Cell model of the brain provides new knowledge on developmental disease


By reprogramming skin cells into nerve cells, researchers are creating cell models of the human brain. In a new study, the researchers describe how cells from patients with the severe developmental disease lissencephaly differ from healthy cells. The method can provide vital new knowledge on difficult-to-study congenital diseases.

Improved stem cell transplantation therapies?


Researchers have demonstrated that hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants can be improved by treatments that temporarily prevent the stem cells from dying. The approach could allow those in need of such transplants, including leukemia and lymphoma patients, to be treated with fewer donor stem cells while limiting potential adverse side effects.

Bacteria responsible for legionellosis modulates the host cell metabolism to its advantage


The bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila has developed a specific strategy to target the host cell mitochondria, the organelles in charge of cellular bioenergetics, scientists have shown. New work provides precious information on how a pathogen manipulates the cellular metabolism to replicate intracellularly, and proposes a new concept of protection of host cells from Legionella-induced mitochondrial changes in order to fight infection.

New Zealand researchers makes 'natural born killer' cell discovery


An unexpected role for a white blood cell called the Natural Killer (NK) cell — a critical cell for ridding the body of infection and cancer, has been discovered. The NK cell is a ‘vigilante’ killer — a white blood cell that destroys invaders and cancer cells through a process of ‘identity card’ checking. The researchers’ new work shows that violent vigilante NK cells act as helper cells to start up the immune response.