Stunningly beautiful 3D medical animations!

The Nucleus team of graduate-degreed medical animators, writers, and designers specializes in creating accurate, cinematic 3D medical animations for patient and professional education.

via Nucleus Demo Reel 2013 – YouTube.

Researchers turn off Down’s syndrome genes

The insertion of one gene can muzzle the extra copy of chromosome 21 that causes Down’s syndrome, according to a study published today in Nature1. The method could help researchers to identify the cellular pathways behind the disorder’s symptoms, and to design targeted treatments.

“It’s a strategy that can be applied in multiple ways, and I think can be useful right now,” says Jeanne Lawrence, a cell biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and the lead author of the study.

via Researchers turn off Down’s syndrome genes : Nature News & Comment.


Most Mutations in the Human Genome are Recent and Probably Harmful

We really are a mutant race. Our genomes are strewn with millions of rare gene variations, the result of the very fast, very recent population growth of the human species. From an estimated 5 million individuals just 10,000 years ago, we ballooned to more than 7 billion. On average, every duplication of the human genome includes 100 new errors, so all that reproducing gave our DNA many opportunities to accumulate mutations. But evolution hasn’t had enough time to weed out the dangerous ones: gene variants that might make us prone to illness, or simply less likely to survive.


via Most Mutations in the Human Genome are Recent and Probably Harmful |

Nailing Regeneration

Stem cells at the base of finger and toenails act as coordinating centers to orchestrate communication between the nail, bone, and nerve tissues necessary to promote mouse fingertip regeneration after amputation, according to new research published today (June 13) in Nature. Researchers found that nail stem cells use a signaling pathway important for embryonic limb development to help nerves and new nail and bone cells coordinate signaling during tissue regeneration, providing insight that may enable future stem cell therapies.

“It’s a marvelous study” that described the molecular and cellular processes contributing to mammalian regeneration, said Hans-Georg Simon, a developmental biologist at Northwestern University who did not participate in the study. The findings show that the molecular program governing mammalian regeneration resembles that already seen in amphibians—suggesting a conserved regeneration program that could be harnessed in other tissues, he added.

via Nailing Regeneration | The Scientist Magazine®.

Vaginal Birth (Childbirth)

This wonderful 3D medical animation of a baby’s birth shows a time lapse view of labor and delivery during normal vaginal birth in a simplified form with only the mother’s skeletal structures and the baby in the uterus. Also shown in detail is dilatation (dilation or dilating) and effacement (thinning) of the cervix during childbirth contractions.Vaginal Birth (Childbirth) – YouTube.

Molecular discovery puts cancer treatment in a new perspective

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the National Institutes of Health have obtained ground-breaking new knowledge about proteases – important enzymes which, among other things, play a role in the development of cancer cells. The findings may be significant for the development of cancer drugs, and have just been published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Cancer cells can exploit an over-production of proteases to force their way into the body.

In a joint effort with the National Institutes of Health, a group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen have taken a step closer to being able to design a more effective anticancer treatment by mapping a previously unknown molecular mechanism. Continue reading “Molecular discovery puts cancer treatment in a new perspective”

Nerve growth stimulates prostate cancer

The growth of new nerves in and around prostate cancers spurs tumours to grow and invade other tissues, studies in mice have shown.The results, published today in Science, could steer researchers towards novel approaches to treating cancer. Although it is not yet clear whether the mechanism occurs in humans — or in cancers affecting other organs — an analysis of samples from 43 patients with prostate cancer found that nerve density was high in patients who fared poorly in the clinic.

Prostate cancer cells (seen in coloured scanning electron micrograph). Inhibiting the growth of nerve fibres has been shown to slow down the spread of this type of cancer, at least in mice.


via Nerve growth stimulates prostate cancer : Nature News & Comment.

Gene therapy using lentivirus promising in three youngsters

Two Houston researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital were part of an international team that developed a new gene therapy approach to treatment of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, a fatal inherited form of immunodeficiency.

The new research, led by researchers at the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy was published in Science Express.

The disorder that weakens the body’s immune system is caused by a mutation in a gene that encodes the protein WASP. The most often used therapy is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant from a matching donor—often a sibling or relative. It can be curative for some patients – mostly those who have a strongly matching donor.

Continue reading “Gene therapy using lentivirus promising in three youngsters”

Researchers Perform DNA Computation in Living Cells

Chemists from North Carolina State University have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.

Logic gates are the means by which computers “compute,” as sets of them are combined in different ways to enable computers to ultimately perform tasks like addition or subtraction. In DNA computing, these gates are created by combining different strands of DNA, rather than a series of transistors. However, thus far DNA computation events have typically taken place in a test tube, rather than in living cells

deiters dnacellvia NC State News :: NC State News and Information » Researchers Perform DNA Computation in Living Cells.