Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes and an international team of researchers have generated a human model of Huntington’s disease — directly from the skin cells of patients with the disease.
For years, scientists have studied Huntington’s disease primarily in post-mortem brain tissue or laboratory animals modified to mimic the disease. Today, in Cell Stem Cell, the international team shows how they developed a human model of Huntington’s disease, which causes a diverse range of neurological impairments. The new model should help scientists better understand the development of Huntington’s — and provide better ways to identify and screen potential therapeutics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This year marks the 35th annual Young Investigators’ Award program, when School of Medicine trainee researchers are recognized for their stellar accomplishments in the lab. The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 13, in Mountcastle Auditorium in the Preclinical Teaching Building on the East Baltimore campus.
Researchers will celebrate and share their findings, and 13 students and three fellows will receive awards. Each award includes a cash prize and is named for a former member of the Johns Hopkins community.
Each spring students and fellows look forward
University of Rochester Medical Center scientists believe they are the first to identify genes that underlie the growth of primitive leukemia stem cells; and then to use the new genetic signature to identify currently available drugs that selectively target the rogue cells.
Although it is too early to attach significance to the drug candidates, two possible matches popped up: A drug in development for breast cancer (not approved by the Food and Drug Administration), and another experimental agent that, coincidentally, had been identified earlier by a URMC laboratory as an agent that targets leukemia cells.
When most groups of mammalian cells are faced with a shortage of nutrients or oxygen, the phrase “every man for himself” is more apt than “all for one, one for all.” Unlike colonies of bacteria, which often cooperate to thrive as a group, mammalian cells have never been observed to help one another out. But a new study led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has shown that certain human embryonic stem cells, in times of stress, produce molecules that not only benefit themselves, but also help nearby cells survive.
“Altruism has been reported among bacterial
Stanford cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, and instructor Paul Burridge, PhD, have done something similar with stem cells. They’ve devised a way to create large numbers of heart muscle cells called cardiomyocytes from stem cells without using human or animal-derived products, which can vary in composition and concentration among batches. Their technique was published Sunday in Nature Methods. Wu, who is the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute explained to me in an e-mail:
This technique solves an important hurdle for the use of iPS-derived heart cells. In order to fully realize the potential of these cells in drug screening