New technique maps life’s effects on our DNA: Powerful single-cell technique to study environmental effects on DNA

New technique maps life's effects on our DNA: Powerful single-cell technique to study environmental effects on DNA
Story Source: ‘Epigenetic marks’ are chemical tags or proteins that mark DNA and act as a kind of cellular memory. They do not change the DNA sequence but record a cell’s experiences onto the DNA, which allows cells to remember an experience long after it has faded. Placing these tags is part of normal development; they tell genes whether to be switched on or off and so can determine...

Gene profiling technique to accelerate stem cell therapies for eye diseases

Gene profiling technique to accelerate stem cell therapies for eye diseases
The stem cells Dr. Bharti is using to make RPE are induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells, which are produced by reverting mature cells to an immature state, akin to embryonic stem cells. iPS cells can be derived from a patient’s skin or blood cells, coaxed into other cell types (such as neurons or muscle), and in theory, re-implanted without causing immune rejection. The multiplex assay will...

‘Support’ cells in brain play important role in Down syndrome

'Support' cells in brain play important role in Down syndrome
“We have developed a human cellular model for studying brain development in Down syndrome that allows us to carry out detailed physiological studies and screen possible new therapies,” said Wenbin Deng, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine and principal investigator of the study. “This model is more realistic than traditional animal models because it is derived...

Stem cell researcher targets ‘seeds’ of breast cancer metastasis

Stem cell researcher targets 'seeds' of breast cancer metastasis
Yu and her colleagues managed to expand this small number of cancer cells in the laboratory over a period of more than six months, enabling the identification of new mutations and the evaluation of drug susceptibility. In the six estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients in the study, the scientists found newly acquired mutations in the estrogen receptor gene (ESR1), PIK3CA gene and fibroblast...

Opening-up the stem cell niche: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation without irradiation

Opening-up the stem cell niche: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation without irradiation
In the new model human blood stem cells can expand and differentiate into all cell types of the blood without any additional treatment. Even cells of the innate immune system that can normally not be found in “humanized” mice were efficiently generated in this mouse. Of significance is the fact that the stem cells can be maintained in the mouse over a longer period of time compared to previously...

Patient-specific stem cells and personalized gene therapy

Patient-specific stem cells and personalized gene therapy
In the current study, the CUMC team used iPS technology to transform skin cells taken from two RP patients — each with a different MFRP mutation — into retinal cells, creating patient-specific models for studying the disease and testing potential therapies. Using this approach, researchers led by Stephen H. Tsang, MD, PhD, showed that a form of RP caused by mutations to the gene MFRP (membrane...

Chemotherapy resistance in inflammatory breast cancer due to newly identified mechanism

Chemotherapy resistance in inflammatory breast cancer due to newly identified mechanism
A mechanism of breast cancer cells that leads to chemotherapy resistance in inflammatory breast cancer has been identified by researchers. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive type of advanced breast cancer and is characterized by rapid development, resistance to chemotherapy, early metastases and a poor prognosis. Inflammatory breast cancer cells display a triple-negative breast cancer...

Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists

Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists
A member of the protein family known as SUMO — small ubiquitin-like modifier — is a key to why tumor cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma, scientists have discovered. Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal brain cancer. Current standard treatments include surgical resection, adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite the treatments, patients survive...

Potential new use found for cancer drug in gene therapy for blood disorders

Potential new use found for cancer drug in gene therapy for blood disorders
Scientists working to make gene therapy a reality have solved a major hurdle: how to bypass a blood stem cell’s natural defenses and efficiently insert disease-fighting genes into the cell’s genome. These findings could lead to more effective and affordable long-term treatments for blood cell disorders in which mutations in the DNA cause abnormal cell functions, such as in leukemia and sickle cell...

New possibilities for leukemia therapy with novel mode of leukemia cell recognition

New possibilities for leukemia therapy with novel mode of leukemia cell recognition
In a recent study reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) online, the team co-led by Dr Lucia Mori and Prof Gennaro De Libero identified a new class of lipids, methyl-lysophosphatidic acids (mLPA), which accumulate in leukemia cells. Following which, the team identified a specific group of immune cells, described as mLPA-specific T-cells that are capable of recognising the mLPA in the...