Researchers Identify Cells that Inhibit Cancer Metastasis


In a new study published in the January 17 edition of Cancer Cell, researchers have identified cells, known as pericytes, that play an important role in the prevention of cancer metastasis. Pericytes are a component of tissue vasculature and are necessary for angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth. Current antiangiogenic cancer therapies inhibit tumor growth by depleting pericytes […]

Researchers Produce a New Viral Vector with the Potential to Treat Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis: Image courtesy of Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a very common genetic disorder that currently has no cure and few effective treatments. The disease is caused by a defective recessive gene, which was identified in 1989. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1 in 31 Americans carry the CF gene, which is more common in Caucasians of European descent, but can appear in […]

Researchers Propose New Model to Reduce Miscarriages after IVF Treatment

Implanting multiple embryos during IVF can increase miscarriage risk: Photo by resident a

Can doctors prevent miscarriage after IVF through a minor change in clinical procedure? In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which the egg and sperm of infertile couples are manually combined in a laboratory setting. If manual fertilization is successful, the embryos, typically about four or less, are placed inside the uterus for further […]

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Improve the Health and Lifespan of Aging Mice Using Young Stem Cells

Mouse embryonic stem cells: Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation

According to a study published on 3 January in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have improved the health and longevity of aging mice by injecting them with stem cell-like progenitor cells derived from the muscle of young mice. Within the body, stem/progenitor cells  have the ability to repair tissue. In aging […]

Georgetown Researchers Reveal New Cell Technology with the Potential to Revolutionize Cancer Research and Therapy

Biopsy cells: Image by Pr Laura Barisoni

Researchers at Georgetown University have developed a new method to grow normal cells and tumor cells from cancer patients in a laboratory setting, which previously had been impossible. Normal cells do not grow well in a laboratory and most cancer cells will not grow at all, which has been a significant barrier for research. In […]

The Ends of Chromosomes as Clues to the End of Cancer

Telomeres dna cancer

A key difference between linear and circular chromosomes is that linear chromosomes have ends. These ends are known as telomeres – a region of highly-conserved repetitive DNA sequence (usually TTAGGG). This repetitive DNA sequence signifies to the cellular machinery that the chromosome is not broken, which protects the end of the chromosome from aberrant repair […]

Why is DNA the Ideal Molecule to Build a Genome?


Human genomes are made of double-stranded DNA arranged in the familiar double-helix formation. However, not all organisms have this arrangement for their genomes, specifically less complex organisms, whose genomes may be composed of single-stranded DNA or RNA. So with several genomic possibilities, why is double-stranded DNA such a good molecule to build a genome?  This is […]

Mendel’s Peas: A DNA Experiment to do at Home

White clumps of DNA in solution. Photo by Naturkunste Museum, Berlin

Gregor Mendel was a nineteenth century monk who demonstrated the basic principles of genetic inheritance via his experiments with pea plants. The significance of Mendel’s work was not recognized until the twentieth century, when several scientists reproduced Mendel’s original experiments. He is now considered to be the founder of modern genetics. The following is a […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Gel Electrophoresis

dna fragment

Gel electrophoresis is an experimental procedure that uses an electric current to separate mixed proteins or nucleic acids based on their differing sizes, charges or structures. The procedure is used extensively in laboratory research in disciplines concerned with detecting DNA or analyzing microscopic particles, such as genetics, biochemistry, immunology and molecular biology. Gel electrophoresis is also […]

Antibiotics as Anti-Cancer Agents: A Case Study of Geldanamycin


Geldanamycin and its derivatives (17-AAG, 17-DMAG) are part of the benzoquinone ansamycin family, a class of molecules which demonstrate marked antimicrobal activity against bacteria, parasites and some viruses. These antibiotics are naturally produced by microorganisms as a defense mechanism against disease-causing invaders. Geldanamycin was first isolated in Streptomyces hygroscopicus, a filamentous soil bacterium,  in 1970 […]