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07:38 HealthGene therapy offers new vision to battle blindness (2)

Single treatment using advanced microsurgery can cure condition for life

07:38 HealthBiotech companies defend prices of one-off gene therapy (2)

Latest treatments with price tags as high as $2m require new financing models

19:04 Phys.orgMachine-learning approach helps discover new ways of controlling spatial organization of induced pluripotent stem cells (2)

Model organs grown from patients' own cells may one day revolutionize how diseases are treated. A person's cells, coaxed into heart, lung, liver, or kidney in the lab, could be used to better understand their disease or test whether drugs are likely to help them. But this future relies on scientists' ability to form complex tissues from stem cells, a challenging undertaking.

07:38 ScienceBiotech companies defend prices of one-off gene therapy (1)

Latest treatments with price tags as high as $2m require new financing models

21:31 News-Medical.NetGenetic features of AML in older patients can predict outcomes after stem cell transplant (1)

For older patients with acute myeloid leukemia, the prospects for success of a stem cell transplant can often be predicted based on the particular set of genetic mutations within the tumor cells, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers will report today at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.

01:53 Drugs.comSki Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain (1)

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 -- Cross-country skiing may be good for your brain, a new study suggests. Previous research found that participants of the Vasaloppet, a popular long-distance, cross-country skiing race in Sweden, have a lower risk of heart...

16:48 FierceBiotech.comOmeros hits endpoint in pivotal stem cell transplant study (1)

A pivotal trial of Omeros’ narsoplimab in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients has hit its primary endpoint. Omeros expects to use the data to win FDA approval, although secrecy around the design of the trial means there remains scope for skepticism about the results.

17:22 ScienceDaily.comInvestigational drugs reduce risk of death from Ebola virus disease (1)

The investigational therapeutics mAb114 and REGN-EB3 offer patients a greater chance of surviving Ebola virus disease (EVD) compared to the investigational treatment ZMapp. The new report also shows that early diagnosis and treatment are associated with an increased likelihood of survival from EVD.

13:55 Nanowerk.comHarnessing the power of CRISPR in space and time (1)

Scientists have developed a revolutionary CRISPR technology called ?CRISPR-Switch?, which enables unprecedented control of the CRISPR technique in both space and time.

05:44 News-Medical.NetSimple urine test at home could revolutionize diagnosis of prostate cancer (1)

A simple urine test under development for prostate cancer detection can now use urine samples collected at home - according to new research from University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

06:13 News-Medical.NetPatients' own stem cells offer a step toward improving motor, sensory function after spinal cord injury (1)

Stem cells derived from a patient's own fat offer a step toward improving -; not just stabilizing - motor and sensory function of people with spinal cord injuries, according to early research from Mayo Clinic.

21:30 Nature.ComStem-cell therapies use immune system to repair broken hearts (1)

21:30 Nature.ComMLLT3 governs human haematopoietic stem-cell self-renewal and engraftment (1)

21:22 Google news Sci/TechBenefits of stem cell heart therapy may have nothing to do with stem cells, a study on mice suggests - The Washington Post (1)

    Benefits of stem cell heart therapy may have nothing to do with stem cells, a study on mice suggests  The Washington PostStem cells: A step toward improving function after spinal cord injury  Mayo ClinicStem cells don't repair injured hearts, but inflammation might, study finds  FierceBiotechView full coverage on Google News

21:09 FierceBiotech.comStem cells don't repair injured hearts, but inflammation might, study finds (1)

A team from Cincinnati Children's Hospital tracked stem cells injected into the hearts of mice, and what they found could explain why clinical trials testing stem cell therapies in people with heart disease have been unsuccessful. They believe a smarter approach could be to harness the power of macrophages that provide healing in response to inflammation.

15:19 Technology.orgMS linked to variant of common herpes virus through new method (1)

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a new method to separate between two different types of a common

13:31 Technology.orgCerebral organoid model provides clues about how to prevent virus-induced brain cell death (1)

Scientists have determined that La Crosse virus (LACV), which can cause inflammation of the brain in children, affects

21:51 Phys.orgOnce hidden cellular structures emerge in fight against viruses (1)

New University of Arizona-led research has revealed the structure and function of one of bacteria's latest strategies in the fight against viruses: a fleet of highly organized enzymes that provide a rapid immune response capable of quickly shredding the harmful DNA of viral invaders.

16:42 ScienceDaily.comNew flu drug drives drug resistance in influenza viruses (1)

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers examined the effects of baloxavir treatment on influenza virus samples collected from patients before and after treatment.

13:24 Nature.ComRussia’s stance on human genome editing (1)

22:12 News-Medical.NetNew electrochemical CRISPR biosensor can help improve diagnosis of diseases (1)

The CRISPR/Cas technology can do more than alter genes. A research team at the University of Freiburg is using what are known as gene scissors - which scientists can use to edit genetic material - in order to better diagnose diseases such as cancer.

21:06 News-Medical.NetNew partnership aims to explore, cultivate innovations in cell and gene therapy (1)

Some patients who have not responded to traditional medicines are now experiencing remarkable recoveries thanks to next-generation immunotherapies. These therapies equip a patient's own immune cells to recognize, target, and destroy cancer cells.

19:17 Nanowerk.comStructurally designed DNA star creates ultra-sensitive test for dengue virus (1)

By folding snippets of DNA into the shape of a five-pointed star using structural DNA nanotechnology, researchers have created a trap that captures Dengue virus as it floats in the bloodstream. Once sprung, the trap - which is non-toxic and is naturally cleared from the body - lights up. It's the most sensitive test for the mosquito-borne diseases yet devised.

17:48 Phys.orgBacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease (1)

Mucosal surfaces protect organisms from external stressors and disease. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have been shown to preferentially bind to mucosal surfaces. This has been suggested to provide an extra level of immunity against bacterial infections. Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland tested this idea using fish, phages (viruses) and a fish-infecting bacteria. Phages were confirmed to bind to the mucosal surface, staying there for days and give protection from subsequent bacterial infection. Research was published in mBio in November 2019.

00:33 ScienceDaily.comBacteria-infecting viruses bind mucosal surface and protect from disease (1)

Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have been shown to preferentially bind to mucosal surfaces. This has been suggested to provide an extra level of immunity against bacterial infections. Researchers tested this idea using fish, phages (viruses) and a fish-infecting bacteria. Phages were confirmed to bind to the mucosal surface, staying there for days and give protection from subsequent bacterial infection.

00:14 ScienceMag.orgMosquitoes armed with bacteria beat back dengue virus (1)

Field trials suggest public health benefit to spreading Wolbachia

23:14 News-Medical.NetHow the digital age impacts longevity and lifestyle (1)

Have you ever wondered how does the digital age affect our longevity? What effect new technologies and knowledge advances have on our life?

20:02 ScienceDaily.comEastern equine encephalitis virus poses emergent threat (1)

2019 has been a particularly deadly year in the U.S. for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a mosquito-borne illness. As of November 12, 36 confirmed cases of EEE had been reported by eight states; 13 of these cases were fatal.

17:46 News-Medical.NetPublic health officials announce that eastern equine encephalitis virus is an “emergent threat” (1)

Public health officials have declared that the mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus is an "emergent threat".

03:12 News-Medical.NetAir pollution associated with memory decline and Alzheimer's-like brain atrophy (1)

Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution experienced greater declines in memory and more Alzheimer's-like brain atrophy than their counterparts who breathed cleaner air, according to USC researchers.

20:44 TechnologyReview.comA giant, superfast AI chip is being used to find better cancer drugs (1)

A new generation of specialized hardware could make drug development and material discovery orders of magnitude faster.

18:11 Medscape.ComTackling Radionecrosis After SRS for Brain Metastases (1)

Radionecrosis has emerged as a side effect of SRS in patients with breast cancer brain metastases. Here, we look at its challenges and treatments.

19:58 StemCellsPortal.comlNew Biomarker Found for Cancer Stem Cells (1)

HOUSTON, TX (US), November 2019 — In the world of cancer biology, not all biomarkers are created equal. These molecules that alert doctors that an abnormal process may be under way can appear as an array of aberrant proteins, such as hormones, enzymes or signaling molecules, and vary from patient to patient. Because they are a mixed bag, no one drug exists to attack them.
But now, a University of Houston College of Pharmacy associate professor has discovered a new biomarker in cancer stem cells that govern cancer survival and spread, and it's raising hope that drug discovery to kill cancer stem cells could follow suit.
"We have found a new biomarker, the protein plectin, on cancer stem cells. We believe plectin may be a more common biomarker that could lead to broadly applicable drug development," reported Gomika Udugamasooriya, Ph.D., in Nature Scientific Reports. "Plectin is a structural protein, predominantly expressed intracellularly, but whose translocation onto the cell surface is linked to tumor invasion and metastasis."
All cancerous tumors contain a small subset of drug-resisting, self-renewing and highly metastatic cells called tumor-initiating cells, or cancer stem cells, responsible for 90 percent of cancer deaths.
Dr. Udugamasooriya's process of discovering the biomarker and a drug-lead is different than conventional two-step discoveries, where researchers first find a biomarker and then develop a drug. He did both at once — developing 400,000 potential synthetic chemical compounds (peptoids) and used them to capture the specific biomarker performing his unique, but simple two-color cell screen. From almost half a million, only three peptoids targeted cancer stem cells and not the remaining cancer cells from the same patient. When those peptoids were used to pulldown their targets, one of them was identified as plectin, proving that it is a unique biomarker for cancer stem cells.
"Our studies show both genotypic and phenotypic correlations between plectin and lung cancer stem cells, as well as association of high plectin expression with poor patient survival in lung adenocarcinoma, potentially identifying plectin as a biomarker for lung cancer stem cells," Dr. Udugamasooriya said.
Because plectin assists in shaping cells it is pivotal to the spread of cancer, helping cancer stem cells wend their way through the body.
"Scientists are desperately trying to find ways to handle these stubborn cancer stem cells to wipe out tumors. We predict this will be a more common drug target than current ones, because all tumors want to spread," he said.
Learn more: 10.1038/s41598-019-51004-3

19:39 ScienceDaily.comRNA regulation is crucial for embryonic stem cell differentiation (1)

Nuclear RNA levels are kept in check by RNA decay factors. Now, researchers show that an excess of RNA in the nucleus can have negative effects on a crucial regulator of stem cell differentiation.

19:20 Phys.orgRNA regulation is crucial for embryonic stem cell differentiation (1)

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are distinguished by their dual ability to self-renew and their potential to differentiate, both of which require tight regulatory control. During the differentiation of ESCs, various cells develop into specialised cell types such as skin cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, etc. While our understanding of ES cell regulation has been dominated by transcriptional and epigenetic models, the role of post-transcriptional regulation via nuclear RNA decay has remained less explored.

14:41 FightAging.OrgCellular Senescence May Contribute to Rheumatoid Arthritis in Younger Patients (1)

Senescent cells are a cause of aging, and much of the present focus in the study of cellular senescence is thus on targeting and destroying these unwanted cells in order to treat aging. However, a comparatively recent and intriguing finding is that at least some autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, involve cellular senescence. The question at present is whether or not this true for all forms of autoimmunity. An autoimmune condition must have a trigger, something that prompts the immune system to attack healthy tissues, and it is possible that many different triggers converge on the generation of senescent cells, with their ability to rouse the immune system to action via inflammatory secretions. Here, researchers provide evidence for cellular senescence to be involved […]

12:56 Technology.orgStem Cells and AI: Better Together (1)

One day in the future when you need medical care, someone will examine you, diagnose the problem, remove

10:51 StemCellsPortal.comlHes1 Regulates HF Regeneration via Hedgehog Signaling (1)

The adult hair follicle cycles through regression, resting, and growth phases and is maintained by hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs). During hair growth, progenitors and stem cells of the hair follicle activate and sustain the downward growth of hair follicles; however, our understanding of progenitor activation and stem cell maintenance during the hair cycle remains incomplete. Now, a new study from researchers led by Liang‐Tung Yang (National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Taiwan) report on the discovery of a potential link between Notch/Hes1 and Sonic Hedgehog pathways, in which Hes1 reinforces Hedgehog signaling at the onset of hair growth to expand the progenitors and replenish the stem cells to maintain the hair cycle homeostasis. For all the details, see Suen et al. in STEM CELLS now!

01:19 HealthImmigrants don't flock to states that expand health benefits (1)

(Reuters Health) - States that expand public health benefits to cover low-income legal immigrants don't appear to experience a surge in immigrants moving to get medical coverage, a U.S. study suggests.

23:39 News-Medical.NetBiogerontology Research Foundation launches Longevity AI Consortium at King's College London (1)

The Biogerontology Research Foundation announces the official launch of the Longevity AI Consortium, which has been established at King's College London with the strategic and financial support of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

23:13 CNN HealthBreakthrough discovery in plants' DNA may lead to slowing aging process in humans (1)

A "missing link" of cellular immortality has been found between single-celled animals, humans and the plant kingdom, according to a new study.

13:01 Technology.orgKetogenic diet helps tame flu virus (1)

A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn’t one of them.

10:41 StemCellsPortal.comlThe Softer, the Better - How Niche Stiffness Affects Aging Stem Cells (1)

Review of “Niche stiffness underlies the ageing of central nervous system progenitor cells” from Nature by Stuart P. Atkinson

While studies have indicated that the loss of function of adult stem cell and progenitor cell populations causes a decline in tissue regeneration during aging [1], the reasons for this loss remain incompletely explained. Researchers from the laboratories of Robin J. M. Franklin and Kevin J. Chalut (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) sought to define the factors that reduced the regenerative capacity of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) during aging [2] by evaluating alterations to the stem cell niche [3, 4]. 

In their fascinating new study, Segel et al. use varying culture substrates to demonstrate how an increase to the stiffness of the OPC niche can cause the age-related deterioration of function in a study that may aid the development of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and the understanding the aging process [5]. Is softer better for OPCs in the rate brain?

The authors first established the importance of the niche by showing purified OPCs from aged rats recovered their lost activity following transplantation into their niche within the brains of neonatal rats (the prefrontal cortex) or when cultured on brain extracellular matrix derived from neonatal rats. To confirm their hypothesis that ECM stiffness may represent an important parameter, the authors confirmed that the OPC niche progressively stiffens with age with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and then demonstrated how OPCs grown on stiffer polyacrylamide hydrogels displayed a significant loss of activity when compared to OPCs cultured on soft hydrogels, while aged OPCs displayed signs of functional and molecular rejuvenation when cultured on soft hydrogels.

The study then focused on the mechanosensitive ion channel PIEZO1, whose inhibition reduces sensitivity to mechanical signals [6, 7], finding that Piezo1 gene and PIEZO1 protein expression increased with age, leading to high levels of PIEZO1 in aged OPCs. Interestingly, loss of PIEZO1 in OPC by short interfering RNA (siRNA) expression boosted the activity of aged OPCs cultured on stiff hydrogels, while neonatal OPCs stably expressing a Piezo1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) displayed higher activity than control neonatal OPCs following transplantation into the aged prefrontal cortex. Furthermore,  PIEZO1 knockdown OPCs displayed a higher regenerative ability than wild type OPCs following induced focal demyelination in the white matter of aged mice. 

The authors hope that this new study will serve to highlight the consideration of the mechanical microenvironment in other aging pathways and suggest niche mechanics as the driving force behind aging in other adult stem cell systems. Is softer better for the niches of stem cells other than rat OPCs? 

For more on the importance of the stem cell niche, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, and aging, stay tuned to the Stem Cells Portal!


    Goodell MA and Rando TA, Stem cells and healthy aging. Science 2015;350:1199. Sim FJ, Zhao C, Penderis J, et al., The Age-Related Decrease in CNS Remyelination Efficiency Is Attributable to an Impairment of Both Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Recruitment and Differentiation. The Journal of Neuroscience 2002;22:2451. Gopinath SD and Rando TA, Stem Cell Review Series: Aging of the skeletal muscle stem cell niche. Aging Cell 2008;7:590-598. Swift J, Ivanovska IL, Buxboim A, et al., Nuclear Lamin-A Scales with Tissue Stiffness and Enhances Matrix-Directed Differentiation. Science 2013;341:1240104. Segel M, Neumann B, Hill MFE, et al., Niche stiffness underlies the ageing of central nervous system progenitor cells. Nature 2019;573:130-134. McHugh BJ, Buttery R, Lad Y, et al., Integrin activation by Fam38A uses a novel mechanism of R-Ras targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum. Journal of Cell Science 2010;123:51. McHugh BJ, Murdoch A, Haslett C, et al., Loss of the Integrin-Activating Transmembrane Protein Fam38A (Piezo1) Promotes a Switch to a Reduced Integrin-Dependent Mode of Cell Migration. PLOS ONE 2012;7:e40346.

22:19 FightAging.OrgNotes on the 2019 Longevity Week Events in London (1)

I was recently in London for the Longevity Week, a collection of single day and evening events organized by investor Jim Mellon of Juvenescence and supporting groups. Varied events focused separately on (a) educating investors in the science of aging, (b) generating a larger investment community for the new longevity industry, and (c) improving the non-profit world and its efforts to explain the merits of treating aging to the public, to bring therapies to the clinic, and to improve the state of older life using presently available tools. Jim Mellon clearly understands that building an industry focused on the medical control of aging, particularly in regions where medical development and clinical practice is so very heavily regulated, requires raising the water level when it comes […]

17:04 ScienceDaily.comSmokers and hypertensive individuals have higher risk of sudden death from brain bleed (1)

Contrary to the previous data, a Finnish study clarifies that smoking and high blood pressure do not protect from death in patients suffering from subarachnoid haemorrhage, the most lethal stroke subtype. In fact, subarachnoid haemorrhage kills smokers and hypertensive individuals already before they reach hospitals, and therefore studies that cannot include these outside hospitals deaths in analyses may reach erroneous conclusions.

02:22 CNN HealthWanted: 10,000 dogs for the largest-ever study on aging in canines (1)

Dogs' lifespans are far too short. These researchers are hoping to change that.

00:55 News-Medical.NetNew type of bionic pacemaker (1)

A new study published in the Journal of Physiology on November 14, 2019, reports the development of a radically different type of cardiac pacemaker which could change the prognosis of patients with heart failure.

00:42 News-Medical.NetLithium corrects radiation damage to brain in young cancer patients (1)

A new study on mice, published online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, on November 14, 2019, shows that the intermittent use of lithium, which is widely used to stabilize the mood in conditions such as bipolar disorder, can correct memory and learning losses due to radiation therapy to the brain in very young animals, even when the lithium is given long after the injury.

01:12 ScientificAmerican.ComLiteracy Might Shield the Brain from Dementia (1)

An ability to read and write, even with little or no schooling, could offer protection -- Read more on