Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Turning Back the Cellular Clock

01.07.2010
TAU develops method for tracking adult stem cells as they regress

Cell reprogramming calls The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to mind.

It's a new technology that uses molecular therapy to coax adult cells to revert to an embryonic stem cell-like state, allowing scientists to later re-differentiate these cells into specific types with the potential to treat heart attacks or diseases such as Parkinson's. But at this point in the technology's development, only one percent of cells are successfully being reprogrammed.

Now, for the first time, scientists at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with researchers at Harvard University have succeeded in tracking the progression of these cells through live imaging to learn more about how they are reprogrammed, and how the new cells evolve over time.

Dr. Iftach Nachman of TAU's Department of Biochemistry says that this represents a huge stride forward. It will not only allow researchers to develop techniques and choose the right cells for replacement therapy, increasing the efficiency of cell reprogramming, but will give invaluable insight into how these cells will eventually react in the human body. Results from the research project were recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Looking at your cell's family tree

Dr. Nachman and his fellow researchers used flourescent markers to develop their live imaging approach. During the reprogramming process, the team was able to visually track whole lineages of a cell population from their single-cell point of origin.

Cell lineage proved to be crucial for predicting how the cells would behave and whether or not they could be reprogrammed successfully, says Dr. Nachman. "By combining quantitative analysis of the data, we were able to see that these 'decisions' are made very early on. We analyzed the cells over time, and we were able to detect subtle changes that occur as early as the first or second day in a long, two-week process."

This is the first time that scientists have looked within a cell population to determine why some cells successfully reprogram while most fail or die along the way. The state in which cells enter the reprogramming process are thought to have an impact on the outcome.

Nature in reverse

Scientists are only beginning to understand this enigmatic process, which reverses nature by causing cells to regress back to their embryonic stage. Increased knowledge of how reprogramming cells proliferate will allow scientists to develop better real-life therapies and reduce risk to patients, says Dr. Nachman.

While embryonic stem cells culled from live embryos can be manipulated to become new "replacement" tissues such as nerve or heart cells, these reprogrammed stem cells from adults represent a safer and ethically more responsible approach, some scientists believe.

The next step for Dr. Nachman and his team is research into specific cell-type characteristics before adult cells even enter the reprogramming process. They will try to discover the molecular markers that differentiate between cells that successfully reprogram and those that do not. Several projects in their lab are now attempting to track different cell types and how they change under live imaging.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>