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Scientists report success growing cartilage to reconstruct nostrils and implanting tissue-engineered vaginal organs into humans

Scientists report success growing cartilage to reconstruct nostrils and implanting tissue-engineered vaginal organs into humans

Two new articles published in The Lancet report the first ever successful operations in humans to reconstruct the alar wings of the nose (nostrils) (Martin et al ), and to implant tissue-engineered vaginal organs in women with a rare syndrome that causes the vagina to be underdeveloped or absent (Atala et al ), in both cases using the patients’ own tissue. In one paper, led by Professor Ivan Martin from the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists report having engineered a human cartilage graft from patients’ own nasal septum cartilage cells to successfully rebuild the nostrils (alar lobule) of five individuals whose noses were damaged by skin cancer Continue reading

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients

Scientists reported today the first human recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs. A research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, describes in the Lancet long-term success in four teenage girls who received vaginal organs that were engineered with their own cells. “This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Atala. Continue reading

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients

Scientists reported today the first human recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs. A research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, describes in the Lancet long-term success in four teenage girls who received vaginal organs that were engineered with their own cells. “This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Atala. Continue reading

Mechanism that regulates lung function in disease Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome found

Mechanism that regulates lung function in disease Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome found

Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that the tumor suppressor gene folliculin (FLCN) is essential to normal lung function in patients with the rare disease Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, skin and kidneys. Continue reading

Microgravity research helping to understand the fungi within

Microgravity research helping to understand the fungi within

You may not recognize it by name, but if you have ever had a child with a diaper rash, that child was likely a host to Candida albicans ( C. albicans ) Continue reading

Unraveling what’s behind the sniffles, hoping for treatment

Unraveling what’s behind the sniffles, hoping for treatment

Scientists at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have shed light on one of the most common of ailments — the runny nose. Your respiratory tract is under constant attack and the nose is the first line of defense. Often, especially as the weather warms, the assault comes from allergens, which cause the body to fight off a perceived threat Continue reading

Chips with olestra cause body toxins to dip, study finds

Chips with olestra cause body toxins to dip, study finds

According to a clinical trial led by University of Cincinnati researchers, a snack food ingredient called olestra has been found to speed up the removal of toxins in the body. Results are reported in the April edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The trial demonstrated that olestra — a zero-calorie fat substitute found in low-calorie snack foods such as Pringles — could reduce the levels of serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in people who had been exposed to PCBs. Continue reading

Bad penny: Cancer’s thirst for copper can be targeted

Bad penny: Cancer’s thirst for copper can be targeted

Drugs used to block copper absorption for a rare genetic condition may find an additional use as a treatment for certain types of cancer, researchers at Duke Medicine report. The researchers found that cancers with a mutation in the BRAF gene require copper to promote tumor growth. These tumors include melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that kills an estimated 10,000 people in the United States a year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Continue reading

Stressful environments genetically affect African American boys

Stressful environments genetically affect African American boys

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on the genes of children as young as age 9, according to a study led by Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University researchers. Such chronic stress during youth leads to physiological weathering similar to aging. A study of 40 9-year-old black boys, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , shows that those who grow up in disadvantaged environments have shorter telomeres — DNA sequences that generally shrink with age — than their advantaged peers Continue reading

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

The push and pull of physical force can cause profound changes in the behavior of a cell. Two studies from researchers working at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reveal how cells respond to mechanical manipulation, a key factor in addressing the underlying causes of cancer and other diseases. Continue reading