DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘Nobel Prize’

ULTRASOUND GOES INSIDE LIVE CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on February 17, 2017 at 9:06 am

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have developed a break-through technique that uses sound rather than light to see inside live cells…like ultrasound on the body, ultrasound in the cells causes no damage and requires no toxic chemicals to work. Because of this we can see inside cells that one day might be put back into the body, for instance as stem-cell transplants

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Researchers at The University of Nottingham have developed a break-through technique that uses sound rather than light to see inside live cells, with potential application in stem-cell transplants and cancer diagnosis.

The new nanoscale ultrasound technique uses shorter-than-optical wavelengths of sound and could even rival the optical super-resolution techniques which won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

This new kind of sub-optical phonon (sound) imaging provides invaluable information about the structure, mechanical properties and behaviour of individual living cells at a scale not achieved before.

Researchers from the Optics and Photonics group in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, are behind the discovery, which is published in the paper ‘High resolution 3D imaging of living cells with sub-optical wavelength phonons’ in the journal, Scientific Reports.

“People are most familiar with ultrasound as a way of looking inside the body — in the simplest terms we’ve engineered it to the point where it can look inside an individual cell. Nottingham is currently the only place in the world with this capability,” said Professor Matt Clark, who contributed to the study.

In conventional optical microscopy, which uses light (photons), the size of the smallest object you can see (or the resolution) is limited by the wavelength.

For biological specimens, the wavelength cannot go smaller than that of blue light because the energy carried on photons of light in the ultraviolet (and shorter wavelengths) is so high it can destroy the bonds that hold biological molecules together damaging the cells.

Optical super-resolution imaging also has distinct limitations in biological studies. This is because the fluorescent dyes it uses are often toxic and it requires huge amounts of light and time to observe and reconstruct an image which is damaging to cells.

Unlike light, sound does not have a high-energy payload. This has enabled the Nottingham researchers to use smaller wavelengths and see smaller things and get to higher resolutions without damaging the cell biology.

“A great thing is that, like ultrasound on the body, ultrasound in the cells causes no damage and requires no toxic chemicals to work. Because of this we can see inside cells that one day might be put back into the body, for instance as stem-cell transplants,” adds Professor Clark.

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More information is available from Professor Matt Clark in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 5536, matt.clark@nottingham.ac.uk; or Emma Lowry, Media Relations Manager, on +44 (0)115 846 7156, emma.lowry@nottingham.ac.uk

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

About The University of Nottingham: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and winner of both ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide and ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. More than 97 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

JAPAN TO HOLD FIRST STEM CELL CLINICAL TRIAL

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

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World’s first stem cell clinical trial

Researchers in Japan are looking to use the recent discoveries of Nobel Prize winning Shinya Yamanaka to treat a degenerative eye disease in what would be the world’s first clinical trial of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). An ethics committee at the Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation gave its approval this week for the trial, meaning work could begin as early as the 2013 fiscal year.

Scientists plan to use iPS cells in a therapy for age-related macular degeneration, or vision loss. The trial will be conducted by a team led by Dr. Masayo Takahashi, and will be done in cooperation with Riken, a scientific research foundation affiliated with Japan’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Age-related macular degeneration mostly occurs in people who are middle-aged or older, and, if left untreated, often leads to blindness. The current drugs on the market are known for only treating symptoms and not fighting the disease itself. The goal of the clinical trial is to create retinal cell sheets from iPS cells, which take the form of any other cells from the body, and transplant them into patients’ eyes. Six patients, all aged 50 or older and for whom existing drugs do not work, will be chosen from the institute’s hospital and, if successful, have corrected vision below 0.3 on the Japanese scale. The Japanese government has already stated it will be spending 110 billion yen (approx. $1.18 billion) over the next 10 years to sponsor research on the application of iPS cells.

“Japan is yet another country that has envisioned the potential stem cell therapies hold for regenerative medicine. ” – DG

To see full article click HERE.

ADULT STEM CELLS USED TO CREATE CARDIAC TISSUE

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

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Adult Stem Cells: A Piece of My Heart, From Cells in My Arm

Doctors have dreamed of a day when science could grow healthy spare parts in a lab for the human body.  A pivotal moment in this search came in the late ’90s when the first embryonic stem cells were isolated. These cells are the biological “seeds” that divide, differentiate and grow into the myriad parts of the human body.  While it was a thrilling discovery, it was also the start of an ethical and political firestorm, since an embryo had to be destroyed in order to isolate its stem cells. In 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order to restrict further research.

The move forced scientists to search for other ways and in 2007, researchers in Japan and Wisconsin figured out a way to reprogram adult cells into stem cells. Word of the discovery reached Mayo, and Dr. Tim Nelson and his colleagues at the Center for Regenerative Medicine were intrigued. This could be a way to help all those kids, born with deformed hearts, who sit on transplant waiting lists at Mayo each year.

“This is one technology that allows us to understand disease, but it also allows us to dream about the day we apply that therapeutically.” And as he described his work, he made me a tantalizing offer. If I would agree to partake in their research, he said I “could be the first person to ever see his own heart tissue beat outside his body.”

It began with a biopsy of the skin under my left bicep, all the better to hide the tiny scar. With a small round knife, Dr. Nelson dug out a pencil eraser-sized chunk of my flesh and plopped it into a jar of pink liquid. I flew home and they went to work, using a combination of genes to bioengineer these bits of flesh into pluripotent (“many potentials”) stem cells. At that stage, they could’ve nudged them into becoming neurons or lung cells or even parts of my eyeball, but in keeping with Dr. Nelson’s promise, the Mayo team turned them into cardiac tissue. Months later, I returned for a one-of-a-kind reunion and gazing through that microscope, I could see pumping proof why this kind of medical science just won the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Nelson got most excited when he showed me a tiny piece of my cardiac tissue that had dramatically formed into the shape of a heart — a pumping, three-dimensional glimpse into a future when this kind of cell could theoretically be injected into a heart-attack victim or a diseased child and literally mend the person from within.

See the full story of Bill Weir’s experience

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/human-heart-tissue-bill-weirs-arm-18253132

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