Stories tagged cells

You know what's cool? Animation. And folks with the same skills used to bring you Red Dead Redemption and Toy Story 3 are also hard at work creating scientific visualizations that show the machinery of life.
Oct
15
2010
It's Friday, so it's time for a new Science Friday video. Science Friday
Science Friday
Courtesy Science Friday
Today,
"Reporting in the journal Science, Paul Kubes and colleagues filmed immune cells called neutrophils finding their way to a mouse's wounded liver. The researchers wanted to understand how neutrophils find injuries when bacteria aren't around to signal the damage."
Oct
03
2010

Human embryonic stem cell differentiation: A: Cell colonies that are not yet differentiated. B: Nerve cell
Human embryonic stem cell differentiation: A: Cell colonies that are not yet differentiated. B: Nerve cellCourtesy Nissim Benvenisty

Another step toward living forever

Stem cells have the potential to become almost any type of body part. I believe they will soon be used to rejuvenate, repair, or rebuild body parts. Look at our past Science Buzz posts about stem cells. Bad knees or hips? Inject some stem cells to rebuild the cartilage. Stem cells also can repair cut spinal cords, damaged eyes, diseased brains, or help a diabetic's pancreas make insulin.

A new, better way to make stem cells

Up until now, the stem cells created by reprogramming adult skin cells still had bits and pieces remaining that were not safe enough for human applications.
"Now stem cell researcher Derrick Rossi of Harvard Medical School in Boston and his colleagues have developed a way to reprogram cells using synthetic RNA molecules." (Science Magazine) The technique is also twice as fast and 100% more efficient. The team calls its cells RiPS cells, for RNA induced Pluripotent Cells.

Learn more about RNA induced Pluripotent Cells

The new technique, is published online in the journal, Cell Stem Cell.

Feb
06
2010

Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951): The Harvard Gazette is copyrighted, but no copyright for the image is specified by the magazine.
Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951): The Harvard Gazette is copyrighted, but no copyright for the image is specified by the magazine.Courtesy Harvard University Gazette

Henrietta Lacks 1950s Cells Still Alive, Helping Science

Even though Henrietta Lacks died in 1951, her cells are still alive.
By 1954, Henrietta Lacks' cells known as HeLa were used by Jonas Salk to develop a vaccine for polio.

"In the half-century since Henrietta Lacks' death, her ... cells ... have continually been used for research into cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and toxic substances, gene mapping, and countless other scientific pursuits".

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

"A new book by Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, examines the extraordinary impact of HeLa on science and the effects of that unchosen legacy on Lacks’ family." Wired

The cells of our bodies are constantly in motion. In fact, zap them with light and they vibrate, creating sound – much too faint to hear, but sensitive instruments can record the vibrations. Two biologists at the University of Manchester in England have found that healthy cells vibrate differently than cancerous cells. They are hoping to use this to develop new, less-invasive tests to diagnose cancer.

Jan
22
2008

Human embryos using animal eggs

Embryo, 8 cells
Embryo, 8 cellsCourtesy Ekem
Last week we learned that scientists cloned human embryos using adult skin and fertile eggs from a woman donor. Now the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in Britain has approved creating human embryos using eggs from animals like cows or rabbits. Because the animal cell's nucleus would be removed before human DNA was added, scientists said the resulting egg would not be a chimera.

"Cow eggs seem to be every bit as good at doing this job as human eggs," said Lyle Armstrong of Newcastle University.
"We will only use them as a scientific tool and we need not worry about cells being derived from them ever being used to treat human diseases," Armstrong said.

Technique eliminates destruction of human eggs

Animal eggs are abundant and easily obtained. Researchers hope to refine their techniques by practicing first on animal eggs to producing human stem cells. Human stem cells, which have the ability to develop into any cell in the human body, show promise for understanding and healing many human ailments. The embryos would not be allowed to develop for more than two weeks.

Jan
18
2008

Blastocyst day 5
Blastocyst day 5Courtesy Ekem

DNA from clone identical to that from adult skin donor

A paper published in the online journal, Stem Cells, yesterday titled "Development of Human cloned Blastocysts Following Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) with Adult Fibroblasts" is the first documented demonstration that ordinary cells from an adult human can be used to make cloned embryos mature enough to produce stem cells

"A research team at Stemagen, a biotech company based in San Diego, California, started with skin cells donated by two men and 25 eggs, or oocytes, donated by women at a nearby fertility center. The scientists removed the DNA-containing nuclei from the eggs and replaced them with DNA from the donor skin cells. Two of the eggs became 5-day-old embryos, or blastocysts, that were clones of the male donors."Science

Why are we cloning humans?

The next big step will be to create a human embryonic stem cell line from cloned embryos. Stem cells from cloned embryos could provide a valuable tool for studying diseases, screening drugs, and creating transplant material to treat conditions like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

Should we be doing this?

As expected, critics are raising objections. This procedure requires cutting healthy eggs out of women, then altering them to produce living embryos, which are then destroyed. Should this be allowed?

Read more

Scientists in California are developing a way to tell cancer cells from normal cells, using nanotechnology to measure the cells’ softness.

Your body has ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Betcha you’ll never feel lonely again!

Super-cool video from Harvard. Version with narration explaining what you're seeing here. (Warning: contains language that no one short of a Ph.D. can understand.)