Predicting the fate of stem cells

University of Toronto researchers have developed a method that can rapidly screen human stem cells and better control what they will turn into. The technology could have potential use in regenerative medicine and drug development. Findings are published in this week\’s issue of the journal Nature Methods.

“The work allows for a better understanding of how to turn stem cells into clinically useful cell types more efficiently,” according to Emanuel Nazareth, a PhD student at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at the University of Toronto.

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How Staph Toxin Disables the Immune System

Scientists at the NYU Langone Medical Center report the discovery of a novel mechanism by which Staphylococcus aureus bacteria attack and kill off immune cells. They say their findings “Staphylococcus aureus Leukotoxin ED Targets the Chemokine Receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 to Kill Leukocytes and Promote Infection”, published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, explain a critical survival tactic of a pathogen that causes more skin and heart infections than any other microbe, and kills more than 100,000 Americans every year.

“The Staphylococcus aureus leukotoxin ED LukED is a pore-forming toxin required for the lethality associated with bacteremia in murine models,” wrote the researchers. “LukED targets the chemokine receptor CCR5 to kill T lymphocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. LukED also kills CCR5-deficient cells like neutrophils, suggesting the existence of additional cellular receptors. Here we identify the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 as the targets of LukED on neutrophils.”

via GEN | News Highlights:How Staph Toxin Disables the Immune System.

Monaco and humanitarian aid for a heart surgery

In this compassionate video, the monaco humanitarian aid organization describes a 12 year old girl, Aminata Keita who lives in Barnako, in the African country of Mali with a heart condition. Aminata suffers from cardiomyopathy, which results in failure of the heart and requires complicated and dangerous open heart surgery. Cardiomyophathy results from the deterioration of the heart muscle (called myocardium). This in turn results in heart failure, because the heart can not pump enough blood, thus results in edema, breathlessness and irregular heart beat which can lead to sudden death. In this case Aminata’s condition was caused by a defective heart valves, which progressively causes the heart muscle to deteriorate. In order to reverse Aminata’s heart problem this defective valve has to be fixed, which would result in complete cure of her condition.

This sort of surgery is not possible in Mali and thanks to Monaco humanitarian organization, she was taken to cardio thoracic center of Monaca to perform this life-saving operation. This thoracic cardiac center is world-wide known and performs state of the art heart surgeries in children. This sort of surgery can be very costly, in the United States for example, it can cost up $100,000 ! Even if the surgery was possible to perform in Mali, clearly it would be beyond the means of most of their citizens who live below poverty levels and even the government of this country could not afford to provide. It is important to recognize the importance of these charities who provide this sort of health aid to poor nations.

Link to video:

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