World’s tiniest plumbing could one day funnel drugs to individual human cells

Tubes, visible in light green, are roughly seven nanometers in diameter — about two million times smaller than an ant — and several microns long, or about the length of a dust particle. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Working on microscopic pipes only a millionth as wide as a single strand of human hair, Johns Hopkins … Read more

New method to more quickly and accurately find antigens that trigger specific immune cells

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain A cell’s secrets can be divulged by its surface, decorated with tens to hundreds of thousands of molecules that help immune cells determine friend from foe. Some of those protruding molecules are antigens that trigger the immune system to attack, but it can be difficult for scientists to identify those antigens, … Read more

A breakthrough for fast, efficient production of human immune cells

A) Schematic overview of chemically defined platform for producing multipotent hematopoietic progenitors and T cell progenitors from pluripotent stem cells. (B) Flow cytometry analysis of progenitor T cell output after transitioning cells from 7 days in each EHT coating condition into a common defined thymic niche for an additional 7 days. (C) Quantification of the … Read more

New labeling approach enables examination of packages cells send out to gain insight about health

Dr. Sang-Ho Kwon (center) and his research team. Credit: Michael Holahan, Augusta University Our cells are constantly communicating, and scientists have developed an efficient way to find out what messages they are sending in protein-packed biological suitcases called exosomes. These spherical exosomes, which reside in the internal membrane of a cell but will eventually head … Read more

How nerve cells in the brain connect during development

The model produces a realistic network of neurons. Credit: ETH Zurich / Stan Kerstjens ETH Zurich researchers have developed a model that explains how nerve cells in the brain connect during development. Their model reveals that the crucial factor is progressive cell division. This process leads naturally to the formation of molecular addresses that lets … Read more

Artemis Astronauts Could Rely on Solar Cells Made out of Moon Dust

Within the next decade, several space agencies and commercial space partners will send crewed missions to the Moon. Unlike the “footprints and flags” missions of the Apollo Era, these missions are aimed at creating a “sustained program of lunar exploration.” In other words, we’re going back to the Moon with the intent to stay, which … Read more

Breast cancer cells use force to open channels through tissue

An illustrated microscope view of a 3D culture of cancer cells. A cancer cell generates forces (in red) moving the tissue material farther. The new technique detects the material movement to compute cellular forces. Credit: Juho Pokki/Aalto University Researching how cancers grow and spread has conventionally been done on two-dimensional, flat cultures of cells, which … Read more

See-through zebrafish, new imaging method put blood stem cells in high-resolution spotlight

Tracing features in a large 3D electron microscopy dataset reveals a zebrafish blood stem cell (in green) and its surrounding niche support cells, a group photo method that will help researchers understand factors that contribute to blood stem cell health—which could in turn help develop therapies for blood diseases and cancers. Credit: Keunyoung Kim For … Read more

New research on the emergence of the first complex cells challenges orthodoxy

Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses in eukaryotic cells. One popular hypothesis claims these organelles were a pre-requisite to the transition from simpler prokaryotes like bacteria and archaea to larger, more complex eukaryotic organisms. The new study challenges this assumption. Credit: Jason Drees In the beginning, there was boredom. Following the emergence of cellular life on … Read more

Analysis of molecular processes in living cells with sub-10 nm spatial resolution

The photoswitching rates of fluorescent dyes are as unique as a fingerprint and as readable as a barcode. Credit: Dr. Gerti Beliu Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum, Universität Würzburg Researchers at the University of Würzburg have developed “photoswitching fingerprint analysis”—a unique technology that allows for the first time the analysis of molecular processes and the regulation of individual proteins … Read more