Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UQ researcher tracking key to healing the brain

22.09.2005


Stem cells have long been described as the holy grail of bioscientists.



These amazing cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body and have to potential to revolutionise medical science.

Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish cells lost due to everyday wear and tear, or following injury or disease.


Dr Rod Rietze, head of the Queensland Brain Institute’s (QBI) Laboratory for Neural Stem Cell Biology, is hoping those stem cells may soon unlock the secrets to healing the brain as well.

First he has to find out what they actually do – something that has been notoriously hard to do in the past. Dr Rietze is a finalist in the UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards, to be announced tomorrow as a highlight of UQ Research Week 2005. He is working on a project with a novel approach to track neural stem cells in vivo.

"Identifying neural stem cells is like finding a needle in a haystack," Dr Rietze said.

"The tried and true method is to look for particular markers on the outside of the cell, but this is a long and laborious process.

"What we are doing is looking at a distinguishing attribute of stem cells, which is that they are relatively quiescent, or don’t divide much in relation to other cells.

"This will enable us to determine, for the first time, the precise location and prevalence of neural stem cells in situ, which in turn will allow us to determine more rapidly and accurately the role played by stem cells in the mammalian brain and spinal cord under normal conditions and following injuries."

He said at the moment, scientists rely on tissue culture methods to guess what is happening inside the body, but this new approach will mean they will be able to track the cells while they are working in the body, a major leap forward.

"Defining the role and regulation of neural stem cells in the adult brain will undoubtedly revolutionise our understanding of how the brain responds to its environment," Dr Rietze said.

"This will allow us to ultimately harness its regenerative capacity to bring about new and effective treatments for conditions caused by trauma, disease, or even normal ageing."

Dr Rietze’s interest in neural stem cells began while he was studying zoology at the University of Calgary in Canada, and it was there he "got fascinated with the complexity and elegance of the brain".

He continued in Calgary completing a Masters degree in the lab which first reported the existence of adult neural stem cells, then worked for two years at NeuroSpheres Ltd, a biotech company focused on using stem cells to repair the brain, before coming to Australia to do his PhD under Professor Perry Bartlett at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

Dr Rietze followed Professor Bartlett to UQ when the QBI was established in 2003, where an innovative scientific environment has since been created thanks to having a high concentration of experts who specialise in different aspects of neuroscience research.

"It is great to have so many people working on different aspects of the same problem, creating a unique synergy that is already producing results," he said.

Dr Rod Rietze | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com.au/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>