme that rebuilds a cellular timekeeper known as a telomere. The scientists believe that the discovery could provide a way to get human cells to divide indefinitely without degenerating, thereby regenerating healthy organs even in old age. Read More
With a typical lifespan of around six weeks, the common fruit fly is one animal that could benefit from a slowing of the aging process. And that's just what a team of biologists at UCLA have achieved by activating a gene called AMPK. Possibly of more interest to us higher life forms is the researchers' belief that the discovery could help delay aging and age-related diseases in humans. Read More
Researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Pennsylvania State University have developed a novel technique of separating cells with the use of a gentle sound wave. The technique could potentially be used to screen a patient's blood, allowing medical practitioners to isolate rare tumor cells synonymous with diseases such as cancer. Read More
Nanoparticles hold great potential as a way of both detecting cancer cells and delivering the drugs to treat them. One hurdle that has proven difficult to overcome is incorporating these properties into one multi-purpose device, as nanoparticles are generally engineered with either goal in mind. In what appears a promising development, researchers at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) Cancer Center have created a multi-tasking nanoparticle shown to be effective both in the diagnosis of a tumor and attacking its cells – a flexibility that could lead to new treatment options for cancer patients. Read More
A team of chemical engineers from MIT has developed a new method of stimulating bone growth, by utilizing the same chemical processes that occur naturally in the human body following an injury such as a broken or fractured bone. The technique involves the insertion of a porous scaffold coated with growth factors that prompt the body's own cells to naturally mend the damaged or deformed bone. Read More
A team of international researchers has developed a molecule capable of triggering cancer cell death by carrying chloride into cancer cell membranes. The molecule flushes the cells with salt and causes them to self-destruct, potentially paving the way for new types of anti-cancer drugs. Read More
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