Toxicity testing on the placenta and embryo
Researchers have developed a cell culture test to detect substances that are directly or indirectly harmful to embryos. Based on an existing test used for developing new drugs and chemicals, the augmented version is designed to help reduce the number of animal experiments.
New spray could someday help heal damage after a heart attack
Heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Although modern surgical techniques, diagnostics and medications have greatly improved early survival from these events, many patients struggle with the long-term effects of permanently damaged tissue, and the 5-year mortality rate remains high. Now, researchers have developed a minimally invasive exosome spray that helped repair rat hearts after myocardial infarction.
A common ancestor for cells involved in hearing and touch
There are striking similarities in the development of two types of specialized sensory cells: the so-called 'hair cells' that receive sound vibrations in the inner ear, and the Merkel cells that sense light touch at the surface of the skin. These developmental similarities are a legacy of shared evolutionary history.
Sensing 'junk' RNA after chemotherapy enhances blood regeneration
Scientists reveal that during hematopoietic regeneration, RNA expressed from a part of the genome considered 'junk DNA' is used by hematopoietic stem cells to get activated and proliferate. The study shows that these so-called transposable elements make RNA after chemotherapy and activate an immune receptor which induces inflammatory signals enhancing hematopoietic stem cell cycling and thus participating in the regeneration of the hematopoietic system.
Stem cells can use same method as plants and insects to protect against viruses
Researchers have found a vital mechanism, previously thought to have disappeared as mammals evolved, that helps protect mammalian stem cells from RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and Zika virus. The scientists suggest this could one day be exploited in the development of new antiviral treatments.