Research Roundup: A step closer to growing organs in a science dish

Although it may seem like science fiction, it may one day grow spare organs and tissues. Our ability to manipulate stem cells is accelerating, and new research is bringing this goal much closer. To get this news and more reach, keep reading.

New stem cell research could lead to organ growth in a petri dish

Research has come a long way in manipulating stem cells over the last decade or so. Theoretically, it would be possible to use stem cells to grow on any type of tissue you want, including organs. Recent research University of Copenhagen has identify a new step in the development process that brings one step closer to making this possible. It was research published in the magazine Natural Cell Biology.

“Simply put, recent research has attempted to make a gut from a stem cell in a dish,” said Dr. Martin Proks. He was a student at the University of Copenhagen and one of the university’s leading authors at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine. “We have found a new way to do this, which follows different aspects of what happens in the embryo. Here we find a new pathway used by the embryo, and we describe the intermediate stage that different types of step cells can use to form the gut and other organs. ”

Pluripotent stem cells and endodermal stem cells outside the embryo were evaluated. Non-embryonic endodermal cells are a new stem cell line described a few years ago that help in the intestinal organs. They act as a support cell that feeds the membrane. Using the newly identified “alternative pathway, they took stem cells from the endoderm outside the embryo and developed structures similar to the intestinal organs in a dish. This new alternative process actually forms organoid structures. To do this, they created a new computational tool that compared the sets of cells that were candidates for the formation of organs connected to the digestive tract, including the liver, pancreas, lungs, and intestines. They still face challenges in reaching the organs where the cells are fully functioning, but the findings offer new insights.

A molecule that stimulates the formation of new insulin-producing cells

researchers at Karolinska Institute identify and tested a small molecule that can stimulate the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells. This has been shown in zebrafish and mammalian tissues. They believe it has the potential to be a new target for diabetes treatment. The molecule binds to a protein called MNK2, regulates mRNA translation, and promotes protein synthesis. Both zebrafish and pig tissue have been shown to produce new beta cells in the pancreas and to stimulate insulin expression in human organoids.

The dark matter of cancer-related genome mutations

For a long time, parts of the unencoded genome were called “junk DNA” because they did not understand what it was doing. It was then discovered that a large part of it regulated the activity of genes. Now, with the researchers Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are finding the link between uncoded mutations and cancer risk. In many cases, mutations have been shown to have an epigenetic effect on sections of the genome that are not encoded, that is, to change the extent to which DNA is embedded in these sites. This affects the ability of other DNA segments or proteins to bind to these specific sites, which affect cancer genes. For example, more than 300 mutations have been identified to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. But less than 10% are within genes, and the rest are in uncoded regions. Based on their research, they developed a database of mutations that could be linked to cancer risk through a well-known biological mechanism.

The Mosquito Spit molecule is a new target for several diseases

researchers Leeds University identify a mosquito-suppressed molecule called sialokinin, which may be a new target for vaccination against various diseases, including Yellow Fever, Denguea and Zika. Sialokinin facilitates the transmission of various types of viruses from mosquitoes to humans. Previous research found that sialokinin could alter the function of blood vessel cells grown in Petri dishes, which in turn increased blood flow and fed mosquitoes more efficiently. The molecules make the blood vessels more permeable, allowing the contents to flow to the skin, which in turn helps the virus infect cells. They also found that sialokinin is not found in all mosquito tubes, such as Anopheles, the main vector for transmitting malaria. These mosquitoes cannot spread most viruses.

Multiple heart disease associated with a triple risk of dementia

A great study University of Exeter and University of Oxford evaluate Data from more than 200,000 people aged 60 and over in the European Biobank of the United Kingdom. They diagnosed cardiometabolic disorders such as diabetes, stroke, heart attack, or a combination of all three, and identified people who developed dementia. The more people with these three conditions, the greater the risk of dementia. All three people were three times more likely to have dementia than people at genetic risk for dementia. They published research conducted in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

“Dementia is a major global problem, with an estimated 135 million people in the world facing a devastating condition by 2050,” said Dr Xin You Tai, lead author and PhD student at Oxford University. “We found that having these heart conditions is more closely linked to the risk of dementia than genetic risk. So no matter what genetic risk you are born with, it can have a big impact on reducing your risk of dementia by taking care of your heart and metabolic health throughout your life. ”


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