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Salk scientists for the first time generate "mini-kidney" structures from human stem cells

Salk scientists for the first time generate "mini-kidney" structures from human stem cells | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

For the first time, Salk scientists have grown human stem cells into early-stage ureteric buds, kidney structures responsible for reabsorbing water after toxins have been filtered out. In the laboratory, the scientists used mouse embryonic kidney cells (seen in red in the above picture) to coax the human stem cells to grow into the nascent mushroom-shaped buds (blue and green). Their discovery is a major step in developing regenerative techniques for growing replacement human kidneys.

 

Scientists had created precursors of kidney cells using stem cells as recently as this past summer, but the Salk team was the first to coax human stem cells into forming three-dimensional cellular structures similar to those found in our kidneys.

 

"Attempts to differentiate human stem cells into renal cells have had limited success," says senior study author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the Roger Guillemin Chair. "We have developed a simple and efficient method that allows for the differentiation of human stem cells into well-organized 3D structures of the ureteric bud (UB), which later develops into the collecting duct system."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Simon Jean Nunez's curator insight, January 23, 2014 7:20 PM

"For the first time, the Salk researchers have generated three-dimensional kidney structures from human stem cells, opening new avenues for studying the development and diseases of the kidneys and to the discovery of new drugs that target human kidney cells." Really great work, what's next?

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Engineered immune cells recognize tumor cells and call a halt to cancers we thought were incurable

Engineered immune cells recognize tumor cells and call a halt to cancers we thought were incurable | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

The latest techniques involve genetically engineering immune T-cells to target and kill cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively unscathed.

 

T-cells normally travel around the body clearing sickly or infected cells. Cancer cells can sometimes escape their attention by activating receptors on their surface that tell T-cells not to attack. ALL affects another type of immune cell, the B-cells, so Sadelain takes T-cells from people with ALL and modifies them to recognise CD19, a surface protein on all B-cells – whether cancerous or healthy. After being injected back into the patient, the reprogrammed T-cells destroy all B-cells in the person's body. This means they need bone marrow transplants afterwards to rebuild their immune systems. But because ALL affects only B-cells, the therapy guarantees that all the cancerous cells are destroyed.

 

A team led by Carl June from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia used the same technique to treat several children with ALL, including Emily Whitehead (pictured right). He will present the latest results in December at the American Society of Hematology meeting in New Orleans. He will also report on the progress of adults with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, who were treated with a similar technique that targeted B-cells, including some who are still in remission three years later.

 

Other teams are developing more targeted forms of immunotherapy, engineering T-cells to recognise markers that only cancer cells possess. What gives T-cells this potential, is that they can home in on what is going on inside cells, as well as outside. This vastly expands the range of potential targets.

 

Inside all cells, proteins are routinely broken apart and the resultant debris of tiny fragments called peptides are ferried to the cell surface by molecules called human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). These peptides then get inspected by passing T-cells – a process that allows the immune system to routinely check what is going on inside cells.

 

If the peptide fragment looks normal, the T-cell gives the OK and moves on, but if it is abnormal, perhaps because of a viral invasion or cancer mutation, the T-cell will destroy the cell. But sometimes, for unknown reasons, mutated cancer peptides are seen as healthy by T-cells and are ignored. So now, researchers are reprogramming T-cells to respond specifically to peptides with hallmarks of cancer delivered to the surface from within cells.

 

Once such peptides are identified, there are two ways to engineer T-cells to seal cancer's fate. The first involves taking a person's T-cells and engineering them so they have new genes that make new receptors. These receptors bind exclusively to the cancer peptide, so once they are injected, the T-cells home in on and destroy all cells that contain the peptide.

 

The second way is to produce artificial T-cell receptors that are primed to recognise a cancer peptide. These receptors contain features that enable them to kill cancer cells once they have bound to them. These features include arms that summon passing native T-cells, or toxic chemicals that kill cells exposed to them.

 

The first technique has put 16 out of 20 people with myeloid myeloma into remission for two years. They had a T-cell treatment by Adaptimmune in Oxford, UK, that targets a peptide called NY-ESO created inside tumour cells.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Anatomy of the Plant Cell vs a Human Cell | Interactive Biology, by Leslie Samuel

Anatomy of the Plant Cell vs a Human Cell | Interactive Biology, by Leslie Samuel | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
This week, I would like to take a break from human anatomy and move on to something different: plant cell anatomy. I know botany is not everyone’s cup of tea; I am included in that category.

Via Jon Freer, antonia castagnola
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CineversityTV's curator insight, January 29, 2013 5:15 AM

Remember biology at school, get educated on photosynthesis.

Nicole's curator insight, November 10, 2013 11:24 PM

What do you find most interesting about the plant cell?

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Photosynthesis

Paul Andersen explains the process of photosynthesis by which plants and algae can convert carbon dioxide into useable sugar. He begins with a brief descript...

Via Saeeda Smiadak, antonia castagnola
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Digital-News on Scoop.it today
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National Ecology Center botanic greenhouses by Grimshaw and Samoo

National Ecology Center botanic greenhouses by Grimshaw and Samoo | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
Architecture firm Grimshaw has completed an ecological park in South Korea where tropical plants, waterfalls and penguins are housed within huge glass and steel biomes (+ slideshow). (more...)

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Stem Cell Therapies for Liver Disease and Diabetes - LifeMap -Newsletter

Stem Cell Therapies for Liver Disease and Diabetes - LifeMap -Newsletter | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

In a recently published review in Stem Cells, a comprehensive description of  current clinical programs utilizing tissue-specific stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), or hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is provided, in comparison with the findings from mature cells: hepatocytes for liver diseases or pancreatic islets for diabetes.


Via Ella Buzhor
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Ella Buzhor's curator insight, November 15, 2013 12:02 PM

Cell therapies with mature cells provide acute, but transient relief, trigger complications in transplantation procedures, require immunosuppression and are limited by source shortage.  In contrast, MSCs are easily sourced, and cause minimal complications during transplantation procedures. They provide more constant disease alleviation of by immunomodulatory and paracrine mechanisms but inefficient lineage restriction to mature hepatocytes or b-cells. HSCs are effective in treating diseases involving aberrations of immune reactions. The only trial, to date, exploiting tissue-specific stem cells, tested fetal liver-derived EpCAM1 cells for liver diseases, which involved no transplantation procedure-related complications and demonstrated about 20% engraftment efficiency.
 
More cell therapies for liver diseases and diabetes available at: http://discovery.lifemapsc.com/regenerative-medicine/cell-therapy-applications.

Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Science News
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Common Physics Misconceptions

What if you thought the earth was flat? And then you found out it isn't?

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)
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5 Fun Physics Games for Students (really)


Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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Volcano discovered smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica - Phys.Org

Volcano discovered smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica - Phys.Org | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
AFP Volcano discovered smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica Phys.Org But to do this accurately the scientists had to know how the earth's mantle would respond to an ice burden, and that depended on whether it was hot and fluid or...

Via Catherine Russell
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Geogeeks
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Historical Earthquake Data

Historical Earthquake Data | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
This map of all the world's recorded earthquakes between 1898 and 2003 is stunning. As you might expect, it also creates a brilliant outline of the plates of the Earth's crust—especially the infamous "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Plate.

 

The plate boundaries are amazingly vivid in this geovisualization of the all the earthquakes over  a 105 year span.  How did scientist orginally come up with the theory of plate tectonics?  How did spatial thinking and mapping play a role in that scientific endeavor?


Via Seth Dixon, Leisa Mackey
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(EN) - Plate Tectonics Glossary | The Geological Society

(EN) - Plate Tectonics Glossary | The Geological Society | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

"The surface of the Earth is broken up into large plates. It’s easy to confuse these plates with the Earth’s crust – the thin outermost layer of the Earth. But there is more to the structure of the Earth than this simple image of a ‘cracked egg-shell’.

 

The Earth’s layers can be defined in two different ways – based on the chemical composition or the mechanical properties of the rock. To understand what plates are, it is important to understand both of ..."


Via Stefano KaliFire
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Michelle Winemiller's curator insight, January 22, 2015 12:07 PM

this article will be of particular value so that students are provided with the actual lithospheric plate locations on Earth

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3D printed human cells could end animal testing within 5 years | Impact Lab

3D printed human cells could end animal testing within 5 years | Impact Lab | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
3D-printed human tissue could very soon begin saving millions of lives — those of the humble lab mice.

Via Harish Rajpal, Andre Bontems
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Patricia Gorricho's curator insight, November 27, 2013 1:55 PM

Células madre  Impresos-3D   podrían reemplazar la necesidad de experimentar con animales de nuevas drogas dentro de  cinco años, de acuerdo con un experto en bio-impresión pionera en el Printshow 3D en Londres.<

Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from photosynthesis
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Photosynthesis: CrashCourse Biology #8

Hank explains the extremely complex series of reactions whereby plants feed themselves on sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and also create some by product...

Via Jon Freer, antonia castagnola
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Global artificial photosynthesis: Overcoming scientific and public policy challenges

Professor Thomas Faunce presents a public lecture, Global artificial photosynthesis for a sustainable world: Overcoming scientific and public policy challeng...

Via Jon Freer, antonia castagnola
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from photosynthesis
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Maths study of photosynthesis clears the path to developing new super-crops

Maths study of photosynthesis clears the path to developing new super-crops | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
London, UK (SPX) Oct 21, 2013 -
How some plant species evolved super-efficient photosynthesis had been a mystery. Now, scientists have identified what steps led to that change.

Via SustainOurEarth, antonia castagnola
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine
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Study identifies mechanism that makes ordinary stem cells create tumors

Study identifies mechanism that makes ordinary stem cells create tumors | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it
A new study illustrates how changes in cell signaling can cause ordinary stem cells in the jaw to start forming benign but potentially harmful tumors.

Via Ella Buzhor
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Ella Buzhor's curator insight, November 13, 2013 2:54 AM

Ossifying fibroma (OF) contains a stem cell population that resembles mesenchymal stem cells (OFMSCs) and is capable of generating OF-like tumor xenografts. Enhanced TGF-β signaling in OFMSCs induces aberrant proliferation (via Notch) and deficient osteogenesis  (via BMP). Inhibition of TGF-β signaling in OFMSCs can rescue from those abnormal activities. While, chronic activation of TGF-β can convert normal MSCs into OF-like MSCs.

http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/retrieve/pii/S1934590913003731

Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine
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Genetically engineered T-cells for cancer cell therapy

Genetically engineered T-cells for cancer cell therapy | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

Developments in genetic engineering make it possible to 're-programme' the human immune system so that T cells - white blood cells that normally fight viruses - recognize and kill cancer cells. This approach, which directly harnesses the potency of the immune system, holds the prospect of a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer.


Via Ella Buzhor
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Ella Buzhor's curator insight, November 16, 2013 5:54 AM

T cells are re-programmed by synthetic genes, which encode a 'chimeric antigen receptor', a chemical hook that makes those T cells to target the cancerous cells. This therapy shows a great promise for blood cancers treatment, and expected to be expanded for the treatment of infectious diseases and GvHD as well.  

Carlos Garcia Pando's curator insight, November 17, 2013 7:42 AM

Wonderful indeed. They refer to this as "Chimeric antigen"

This means teching the system to fight in a different war, with better weapons, agains an old insidious enemy.

Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Microsimulation
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Rigs of Rods

Rigs of Rods is an open source vehicle simulator licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3. What makes Rigs of Rods different to most simulators is its unique soft-body physics: vehicles, machines, objects, etc. are simulated in real-time as flexible soft-body objects, giving the simulation an extremely accurate behavior which entirely depends on the physical construction of the vehicles or objects you create (http://www.rigsofrods.com)


Via Fabrice Kauffmann
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Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes › Ask an Expert | ABC Science

Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes › Ask an Expert | ABC Science | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

Causes of quakes

Is it possible for anything living to cause an earthquake?
— Megan


Yes, people can cause an earthquake through human activity. The most common way is by building a dam. It's very common to get small earthquakes after filling a dam, firstly because of the extra load due to the weight of the water; and then secondly because water seeping down into faults can cause them to move if they're at breaking point. Liquid acts as a lubricant enabling faults to slide more easily.

 

Another way humans can cause earthquakes is with mining - taking material out of the ground also causes little stresses which can results in earthquakes.

 

Pumping oil out can cause earthquakes by changing the stresses underground or because water pumped down to flush the oil out can have a lubricating effect.

 

Another human-related cause of earthquakes is when water is pumped through hot rocks several kilometres underground in order to harness geothermal energy. This can cause little tremors, up to magnitude 3 on the Richter Scale. Scientists use these small earthquakes to trace what is happening underground - they can follow exactly where the water is by following the little earthquakes.

 

— Clive Colins, seismologist, Geoscience Australia


Click headline to read more Ask the Expert Q & As--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Two Minute Geology Lessons

Two Minute Geology Lessons | Physics, chemistry and biology. | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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Rescooped by Cristóbal Kurth from Science News
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STRUCTURE OF THE EARTH

A video on Structure of earth for NCERT geography students.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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