Scientific consensus holds that most major mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, are genetically rooted diseases of synapses, the connections between neurons in the brain. Now research has demonstrated how a rare mutation in a suspect gene corrupts the on-off switches of dozens of other genes underlying these connections.
The study appears online in the current issue of the journal Nature. Employing a disease-in-dish technology called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the team of investigators, including UC Santa Barbara researchers, studied iPSCs from four members of an American family affected by genetically linked schizophrenia and related mental disorders.
Decades ago, researchers traced
Experimenting with cells in culture, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have breathed possible new life into two drugs once considered too toxic for human cancer treatment. The drugs, azacitidine (AZA) and decitabine (DAC), are epigenetic-targeted drugs and work to correct cancer-causing alterations that modify DNA.
The researchers said that the drugs also were found to take aim at a small but dangerous subpopulation of self-renewing cells, sometimes referred to as cancer stem cells, which evade most cancer drugs and cause recurrence and spread.
In a report published in the March 20 issue of Cancer Cell, the Johns Hopkins
USC Stem Cell researcher Justin Ichida has marshaled the expertise of pharmaceutical company Sanofi and startup DRVision Technologies, along with $1.5 million in federal funding, to find new drugs in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS patients suffer from the death of the cells that transmit signals from the brain to the muscles, called motor neurons, leading to progressive paralysis and usually resulting in fatal respiratory failure within three to five years of diagnosis.
The three-year grant comes from the Department of Defense. Each year, the DoD funds two ALS Therapeutic Development Awards because military veterans
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
International Stem Cell Corporation announced that scientists in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology (LCT), have developed a technology to modify human stem cells by using engineered proteins, called “transducible transcription factors” or “TTFs.” TTFs are designed to pass into stem cells and direct the stem cells to change into specific cell types that can be both therapeutically-useful and can be used as revenue-generating research products.
In contrast to more traditional cell therapy methods this technology does not require the use of viruses or chemicals, and has the potential to produce safe therapeutic cells from stem cells. In addition, the