Navigation Links
Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies
Date:1/20/2011

The difficult task of sorting and counting prized stem cells and their cancer-causing cousins has long frustrated scientists looking for new ways to help people who have progressive diseases.

But in a development likely to delight math teachers, University of Florida researchers have devised a series of mathematical steps that accomplishes what the most powerful microscopes, high-throughput screening systems and protein assays have failed to do assess how rapidly stem cells and their malignant, stemlike alter egos increase their numbers.

The method, published in the online journal PLoS ONE in January, may rev up efforts to develop stem cell therapies for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. It may also help get to the root of the cancer-stem cell theory, which puts forth the idea that a tiny percentage of loner cancer cells gives rise to tumors.

"Math is going to be the new microscope of the 21st century because it is going to allow us to see things in biology that we cannot see any other way," said Brent Reynolds, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurosurgery at UF's McKnight Brain Institute and a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center. "Stem cells and the cells that drive cancer may be as infrequent as one in 10,000 or one in 100,000 cells. The problem is how do you understand the biology of something whose frequency is so low?"

Inspired by a 2004 essay by Joel E. Cohen, Ph.D., of The Rockefeller University and Columbia University that described the explosive synergy between mathematics and biology, Reynolds and postdoctoral associate Loic P. Deleyrolle set out to build an algorithm that could determine the rate stem cells and cancer stem cells divide.

High hopes to treat or prevent diseases have been pinned on these indistinguishable cells, which are often adrift in populations of millions of other cells. Scientists know stem cells exist mainly because their handiwork is everywhere tissues heal and regenerate because of stem cells, and somehow cancer may reappear years after it was thought to be completely eliminated.

With Geoffrey Ericksson, Ph.D., a computational neuroscientist at the Queensland Brain Institute, and other scientists in Australia, the team proposed a mathematical interpretation of neurospheres tiny collections of brain cells that include stem cells and their progeny at different stages of development.

They tested the mathematical approach by using brain tumor and breast tumor cells in cultures and in mice, correlating the estimates generated by the mathematical model with the aggressiveness of the cells they were studying.

"The unique thing about our study is we were able to do the biology," Deleyrolle said. "We took our simulation to the real world with real cells."

By offering a method to evaluate the effects of diseases and treatments on stem cell activity in the brain, as well as allowing the assessment of malignant stemlike cells, researchers believe they can better evaluate potential therapies for diseases.

"Estimating the numbers of stem cells one has in a particular tissue or culture has important implications in the development of therapeutics, including those for brain tumors," said Harley Kornblum, M.D., Ph.D., professor in residence at the Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study. "This method provides a mathematical model that will enable researchers to do just that. Certainly, it will help my own research in these areas a great deal."


'/>"/>

Contact: John Pastor
jdpastor@ufl.edu
352-273-5815
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
2. Models of eel cells suggest electrifying possibilities
3. Anti-cancer drug prevents, reverses cardiovascular damage in mouse model of premature aging disorder
4. Swamping bad cells with good in ALS animal models helps sustain breathing
5. Moderate use averts failure of type 2 diabetes drugs in animal model
6. Multiple sclerosis research charges ahead with new mouse model of disease
7. A model to measure soil health in the era of bioenergy
8. New model predicts hot spots for mercury in fish
9. New movement models tested at the Smithsonian in Panama
10. Cytori reports benefit of adipose-derived regenerative cells in spinal disc model
11. Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of ... today announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... their customers enhanced security to access and transact ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the ... Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to ... a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity ... intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at ... result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: