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    gentaur-anti-lyme-disease-cell-cultureSaito collaborated with biomedical researchers at Johns Hopkins University, applying his proteomic techniques to explore proteins in a terrestrial organism, the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease. Unlike all other known organisms, Borrelia burgdorferi need manganese (blue dot), rather than iron, to serve as linchpins bonded into key enzymes. The scientists found that to cause disease, Borrelia require unusually high levels of manganese. The findings open new avenues to search for ways to attack the bacteria. Credit: P. John Hart, University of Texas. Scientists have confirmed that the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease—unlike any other known organism—can exist without iron, a metal that all other life needs to make proteins and enzymes. Instead of iron, the bacteria substitute manganese to make an essential enzyme, thus eluding immune system defenses that protect the body by starving pathogens of iron.

    To cause disease, Borrelia burgdorferi requires unusually high levels of manganese, scientists at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the University of Texas reported. Their study, published March 22, 2013, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, may explain some mysteries about why Lyme Disease is slow-growing and hard to detect and treat. The findings also open the door to search for new therapies to thwart the bacterium by targeting manganese. "When we become infected with pathogens, from tuberculosis to yeast infections, the body has natural immunological responses," said Valeria Culotta, a molecular biologist at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. The liver produces hepcidin, a hormone that inhibits iron from being absorbed in the gut and also prevents it from getting into the bloodstream. "We become anemic, which is one reason we feel terrible, but it effectively starves pathogens of iron they need to grow and survive," she said. Borrelia, with no need for iron,has evolved to evade that defense mechanism. In 2000, groundbreaking research on Borrelia's genome by James Posey and Frank Gherardini at the University of Georgia showed that the bacterium has no genes that code to make iron-containing proteins and typically do not accumulate any detectable iron. Culotta's lab at JHU investigates what she called "metal-trafficking" in organisms­—the biochemical mechanisms that cells and pathogens such as Borrelia use to acquire and manipulate metal ions for their biological purposes. "If Borrelia doesn't use iron, what does it use?" Culotta asked. To find out, Culotta's lab joined forces with Mak Saito, a marine chemist at WHOI, who had developed techniques to explore how marine life uses metals. Saito was particularly intrigued because of the high incidence of Lyme Disease on Cape Cod, where WHOI is located, and because he specializes in metalloproteins, which contain iron, zinc, cobalt, and other elements often seen in vitamin supplements. The metals serve as linchpins, binding to enzymes. They help determine the enzymes' distinctive three-dimensional shapes and the specific chemical reactions they catalyze.

    It's difficult to identify what metals are within proteins because typical analyses break apart proteins, often separating metal from protein. Saito used a liquid chromatography mass spectrometer to distinguish and measure separate individual Borrelia proteins according to their chemical properties and infinitesimal differences in their masses. Then he used an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer to detect and measure metals down to parts per trillion. Together, the combined analyses not only measured the amounts of metals and proteins, they showed that the metals are components of the proteins. "The tools he has are fantastic," Culotta said. "Not too many people have this set of tools to detect metalloproteins." The experiments revealed that instead of iron, Borrelia uses that element's next-door neighbor on the periodic chart, manganese, in certain Borrelia enzymes. These include an amino peptidase and an important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase protects the pathogens against a second defense mechanism that the body throws against them. The body bombards pathogens with superoxide radicals, highly reactive molecules that cause damage within the pathogens. Superoxide dismutase is like an antioxidant that neutralizes the superoxides so that the pathogens can continue to grow. The discoveries open new possibilities for therapies, Culotta said. "The only therapy for Lyme Disease right now are antibiotics like penicillin, which are effective if the disease is detected early enough. It works by attacking the bacteria's cell walls. But certain forms of Borrelia, such as the L-form, can be resistant because they are deficient in cell walls." "So we'd like to find targets inside pathogenic cell that could thwart their growth," she continued. "The best targets are enzymes that the pathogens have, but people do not, so they would kill the pathogens but not harm people." Borrelia's distinctive manganese-containing enzymes such as superoxide dismutase may have such attributes. In search of new avenues of attack, the groups are planning to expand their collaborative efforts by mapping out all the metal-binding proteins that Borellia uses and investigating biochemical mechanisms that the bacteria use to acquire manganese and directs it into essential enzymes. Knowing details of how that happens offers ways to disrupt the process and deter Lyme Disease.

    child with milk teethInterview with Dr. Alexiev Venelin.

    Since when there is a procedure to remove teeth to derive stem cells?

    In 2003, American scientists discovered that the pulp of milk teeth is a valuable source of biological mesenchymal stem cells that can be isolated and used cryopreservatеа treatment at a critical moment for the man. Scientific achievement is enormous. It's most popular method of extracting stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta, add another one to the undeniable advantages. It gives parents a second chance, missed the first - to preserve stem cells at birth of their children. Today technology is successfully practiced in the U.S., UK, Greece and Bulgaria in two years.

    How and what are the indications for extraction of milk teeth?

    Milk tooth extraction is a safe, natural and completely noninvasive method for the extraction and storage of stem cells. Appropriate age from 5 to 12 years. For starters dentist tooth determine whether appropriate, inspection of front upper and lower teeth. Required tooth is with mild shaking.

    It is the root to be fully preserved tooth so not only leaves fall and be removed as soon as it starts to shake. Before the operation is done or sectoral panoramic photograph to determine the condition of the tooth and its removal is performed under local anesthesia.
    Remove the tooth is placed into a special set of transportation and transported quickly to the laboratory. The Bank tooth is examined to extract stem cells are stored at -196 C ˚. The entire process is accompanied by protocols to ensure the unique genetic material. Finally, the child's parents receive a certificate for successfully storing an initial period of 20 years.

    Experts recommend extraction of two teeth, because the pulp of a tooth leads to storage of biological material a sample application. Medical logic leads to the more material you have, the more therapeutic applications are given.

    Which of milk tooth are stem cells?

    In milk tooth pulp in the accumulation of dentin formed hermetically sealed and sterile space, which contains multiple stem cells. The pulp of the tooth is formed even in the embryonic stage of development of the organism and therefore the cells are young and are carriers of the original DNA. It has been shown that the pulp of a tooth contains from 1000 to 100 thousand units stem cells that can be isolated to reproduce by cell cultures to be implanted in the area of ​​the lesion, giving rise to a new tissue.

    What is the application?

    Stem cells from milk tooth is defined as mesenchymal, which have the ability to differentiate into tissue-forming cells - heart muscle, kidney, liver, muscle, tendons, cartilage, have the ability to form dentin. Currently, the treatment of diseases through tissue regeneration by mesenchymal stem cells is the most recent and rapidly developing trend in modern medicine.

    Research into stem cell therapy is rapidly evolving and offer hope for the treatment of juvenile diabetes, heart disease, arthritic disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and others. Japanese scientists have managed to create even new teeth in mice. All this is due to the ability of stem cells to differentiate into other cell types. Stem cells are the first motto of cells formed after fertilization, as these are the foundation of the dental pulp: mesenchymal, chondrocytes, osteoblasts and adipocytes.

    The fact is that stem cells isolated from cord blood and placenta are much stronger and more numerous than any other. Since there are immunologically mature, they are able to transform into different types of blood cells, making a real alternative for the treatment of 80 types of diseases, including leukemia, disease and Hodgkin lymphoma, breast cancer and testicular multiple sclerosis , a number of neurological diseases and others.

    Compared to undifferentiated cells derived from other tissue stem contained in the pulp of milk teeth, however, are very valuable because they reproduce faster, easier to differentiate into other cell types and can be extracted in many wider time range. But with aging stem cells slow their recovery and become much more efficient.

    Therefore scientific theory is that the earlier draw, the more effective they will be in time.

    Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:14

    Human heart is growing in lab

    heart-implant-gentaur-antibodiesResearchers in Spain have announced that they are closer to growing human hearts outside the body for transplant, said, "Wall Street Journal". Doctors now grown and transplanted a number of human bodies, including throat, ears, and lacrimal duct and artery. The goal now is to grow a human heart.

    Researchers in Spain recalled that although the country's most donors of these bodies in the world, only 10 percent of patients in need receive a new heart. Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Aviles from the hospital in Madrid Gregorio Maranyon sure created in a laboratory version of the human heart will be ready within 5-6 years and after passing through strict regulation, will be grafted in ten years.

    Dr. Doris Taylor, who raised a mouse heart in the laboratory at the University of Minnesota, said the goal is attainable. We opened the door and showed that this is not a product of science fiction and became a science, she said.

    clinical trails dna rna monoclonal antibody targattMedicine for the treatment of cancer based on a virus destroying tumor cells for the first time successfully passed clinical trials in advanced stage, said U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturer Amgen.

    A statement from the company product has achieved the main objective of the Phase III clinical trial in patients with advanced melanoma - the most aggressive type of skin cancer. The results showed that 16% of patients who received treatment had a significant tumor poured lasting six months or more, compared with only 2% of the control group.

    A spokesman for the company declined to say whether the company will apply for registration to the FDA on the basis of this study.

    It contains the virus Talimogene laherparepvec, genetically modified in a way that causes him to multiply only in rapidly growing cells. The product is injected directly into the tumor, after which the virus enters the cancer cells and causes them to synthesize large amounts of granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor - the hormone that stimulates the maturation of immune cells. When cancerous cells die, they release new amounts of virus and acquired therein colony stimulating factor, which boost the immune system.

    The study was conducted in 400 patients, two thirds of whom received injections every two weeks. The rest of the participants received injections only granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor. According to Dr. Anthony Ribas, melanoma specialist at the University of Los Angeles, the study results are positive, but it is uncertain whether sufficient authorization for use.

    On Friday at a National Geographic-sponsored TEDx conference, scientists met in Washington, D.C. to discuss which animals we should bring back from extinction. They also discussed the how, why, and ethics of doing so. They called it "de-extinction."

    There are a few guidelines for which ancient species are considered, and sadly, dinosaurs are so long dead they aren't in the picture. Their DNA has long ago degraded, so researchers are fairly sure that Jurassic Park will never happen.

    They chose the animals using the following criteria: Are the species desirable — do they hold an important ecological function or are they beloved by humans? Are the species practical choices — do we have access to tissue that could give us good quality DNA samples or germ cells to reproduce the species? And are they able to be reintroduced to the wild — are the habitats in which they live available and do we know why they went extinct in the first place?

    This still leaves plenty of other animals on the table. The list of candidates is actually pretty long, considering. The cost of de-extinction varies by species but projects could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. Then there's also the cost of housing the animals once they are created, and re-introducing them into the wild and protecting them from poachers once they are there.

    But, if you were the zoo that had that one Woolly mammoth or saber-toothed cat, these costs just might be worth it.

    Here are 10 animals they are hoping to one day resurrect.


    AurochsDodo Labrador Duck
    WoodpeckerWoolly MammothMastodon 
    QuaggaSaber toothedcatTasmanian Tiger
    Caribbean monk seal

    lymph vessels gentaur pcr elisa premix antibodies cell gene modificationFDA gave official permission for Lymphoseek (technetium 99, 99Ts) - radiodiagnostik injection intended for the detection of lymph vessels containing cancer cells. The product can be used to track the progress of breast malignancies and melanoma.

    Lymph nodes lymphatic filtered liquid from body tissues. When this fluid comes from tissue containing tumor, she has cancer cells. By surgical removal of lymph nodes and study them under a microscope, doctors can determine whether they contain cancer cells if the tumor spreads.

    Lymphoseek allows this analysis without removal of lymph nodes. It is the first product for mapping lymph nodes approved in 30 years. Administered through intravenous injection.

    The safety and effectiveness of Lymphoseek is established by clinical study involving 332 patients with melanoma or breast cancer. Half of the participants were injected with Lymphoseek, and the other half - with blue dye, localized tumor cells in lymph nodes. Only in the study, surgeons remove lymph nodes of patients and analyze them under a microscope. The results indicate that dye and Lymphoseek found most of the nodes containing malignant cells, and that Lymphoseek found most of the lymph nodes that the dye can not identify.

    In normal clinical setting, it is intended to be used without removing the lymph nodes.
    During the study, the most common side effects are irritation and pain at the injection site.
    The product is manufactured by Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, USA.

    Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:03

    Make your own microscope - from iPhone

    gentaur-iphone-anti-microscopeSmartphones are changing the way people communicate. Now scientists further enhance their applicability in unexpected directions - diagnosis of intestinal parasites.
    It turns out that using a glass lens, costing $ 8, tape and cheap flashlight, iPhone 4 can be converted into a microscope detecting intestinal parasites according to the World Health Organization affects two billion people.

    The scientists have published their results in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In the article they describe the analysis of 199 fecal samples using a "tuned" smartphone.
    Along with the standard light microscope, researchers analyzing and using the "iPhone microscope." The latter turns out to be less sensitive, but much more practical and portable. Scientists believe that it has great potential, especially in poor and remote areas where it is concentrated the bulk of morbidity.

    The World Health Organization warned that intestinal parasites affecting mostly in economically depressed areas where they contribute substantially to malnutrition in large populations. Most at risk are children who often develop anemia.
    Feasibility of smartphones to diagnose intestinal parasitic appears dependent on the type of pathogen and the degree of infestation. For example, using the smartphone to detect 81% of cases of threadworm, but only 14% of cases of small parasitic nematodes, snap on to the intestine with hooks. Scientists say this is due to the different number of eggs that emit various types of environmental faeces.

    High-tech gadget successfully diagnosed moderate to severe infestations, but performs poorly in passenger where the sample contains only a few eggs.

    Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a specialist in infectious diseases at Toronto General Hospital, and his team are trying to create an alternative test tool by gluing 3-millimeter lens to the iPhone 4S, which scientists routinely use in their daily lives. Bogoch points out, however, that any camera phone with optical zoom can be used for this purpose. As a light source they use less flashlight, working with only one battery. The entire "unit" cost less than $ 15, without of course the price of the phone itself, and can be assembled in less than 5 minutes.

    According to team efficiency by 80% for diagnostic tests would make this device practicable. Dr. Bogoch predicted that it can be applied in a work under a limited budget. Furthermore, the team continues to improve device using cheap available materials.

    monoclonal antibodyResearchers have discovered a unique monoclonal antibody that can effectively reach inside a cancer cell, a key goal for these important anticancer agents, since most proteins that cause cancer or are associated with cancer are buried inside cancer cells. Scientists from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Eureka Therapeutics have collaborated to create the new human monoclonal antibody, which targets a protein associated with many types of cancer and is of great interest to cancer researchers.

    Unlike other human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, which can target only proteins that remain on the outside of cancer cells, the new monoclonal antibody, called ESK1, targets a protein that resides on the inside of the cell. ESK1 is directed at a protein called WT1, which is overexpressed in a range of leukemias and other cancers including myeloma and breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. WT1 is a high priority target for cancer drugs because it is an oncogenic protein, meaning that it supports the formation of cancer. In addition, it is found in few healthy cells, so there are less likely to be side effects from drugs that target it. "This is a new approach for attacking WT1, an important cancer target, with an antibody therapy. This is something that was previously not possible," said David A. Scheinberg, MD, PhD, Chair of the Sloan-Kettering Institute's Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program and an inventor of the antibody. "There has not been a way to make small molecule drugs that can inhibit WT1 function. Our research shows that you can use a monoclonal antibody to recognize a cancer-associated protein inside a cell, and it will destroy the cell." 

    The first studies of the antibody are showing promise in preclinical research as a treatment for leukemia as reported March 13, 2013, in Science Translational Medicine. "ESK1 represents a paradigm change for the field of human monoclonal antibody therapeutics," said Cheng Liu, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eureka Therapeutics. "This research suggests that human antibody therapy is no longer limited to targeting proteins present outside cancer cells, but can now target proteins within the cancer cell itself."

    ESK1 was engineered to mimic the functions of a T cell receptor, a key component of the immune system. T cells have a receptor system that is designed to recognize proteins that are inside the cell. As proteins inside the cell get broken down as part of regular cellular processes, molecules known as HLA molecules carry fragments of those proteins -- known as peptides -- to the surface. When T cells recognize certain peptides as abnormal, the T cell kills the diseased cell. In the current study, the investigators showed that ESK1 alone was able to recognize WT1 peptides and kill cancer cells in the test tube and also in mouse models for two different types of human leukemia. "We were surprised that the antibody worked so well on its own," said Dr. Scheinberg, senior author of the paper. "We had originally expected that we might need to use the antibody as a carrier to deliver a drug or a radioactive therapy to kill the cancer cells, but this was not necessary."

    Additional studies must be done in the laboratory before ESK1 is ready to be tested in patients. But the monoclonal antibody was engineered to be fully human, which should speed the time it takes to move the drug into the clinic. Researchers expect that the first clinical trials, for leukemia, could begin in about a year.

    The antibody was developed under a collaborative effort between Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Eureka, which have jointly filed for patent protection. This work was supported by grants from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Sloan-Kettering Institute's Experimental Therapeutics Center and Technology Development Fund, the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research, the Tudor and Glades Foundations, the Merker Fund, the Lymphoma Foundation, and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

    Tuesday, 19 March 2013 17:14

    Genetically modified foods? Do not panic!

    genetically-modified-foodsGenetically modified organisms can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered intentionally. Technology by which this is achieved is often called recombinant DNA technology, recombinant technology or genetic engineering. This technology allows the transfer of genes from one organism to another, often unrelated - such as insulin and human growth hormone are produced in industrial quantities of yeast - single-celled fungi, which incidentally, is also used in the manufacture of wine, beer, bread, etc. .

    Recombinant technology becomes more pervasive in the plant, and hence in refrigerators in each of us. This creates many, absolutely unjustified panic and even hysteria in the community, professionals need to dispel. On the subject, however, to speak and many pseudo experts that only fueled false rumors and myths and incite panic extra.
    Topic is too broad, so here we only briefly describe the most relevant aspects.

    First we point out that genetically modified foods are not mass produced because scientists or even farmers love to experiment with crops, but because they have serious economic benefits. This most often increased resistance to pests, increase yields, reduced need for irrigation and / or fertilization compared to current varieties, or some combination of these qualities. Simply put, the plants are imported genes that give them resistance to pests, herbicides, drought etc.. This increases yields significantly reduces the cost of farmers. In fact, the root cause for the introduction of recombinant technology in plants is notably increasing their resistance to parasites and viral diseases.

    Many "experts" speak, often in the media, totally unprepared and totally unaware of the nature of the issue, as repeating ridiculous slogans such as "No mutants in the soup."
    What many do not realize is that every plant food, used by XIX century, is genetically modified. Plum, for example, is a type that does not exist in nature - it is created by crossing the wild plums and sloes. Melons are types created by polyploidization (technique in biotechnology that will clarify this). The wheat we eat every day in the form of daily bread is not created by nature and man the crossing of wild species.

    Many people seem to be afraid of the sound of the word mutant, but it's nothing terrible. It comes from the Latin mutatio, monstrosity does not mean, as many people probably think and change. Mutant mean modified organism, not a freak. In this sense, genetic engineering changes the plants (including those used for food) to make them better - more productive, more stable, etc. Without realizing it, people are engaged in genetic engineering since the dawn of civilization - and cross picking out certain individuals, they received new breeds and varieties in which a certain quality is selectively enhanced - production at chicken or the department of dairy cows crop yield etc. It is to the latter, for example, was established wheat, which is obtained by complex crosses of several plant species. Thus, the person creates something that nature could not create. In essence, the process of creating new plants through cross from the growers do not differ in anything from the analogous process in the laboratory. Nobody refuses melons, watermelons, bread and plum because not exist in nature and man-made "mutants". Why not give the new "genetically modified" foods? In the laboratory, scientists months can achieve results that would have taken decades of growers to be reached. Recombinant technologies also provide a number of completely new features that are unavailable through classical breeding and selection of animals or plants.

    For those who are still concerned about the presence of "mutants" on the shelves of supermarkets will clarify that food produced by biotechnology, pass more rigorous tests created a "traditional" - by crossing plants, selecting at high yield, etc. This is not the most appropriate solution because the two slightly different techniques and is much more likely with "traditional" method to create dangerous foods to be noticed than those to be created by means of biotechnological and reach supermarkets. Also, any kind of new biotech pass rigorous tests for toxicity, allergenicity, nutritional changes due to mutation, unforeseen health effects due to mutation and others.

    Some will point out this time somewhat appropriate that they can be obtained changes that make some people allergic to one food or another. It really is. But not all the new foods are tested for allergenicity? He is allergic to them, just not to consume them as people who are allergic to strawberries, do not eat them. The fact that some people are allergic to strawberries does not mean that strawberries should be banned for everyone. The same goes for GM foods.

    gentaur-knockin-knockout-mouse-targatt-cloningResearchers in Japan have produced 26 successful generations of cloned mice from a single individual. That's a total of 598 mice, all of whom are essentially genetic duplicates. The achievement was made possible by a new cloning technique that allowed researchers to overcome genetic degradation problems characteristic of generational re-cloning. The breakthrough shows that mammalian cloning lines can be extended and reproduced without limit.

    Indeed, animal re-cloning (i.e. cloning a clone) works great, but up to a point. Eventually, over the course of several generations, a clonal line will ultimately fail, the result of accumulated lethal genetic and epigenetic abnormalities. But the Japanese researchers devised a crafty biohack that appears to remedy this problem.

    The new technique, developed by Teruhiko Wakayama of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, was so successful that it resulted in well over two dozen generations of re-cloned mice. Moreover, the cloning efficiency did not decrease over the course of those generations, and the project was allowed to continue indefinitely (and in fact, the project is still going!). In all, nearly 600 viable offspring were produced from a single donor mouse. The experiment started seven years ago and it is considered the largest cloning project using a mammal to date.

    Wakayama and his team achieved this by using the standard cloning technique, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), and adding a histone deacetylase inhibitor (trichostatin), and other chemicals to the process.

    In SCNT, the nucleus of a somatic cell is transferred to the cytoplasm of an egg that has had its nucleus removed (an enucleated egg). Once inside the egg, the somatic nucleus is reprogrammed to become a zygote nucleus, what is really a fertilized egg.

    But as noted, this can’t be done indefinitely, as genetic problems start to creep in over successive generations. But adding the HDI to the mix seemed to do the trick. It's a class of compounds that interfere with the function of histone deacetylase, a class of enzymes that allow histones (proteins that package and order the DNA into nucleosomes) to wrap DNA more tightly. They can also be used to alter gene expression.

    According to the researchers, the cloned mice had normal biological features, including regular lifespans and reproductive capabilities. That said, genetic analysis did show some minor abnormalities, including an oversized placenta. But none of these characteristics had a detrimental impact on the line’s clonal health. The researchers noted that “serially recloned mice have the same characteristics as standard clones.”

    Their results show that repeated iterative re-cloning is possible. The researchers wrote that “with adequately efficient techniques, it may be possible to re-clone animals indefinitely.”

    Once refined, the technique could result in the large-scale production of cloned animals for farming or conservation purposes. Moreover, animals can continue to be cloned long after the source individual has died.