In a report that appears in the journal Cell Stem Cell today, Dr. Margaret A. Goodell, professor of pediatrics and director of BCM’s STem Cells and Regeneration Center (STaR), and her colleagues described how they used their database to determine what was unique to each blood cell and what was common to all the cell types.
Understanding differentiation and what signals cause the early or progenitor cells to become the more specialized tissues that make multicellular organisms – such as mammals – possible is of vital concern to scientists and particularly stem cell biologists.
In this case, the scientists identified between 100 and 400 genes uniquely expressed in each cell type and termed these “lineage fingerprints,” because they mark the different cells that arise from the various stem cells.
“With unique genes, some will be responsible for generating those cell types,” said Goodell. She and her colleagues caused two of the genes (Zfp105 from the natural killer or NK cell lineage, and Ets2 from the monocyte (white blood cells with a singe nucleus that surround and ingest foreign materials) lineage to overexpress or make more than usual amounts of protein.
“They ended up driving differentiation,” said Goodell. That means that genes encouraged progenitor or early forms of the cells to become the mature or final blood cells that carry out specific tasks in the blood system.
“We are hoping that if we screen more of these genes that we can identify others that cause differentiation,” she said.
In the future, she said, scientists might consider ways to use the genes to help generate the differentiated cells in the laboratory as a particular form of treatment or developing drugs to block the action of the genes. Overproduction of certain blood or immune system cells can lead to cancer or autoimmune disease.
The three-year study involved considerable teamwork, said Goodell, with individuals in the lab taking responsibility for studies involving the different populations of blood cells.
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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