According to the said researcher, this project “is part of the attempt that many laboratories are currently making worldwide to get to know better the biology of stem cells and the conditions in which some of their varieties could be used to treat some diseases”. In this case, scientists are going to study neural stem cells of adult mouse brains which, after being differentiated from neurons in a lab, will be implanted into the damaged cerebral cortex of genetically identical mice.
As Carmen Estrada explained, there is a specific area in the adult rodents’ brain, the subventricular area, where new neurons are massively generated from neural stem cells during the animals’ life. Although this phenomenon does not exist in humans in normal conditions, stem cells have been also detected in that area, with the possibility of generating new neurons under certain circumstances.
With this project, researchers will obtain information about neural stem cells that remain in the brain after birth, and will analyse their properties while they are in lab cultures, as well as after being implanted into the host brain.
Scientists hope to determine the conditions that allow neuron differentiation and to identify potentially useful genes as regulators or markers of such process. Thus, they will determine to what extent the neurons obtained in culture have the typical molecular structure of cells of its phenotype in adult brains.
In short, these trials will allow to establish “whether or not suitable neurons from neural stem cells can be transplanted into the brain of another animal”. The results will allow scientists to get to know the evolution of transplants and provide useful data in order to develop a cellular therapy as part of the treatment of some diseases linked to neuronal death.
Ismael Gaona | alfa
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22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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