Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anatomy of Success: Genetic Research Develops Tools for Studying Diseases, Improving Regenerative Treatment

21.03.2012
Research from a Kansas State University professor may make it easier to recover after spinal cord injury or to study neurological disorders.

Mark Weiss, professor of anatomy and physiology, is researching genetic models for spinal cord injury or diseases such as Parkinson's disease. He is developing technology that can advance cellular therapy and regenerative medicine -- a type of research that can greatly improve animal and human health.

"We're trying to build tools, trying to build models that will have broad applications," Weiss said. "So if you're interested in neural differentiation or if you're interested in response after an injury, we're trying to come up with cell lines that will teach us, help us to solve a medical mystery."

Weiss' research team has perfected a technique to use stem cells to study targeted genetic modifications. They are among a handful of laboratories in the world using these types of models for disease. The research is an important step in the field of functional genomics, which focuses on understanding the functions and roles of these genes in disease.

The researchers are creating several tools to study functional genomics. One such tool involves developing new ways to use fluorescent transporters, which make it easier to study proteins and their functions. These fluorescent transporters can be especially helpful when studying neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, stroke and spinal cord injury.

"People who have spinal cord injury do not experience a lot of regeneration," Weiss said. "It is one of the problems of the nervous system -- it is not great at regenerating itself like other tissues."

The researchers want to discover a way to help this regenerative process kick in. By studying signals from fluorescing cells, they can understand how neural stem cells are reactivated.

"We want to try and make these genetic markers, and then we can test different kinds of treatment to see how they assist in the regenerative process," Weiss said.

Weiss' stem cell research has appeared in two recent journals: Stem Cells and Development and the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and university funds, including the Johnson Cancer Research Center.

Weiss' seven-member research team includes a visiting professor, two full-time researchers, a graduate student and three undergraduates. He has also been collaborating with researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Weiss was also part of a Kansas State University research team to find and patent a noncontroversial source of stem cells from a substance in the umbilical cord.

Mark Weiss, 785-532-4520, mlweiss@k-state.edu

Mark Weiss | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>