7 Days in Science – November 1, 2019
List Nov 01, 2019
Blocking “Super-highways” Could Prevent the Spread of Cancer
Two new studies describe in detail the mechanism that causes tissues to undergo structural changes. The research indicates that, via the collision of cells, different tissue structures can be formed – this remodeling can in some cases create “super-highways” used by cancer cells to escape to other sites within the body.
Published in: PLOS Computational Biology and Nature Materials
Rodents Driving Cars? Imagine Rat!
Researchers have taught rats how to drive. Yes – you read that correctly. The study investigates how the surrounding environment can affect the ability of rat brains to adapt to complex new tasks, such as driving.
Published in: Behavioural Brain Research
Elbow Features Help Forensic Investigators
Researchers have found that features of the elbow can help them to accurately estimate the sex of skeletons.
Published in: Journal of Forensic Sciences
A Blood Test Can Predict Brain Cancer Prognosis
A blood test that measures the amount of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the bloodstream, called a liquid biopsy, correlates with how patients will progress after they are diagnosed with glioblastoma.
Published in: Clinical Cancer Research,
Milk From Teeth: Dental Stem Cells Can Generate Milk-Producing Cells
According to a new study from researchers at the University of Zurich, dental epithelial stem cells from mice can generate mammary ducts and even milk-producing cells when transplanted into mammary glands.
Published in: Cells
Despite there being 23 candles on my cake on my last birthday, my cells are biologically 26 years old. This was one of the key findings when I recently decided to explore the growing trend of "epigenetic wellness", and put my own DNA to the test.
Cell lines with an extended or “immortal” lifetime exist to avoid having to extract them repeatedly from fresh tissues. While this has undoubtedly propelled forward the use of cell culture within biomedical science, it also comes with drawbacks that are often blissfully or wilfully ignored. These drawbacks may have been tolerated so far – but as cellular assays get ever closer to impacting the patient, is it still acceptable to “turn a blind eye”?
False-colored scanning electron micrograph of a single breast cancer cell from a cultured cell line.
The ruffles visible on the surface of the cell are blebs, local bulges which form in the plasma membrane when it temporarily detaches from the underlying cytoskeleton. Cell blebbing is important for a variety of cellular processes including cell movement and cell division.
Credit: Anne Weston, Francis Crick Institute via the Wellcome Collection
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