Navigation Links
Turning back the cellular clock

Cell reprogramming calls The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to mind.

It's a new technology that uses molecular therapy to coax adult cells to revert to an embryonic stem cell-like state, allowing scientists to later re-differentiate these cells into specific types with the potential to treat heart attacks or diseases such as Parkinson's. But at this point in the technology's development, only one percent of cells are successfully being reprogrammed.

Now, for the first time, scientists at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with researchers at Harvard University have succeeded in tracking the progression of these cells through live imaging to learn more about how they are reprogrammed, and how the new cells evolve over time.

Dr. Iftach Nachman of TAU's Department of Biochemistry says that this represents a huge stride forward. It will not only allow researchers to develop techniques and choose the right cells for replacement therapy, increasing the efficiency of cell reprogramming, but will give invaluable insight into how these cells will eventually react in the human body. Results from the research project were recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Looking at your cell's family tree

Dr. Nachman and his fellow researchers used flourescent markers to develop their live imaging approach. During the reprogramming process, the team was able to visually track whole lineages of a cell population from their single-cell point of origin.

Cell lineage proved to be crucial for predicting how the cells would behave and whether or not they could be reprogrammed successfully, says Dr. Nachman. "By combining quantitative analysis of the data, we were able to see that these 'decisions' are made very early on. We analyzed the cells over time, and we were able to detect subtle changes that occur as early as the first or second day in a long, two-week process."

This is the first time that scientists have looked within a cell population to determine why some cells successfully reprogram while most fail or die along the way. The state in which cells enter the reprogramming process are thought to have an impact on the outcome.

Nature in reverse

Scientists are only beginning to understand this enigmatic process, which reverses nature by causing cells to regress back to their embryonic stage. Increased knowledge of how reprogramming cells proliferate will allow scientists to develop better real-life therapies and reduce risk to patients, says Dr. Nachman.

While embryonic stem cells culled from live embryos can be manipulated to become new "replacement" tissues such as nerve or heart cells, these reprogrammed stem cells from adults represent a safer and ethically more responsible approach, some scientists believe.

The next step for Dr. Nachman and his team is research into specific cell-type characteristics before adult cells even enter the reprogramming process. They will try to discover the molecular markers that differentiate between cells that successfully reprogram and those that do not. Several projects in their lab are now attempting to track different cell types and how they change under live imaging.


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Related medicine news :

1. Turning metal black more than just a novelty
2. Doctors Turning to Cardiac Catheterization Too Quickly
3. New iVillage Study Reveals That Majority of Women 18-34 Go Online First With Health Questions - Before Turning to Their Doctor or Other Family Members
4. Parents of Autistic Children Turning to Alternative Treatments
5. Holistic Management and Allan Savory Win the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Award for Turning Deserts into Thriving Grasslands and Combating Climate Change.
6. Turning a painkiller into a cancer killer
7. Study Probes Causes of Anger in Returning U.S. Soldiers
8. Lack of cellular enzyme triggers switch in glucose processing
9. Key to Hepatitis C May Be Two Cellular Proteins
10. NIH/NHLBI-funded PACT Group Announces the Renewal of Production Assistance for Cellular Therapies (PACT)
11. Easy to See and Use Senior Phone Works with AT&T and T-Mobile Cellular Providers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Turning back the cellular clock
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts and ... him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife on ... say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the freeway, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their ... in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating ... of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Va. , June 24, 2016 The ... set of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical ... (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, ... the "value" of new medicines. The recommendations ... does not appear on the drug label, a prohibition ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: