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Cells


— Science

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

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
— Medical

Converting skin cells directly into brain cells advances fight against Huntington's disease

Few diseases are as terrifying as Huntington's, an inherited genetic disorder that gradually saps away at sufferers' muscle control and cognitive capacity until they die (usually some 20 or so years after initial symptoms). But scientists at Washington University School of Medicine may have provided a new glimmer of hope by converting human skin cells (which are much more readily available than stem cells) directly into a specific type of brain cell that is affected by Huntington's. Read More
— Medical

Research suggests there may be an off switch for drug resistance in cancer cells

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
— Medical

Flipping the switch on cell conversion could better repair damaged hearts

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
— Medical

Scientists close in on diabetes cure with production of insulin-producing cells

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
— Medical

Activating gene in key organ systems slows aging process throughout the body

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
— Medical

Multi-tasking nanoparticle both seeks and destroys cancerous cells

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
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