Keyword: cells

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Zooming in

Breast cancer map reveals how mutations shape the tumour landscape

Scientists have created one of the most detailed maps of breast cancer ever achieved, revealing how genetic changes shape the physical tumour landscape. An international team of scientists, brought together by a £20 million Grand Challenge award from Cancer Research UK, has developed intricate maps of breast tumour samples, with a resolution smaller than a single cell. These maps show how the…

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Updating treatments

Sugar and fat can make cancer cells harder to kill

In their quest to find new and better methods to make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment, Karin Lindkvist and her research group at Lund University in Sweden are looking into the world of molecules, using the X-rays at the MAX IV laboratory. The researchers believe that limiting the cells' access to sugar will make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Many of the cancer treatments…

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"Immune escape"

Cancer camouflage: how our immune system is duped

T cells play a huge role in our immune system's fight against modified cells in the body that can develop into cancer. Phagocytes and B cells identify changes in these cells and activate the T cells, which then start a full-blown program of destruction. This functions well in many cases – unless the cancer cells mutate and develop a kind of camouflage that let them escape the immune system…

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Personalized treatment

Could B cells turn the tide in sarcoma immunotherapy?

How can the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, these particularly resistant and aggressive forms of cancer, be improved and better personalized? An international team led by Wolf Hervé Fridman with researchers from Inserm, Sorbonne Université and Université de Paris at the Cordeliers Research Center, in collaboration with the French League against cancer and Institut Bergonié, has shown that…

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Outsmarting the immune system

'Super-human’ red blood cells for precise drug delivery

A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The modified red blood cells are designed to circulate in the body for several weeks at a time, seeking out specific targets including…

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Single cell analysis & machine learning

scPred: Finding the ‘fingerprint’ of human cells

Researchers say a new method to analyse data from individual human cells could be a step-change for diagnosing some of the most devastating diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease. By combining single cell analysis techniques with machine learning algorithms, a team led by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has developed a method to ‘fingerprint’ human cells.…

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Transporting DNA

An easier way of sneaking antibodies into cells

For almost any conceivable protein, corresponding antibodies can be developed to block it from binding or changing shape, which ultimately prevents it from carrying out its normal function. As such, scientists have looked to antibodies as a way of shutting down proteins inside cells for decades, but there is still no consistent way to get them past the cell membrane in meaningful numbers. Now,…

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Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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Adaptation to oxygen availability

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. Animals need oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for…

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New transfection approach

Immunotherapy: The 'FedEx and UPS equivalent of DNA delivery'

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

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Interneurons

Epilepsy: When the function of "brake cells" is disrupted

In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread from the point of origin across large parts of the brain. A current study by the University of Bonn, in which researchers from Lisbon were also involved, points in this direction. The results are…

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t-MALDI-2

Dual-beam laser mass spectrometry gives unique insights

Cells are the basic building blocks of life – and, as such, they have been the object of intense study since the invention of the optical microscope in the 17th century. The development of mass spectrometry (MS) methods – those which define the chemical composition of cells – represented a further milestone for research in the field of cell biology. In the latest issue of the journal Nature…

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Neurology

Key proteins for the repair of nerve fibers

Neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) shut down their ability to grow when they no longer need it; this is commonly accepted knowledge. This occurs normally after they have found their target cells and established synapses. However, recent findings show that old nerve cells have the potential to regrow and to repair damage similar to young neurons. The underlying mechanisms for this…

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Therapy-resistant cells

Von Hippel-Lindau: How to kill hereditary cancer

Researchers identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau hereditary cancer. In a recent publication in PNAS, the research group identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) hereditary cancer.

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Flow cytometry

Living cells – the essential biomarker

The team of the Heinz Nixdorf Chair of Biomedical Electronics at the Technical University of Munich focuses on innovative diagnostic tools to accelerate the development towards personalized medicine. Therapies tailored to the individual patient – this is the future not only of oncology but of many medical disciplines. “At this point, however,” concedes Professor Dr Oliver Hayden,…

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New study

Ribosome inhibition may hold the key to multi-stage cancer treatment

Nearly 90% of all cancer patient deaths are due to metastasis. A study from Uppsala University shows that a process that allows the cells to metastasise is aided by the synthesis of new ribosomes, the cell components in which proteins are produced. The results open the possibility for new treatment strategies for advanced cancers. The study is published in Nature Communications. As tumours…

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body. The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a…

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Healthy ageing

Killing zombie cells to save our heart

Scientists at Newcastle University believe it may be possible to reverse the damage in the heart caused by ageing. New research, which has been published in the journal EMBO, could suggest a new way of preventing heart failure in older patients. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it should, most commonly when the heart muscle has been damaged –…

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Cancer stem-like cells

Important signaling pathway in breast cancer revealed

In breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women, tumors contain a small amount of so-called cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Being able to eliminate breast-cancer stem-like cells in a targeted way is essential for developing successful therapies — conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy followed by drug intake, do not target CSCs. A better understanding of the…

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Precision medicine

Europe looks to cells for a healthier future

How can we detect the first signs of disease as early as possible? Could closer investigation at the cellular level help to quickly prevent disease progression through appropriate treatment? The European Union is now investing a million euros over a one-year period to devise the plan for a fundamentally new approach to understanding the constant changes within cells and their relationships to one…

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New treatment options

Unlocking the secrets of cell communication

Portland State University (PSU) researchers have made a significant breakthrough by developing the 3-D structure of proteins from inside the eye lens that control how cells communicate with each other, which could open the door to treating diseases such as cataracts, stroke and cancer. The PSU research team, led by chemistry professor Steve Reichow, used a multimillion-dollar microscope and a…

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Dying neurons

Decoding the regulation of cell survival

An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on neuronal survival of a small non-coding RNA molecule, so-called miRNA, at the highest resolution to date.

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Myelodysplastic syndrome

Genetic testing helps predict disease recurrence

A DNA-based analysis of blood cells soon after a stem cell transplant can predict likelihood of disease recurrence in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a group of cancerous disorders characterized by dysfunctional blood cells. Such a practice could help doctors identify patients at high risk of disease recurrence early after a transplant and help guide treatment decisions.

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Infections

Zika virus strips immune cells of their identity

Macrophages are immune cells that are supposed to protect the body from infection by viruses and bacteria. Yet Zika virus preferentially infects these cells. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have now unraveled how the virus shuts down the genes that make macrophages function as immune cells.

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