Researchers at the University of Copenhagen can radically alter the properties of proteins by redesigning their chemical structure. New fundamental research based on designer proteins highlights important communication processes in the human body. In the long term, this new knowledge may lead to pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
Scientists have created a way to interpret interactions among pairs of task-oriented proteins that relay signals. The goal is to learn how the proteins avoid crosstalk and whether they can be tuned for better performance.
Investigators at Johns Hopkins report they have developed human induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) capable of repairing damaged retinal vascular tissue in mice. The stem cells, derived from human umbilical cord-blood and coaxed into an embryonic-like state, were grown without the conventional use of viruses, which can mutate genes and initiate cancers, according to the scientists.
Stem cells can turn into heart cells, skin cells can mutate to cancer cells; even cells of the same tissue type exhibit small heterogeneities. Scientists use single-cell analyses to investigate these heterogeneities. But the method is still laborious and considerable inaccuracies conceal smaller effects. Scientists have now found a way to simplify and improve the analysis by mathematical methods.
Proteins are the molecular building blocks and machines of the cell and are involved in virtually every process of life. After protein production, many proteins are equipped with attachments such as sugar residues in order to perform their tasks properly. This process is directly coupled to the transport across a membrane. Employing various methods of structural biology, scientists have now gained insights into the architecture of the protein complex responsible for this process.
The Proteostasis initiative, supported by the European Union (EU), is led by the Basque centre for research in biosciences, CIC bioGUNE, in collaboration with the Inbiomed foundation, and includes groups that carry out research on the degradation and modification of cellular proteins.
Harvard stem cells scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT can now engineer cells that are more easily controlled following transplantation, potentially making cell therapies, hundreds of which are currently in clinical trials across the United States, more functional and efficient.
When autologous, skin-derived stem cells were transplanted within collagen nerve guide tubes aimed at bridging gaps in damaged nerves, into the upper arms of a patient who was suffering peripheral nerve damage, the procedure successfully led to the rescue of peripheral nerves. The procedure spared the patient with poly-injury to motor and sensory nerve damage from amputation of the upper arms and resulted in 'suitable functional recovery'. Three year follow up revealed nerve regeneration.
Artificial bone marrow may be used to reproduce hematopoietic stem cells. A prototype has now been developed. The porous structure possesses essential properties of natural bone marrow and can be used for the reproduction of stem cells at the laboratory.