July 25, 2005
An AI-based unmanned stealth fighter jet, after being hit by lightning, decides to execute a top-secret mission that could result in global thermonuclear war. That’s the theme of the movie “Stealth,” opening this week.
By feeding stem cells tiny particles made of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, scientists at Emory and Georgia Tech can then use magnets to attract the cells to a particular location in a mouse’s body after intravenous injection.
The type of cells used in the study, mesenchymal stem cells, are not embryonic stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can be readily obtained from adult tissues such as… read more
Duke University researchers have developed a new method to precisely control when genes are turned on and active: by manipulating the epigenome — the web of proteins that supports and controls gene activity and a current hot topic in cancer research.
The researchers say having the ability to steer the epigenome will help them explore the roles that particular promoters and enhancers play in cell fate or the… read more
Northeastern researchers are developing simulation software called Magnasim to more accurately steer simulated drug-filled magnetic nanoparticles to tumor masses where they can safely discharge their contents.
The drugs used to kill cancer cells are just as toxic to neighboring healthy cells, so researchers have long sought a drug delivery method that targets only cancer cells, bypassing the healthy ones.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is being… read more
Stelarc is a performance artist who explores the capabilities of the human body.
“All of my projects explore alternate anatomical architectures — a body with a third hand, or an extra ear, or an artwork inside a bodily space instead of a public space,” he says. “We are biological bodies, but we are often accelerated, augmented, and enhanced by technology. There may be a time soon when… read more
The SETI@home screensaver has produced a list of candidate radio sources that deserve a second look. After an equivalent to a million years of computation aided by more than 4 million computers worldwide, the researchers have created a skymap that highlights where to find some of the most promising choices (strong signals or ones that have been observed in the same spot more than once, some five or six times).… read more
University of Manchester and University of Sheffield researchers have discovered a new technique to turn embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into insulin-producing pancreatic tissue through genetic manipulation.
By making the ESC produce transcription factor PAX4, 20% became pancreatic beta cells.
Scientists have had difficulty turning stem cells into the specific cell required for any particular condition. Unprompted, the majority of stem cells turn into neurons.
Advanced Cell Technology researchers have demonstrated that a technique to extract and culture a single embryonic cell from an embryo without destroying the remaining embryo does work, showing that the embryos survive and could develop to full term.
They produced four new lines of human embryonic stem cells using the technique.
PrimeGen says the main obstacle to using “reprogrammed” human stem cells–the danger that they might turn cancerous– has been solved.
It claims to have converted specialized adult human cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) by using methods that are more efficient–making a thousand times more colonies of reprogrammed cells–and less likely to trigger cancer than methods deployed previously.
Rather than using retroviruses to ferry the genes… read more
A genetic engineering breakthrough could lead to a genetic switch, or drug, that allows people to grow new muscle cells to replace those that are damaged, worn out, or not working for other reasons, and provides a new tool for the study of difficult-to-treat muscle cancers
British scientists are seeking permission to create hybrid embryos in the lab by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs. If granted consent, the team will use the embryos to produce stem cells that carry genetic defects, in the hope that studying them will help understand the complex mechanisms behind incurable human diseases.
To make a hybrid embryo, a human skin cell would be taken from a person with motor… read more
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health have reversed the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats using stem cells from mouse embryos. Another team of scientists from the University of Minnesota Medical School has isolated a stem cell from adult human bone marrow that can produce all the tissue types in the body, from blood to muscle to nerve.
The new reports may re-fuel the debate in the US… read more
The key gene that keeps embryonic stem cells in a state of youthful immortality has been discovered.
The breakthrough may one day contribute to turning ordinary adult cells into those with the properties of human embryonic stem cells (capable of differentiating into the different cells in the body). This would end the need to destroy embryos to harvest the cells for new medical treatments.
Comment: “This is very… read more
A single injection of human neural stem cells produced neuronal regeneration and improvement of function and mobility in rats impaired by an acute spinal cord injury (SCI), an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports
Grafting neural stem cells derived from a human fetal spinal cord to the rats’ spinal injury site produced an array of… read more
Researchers at Harvard used cells from adults with genetic diseases to make nine stem cell lines (induced pluripotent stem, or iPS cells) capable of being turned into any type of cell or tissue) that have the genes for those diseases.
These disease-specific cell lines (including Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease) provide a new way for researchers to study diseases: by cultivating the iPS cells into specific… read more