Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown surveillance mechanism, known as a DNA damage checkpoint, used by cells to monitor oxidatively damaged DNA. DNA repair takes place approximately 10,000 times per cell, per day, through processes that are still only partially understood because of their complexity, speed, and the difficulty of studying complex interactions within living cells.
By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day. These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.
Scientists published a mathematical method of simplifying and interpreting genome data bearing evidence of mutations, such as those that characterize specific cancers. Not only is the technique highly accurate; it has immediate utility in efforts to parse tumor cells, in order to determine a patient's prognosis and the best approach to treatment.
In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors at Duke University Hospital helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and implanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease.
Scientists have long been unable to fully explain how infections attack the body, but now a team of researchers, including one from the University of Central Florida, has taken a step closer to understanding how the process works in HIV-1. The results mean that one day that knowledge may prevent infection.