New research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation provides evidence that gene-environment interactions are a major contributor to preterm birth and that using a combinatory treatment strategy can prevent preterm delivery in a mouse model.
The combined impact of genetic predisposition and environmental stress on preterm birth has received increased attention by researchers to determine its causes and potential preventive strategies. Scientists in the current study tested gene-environment interactions in a robust mouse model of prematurity and identified a similar molecular signature in human tissue samples from women who experienced premature birth.
“Helper cells” improve survival rate of transplanted stem cells, mouse study finds
Like volunteers handing out cups of energy drinks to marathon runners, specially engineered “helper cells” transplanted along with stem cells can dole out growth factors to increase the stem cells’ endurance, at least briefly, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Their study, published in the September issue of Experimental Neurology, is believed to be the first to test the helper-cell tactic, which they hope will someday help to overcome a major barrier to successful stem cell transplants.
A new software tool known as DeNovoGear, which uses statistical probabilities to help identify mutations and more accurately pinpoint their source and their possible significance for health.
Concealed within the vastness of the human genome, (comprised of some 3 billion base pairs), mutations are commonplace. While the majority of these appear to have a neutral effect on human health, many others are associated with diseases and disease susceptibility.
In the latest in a series of experiments testing the use of stem cells to treat neurological disease, researchers at Henry Ford Hospital have shown for the first time that microscopic material in the cells offers a “robust” treatment for crippling stroke.
Biologist Rejji Kuruvilla and her fellow researchers uncovered what happens when one instrument is not playing its part.
Kuruvilla along with graduate students Philip Borden and Jessica Houtz, both from the Biology Department at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Steven Leach from the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, recently published a paper in the journal Cell Reports exploring whether “cross-talk” or reciprocal signaling, takes place between the neurons in the sympathetic nervous system and the tissues that the nerves connect to. In this case the targeted tissue called islets, were in the pancreas.