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Gold Nanoprobes Facilitate Stem Cell Therapies

Posted Sep 13 2013 10:09pm
Posted on Sept. 12, 2013, 6 a.m. in Nanotechnology Stem Cell
Gold Nanoprobes Facilitate Stem Cell Therapies

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

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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
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.

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