Stem cell therapy is in its infancy, but has the potential to change the way we treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases, by replacing damaged or diseased cells with healthy ones. One of the key limitations of stem cell therapy is identifying the right cells to use for different therapies. Sumeet Mahajan, from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), and colleagues have utilized a technique discovered at the University in the 1970s, known as Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), which is based on the premise of roughening a metal surface upon which molecules are placed to be examined, thereby increasing the signal by which they could detect these molecules, by a million times. In this new application, SERS enables scientists to look at adult stem cells on a molecular scale to distinguish one from another. The study authors submit that: “Our approach using nuclear-targeted [gold nanoparticles] and [Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy] imaging provides label-free and noninvasive characterization that can play a vital role in identifying cell types in biomedical stem cell research.
Anna Huefner, Wei-Li Kuan, Roger A. Barker, Sumeet Mahajan. “Intracellular SERS Nanoprobes For Distinction Of Different Neuronal Cell Types.” Nano Letters 2013 13 (6), 2463-2470
Volunteering may improve your mental health and help you live longer.
Higher debt associates with worse health, among young Americans.
Daily consumption of sea buckthorn berries and its extracts may promote metabolic and heart health, among overweight women.
To optimize stem cell therapies, UK researchers develop gold nanoprobes that help to enable cell identification on a molecular scale.
Among cancer survivors experiencing sleep difficulties, yoga helps to improve sleep quality.
Moderate levels of added sugar reduce survival and compromises fitness and reproduction, in a lab animal model.
People who consume dairy products are at reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
British researchers have developed a comprehensive map of mutational processes behind the development of tumors.
Celery – as well as artichokes and the herb Mexican oregano – contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoid compounds that kill human pancreatic cancer cells.
Depression in patients with type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for dementia.
Nanoparticles, bound to compounds found in tea leaves, reduced tumors by 80%, in a lab animal model.
Canadian team employs nanotechnology and a tiny remote-controlled magnetic sphere to deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to the target sites.
Natural substances engineered to be on the order of one billionth of a meter in size hold promising potential as anti-cancer therapies.
UCLA (US) researchers develop mesoporous silica nanoparticles with the capacity to carry and deliver drugs to tumors.
Columbia University (USA) team devises a molecular robot capable of moving along a DNA strand, farther and faster than previously developed DNA walking nanobots
California Institute of Technology (US) team designs nanoparticle robots that travel the bloodstream and deliver therapy to combat cancerous growths.
Washington University (US) scientists successfully deploy a novel photothermal treatment of tumors.
Researchers build targeted nanoparticles with ability to cling to artery walls and release medicine slowly.
Yale University (USA) researchers develop miniature nanosensors capable of detecting cancers via a blood sample, in as little as 20 minutes.
Tiny silicon chip detects C-Reactive Protein in as little as three minutes.
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:
• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.
• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.
• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.