Tag Archives: extracellular matrix

Study reveals workings of immune response to deadly fungal infections

Now that scientists understand what triggers key steps in the immune response to menacing fungi such as Candida albicans, they hope to develop ways to make it work better.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Every year, fungal infections threaten thousands of patients — from those with depressed immune systems to others who have had surgeries or devices such as catheters implanted. Moreover, some anti-fungal medications are beginning to lose their power. (more…)

Read More

Computer Simulation of Blood Vessel Growth

Early Step toward Treatment for Diseases that Affect Blood Flow

University of Utah bioengineers showed that tiny blood vessels grow better in the laboratory if the tissue surrounding them is less dense. Then the researchers created a computer simulation to predict such growth accurately – an early step toward treatments to provide blood supply to tissues damaged by diabetes and heart attacks and to skin grafts and implanted ligaments and tendons.

“Better understanding of the processes that regulate the growth of blood vessels puts us in a position ultimately to develop new treatments for diseases related to blood vessel growth,” and to better understand cancer metastasis, says bioengineering professor Jeff Weiss of the university’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. (more…)

Read More

‘Life as Research Scientist’: Angel Byrd, Cell Biologist

For years, Brown University M.D./Ph.D. student Angel Byrd had dedicated herself to studying how immune system cells capture invading fungal pathogens. Like those cells, called neutrophils, she had seized on seemingly every opportunity that had come her way.

In high school she was the valedictorian and won a 10-year Gates Millennium Scholarship. As an undergrad at Tougaloo College she earned the opportunity to do summer research in China on gene expression and was named a Leadership Alliance scholar. Later at Brown she earned a research internship at drug giant Eli Lilly, and has piled up awards for research posters. Twice she met with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. And after she won a coveted United Negro College Fund/Merck Graduate Fellowship in 2011, she sparkled on televisions around the country in a segment featuring her on BET.

Recently we spoke with Miss Byrd to know more about her research work, why this is important, and how life as a research scientist is. But before proceeding with our questions to Miss Byrd, let us learn on her childhood from her own words: (more…)

Read More

A Better Way to Culture Central Nervous Cells

A protein associated with neuron damage in Alzheimer’s patients provides a superior scaffold for growing central nervous system cells in the lab. The findings could have clinical implications for producing neural implants and offers new insights on the complex link between the apoE4 apolipoprotein and Alzheimer’s disease. Results appear in the journal Biomaterials.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A protein associated with neuron damage in people with Alzheimer’s disease is surprisingly useful in promoting neuron growth in the lab, according to a new study by engineering researchers at Brown University. The findings, in press at the journal Biomaterials, suggest a better method of growing neurons outside the body that might then be implanted to treat people with neurodegenerative diseases. (more…)

Read More

Berkeley Lab Researchers Discover a Rotational Motion of Cells that Plays a Critical Role in Their Normal Development

In a study that holds major implications for breast cancer research as well as basic cell biology, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a rotational motion that plays a critical role in the ability of breast cells to form the spherical structures in the mammary gland known as acini. This rotation, which the researchers call “CAMo,” for coherent angular motion, is necessary for the cells to form spheres. Without CAMo, the cells do not form spheres, which can lead to random motion, loss of structure and malignancy.

”What is most exciting to me about this stunning discovery is that it may finally give us a handle by which to discover the physical laws of cellular motion as they apply to biology,” says Mina Bissell, a leading authority on breast cancer and Distinguished Scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division. (more…)

Read More