It used to be considered dogma that a nerve, once injured, could never be repaired. Now, researchers have learned that some nerves, even nerves in parts of the brain, can regenerate or be replaced. By studying the chemical signals that encourage or impede the repair of nerves, researchers at the University of Washington, the Salk Institute, and other institutions may contribute to eventual treatments for injured spines and diseased retinas, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Much of this research focuses on stem cells, one of several types of general cells that can give rise to specialized cells, like neurons. It was once thought that human stem cells were only found in embryos, and in bone marrow, where they produce blood cells. But stem cells are also being found in adults, including the brain and the eye. For example, stems cells steadily replace dead neurons in the olfactory bulb, which transmits scent signals to the brain, and the hippocampal dentate gyrus, an area that organizes short-term memory.
However, the pace of stem-cell repairs in humans is slow. And in some cases, stem cells can even impede healing. Stem cells in an injured spinal cord can create a sticky scar that blocks nerve regeneration, according to Dr. Philip Horner, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery in the UW School of Medicine.
Walter Neary | EurekAlert!
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
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27.03.2017 | Life Sciences