GEN Highlights

  • Stem Cells Made into Relay Cells for Sense of Touch (2018/01/16 15:30)
    For the first time, human sensory interneurons—the cells that communicate the sense of touch in the central nervous system—have been derived from stem cells. In clinical applications, stem cell–derived sensory interneurons could restore feeling in paralyzed patients, potentially complementing stem cell–derived motor neurons, which are being developed to restore coordinated movement. "The field has for a long time focused on making people walk again," said Samantha J. Butler, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. As the senior author of a new study describing the generation of stem cell–derived sensory interneurons, Dr. Butler took the opportunity to note that while significant progress has been made in the development of stem cell–derived motor neurons, protocols for generating stem cell–derived sensory interneurons have been lacking. “Making people feel again doesn't have quite the same ring,” she commented. “But to walk, you need to be able to ...
  • Blood-Vessel-On-A-Chip Sheds Light on Anti-Inflammatory Drug Candidate (2018/01/16 15:12)
    Redness, heat, swelling, and pain are the basic characteristics of inflammation described by a Roman physician in the first century. While those characteristics haven’t changed over the millennia, the inflammatory process is generally viewed as a double-edged sword. For instance, the inflammatory response to injury or disease is essential for recruiting the immune system to help the body heal, yet inflammation can also cause an increase in the production of compounds such as thrombin, which can lead to dangerous blood clots and other conditions. Now, a collaborative team of researchers from the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have discovered small molecules called parmodulins that provide anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic protection to endothelial cells without interfering with blood clotting, making them attractive new drug candidates. Activated protein C (APC) is a naturally occurring anticoagulant protein with ...
  • Pfizer Joins Foundation Medicine to Develop Cancer CDx (2018/01/16 14:30)
    Foundation Medicine said today it will partner with Pfizer to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics (CDx) for the pharma giant’s oncology portfolio, through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed. Foundation Medicine said the companion diagnostics would be launched as updates to the company’s FoundationOne CDx, an FDA-approved comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assay for all solid tumors that incorporates multiple tests. Under the collaboration, Pfizer will gain access to Foundation Medicine’s FoundationInsights™ data analytics platform, designed to facilitate novel biomarker discovery and optimize clinical trial design. FoundationInsights is a secure web application pulling data from Foundation Medicine’s FoundationCore™ knowledge base, which according to the company includes more than 120,000 genomic profiles and data on more than 150 cancer subtypes. The platform is designed to allow researchers to profile large patient cohorts for de novo biomarker discovery or identification of patients for clinical trials, as well ...
  • 3D Bioscaffold Mimics Antigen-Presenting Cells for Improved T-Cell Expansion (2018/01/16 14:27)
    Researchers in the U.S. have developed a 3D biomaterial scaffold that can promote much faster ex vivo expansion of functional T cells than currently available technologies. The new scaffold is designed to provide the cues that are delivered to T cells by the body’s own antigen-presenting cells (APCs), in context, and so better mimic in vivo signaling by APCs. Led by David Mooney, Ph.D., at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the team demonstrated how the technology dramatically increased the ex vivo expansion of both primary mouse and human T cells, as well as of cancer-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, which they successfully tested in a mouse model of lymphoma. The researchers project that the technology could broaden the utility of immunotherapeutics, including adoptive cell transfer (ACT).  “Our approach closely mimics how APCs present ...
  • Targeting Immature Myeloid Cells to Treat Inflammatory Disorders in Newborns (2018/01/16 13:07)
    Scientists from the Wistar Institute and Sun Yat-sen University in China report that they characterized the transitory presence of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in mouse and human newborns. They say their study (“Transitory Presence of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Neonates Is Critical for Control of Inflammation”), published in Nature Medicine , sheds light on the critical role these cells play in the regulation of inflammation in the early stages of life. “Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are pathologically activated and relatively immature myeloid cells that have been implicated in the immunological regulation of many pathologic conditions. Phenotypically and morphologically, MDSCs are similar to neutrophils (PMN-MDSCs) and monocytes (M-MDSCs). However, they have potent suppressive activity and distinct gene expression profiles and biochemical characteristics. No or very few MDSCs are observed in steady-state physiological conditions. Therefore, until recently, accumulation of MDSCs was considered a consequence of pathological processes or pregnancy,” ...
  • TB Vaccine Induces Innate Response via Bone Marrow Stem Cells (2018/01/15 15:30)
    Tuberculosis (TB) vaccines, including the well-known Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine, have focused on stimulating the adaptive immune system. Unfortunately, attempts to rouse the adaptive immune system against TB have yielded uneven results. The existing BCG vaccine is only partially effective, and vaccines in development keep racking up disappointments in preclinical and clinical trials. Now, with TB looking ever more dangerous as it evolves resistance to current antibiotics, some vaccine developers are considering a different approach. Instead of stimulating the adaptive immune system, they are trying to “train” the innate immune system to recognize and fight TB. In a new study led by researchers from McGill University, scientists have shown that when BCG is given access to bone marrow stem cells, it can generate trained monocytes/macrophages, thereby generating protective immunity against TB. In the bone marrow, BCG can induce the reprogramming of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and multipotent progenitors ...
  • Immune System Response to Pediatric Respiratory Infections Molded by Past Exposure (2018/01/15 15:03)
    Investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recently discovered—through analyzing immune cells of children who came to the emergency department with flu symptoms—that a suite of genes expressed by these early-response cells was shaped by factors such as age and previous exposures to viruses. Findings from the new study were published recently in Cell Reports , in an article entitled “ Genomic Circuitry Underlying Immunological Response to Pediatric Acute Respiratory Infection .” Acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) are the leading global cause of death in early childhood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lower respiratory tract infections, including bronchiolitis and viral and bacterial pneumonia, take a toll on children's health, too, causing much of pediatric hospital admissions for infectious diseases. A better understanding of how early infections influence long-term immune response has major ...
  • Eisai Completes New Oral Solid-Dose Plant in China (2018/01/15 14:47)
    Eisai’s Chinese subsidiary has completed a new oral solid dose (OSD) production facility and an administration building in China at the site of its new Suzhou plant located within the Suzhou Industrial Park. The facility—whose value was not disclosed—occupies a new industrial site more than five times the size of its current Suzhou plant (OSD production facility), which opened in November 2014 and oversees the subsidiary’s manufacturing of the injection formulation of the anemia treatment Methycobal ® ( methylcobalamin) . Eisai said it sought to strengthen its in-house domestic production system in China, and expand its stable supply chain of pharmaceuticals, through the completion of the OSD production facility at the new Suzhou plant. Eisai has expanded its Chinese operations in recent years. A year after opening the current plant, Eisai shelled out RMB 500 million ($77.7 million) to acquire Liaoning TianYi Biological Pharmaceutical, a Chinese manufacturer ...
  • Lamprey Genes That Repair Severed Spinal Cords Are Shared with Humans (2018/01/15 13:50)
    Scientists in the U.S. have found that many of the genes that are involved in repairing spinal cord damage in an ancient species of fish are also active in the peripheral nervous system of mammals. The findings hint that it may one day be possible to harness the same genes to help repair nerve damage in humans.   The researchers, led by scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) of the Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, used RNA-Seq to track changes in the transcriptional profiles of lamprey fish spinal cords and brains following spinal cord injury (SCI). "We found a large overlap with the hub of transcription factors that are driving regeneration in the mammalian peripheral nervous system," says Jennifer Morgan, Ph.D., director of the MBL's Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. Morgan is co-author ...
  • Neuronal Circuits Reportedly Mapped More Comprehensively Than Ever Before (2018/01/15 13:28)
    Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute say they have devised a novel method that maps electrical circuits in the brain far more comprehensively than ever before. Their approach overcomes previous limitations and has enabled them to map out all 250 cells that make up a microcircuit in part of a mouse brain that processes smell, something that has never been achieved before, according to the research team who believe their technique can be used by scientists to reveal the architecture of different parts of the brain. The study (“ Architecture of a Mammalian Glomerular Domain Revealed by Novel Volume Electroporation Using Nanoengineered Microelectrodes ”) is published in Nature Communications .  Dedicated groups of neurons that connect up in microcircuits help process information about things we see, smell, and taste. Knowing how many and what type of cells make up these microcircuits would give scientists a deeper understanding of how the brain computes complex ...

Fiercebiotech News

Google News:Health

  • Hallucinations After Taking Tamiflu: How Much Is Real Versus Not Real?
    Hallucinations After Taking Tamiflu: How Much Is Real Versus Not Real?  Forbes 6-year-old Texas girl suffered rare side effects after taking Tamiflu  KABC-TV 6-year-old girl hallucinates, tries to jump out window after taking Tamiflu  New York Daily News Full coverage
  • Measles alert issued for Chicago O'Hare air travelers
    Measles alert issued for Chicago O'Hare air travelers  ABC News Measles Cases Reported At O'Hare And Newark Airports. Should You Worry?  Newsweek Passenger with measles may have exposed others at Chicago airport  CBS News Officials: Possible measles exposure reported at O'Hare International Airport  Chicago Tribune Full coverage
  • Scientists identify what may have killed millions in mystery epidemic
    Scientists identify what may have killed millions in mystery epidemic  CNN One of history's worst epidemics may have been caused by a common food poisoning microbe  Science Magazine Scientists find possible cause for mystery epidemic that wiped out Mexico 500 years ago  Washington Post Salmonella enterica genomes from victims of a major sixteenth-century epidemic in Mexico | Nature Ecology & Evolution  Nature Ancient Mexican Civilization Nearly Wiped Out by Something Stuck in Their Teeth, New DNA Evidence Reveals  Newsweek Full coverage
  • Even without nudging blood pressure up, high-salt diet hobbles the brain
    Even without nudging blood pressure up, high-salt diet hobbles the brain  Los Angeles Times A high-salt diet produces dementia in mice  EurekAlert (press release) What too much salt can do to your brain  Medical News Today Full coverage
  • Group recreates DNA of man who died in 1827 despite having no body to work with
    Group recreates DNA of man who died in 1827 despite having no body to work with  Medical Xpress Reconstructed Genome of Iceland's First Black Settler  IcelandReview DNA of man who died in 1827 recreated without his remains  NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog) Full coverage
  • A tourist lost in the desert left a trail of pages torn from the Bible
    A tourist lost in the desert left a trail of pages torn from the Bible  National Post Missing Briton's belongings found in Israel desert: police  i24NEWS Full coverage
  • Hold That Sneeze? Maybe Not
    Hold That Sneeze? Maybe Not  WebMD Why Stopping a 150mph Sneeze Isn't Smart  Newser Full coverage
  • No one knows if lobsters feel pain, which makes boiling them alive rather complicated
    No one knows if lobsters feel pain, which makes boiling them alive rather complicated  Popular Science Do lobsters feel pain?  Business Insider Switzerland has banned boiling live lobsters  Tribune-Review Full coverage
  • Father of 6-year-old boy who died from rabies says he 'never loved anyone or anything more'
    Father of 6-year-old boy who died from rabies says he 'never loved anyone or anything more'  ABC News 6-Year-Old Dies From Rabies After Experimental Treatment, 'Milwaukee Protocol,' Fails  Newsweek 6-year-old boy dies after being infected with rabies from bat scratch  New York Daily News Eustis boy reportedly dies at Orlando hospital after contracting rabies  Orlando Sentinel Full coverage
  • High-Fat Diet May Fuel Spread of Prostate Cancer
    High-Fat Diet May Fuel Spread of Prostate Cancer  New York Times Changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis (blog) High fat western diet could make prostate cancer aggressive  Business Standard Full coverage
  • A Japanese grocer accidentally sold five packages of deadly blowfish. Two are still missing.
    A Japanese grocer accidentally sold five packages of deadly blowfish. Two are still missing.  Washington Post A Japanese City Activated its Emergency Warning System to Stop Residents Eating Poisonous Pufferfish  TIME Fugu Freakout: Don't Eat The Blowfish, Japanese Officials Warn  KPBS Chemistry: Formula of Fugu - TIME  Time Store in Aichi sparks scare by selling banned 'fugu' liver  Asahi Shimbun Full coverage
  • Why internet craze the 'Tide pod challenge' is dangerous, potentially deadly
    Why internet craze the 'Tide pod challenge' is dangerous, potentially deadly  ABC News Here's How Common the Tide Pod Challenge Really Is  TIME 'Tide pod challenge' latest dangerous social media fad among teens  WDTN Think the Tide pod challenge is dumb? Try mowing someone's lawn!  Chicago Tribune Full coverage
  • Flu stresses hospitals, shows we're not ready for emergencies
    Flu stresses hospitals, shows we're not ready for emergencies California hospitals face a 'war zone' of flu patients — and are setting up tents to treat them  Los Angeles Times CDC: Flu Epidemic Apparently Peaking, Likely to Continue  U.S. News & World Report This flu epidemic did something never recorded before  The Mercury News Full coverage
  • Special Report: Living with juvenile diabetes
    Special Report: Living with juvenile diabetes  WBKO Diabetes: Surprising gene discovery could fuel new treatments  Medical News Today Exome Sequencing Finds Mutation in Families With High, Low Blood Sugar Conditions  GenomeWeb Full coverage
  • Uganda Confirms Case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: What Is It?
    Uganda Confirms Case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: What Is It?  Live Science 'This is already an EPIDEMIC' Doctor's dire warning as eye-bleeding fever outbreak spreads  Daily Star Black Death Panic Spreads In Africa After Girl Dies With Blood Oozing From Her Eyes  Tech Times Black Death TWO: Girl, 9, drops dead as strange 'eye-bleeding fever' spreads  Daily Star Full coverage
  • West Virginia Expands Medicaid Drug Treatment
    West Virginia Expands Medicaid Drug Treatment  U.S. News & World Report Medicaid Waiver Aims to Improve Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders  West Virginia Public Broadcasting New waiver offers services to help combat substance abuse  WV News Full coverage
  • The classic explanation for the Black Death plague is wrong, scientists say
    The classic explanation for the Black Death plague is wrong, scientists say  Washington Post Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death  Gizmodo Black Death: Plague Was Spread By People, Not Rats  Newsweek Full coverage
  • Local hospitals coping with IV bag shortage
    Local hospitals coping with IV bag shortage  Roanoke Times IV bag shortage has hospitals scrambling to treat flu  WGN-TV IV bags in short supply across US after Hurricane Maria  KEYT Full coverage
  • Flu has arrived earlier, and its symptoms are severe
    Flu has arrived earlier, and its symptoms are severe  Buffalo News State officials say flu 'very virulent' this year UPDATE: Erlanger reported 224 flu cases during second week of 2018  WRCB-TV Full coverage
  • 10-year-old dies from flu after visit to Buffalo
    10-year-old dies from flu after visit to Buffalo Connecticut Boy, 10, Dies After Being Diagnosed With Flu in NY: Officials  NBC New York 10-year-old dies after having flu-like symptoms in Connecticut  KABC-TV Fundraiser by Kirsten Morin : Nico Mallozzi Memorial Fund - GoFundMe  GoFundMe Medical Director: New Canaan Boy, 10, Who Died Had Flu, Facts That Are 'Likely Related'  New Canaanite Full coverage