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‘Mega’ cells control growth of blood-producing cells

‘Mega’ cells control growth of blood-producing cells

While megakaryocytes are best known for producing platelets that heal wounds, these “mega” cells found in bone marrow also play a critical role in regulating stem cells according to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. In fact, hematopoietic stem cells differentiate to generate megakaryocytes in bone marrow. The Stowers study is the first to show that hematopoietic stem cells (the parent cells) can be directly controlled by their own progeny (megakaryocytes). Continue reading

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

Audrey Lapidus adored her baby’s sunny smile and irresistible dimples, but grew worried when Calvin did not roll over or crawl by 10 months and suffered chronic digestive problems. Four neurologists dismissed his symptoms and a battery of tests proved inconclusive. Desperate for answers, Audrey and her husband agreed to have their son become UCLA’s first patient to undergo a powerful new test called exome sequencing. Continue reading

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

Audrey Lapidus adored her baby’s sunny smile and irresistible dimples, but grew worried when Calvin did not roll over or crawl by 10 months and suffered chronic digestive problems. Four neurologists dismissed his symptoms and a battery of tests proved inconclusive Continue reading

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

People who have suffered spinal cord injuries are often susceptible to bladder infections, and those infections can cause kidney damage and even death. New UCLA research may go a long way toward solving the problem. A team of scientists studied 10 paralyzed rats that were trained daily for six weeks with epidural stimulation of the spinal cord and five rats that were untrained and did not receive the stimulation. Continue reading

Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown for the first time how bacteria can grow directly in the lungs of Cystic fibrosis patients, giving them the opportunity to get tremendous insights into bacteria behavior and growth in chronic infections. The study also discovered the bacterial growth in chronic lung infections among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients was halted or slowed down by the immune cells. The researchers discovered the immune cells consumed all the oxygen and helped “suffocate” the bacteria, forcing the bacteria to switch to a much slower growth. Continue reading

How a molecular Superman protects genome from damage

How a molecular Superman protects genome from damage

How many times have we seen Superman swoop down from the heavens and rescue a would-be victim from a rapidly oncoming train? It’s a familiar scenario, played out hundreds of times in the movies. But the dramatic scene is reenacted in real life every time a cell divides Continue reading

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity, according to UC San Francisco researchers who found in a new study that drinking sugary drinks was associated with cell aging. The study revealed that telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda. Continue reading

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. Battles are won, lost or sometimes end in a stalemate Continue reading

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can share resources to cause chronic infections, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered. Like the individual members of a gang who might be relatively harmless alone, they turn deadly when they get together with their “friends.” The findings, reported Oct. 8 in Cell Host & Microbe , shed light on a long-standing question in infectious diseases and may inform new treatment strategies, said Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, Ernest W Continue reading

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

An important scientific breakthrough by a team of IRCM researchers led by Michel Cayouette, PhD, is being published by The Journal of Neuroscience . The Montréal scientists discovered that a protein found in the retina plays an essential role in the function and survival of light-sensing cells that are required for vision. These findings could have a significant impact on our understanding of retinal degenerative diseases that cause blindness Continue reading