Navigation Links
Sugar study is sweetener for stem cell science

Scientists at The University of Manchester are striving to discover how the body's natural sugars can be used to create stem cell treatments for heart disease and nerve damage thanks to a 370,000 funding boost.

All cells that make up the tissues of the body such as skin, liver, brain and blood are surrounded by a layer of sugars that coat the cells.

These sugars help the cells to know what type of cell they are and to respond to the other cells which surround them and the chemical messages that pass between cells.

Now Dr Catherine Merry from The School of Materials has been awarded a prestigious New Investigator Research Grant by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to investigate how different cells make different sugar types and to test out theories on how sugars can influence cell behaviour.

Dr Merry, who is leading the research, said: "At present, the way in which cells make these sugars is not well understood. From the little we do know, we believe isolated fragments of these sugars could be used to instruct cells to behave in particular ways.

"We also think we might be able to force cells to make one particular type of sugar and not another, thereby influencing the way in which that cell grows and interacts with other cells.

"This work is important in helping us understand how the sugars made by the cells change during this process.

"We also believe our research might suggest how sugars can be used to help embryonic stem cells grow in the lab or how they can be instructed to become cell types which could be of use in human therapies to treat problems with nerve, heart muscle or blood cells.

"Although the prospect of creating cells from embryonic stem cells for use in humans is still a considerable time away, research such as ours helps move towards this goal."

Dr Merry's research will take place over three years in newly refurbished high-tech laboratories in the Materials Science Centre at the University.

A recent 300,000 upgrade to five laboratories has led to a new biomaterials and tissue engineering research facility being established and has helped transform what was a very small interest in The School of Materials into a major focus of future work.

The upgrade, funded by the Royal Society Wolfson Foundation, is paving the way for cutting-edge research in the fields of molecular biology, stem cell culture and nanofabrication,

A new confocal microscope that produces high-resolution 3D optical images has also been installed thanks to 250,000 funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The new labs in the Materials Science Centre form part of the UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration, which was established in 2006 with a 1.5 million grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency and involves researchers from across the university


Contact: Alex Waddington
University of Manchester

Related biology news :

1. Right breakfast bread keeps blood sugar in check all day
2. Sugary drinks, not fruit juice, may be linked to insulin
3. The accumulation of sugar in neurons may explain the origin of several neurodegenerative diseases
4. Too much sugar turns off gene that controls the effects of sex steroids
5. Too much fructose could leave dieters sugar shocked
6. Cornell researchers prove how plants transport sugars
7. Study of sugars on cell surface identifies key factor in flu infection
8. ESFs workshop restores good name of sugar
9. Sugar linkage could lead to better treatment for autoimmune diseases
10. Genetic variation linked to sugary food
11. Diabetes linked to male infertility; excess sugars in the body have direct effect on sperm quality
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need for ... tools has been paving the way for use ... of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food ... predominantly used in medical applications, however, their adoption ... due to continuous emphasis on improving product quality ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced broader entry into the automotive market with ... match the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. ... are ideal for the automotive industry and will be ... Europe , Japan ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global ... it has released a new version of its ... North America have already installed ... also includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include some ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its ... at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at the law ... Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel ... and Izhak Tamir to the Board of Directors; ... directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms of options ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company ... Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern ... City. --> --> ... Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for production, culture, and assessment ... Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in November 2013 as Business ... to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she has built up the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: