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Posts Tagged ‘cells’

How Antibiotics Destroy Your Immune System


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

‘Your immune system is constantly on a seek-and-destroy mission status – on the lookout for foreign invaders, naturally occurring cell defects and mutant cells. The immune system has a vast capacity to remember bad guys and deploy tactics that worked in the past to annihilate the enemy. Some of the fastest growing cells in the human body are immune cells.

Over 80 percent of the body’s immunity is built in the intestinal tract by the friendly bacteria balance that resides there. The intestinal flora starts building in an infant while in the womb but doesn’t really take off until after eight days of age. Starting with the colostrum milk, the gut begins to populate with more bacteria while the infant’s immune system starts an inventory of good and bad cells in the body. This inventory is a life-long process and the immune system never forgets an invader.’

Read more: How Antibiotics Destroy Your Immune System

Bees Can ‘Turn Back Time,’ Reverse Brain Aging

July 4, 2012 3 comments

July 4, 2012

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that older honey bees effectively reverse brain aging when they take on nest responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees. While current research on human age-related dementia focuses on potential new drug treatments, researchers say these findings suggest that social interventions may be used to slow or treat age-related dementia.

Old bees collect nectar and pollen. Most bees start doing this job when they are 3-4 weeks old, and after that they age very quickly. Their bodies and wings become worn and they loose the ability to learn new things. Most food collector bees die after about 10 days. (Credit: Christofer Bang)
 

In a study published in the scientific journal Experimental Gerontology, a team of scientists from ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, led by Gro Amdam, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences, presented findings that show that tricking older, foraging bees into doing social tasks inside the nest causes changes in the molecular structure of their brains.

“We knew from previous research that when bees stay in the nest and take care of larvae — the bee babies — they remain mentally competent for as long as we observe them,” said Amdam. “However, after a period of nursing, bees fly out gathering food and begin aging very quickly. After just two weeks, foraging bees have worn wings, hairless bodies, and more importantly, lose brain function — basically measured as the ability to learn new things. We wanted to find out if there was plasticity in this aging pattern so we asked the question, ‘What would happen if we asked the foraging bees to take care of larval babies again?”

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703172547.htm

A Step Toward Minute Factories That Produce Medicine Inside the Body


ScienceDaily (June 27, 2012) — Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. In an article in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, they describe engineering micro- and nano-sized capsules that contain the genetically coded instructions, plus the read-out gear and assembly line for protein synthesis that can be switched on with an external signal.

Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. (Credit: © Benicce / Fotolia)
 
Daniel Anderson and colleagues explain that development of nanoscale production units for protein-based drugs in the human body may provide a new approach for treating disease. These production units could be turned on when needed, producing medicines that cannot be taken orally or are toxic and would harm other parts of the body. Until now, researchers have only done this with live bacteria that were designed to make proteins at disease sites. But unlike bacterial systems, artificial ones are modular, and it is easier to modify them. That’s why Anderson’s group developed an artificial, remotely activated nanoparticle system containing DNA and the other “parts” necessary to make proteins, which are the workhorses of the human cell and are often used as drugs.
 
 

High Intake of Cholesterol Shown to Actually Repair Damaged Brains


Saturday, 23 June 2012 09:00

‘Including high-cholesterol foods as part of a healthy diet may not be the poor dietary choice we have all been told it is, suggests a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine. It turns out that cholesterol actually helps increase production of an important component of the nervous system that facilitates proper nerve cell communication, and prevents the onset of brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.’

 

Read more: High Intake of Cholesterol Shown to Actually Repair Damaged Brains

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/

 

New Primordial Protozoan Species Is Not in Any Known Kingdom of Life


New Primordial Protozoan Species Is Not in Any Known Kingdom of Life

By Rebecca BoylePosted 04.30.2012 at 12:06 pm

A tiny microorganism found in Norwegian lake sludge may be related to the very oldest life forms on this planet, a possible modern cousin of our earliest common ancestor. It is not a fungus, alga, parasite, plant or animal, yet it has features associated with other kingdoms of life. It could be a founding member of the newest kingdom on the tree of life, scientists said.

New Study: Radiation Treatments Create Cancer Cells 30 Times More Potent than Regular Cancer Cells


Tuesday, 20 March 2012 08:45

‘In a groundbreaking new study just published in the peer reviewed journal Stem Cells, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Department of Oncology found that, despite killing half of all tumor cells per treatment, radiation treatments on breast cancer transforms other cancer cells into cancer stem cells which are vastly more treatment-resistant than normal cancer cells. The new study is yet another blow to the failed and favored mainstream treatment paradigm of trying to cut out, poison out or burn out cancer symptoms (tumors) instead of actually curing cancer.’

Read more: New Study: Radiation Treatments Create Cancer Cells 30 Times More Potent than Regular Cancer Cells

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines

Living cells say: Can you hear me now?

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Living cells say: Can you hear me now?

Cells receive external signals (depicted in yellow) through sensing molecules — or receptors — (depicted in aqua) embedded in the cell membrane. These, in turn, start a cascade of signaling molecules that carry the signals to the nucleus or other internal structures in the cell. The new research shows the speed or other characteristics of this signaling process can change when the signals are being received.
Image: NSF

It has long been known that cells release chemical signals in response to outside conditions, triggering reactions inside the cell.

But it turns out that such communication is a two-way street: New research shows that cells’ signaling mechanisms can tell whether their signals are being received, and then adjust the volume of their messages as needed.

Cells use these chemical signaling systems to control many basic functions. For example, signaling can control how genes are turned on and off in response to external or internal cues, how cells grow and organize their internal structures, and even how and when cells trigger their own death, a process known as apoptosis.

The new finding could lead to new ways of finely controlling cells’ output of signal molecules, which could be useful for everything from synthetic biology to slowing the spread of cancer cells.

Researchers led by MIT’s Domitilla Del Vecchio, a Keck Career Development Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering, first proposed three years ago that the signaling systems within cells might detect and respond to nearby receptors for their signals. Their new research now presents the first direct experimental evidence in support of this theory.

A paper on these results, which Del Vecchio and colleagues call “surprising” and “non-intuitive,” was published in October in the journal Science Signaling. In addition to Del Vecchio, the paper was co-authored by researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of Buenos Aires and Rutgers University.

Del Vecchio says the effect is similar to the way electrical or hydraulic systems interact with what is known as a load. For example, when you flush a toilet, the water pressure at a nearby faucet may drop because of the extra flow of water to refill the tank. Likewise, your lights may dim momentarily when a refrigerator motor kicks on, placing an extra burden on the household circuit.

Similarly, it turns out, when a cell is putting out signaling molecules in response to some variable stimulus, the time it takes to respond will change if there are “downstream targets” — that is, receptors within the cell that are receiving the signal. Because electrical and hydraulic systems are well understood, the comparison may help scientists figure out how to harness and apply the new knowledge about cell behavior.

These cell signaling systems are “building blocks used to transmit information from outside the cell, through the cell membrane, to the interior where processes occur to decide how the cell will react,” Del Vecchio says. This new finding, she says, gives scientists “another understanding of how real organisms parse the information coming from outside the membrane.”

This understanding might ultimately lead to new ways of controlling some disease processes. “A lot of recent papers talk about how cancer formation may be due to aberrant signaling,” Del Vecchio says. This finding may offer an example of a method that cells use to control which signals get transmitted and which ones don’t, which could help lead to new ways of deliberately manipulating these systems.

Del Vecchio says, “In principle, it gives us a way to tune the behavior of the system, which wasn’t known before. In addition, it gives us an idea of how we can build devices” to harness this mechanism.

Another possible application of such a system would be to engineer cells that can respond — perhaps by changing color — to certain disease-causing substances or toxins, thus producing very sensitive biologically based detectors.

“Signaling cascades are often portrayed as unidirectional,” says Stanislav Shvartsman, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University who was not involved in this research. But, he adds, earlier work by Del Vecchio and colleagues “argued that this picture is far from truth, even in very simple cascades.” Now, in this new paper, he says they “provide a convincing proof of their earlier theory. The results of their beautifully designed and carefully executed experiments profoundly influence our understanding of signal transduction in cellular networks.”

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office

http://www.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/cell-signaling-received-1117.html