In a paper in this months freely-available online global health journal PLoS Medicine Seung Kim and colleagues from Stanford University suggest that one way of producing insulin-secreting pancreatic islet cells for future possible treatment of type I diabetes is to look beyond immature pancreatic cells and embryonic stem cells to other early cell types. Kim and colleagues took cells derived from brain which usually mature into neural cells, and exposed them to a series of signals that are known to drive pancreatic islet development. They were able to produce clusters of insulin-producing cells that responded to glucose out of the body.
Insulin-producing neurospheres. (Photo: Seung Kim et al.)
When the cells were then transplanted into immunocompromised mice the cells could also be stimulated by glucose to produce human insulin. Future work will need to establish the long-term stability and safety of these cells and to work out how to scale up such a process to produce the much larger numbers of cells that would be needed for human treatment. However, the authors conclude that this technique "could serve as the basis for developing replacement islets from a wide range of human stem cells, including neural stem cells and ES cells."
Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life
18.12.2018 | Rice University
Plant biologists identify mechanism behind transition from insect to wind pollination
18.12.2018 | University of Toronto
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy