Unlike mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), human ESCs are highly prone to death after enzymatic dissociation from a growing cell cluster; as a result, researchers are forced to rely on far more laborious methods for their expansion. New research at the Scripps Institute has revealed the molecular basis for this frustrating limitation, and also uncovered two small-molecule drugs able to greatly improve the cells' survival.
Abeta Epitope DNA and Peptide Vaccination: Bridging the 'Therapeutic Threshold' for Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer's DiseasePosted by Michael Rae on April 26, 2010 | Chief Science Officer's Team
Immunotherapeutic clearance of beta-amyloid is the preferred regenerative medicine approach to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but existing attempts to develop such therapies have been fraught with side-effects and limited efficacy, as well as concerns about clinical translatability. A new approach using DNA vaccines is showing great promise, and has the potential to be safe and cheap enough for deployment in pre-clinical AD - before any irreversible memory loss can occur.
Biomedical research has traditionally focused on identifying and correcting the abnormalities in metabolic pathways that lead to disease states. However, this approach suffers numerous side-effects due to the complexity of metabolism. It is also inappropriate to treating many age-related diseases, which arise as a result of damage accumulated over decades of normal function. Regenerative engineering, by focusing instead on the removal of this damage, largely avoids both of these chronic problems.
In addition to telomerase, some cancer cells become immortalised via the phenomenon known as ALT ("Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres"). A new paper published in Nature suggests that Zscan4, a gene essential for telomere maintenance in embryonic stem cells, may be the driver of the ALT mechanism.
The SENS Foundation Research Center would like to welcome Anne Corwin, an electrical engineer with a long-time interest in biotech and regenerative medicine, and Kelsey Moody, SENS Foundation's Academic Coordinator, to our growing team of in-house researchers.
To date, three of the thirteen OXPHOS genes still encoded in the mitochondria have been allotopically expressed (AE) in human cells with mutated versions of the same gene, thereby rescuing a respiratory defect. Now we have the first report of a new gene, COX2, being allotopically expressed in yeast, by mutating the gene to overcome the hydrophobicity of the mitochondrial membrane; a similar mutation has been shown to underlie the ability of the unusual case of the soybean COX2, which is a case of a native nuclear-encoded COX2 gene.
SENS researchers have recently begun efforts to improve the effectiveness of the A2E degrading enzyme versatile peroxidase by developing a chimeric enzyme which also features an additional portion who is expected to be able to dramatically increase its activity. This project is currently in progress at the SENS Foundation research center in collaboration with the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
It was early 2005 when I first read about SENS. I had already applied to several graduate schools at that time and was waiting to hear back, but as I delved into that article in Popular Science I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in. A lot of people were studying aging, but no one had a plan like this. I emailed Aubrey and it wasn't long before I was headed to Rice University in Houston; first to perform some preliminary research into the LysoSENS project, and then to begin a PhD studying microbial oxysterol degradation.
Intravenously delivered immunoglobulin G (IVIgG) is a mixture of antibodies extracted from human blood which has demonstrated promising preliminary results in clearing the beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposits that drive the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. A recent study compares multiple commercial sources of IVIgG and finds significant differences in their Abeta-binding activity, suggesting that results from impending clinical trials are likely to be highly dependent on the specific "brand" of IVIgG in use.