Past efforts at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering led by Core Faculty members Pamela Silver and James Collins have created "kill switches" in bacteria that cause them to commit suicide in laboratory conditions when they are not wanted anymore. "We needed to take our previous work further and
Alan Lambowitz, a professor in the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and his team are studying an ancient enzyme in bacteria that can be used to detect bits of genetic material shed by cancer or other diseased cells into a patient's bloodstream. Many current
But researchers have recently used T-cells engineered in the laboratory to combat tumours. Modified to include additional functions, these immune cells can hunt down and kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, however, such immune cell therapies can have significant side-effects. On top of that, the production of modified T-cells is technically challenging.
"Recent successes in cancer immunotherapy -- in the form of immune checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive T cell transfer -- demonstrate how activated immune cells can eradicate tumors, but until now we didn't fully appreciate immunosurveillance or the role of adaptive immunity in tumor formation," said senior author Michael Karin, PhD,
During an embryo's development, epithelial cells can break away from the cell cluster, modify their cell type-specific properties, and migrate into other regions to form the desired structures there. This process, which is known as an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is reversible and can also proceed in the direction from mesenchymal
"Breast tumors are moving targets because they are really versatile," says Jun-Lin Guan, Francis Brunning Professor and Chair of the Department of Cancer at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and member of the Cincinnati Cancer Center and UC Cancer Institute, who co-authored the paper with postdoctoral fellow Syn
The research found that altering the volume of a cell changed its internal dynamics, including the rigidness of the matrix lining the outer surface. In stem cells, removing water condenses the cell, influencing the stem cells to become stiff pre-bone cells, while adding water causes the cells to swell, forming
The research, published in Molecular Cell, builds on previous work by McGill professor Nahum Sonenberg, one of the senior authors of the new study. Cells in our body grow in size, mass and numbers through a process governed by a master regulator known as mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin). Sonenberg discovered years