background preloader

Scientists Identify Gene Required for Nerve Regeneration

Scientists Identify Gene Required for Nerve Regeneration
A gene that is associated with regeneration of injured nerve cells has been identified by a team of researchers led by Prof Melissa Rolls of Penn State University. In fruit flies with two normal copies of the spastin gene, a team of scientists led by Prof Melissa Rolls of Penn State University found that severed axons were able to regenerate. However, in fruit flies with two or even only one abnormal spastin gene, the severed axons were not able to regenerate (Melissa Rolls / Penn State University) The team has found that a mutation in a single gene can entirely shut down the process by which axons – the parts of the nerve cell that are responsible for sending signals to other cells – regrow themselves after being cut or damaged. “We are hopeful that this discovery will open the door to new research related to spinal-cord and other neurological disorders in humans,” said Prof Rolls, who co-authored a paper published online in the journal Cell Reports.

http://www.sci-news.com/genetics/article00701.html

Related:  Neuronal Regenerationscience and beyondScience

Man With Severed Spinal Cord Walks Again After Cell Transplant A man paralyzed for two years is now walking again, albeit with a frame, after a transplant to his spine. The treatment, to be published in this month's Cell Transplantation, has been under discussion for a while, but has only now shown success. In 2010, Darek Fidyka was repeatedly stabbed, rendering him paralyzed from the chest down. New wonder drug matches and kills all kinds of cancer — human testing starts 2014 Stanford researchers are on track to begin human trials of a potentially potent new weapon against cancer, and would-be participants are flooding in following the Post’s initial report on the discovery. The progress comes just two months after the groundbreaking study by Dr Irv Weissman, who developed an antibody that breaks down a cancer’s defense mechanisms in the body. A protein called CD47 tells the body not to “eat” the cancer, but the antibody developed by Dr Weissman blocks CD47 and frees up immune cells called macrophages — which can then engulf the deadly cells. The new research shows the miraculous macrophages effectively act as intelligence gatherers for the body, pointing out cancerous cells to cancer-fighting “killer T” cells. The T cells then “learn” to hunt down and attack the cancer, the researchers claim. The clinical implications of the process could be profound in the war on cancer.

Does DNA Emit Light? Dan Eden for viewzone.com An incredible story! I get lots of suggestions for stories, and I really appreciate them. But some of them are too good to be true. An example of this was a story of a giant human skeleton -- maybe 40 feet tall -- that was discovered by a Russian archaeological team. The story had photos and links accompanying it and looked promising. How Neurons Regenerate Without Affecting Memory Our nervous system is continuously rebuilding itself. While nerve cells live for years, the proteins and molecules that make them up have to be replaced all the time. How does all this turnover happen without affecting how we think, remember, or learn? To help solve this longstanding mystery, a team led by Timothy O’Leary and Eve Marder of Brandeis University built a simple biochemical model of neurons monitoring and self-regulating their cellular components.

UCI, fellow chemists find a way to unboil eggs Irvine, Calif., Jan. 23, 2015 – UC Irvine and Australian chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites – an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to findings published today in the journal ChemBioChem. “Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology & biochemistry. “In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order.” Like many researchers, he has struggled to efficiently produce or recycle valuable molecular proteins that have a wide range of applications but which frequently “misfold” into structurally incorrect shapes when they are formed, rendering them useless.

Flowers get an electrifying buzz out of visiting bees - life - 21 February 2013 Plants could turn out to be one of the more chatty organisms. Recent studies have shown they can communicate with a surprising range of cues. Now it turns out they could be sending out electrical signals, too. As they fly through the air, bees – like all insects – acquire a positive electric charge. News Highlights:Neurons Signal Stem Cells to Make New Neurons Although neuroscientists have long suspected that the brain has some capacity to generate new neurons, they have struggled to uncover details of the brain’s capacity for repair and, possibly, self-improvement. Neuroscientists surmised that new neurons emerge when stem cells activate certain internal processes in response to environmental cues. But neuroscientists were still unsure what the nature of these cues might be.

7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds When many of us were in our teens, work for science fairs comprised cut and paste displays on colorful presentation boards, and our hobbies weren't exactly about to change the world. But across the globe, teenagers with creative, scientific minds are already devising extraordinary devices, revolutionary materials and renewable technologies that might just change our planet for the greener. Click through to see some of their most incredible inventions - from bioplastics made from bananas to pee-powered energy generators and an ocean cleanup array to rid the world's oceans of waste. An Ocean Clean Up Array to Remove 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic From the World’s Oceans When we first covered Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array it generated a phenomenal amount of excitement, as well as debate.

Related: