Multiple Sclerosis : Hope With Autologous Stem Cell
A U.S. team has achieved encouraging results in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS) using a new technique of autotransplantation of stem cells extracted from bone marrow of the patient. The results of this clinical trial was conducted on 21 patients in the first phase of the disease have been published in the online version of Lancet Neurology.

This technique of transplantation of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant is the patient's own bone marrow cells. The cells are harvested from bone marrow and the patient receives a cocktail of immunosuppressive drugs' anti-rejection". The infusion of these stem cells is then performed intravenously. The latter will somehow "reset" the immune system.

In this study, 37 months after transplantation, 21 patients have experienced no worsening of their condition, and 17 of them have seen a significant reduction in their handicaps.

Approximately 80,000 people in France suffer from multiple sclerosis whose forms and trends vary greatly from one patient to another. Multiple sclerosis is characterized by destruction of myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers that carries nerve impulses (see illustration below). Problems with coordination, vision problems, dizziness, motor problems are some of the symptoms of the disease.

It is an autoimmune disease, ie an immune attack via cell become aggressive, which attack the body itself (in this case myelin). Therefore, researchers try to "reset" the immune system by transplanting hematopoietic stem cells, derived from bone marrow precursors of red blood cells and white blood cells (which include the lymphocytes).



Daily Sex "Helps Improve Sperm Quality"
Australian study - Having sex daily increase sperm quality and thus assist men who have fertility problems.

The study was conducted on 118 Australians
whose semen showed alterations, the researchers found that daily ejaculation for a week increased significantly reduce the number of DNA damage sperm of patients.

Dr David Greening and colleagues at the private clinic Sydney IVF (Australia), specializes in fertility problems, participants were asked to have sex every day for a week. After seven days, doctors have observed in 81% of subjects a decrease of 12% of the amount of damaged sperm. Sperm quality can also be improved if men do not smoke, do not abuse alcohol, do exercise and ingest more antioxidants.

Although the sperm count has dropped to 180 million per ml to 70 million per ml, men were still in the "range of fertility."

Since he led the study, Dr Greening said now recommend to all couples seeking advice to improve their fertility to begin to love more. One suggestion that seems to contradict the older men but delight the youngest, said the doctor.

Sex frequent help to improve sperm quality by preventing it from staying too long in the body. The sperm DNA was indeed more likely to be damaged when staying long in the body. Also heat can also make sperm less mobile.

Some experts welcomed the study but added that it does not prove that sex daily allows men with fertility problems to have a better chance of producing babies. Dr Greening and colleagues are still analyzing the results of the study to determine how many companions of participants became pregnant.

If confirmed, the discovery could have implications for in vitro fertilization (IVF) as was previously recommended for couples to abstain for two days just to increase sperm count.

"Studying the DNA of sperm is only part of the puzzle" said his side Bill Ledger, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Sheffield, Great Britain, who has not participated in the study.

"This may improve pregnancy rates, but we still need to study further" Mr. Ledger also believes that apply to couples with fertility problems to have greater love could harm their relationship.

"This could add to the anxiety and do more harm than good." Couples should not feel obliged to change their sexual life to have a baby, he said.
This work was presented Tuesday, June 30, 2009 in Amsterdam at the Congress of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (Website:
Sources: BBC News, AP



A Mother Sends Cancer To Her Baby During Pregnancy
England - A mother of 28 years, died of leukemia, a cancer cell transmitted to her daughter, while it was still in her uterus.

This event is rare and researchers proves that cancer can be passed from mother to child. Seventeen cases were identified earlier when the mother and baby share the same cancer often leukemia or melanoma. However, scientists now have evidence of genetic transmission of cancer.

Normally, the immune system of a baby recognizes and destroys any cancer cell from the mother. But this time, the leukemic cells have avoided the baby's natural defenses.

The scientists began their research in 2006 when a Japanese father brought his baby to 11 months in the hospital in Tokyo. He then explained that the mother had died three months ago. Samples taken from the infant compared to those of the mother showed that they contained the same cancer cells. These cases are still extremely rare according to scientists.



The Incredible Photos Of The Development Of A Fetus Over The Months
These photos also touching surprising that we can dive into the intimacy of a fetus, his fifth to twentieth week of development in utero.

Credits: Lennart Nilsson, A Child is Born, published by Jonathan Cape


A Very Promising New Drug Against Cancer
British researchers (from The Institute of Cancer Research) announce that they have obtained through a new drug against certain cancers, genetic, very promising results in preliminary clinical trials. The results were published in the medical journal The New England Journal of Medicine dated June 24, 2009 (Reference below).

A drug that targets cancer cells and leave normal cells intact
This new drug Olaparib was given to patients with advanced forms of cancer (breast, ovarian or prostate) inherited a mutation in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 (this genes were thought to be responsible for about 5% of breast and ovarian cancers, and about 1-2% of early onset prostate cancers). The Olaparib blocks the action of enzymes called PARP [Poly(ADP-Ribose)polymerase] involved in the mechanisms reparatinon DNA. Thanks to this drug in more than half of patients, the tumor had either stabilized or decreased in size. These patients had not responded favorably to standard treatment against cancer. The study shows that patients remained in remission two years after receiving treatment.

The Olaparib target cancer cells but leave normal cells intact. This medication has also very few side effects and some patients have reported that treatment was more bearable than chemotherapy.

Dr Johann de Bono, a researcher of the Institute of Cancer Research who led the clinical trials Phase I with the assistance of AstraZeneca / KuDOS said that positive results should permit completion of ESSI greater extent .

"This drug has shown very impressive to reduce the size of tumors in patients. It gives patients who have already tried many conventional treatments for long periods of remission, free of any symptoms or side effects " said the researcher.

Synthetic Lethality
Olaparib is the first successful example of a new type of personalized medicine using the principle of "synthetic lethality" (synthetic lethality in English), the medicine works effectively with molecular defect of the patient. This treatment is based on experiments conducted in this institute have shown that some cancers had Achilles' heels: if drugs - as olaparib - are used to block an enzyme called PARP in the body, DNA the tumor cell is broken and the cell dies.

Cancers with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were first discovered as being sensitive to inhibition of PARP but there are evidences which suggest that olaparib will be effective in other cancers with defects in machinery repair of DNA. This could apply to certain cancers of non-inherited breast or prostate cancers and up to half of the most common forms of ovarian cancer.

"It is a very important drug for the treatment of cancers associated with BRCA1 / 2. The next step is to test the drug on a more common form of cancer of the ovaries or breast or we hope that this drug will be equally effective." said Professor Stan Kaye who co-led the study.

Professor Alan Ashworth who now runs the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Center participates in the financing of this research is the source of the work of targeting mechanisms réapration DNA in cancer.

"We are extremely pleased that the work that we conducted in the laboratory are translated as quickly as benefits to patients. This concept is now tested in clinical trials deifferents worldwide." said the professor.

The mode of action of this drug
The concept behind this new approach is called "synthetic lethality". Normal cells have different ways of repairing damage to their DNA. In the case of BRCA tumors, a means of compensation is absent. Olaparib the drug blocks a different path involving the enzyme PARP, normal cells are not affected by this medication because they can use the BRCA genes. When the drug is used on the BRCA tumors, they have no means to repair their DNA when they die. Therefore, this drug is so effective at killing cancer cells and do not affect normal cells.
Article: Inhibition of Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase in Tumors from BRCA Mutation Carriers
Authors: Peter C. Fong, David S. Boss, Timothy A. Yap, Andrew Tutt, Peijun Wu, Mergui-Marja Roelvink, Peter Mortimer, Helen Swaisland, Alan Lau, Mark J. O'Connor, Alan Ashworth, James Carmichael, Stan B. Kaye, Mr. Jan H. Schellens, and Johann S. Bono
Journal Publication:
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0900212
Source : BBC Health



The Longest Solar Eclipse Of The Century In Pictures

The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century plunged Wednesday, July 22 in the dark much of Asia, in western India to Polynesia. an exceptional phenomenon, with a period of total eclipse maximum of 6 minutes 36 seconds (less than 3 minutes on average).

Potentially, two billion earthlings were able to observe the eclipse of the Sun "monster", according to astrophysicists, which represents a record in the history of mankind.

More Pictures:

Watch the Video:



New Therapies Against HIV-AIDS : Combination Antiretroviral Therapy With Chemotherapy Targeted
The discovery opens the way for new therapies against HIV-AIDS. Now, it might be possible to treat HIV / AIDS adding chemotherapy targeted to current treatment called HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral). This new solution would destroy all the viruses circulating in the body than those hidden in immune cells.

The work was led by Dr. Sekaly of the University of Montreal (Canada) and were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

So far the treatment against AIDS is still hampered by the elimination of "reservoirs of HIV" of immune system cells where the virus is hiding and where the current HAART regimens can not achieve. The researchers were able to identify cells where HIV hides and mechanisms that allow the virus to evade current treatments. They thus paved the way for new therapies completely different from what is currently used.

"Our results support a strategy similar to that used against leukemia: chemotherapy, combined with targeted immune therapy,"
said Dr. Sekaly, professor at the University of Montreal, a researcher at the Research Center of Hospital of the University of Montreal, Director INSERM 743 and Scientific Director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute in Florida.

"This would destroy the cells containing a virus, while giving the immune system time to regenerate itself with healthy cells."

"For the first time, this study shows that the reservoirs of HIV are not due to insufficient power antiretrovirals but the persistence of the virus in two types of immune CD4 cells for life long memories"

said Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy, hematologist at the MUHC researcher Infection and Immunity Research Institute of the MUHC, and Professor of Hematology at McGill University.

"There are so many types of reservoirs of HIV, each requiring different treatment to be eliminated. "

Indeed, once the virus is hidden in these reservoir cells it becomes dependent: if the cell lives, but the virus lives when the cell dies, the virus dies too. Destroying these immune cells is therefore to eliminate the party best hidden virus. The current HAART regimens effectively destroy viruses circulating in the body but can not reach those hidden in the cell reservoir.

"We now have all new options to explore in the coming years to combat HIV,"

concludes Nicolas Chomont, post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Montreal and one of the co-authors of this study.

"The combination of basic and clinical approaches has led to surprising results that allow us to solve another of the mysteries of this virus with a thousand faces."

These new therapeutic options require many years of research before being validated and to become a reality for patients. However, this study represents an invaluable work plan that will guide many laboratories around the world.
Article: HIV reservoir size and persistence are driven by T cell survival and homeostatic proliferation
Authors: Nicolas Chomont, Mohamed El-Far, Petronela Ancuta, Lydie Trautmann, Francesco A Procopio, Bader Yassine-Diab, Genevieve Boucher, Mohamed-Rachid Boulassel, Georges Ghattas, Jason M Brenchley, Timothy W Schacker, Brenna J Hill, Daniel C Douek, Jean-Pierre Routy, Elias K Haddad & Sekaly
Journal publication: Nature Medicine
DOI: 10.1038/nm.1972
Source: Eurekalert



Women Have A More Powerful Immune System Than Men According To A New Study.
Men and women are not equal before biology: the latest study by Dr. Maya Saleh, of the Research Institute of the University Health Center McGill and the McGill University (Canada), shows that women have a more powerful immune systems than men. Indeed, the production of estrogen in females would have a positive effect on the innate inflammatory response against bacterial pathogens. These surprising results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today.

More specifically, estrogen produced naturally by women could block the secretion of the enzyme Caspase-12 that blocks the inflammatory process. Thus the presence of estrogen would have a positive effect on innate immunity, which represents the body's first defense against pathogens.

"These results demonstrate that the inflammatory response in women is more powerful than men,"
According to Dr. Saleh.

This study was conducted on mice with the gene for caspase-12 was inactivated, ie mice highly resistant to infection. The human gene for caspase-12 has been implanted in some of them, male and female .... or only males have become more susceptible to infections.

"We were very surprised by this result, and we determined that the estrogen produced by female mice blocked the actions of the human gene for caspase-12 gene",

says Dr. Saleh.

"We could also show which part of the gene binds estrogen to block, which calls for direct action."

Since these experiments were made with a human gene, researchers believe that these results are also applicable to men. This characteristic of female innate immune system could have developed during evolution to better protect individuals which breed.

The positive effect of estrogen on our natural resistance to infection is also with synthetic hormones such as 17-beta estradiol. This finding may open the door to new therapeutic applications for enhancing the immune system. A question remains: men will accept they take an exclusively female hormone to treat?
Source: McGill University



The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 : Ribosomes In The Spotlight
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to two Americans and one Israeli for their work on ribosomes. This research promises advances in the treatment of diseases through the improvement of antibiotics.

The Nobel chemistry prize three researchers for their studies of ribosomes: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom), Thomas A. Steitz (Yale University, USA) and Ada E. Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel).

These components of the cell, real manufacturing proteins via translation of DNA, are major targets for antibiotic action of many of them being to prevent bacterial ribosomes to function, said the academy Royal Swedish Society of Sciences.

Together, they conducted a three-dimensional mapping at the scale of the atom in this complex enzyme. Ribosomes, real biochemical plants, read the genetic code to produce proteins necessary for the establishment and functioning of organisms. Hemoglobin, hormone, enzyme digestion, consisting of cells, antibodies ... all that is synthesized by ribosomes. This is true for humans, but also for disease-causing bacteria.

In blocking the functioning of the ribosomes that antibiotics fight against bacteria. Better understanding is therefore better to fight against the disease.

The three distinguished scientists have used the X-ray crystallography to detail the atomic structure of ribosomes and develop models to explain their association with various antibiotics. These models are now used for the development of new drugs.

With the 10 million kronor (980,000 euros), the Nobel chemistry prize investment of all the teams of these three researchers, whose work is used since 2000 to develop new antibiotics.



Nanotechnology To Treat Cancer
U.S. - A team of researchers from Harvard University and the Institute of Technology Massachusetts (MIT) has developed a new way of treating cancer by administering the treatment only to diseased cells without killing cells.

Current treatments against cancer certainly target the diseased cells but also reach those in good health. This new treatment will prevent the growth of cancer cells with cytotoxic agents, while preserving tissue not involved.

This team of researchers led by Dr Basu has made chemically modified nanoparticles to target and prevent signaling pathway proteins providing cellular proliferation. By blocking these signaling pathways, cancer cells were not able to multiply.

Nanoparticles target cancer cells while and allow chemotherapy agents act directly on them. Targeting only those cells and predispose them to receive treatment would use doses of medication weaker and more tailored to the patient. Side effects are less evident and treatment easier to live for the patient.

Tests performed in the laboratory, combining nanoparticles and a drug cisplatin (which is used to treat several types of cancer) have demonstrated the effectiveness of this process to inhibit the development of cancerous cells and even kill them. Tests on mice with melanoma have also proved inconclusive. In the group of mice treated with the combination of nanoparticles and the drug, 50% of mice had their tumors regress, no cons in the group treated with medication alone.



Blood Genetically Modified To Create Rare Blood
France - Researchers from the French Blood Alps-Mediterranean could change one blood group through gene transfer. A breakthrough that will perhaps eventually to produce samples of rare blood.

Their work used the blood group system Kidd / JK as a model, a blood group among the 30 known, particularly critical in the field of blood transfusion.

While for certain blood groups as ABO, it is possible to obtain blood samples with any combination of antigens, the total lack of group antigens Kidd / JK on the surface of red blood cells particularly rare.

The strategy combines the technology of gene transfer, RNA interference and in vitro generation of red blood cells. Using vectors for gene transfer derived from HIV, the work of this French team showed it is possible to genetically modify stem cells from umbilical cord blood by inducing suppression of the expression of a gene (SLC14A1) that encodes the protein Kidd / JK.

These genetically modified cells are grown in the laboratory to generate red blood cells are tested using techniques routine laboratory blood. These tests show that these red cells have the same characteristics as those of a donor rare Jk null.

This type of blood sample "artificial" could be used in diagnostic laboratories of blood groups as reference sample. Many developments are still needed to devise an industrial development that could lead to regular use. These works still represent a first step towards the creation of rare blood samples used in diagnostic tests conducted in the field of blood safety.



Prevention: Beware Of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
France - National Institute of Prevention and Health Education (INPES) is launching an information campaign about prevention and STI. His credo: the screening.

Sexually transmitted infections are caused by different agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites ...) transmitted from one person to another during sex. But some of them, such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis, can also be transmitted by means other than sexual.

The seriousness of STIs varies. The worst can be fatal, such as AIDS or hepatitis B. Papilllomavirus warts and can in turn cause cancer, while chlamydia, syphilis or herpes can cause severe complications (severe genital infections, ectopic pregnancy, infertility ...).

The best way to protect themselves against STIs is to use a condom and to use screening. The Inpes stressed today the importance of the latter, which must be completed before the onset of symptoms. While sexually transmitted infections are not always visible, their impact on them can be dramatic.



Breakthrough In The Development Of A Vaccine Against Alzheimer's
Israel - Dr Mononego University in Beer Shiva has demonstrated the ability to test and measure specific immune responses in mice carrying human genes: he hopes to anticipate the immune response of patients with AD.

Amyloid plaques accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer patients. Dr. Monsonego has determined that the introduction of beta-amyloid peptide responsible for the formation of plaques in the brain, triggering a natural immune response. The magnitude of this response depends on certain immune system genes, very different to different people.

The research team has a humanized mouse model suffering from Alzheimer's disease with a specific gene present in approximately 30% of the study group. By stimulating an immune response to the peptide on these humanized mice, the researchers found a significantly reduced inflammatory response. These results are identical in humans.

This discovery is a very promising track to creating a vaccine based on genetic background and to develop an approach to personalized immunotherapy. Further studies should now demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the humanized mouse model.



Identification Of The Genetic Cause Of Most Common Form Of Breast Cancer
The discovery of tumor suppressor genes has been the main key to having an understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to uncontrolled proliferation of cells, a mechanism of cancer.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have found that defects in a gene called p18, can lead to cancer. This discovery, combined with new laboratory techniques, will help scientists to identify and explore new treatments for a tumor type representing 70 and 80% of all breast cancers. The research results were published in the medical journal Cancer Cell May 2009.

Defects in the gene p18 were observed in different types of human cancers. According to lead author, Dr. Yue Xiong, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics, when this gene is not expressed cells continue to grow, divide until they become cancer.

When studying this author and his collaborators have shown that decreased expression of p18 gene is strongly correlated with the development of a common type of breast tumors. The formation mechanism of this type of tumor is very different from other forms of breast cancer. Having understood the mechanism and having a laboratory animal genetically modified to conduct experiments, the authors propose to examine specific treatments against these tumors.
Source: Eurekalert
University of North Carolina School of Medicine



Black Tea May Fight Diabetes
Black tea was hitherto known for its antioxidant properties, stimulating the immune system or more recently as an anti-hypertensive, another property may well be added to the list. Black tea for use in the management of diabetes in a Chinese study published in the Journal of Food Science (reference below).

After water tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Researchers at the Chinese Tianjin Key Laboratory have analyzed the level of polysaccharides in green tea, oolong and black to determine if they could be used to treat diabetes. Polysaccharides are carbohydrates including starch and cellulose that could help diabetics because it delays the absorption of glucose.

Researchers found that among the three types of tea, the polysaccharide content in black tea had the inhibitory properties of glucose strongest. The researchers also found that the polysaccharide content in black tea had the highest property capital of free radicals, these compounds play a role in the development of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.

"Great efforts are made to the search for effective inhibitors of glucose derived from natural products,

Haixia Chen explained, the researcher who led the study.

"There is a possibility of using polysaccharides of black tea in the management of diabetes.

Item: Physicochemical Properties and Antioxidant Capacity of 3 Polysaccharides from Green Tea, Oolong Tea and Black Tea
Authors: Haixia Chen, Zhishuang Qu, Lingling Fu, Peng Dong and Zhang Xin
Journal Publication: Journal of Food Science
DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01231.x
Source: Science Daily News

Synthetic Biology: Genome Transferred Between Two Bacteria Via Yeast


One More Step Towards A Synthetic Genome - Artificial life
Scientists were able to transfer the genome of a type of bacteria in yeast, edit, and then successfully transplanted into a second type of bacteria. This research has helped to overcome any obstacles to create new micro-organisms that may one day be used to produce biofuels, clean up toxic sites, retaining the carbon or other applications. These works are being published in the latest issue of Science (reference below).

Carole Lartigue and colleagues had already found a way to transplant the genome of a bacterium, Mycoplasma mycoides, into another, Mycoplasma capricolum. They also realized that to transplant the genome of M. mycoides in yeast gave way to alter the genome of another way.

How can the bacteria host accepts foreign DNA?
To transplant the genome changed in a new bacterium, researchers were faced a problem similar to that of surgeons performing a transplant operation: how to make the recipient accepts the foreign element?
Many bacteria use systems of restriction enzymes to protect themselves against foreign DNA. They are equipped with enzymes called "restriction" can recognize short sequences of DNA and cut.

To protect their own DNA, the bacteria bind to specific positions on the genome of chemicals called methyl groups. Yeasts, however, do not methylate their genome in this way.

After transplanting the genome of M. mycoides in yeast and have eliminated a nonessential gene, which could have been done in the bacterium itself, Lartigue and colleagues were able to circumvent two-step restriction made by the host bacterium, M. capricolum. They were first inactivated enzyme restriction of M. capricolum and methyl groups added to the genome changed even in yeast. Then they were transferred in M. capricolum genome, which occurs after several cycles of division a new strain of the microbe donor, M. mycoides.
Article: Creating Strains from Bacterial Genomes that Have Been Engineered and Cloned in Yeast
Authors: Carole Lartigue, Sanjay Vashee, Mikkel A. Algire, Ray-Yuan Chuang, Gwynedd A. Benders, Li Ma, Vladimir N. Noskov, Evgeniya A. Denisova, Daniel G. Gibson, Nacyra Assad-Garcia, Nina Alperovich, David W. Thomas, Chuck Merryman, Clyde A. Hutchison, Hamilton O. Smith, J. Craig Venter, John I. Glass
DOI: 10.1126/science.1173759
Journal Publication: Science
Source: EurekAlert



A New Technique Of Magnetic Detoxification Of Blood
South Korea - Researchers at the Jinju National University have discovered a new way to rid the blood of some metal.

A team of researchers has identified a receiver that attaches securely and only lead in the body. She has designed a magnetic nanoparticle containing a nickel alloy, equipped with this receiver. By injecting these particles into the bloodstream and then performing dialysis to remove particulate matter and lead with a magnet, the blood is thoroughly cleaned.

Lead poisoning, lead infection, can cause memory loss, anemia, and even paralysis. Detoxification magnetic early and safe, because hemoglobin is not affected by magnetic fields. Tests on human blood are very satisfactory.

The magnetic approach could now look to other types of particles in the blood. The radioactive toxins, cholesterol, alcohol and even drugs could thus be eliminated from the blood, they are associated with good nanoparticle.



The Silver Nanoparticles To Prevent Blood Clots
India - The team of Dr. Dash of Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi has discovered an alternative to aspirin and other anticoagulants in preventing the formation of blood clots. A discovery size in the treatment of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Their study involves particles of silver which is about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair — that are injected into the bloodstream.

Although the silver nanoparticles have already shown their antibacterial properties, the team of Dr. Dash noted in laboratory tests their ability to prevent clotting. To Dr. Dash, this discovery is innovative because the properties of silver nanoparticles were previously unknown.

The nanoparticles have indeed the capacity to prevent the cohesion of platelets and thus the formation of blood clots. Tests have shown that injection of these silver nanoparticles could be reduced by nearly 40% rate of bleeding without apparent side effects.

A blood clot located in a vein or artery can cause a heart attack or embolism or a stroke if the clot migrates to the lungs or brain.

The silver nanoparticles are already used as an antibacterial agent in some toothpastes, socks absorbing odors or filtration systems water.


New Way To Treat Addiction
U.S. - Researchers from the University of Buffalo have developed a new nanoparticle that can disable a gene involved in many forms of addiction.

The team of researchers has discovered a way to "turn off" the signal sent by the brain protein DARPP-32 neurons, which indicates the drug addiction. The short interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNA), cellular components were fixed on nanoparticels of gold using nano-rods.

Modified and stabilized, these bars microscopic penetrate better into the cells. In the case of siRNA, the nano-bar may carry 40% of the acid through the blood-brain barrier, a result judged very high by the researchers. The "nano-bar complex siRNA" is able to extinguish the signal of the gene, remain stable and cross this barrier without being affected in its effectiveness.

This technique could allow the treatment of addiction. In vivo tests should be made in the hope of adding a new pharmaceutical agent to the existing arsenal in the fight against addiction. It could also be applied to Parkinson's disease, cancer and, in general, any condition requiring medication administration in the brain.

More information:
See the paper, Nanotechnology approach for drug addiction therapy: Gene silencing using delivery of gold nanorod-siRNA nanoplex in dopaminergic neurons , in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.


Human Stem Cells Free Of Foreign DNA
U.S. researchers have developed a method to produce human induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which contain no foreign, potentially harmful DNA. The report of this work are published in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Stem cells are induced pluripotent human adult cells that were "reprogrammed" into embryonic stem cells.

This result is important for the use of these cells in basic research in biology and is a key step in view of producing induced pluripotent stem cells used in medical therapy without the risk that elements inserted into their genome interfere with the development normal cell. When researchers in the early days reprogrammed adult and fetal cells so they become induced pluripotent stem cells, they used viruses to insert the processed key genes in the nucleus can trigger the reprogramming process.

Jungying Yu and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) now describe an alternative to this approach. They added genes to circular DNA fragments called plasmids generally independent of cellular chromosomes. Then they introduced the plasmids into human foreskin cells by a process called nucleofection. The proteins expressed by genes carried by plasmids were then able to reprogram cells into iPS cells. Finally, the iPS cells began to lose their plasmid during cell division and researchers were then able to isolate which carried no more.

In their article, the authors state that other teams have recently reported methods with the same objective, but that their process is currently the only producing iPS completely devoid of human vectors and transgenic sequences.
Article: Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Free of Vector and Transgene Sequences
Authors: Junying Yu, Kejin Hu, Kim Smuga-Otto, Shulan Tian, Ron Stewart, Igor I. Slukvin, James A. Thomson
Journal Publication: Science
Source: EurekAlert
Credit: UW-Madison



Therapeutic Cloning Has Cured Parkinson's Disease In Mice
U.S. researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York) have successfully treated Parkinson's disease in mice through therapeutic cloning. The discovery is published in the medical journal Nature Medicine.

Therapeutic cloning or "nuclear transfer of somatic cells (SCNT)” involves inserting the nucleus of a differentiated somatic cell donor to a recipient enucleated oocyte.

This cell develops to the blastocyst stage from which to isolate embryonic stem cells (ES) which themselves can be differentiated cell lines defined. The cells obtained are genetically identical to the donor, they are therefore spared by the immune system and thus avoiding the problems of rejection.

This new study shows that therapeutic cloning can treat Parkinson's disease in mice. Researchers have taken skin cells from the tail of the animal to obtain dopaminergic neurons (nerve cells damaged in disease Parkinson) called autologous (from the same organism and transplant this one). The mouse model of Parkinson's disease who received these neurons presented a consistent neurological improvement. In contrast, when neurons were transplanted in an animal not compatible, the cells did not survive and the animal showed no sign of improvement.

Source: Nature Medicine, Eurekalert



Gene Therapy Shows Promising Results Against HIV
The uses gene therapy to treat HIV patients shows promising results in clinical trial phase 2.

The results on 74 volunteers show that the technique is safe and has reduced the effects of viruses on the immune system. The research was conducted by the University of California (USA) and results are published in the medical journal Nature Medicine.

Gene therapy could theoretically afford to replace it with a single treatment the anti-viral combination therapies administered to HIV-positive life.

The team led by Dr. Ronald Mitsuyasu, University of California at Los Angeles (USA) conducted the test on 74 volunteers infected with HIV. These were divided into two groups by drawing lots.

Stem Cells
Patients were well received either placebo or blood stem cells carrying a molecule called "OZ1", a kind of enzyme ( "ribozime"), designed to prevent viral replication by targeting two proteins of the virus for its proliferation .

The use of blood stem cells is to ensure future generations of cells containing the same genetic program modified for therapeutic purposes.

The molecule OZ1 did not cause any unwanted side effects during the trial.

After 48 weeks, no statistical difference in viral load (concentration of virus in the blood) between the two groups. After 100 weeks, the number of CD4 +-cells, which decreases immune from the virus - was higher in the group treated with gene therapy than in placebo.

According to Dr. Ronald Mitsuyasu

"Gene therapy is a treatment that is administered only once and allow the body to defend themselves against the virus without the ongoing contribution of anti-viral field. "

"The treatment is far from perfect and is not as effective as anti-viral therapies, but the current study is a proof of concept, that advertise and administer a single gene in the patient's stem cells that reinjected it into the blood reduces virus replication. "

A long-term monitoring would still be necessary, according to Dr. Mitsuyasu, to ensure that there is no danger to the patient.

Source: University of California - Los Angeles

Large Quantity Of Laboratory Stem Cells Produced From Small Number Of Blood Stem Cells

Large Quantity Of Laboratory Stem Cells Produced From Small Number Of Blood Stem Cells
A team from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), University of Montreal has managed to produce a large quantity of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow.

The multidisciplinary team headed by Dr.Guy Sauvageau did so a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment using stem cells. This world premiere will advance research on stem cells and could have important implications in several areas for which there is currently no treatment.

Each year in North America, nearly four thousand people waiting in vain for a bone marrow transplant due to lack of compatible donor. We know that stem cell transplantation of bone marrow can be used to reconstitute the bone marrow recipient. The main difficulty is to obtain a sufficient number of stem cells compatible. Thanks to Dr. Sauvageau and his team a few years, these patients may get a new bone marrow.

"This could include grafting all adults from the existing banks of umbilical cord blood, including stem cell content is currently limiting the widespread use in adults," says Dr. Sauvageau.

Organ transplants without side effects: the medicine of the future?
Currently, transplant recipients are condemned to take medication against rejection of the transplanted organ to suffer side effects throughout their lives. However,

"There are studies in mice showing that stem cells from bone marrow can prevent rejection typically directed against solid organs," says Dr. Sauvageau.

Rejection occurs because the immune cells, produced by the bone marrow, attack the transplanted organ as if it were an invader. By extrapolation from laboratory studies, it is likely that grafting of hematopoietic stem cells taken from the donor organ and developed in the laboratory would prevent rejection of organ. Hence the importance of having large amounts of hematopoietic stem cells thereby is able to combine stem cells compatible with the organ transplant.

Proteins multiplying stem cells
To produce large quantities of hematopoietic stem cells in the laboratory, the team of Dr. Sauvageau has identified ten proteins from seven hundred candidates. These ten proteins are naturally present within the hematopoietic stem cells. And researchers can use each to force these cells to multiply in the laboratory.

"The next step is to verify if this also works in humans. And everything is already in place “Guy Sauvageau resumed.

These tests will be conducted at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal, one of the leading centres in the country where stem cells transplants are performed.

"If one of the ten proteins can increase hematopoietic stem cells in humans, then we can obtain the quantities of cells needed to perform transplants. And then it will be "mission accomplished.”

Many researchers around the world are now trying to harness the regenerative power of other types of stem cells to treat diseases like Alzheimer's or diabetes. The research team IRIC could also help them reach their goal.

The work of the team of Dr. Sauvageau has been funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research of Canada and the results are published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell dated April 17. (Reference below)
Article: A Functional Screen to Identify Novel Effectors of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Activity
Journal Publication: Cell


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