Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anatomy of Success: Genetic Research Develops Tools for Studying Diseases, Improving Regenerative Treatment

21.03.2012
Research from a Kansas State University professor may make it easier to recover after spinal cord injury or to study neurological disorders.

Mark Weiss, professor of anatomy and physiology, is researching genetic models for spinal cord injury or diseases such as Parkinson's disease. He is developing technology that can advance cellular therapy and regenerative medicine -- a type of research that can greatly improve animal and human health.

"We're trying to build tools, trying to build models that will have broad applications," Weiss said. "So if you're interested in neural differentiation or if you're interested in response after an injury, we're trying to come up with cell lines that will teach us, help us to solve a medical mystery."

Weiss' research team has perfected a technique to use stem cells to study targeted genetic modifications. They are among a handful of laboratories in the world using these types of models for disease. The research is an important step in the field of functional genomics, which focuses on understanding the functions and roles of these genes in disease.

The researchers are creating several tools to study functional genomics. One such tool involves developing new ways to use fluorescent transporters, which make it easier to study proteins and their functions. These fluorescent transporters can be especially helpful when studying neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, stroke and spinal cord injury.

"People who have spinal cord injury do not experience a lot of regeneration," Weiss said. "It is one of the problems of the nervous system -- it is not great at regenerating itself like other tissues."

The researchers want to discover a way to help this regenerative process kick in. By studying signals from fluorescing cells, they can understand how neural stem cells are reactivated.

"We want to try and make these genetic markers, and then we can test different kinds of treatment to see how they assist in the regenerative process," Weiss said.

Weiss' stem cell research has appeared in two recent journals: Stem Cells and Development and the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and university funds, including the Johnson Cancer Research Center.

Weiss' seven-member research team includes a visiting professor, two full-time researchers, a graduate student and three undergraduates. He has also been collaborating with researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Weiss was also part of a Kansas State University research team to find and patent a noncontroversial source of stem cells from a substance in the umbilical cord.

Mark Weiss, 785-532-4520, mlweiss@k-state.edu

Mark Weiss | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs

14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail

14.11.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>