Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Sociology and stem cells: a lesson in natural self-healing and why some of us may be better at it

Author: Holly Wobma, 05/13/14

> I think one of the most universally embraced ideas when people gather together and pontificate about how their relatives or colleagues turned out they way they did, is that ‘people are a product of their environment’. I’m not here to make a singular stand against this notion — in fact, it certainly can explain…Read more

Back to basics: BRCA1 and breast cancer

Author: Sara M. Nolte, 10/30/13

> May 14th, 2013 marked an important day for breast cancer awareness. This was the day Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy. Her decision was motivated by her positive screen for BRCA1, the “breast cancer gene,” and a family experience with cancer. She was quoted saying “I can tell my…Read more

How to “micro” manage your injured heart

Author: Holly Wobma, 12/12/12

When we accidentally burn ourselves while cooking or nick our fingers on a piece of paper, most of us experience a fleeting moment of irritation but never worry that the wound won’t heal. Our everyday lives have taught us that skin is a tissue with great regenerative capability. Unfortunately, the merits of self-healing seem to…Read more

Scientists lose the paper cranes and become experts in nucleic acid origami for siRNA delivery

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 08/13/12

It takes precision, focus and persistence to perfect the art of origami. So perhaps it is no accident that researchers have needed to apply the same skills to overcome challenges in siRNA delivery, right down to the folding. A couple of years ago, my fellow blogger Paul Krzyzanowski introduced us to RNA interference (RNAi) technology….Read more

Lasting memories of a pancreatic beta cell

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 09/02/11

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have great memories. They can remember whether they started out as a skin fibroblast, a blood cell or a pancreatic beta cell. Following reprogramming, iPSCs retain epigenetic (DNA packaging) signatures typical of their somatic cell type of origin (reviewed in a previous blog post). This phenomenon, known as ‘epigenetic memory,’…Read more

Genomic instability in iPS cells

Author: Chris Kamel, 03/02/11

They’re promising, but not perfect. Induced pluripotent stem cells are perhaps one of the most studied areas of stem cell research today, as researchers work to improve their method of production, but new findings out of Canada and Finland suggests that the process of reprogramming may cause unwanted and irreversible DNA damage. As such, the…Read more

How will chemically induced pluripotent stem cells impact stem cell policy?

Author: Ubaka Ogbogu, 12/16/10

Chris Kamel’s recent post on chemically derived transcription factors for iPS cell production is very exciting for a variety of non-scientific reasons. Most notably, the innovative procedure and future improvements are likely to ease ethical, safety and legal concerns regarding the use of oncogenic transcription factors. One such concern is the possibility that Canadian law…Read more

RNA-induction: A new method for iPS cell production

Author: Chris Kamel, 10/14/10

The reprogramming of differentiated adult cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is accomplished by the expression of a small number of key genes. This is typically done by introducing DNA either by transfection or with viral vectors. Current methods, unfortunately, are not very efficient and run the risk of mutagenesis as a result of…Read more

Even in pharmaceuticals, it’s an RNA world

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 09/28/10

In the RNA world hypothesis, RNA based biological life can exist without the need for DNA and proteins to store information, make decisions, and in general, control cells. In 1998, the discovery that small RNAs can play important roles in controlling cells revolutionized biology and perhaps brought us closer to an RNA world. Since then,…Read more

High-dose antioxidants may cause abnormalities in stem cells

Author: Chris Kamel, 05/20/10

One hurdle facing the use of lab-grown stem cells for therapeutic or experimental purposes is the accumulation of genetic abnormalities over time. The nature of these changes varies, but some may affect therapeutic usefulness and many mirror changes seen in tumour-forming cells. One of the more difficult variables to change when culturing stem cells is…Read more