If there’s one single image that universally connotes death, it’s that of a skeleton. But in the living human body, bones are a beehive of activity that, at the cellular level, is as lively and intricate as any dance troupe could perform.
Within the hollows of the long bones dwells a spongy tissue called marrow, which hosts stem cells responsible for the production of both red and a variety of white blood cells. The latter are the warriors, messengers, sentries and medics that compose our immune system. White blood cells defend against microbial invaders and scour our bodies for suspicious
Researchers at Rutgers University have uncovered a new way to stimulate activity of immune cell opiate receptors, leading to efficient tumor cell clearance.
Dipak Sarkar, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and his research team have been able to take a new pharmacological approach to activate the immune cells to prevent cancer growth through stimulation of the opiate receptors found on immune cells.
This research, funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholosm, is featured on the cover of the May 11 issue of the Journal
The team at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute were working with a new type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which closely resemble embryonic stem cells but are made from ordinary skin cells.
In this case, they wanted to study a rare, inherited premature aging disorder called dyskeratosis congenita. The blood marrow disorder resembles the better-known aging disease progeria and causes premature graying, warped fingernails and other symptoms as well as a high risk of cancer.
One of the benefits of stem cells and iPS cells is that researchers can make them from
An ‘antenna’ molecule, which is capable of guiding blood stem cells to their natural ‘home’, the bone marrow, has been discovered. The discovery could improve the efficiency of umbilical cord stem cell transplants. This type of transplant is not efficient when there are not many umbilical cord stem cells present, since few of them are able to reach the bone marrow from the blood.
Reported by Nature magazine, the discovery was made by David Scadden of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston. The stem cells, which normally renew the population of blood cells in the body
Doctors hope a Nottinghamshire boy with leukaemia can undergo a stem cell transplant in May.
Roman Cusick, from Calverton, is currently recovering from chemotherapy.
If he is deemed to be well enough, he will receive cells from an umbilical cord from a German donor in a procedure at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
In February almost 200 people in Calverton helped took part in a saliva test to see if they were a suitable match.
Leukaemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow, leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells.