New technique isolates placental cells for non-invasive genetic testing

Brown University researchers have developed a simple method for isolating placental cells from cervical swabs. The technique, described in the journal Scientific Reports, could aid in developing less invasive ways of diagnosing genetic disorders in developing fetuses. The technique isolates trophoblast cells—placental cells that carry the complete fetal genome—by taking Continue Reading

Memory T cells shelter in bone marrow, boosting immunity in mice with restricted diets

Even when taking in fewer calories and nutrients, humans and other mammals usually remain protected against infectious diseases they have already encountered. This may be because memory T cells, which are located throughout the body and required to maintain immune responses to infectious agents, according to scientists at the National Continue Reading

Insight into cells’ ‘self-eating’ process could pave the way for new dementia treatments

Cells regularly go through a process called autophagy—literally translated as ‘self-eating’ – which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses after infection. When it works, this process counteracts neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Huntington’s Disease, by getting rid of unwanted proteins and their resultant harm to cells. But when autophagy Continue Reading

Mini-kidneys grown from stem cells provide new insights into kidney disease and potential therapies

An international team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has grown ‘miniature kidneys’ in the laboratory that could be used to better understand how kidney diseases develop in individual patients. The mini kidneys, known as kidney organoids, were grown outside the body from skin cells derived Continue Reading

Novel combination of drugs may overcome drug-resistant cancer cells

Cancer cells can adapt and develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, making it difficult to eradicate tumors. A new study led by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests that a combination of three drugs, including a new class of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase inhibitors, could overcome cross-therapy resistance. The results of the Continue Reading

Researchers identify glial cells as critical players in brain’s response to social stress

Exposure to violence, social conflict, and other stressors increase risk for psychiatric conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Not everyone who experiences significant stress will develop such a response, however, and the cellular and molecular basis for an individual’s underlying resilience or susceptibility to stressful events has remained Continue Reading