Insight into Eye Diseases
News Sep 28, 2016
Many diseases that lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, are caused by the death of certain cells in the human retina that lack the ability to regenerate. But in species such as zebrafish these cells, known as Muller glial cells (MGs), do serve as retinal stem cells that are capable of generating new cells. In a new study, a research team led by Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Bo Chen investigated whether the regenerative power of cells in zebrafish could be recreated in mammals, specifically mice.
The research team transferred genes into MGs to activate the stem cell properties of these normally dormant cells, causing them to reproduce and make other types of retinal cells.
The strategy could be developed into a therapeutic tool, Chen said. “In the future we are hoping to manipulate these cells to replenish any lost retinal neurons, either in diseased or physically damaged retinas,” he noted. “Potentially, it’s a therapy to treat many different retinal degenerative diseases.”
Targeted Cancer Treatment Could be Possible Thanks to Insights into Cells’ Energy SupplyNews
Researchers have shown that the enzyme EXD2 is critically involved in maintaining efficient protein production in mitochondria - the compartment responsible for making the energy required for cells to survive and replicate.
It is hoped the discovery could be used to target tumours in cancer patients in a new way while also significantly adding to the understanding of the vital role mitochondria plays in the functioning of a healthy cell.
Brian Berridge Set to Manage National Toxicology ProgramNews
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has named Brian Berridge, D.V.M., Ph.D., as its new Associate Director. Berridge, formerly of GlaxoSmithKline, will oversee day-to-day operations as NTP coordinates toxicology research and testing across nine different federal agencies.READ MORE