It is almost impossible for an injured heart to fully mend itself. Within minutes of being deprived of oxygen – as happens during a heart attack when arteries to the heart are blocked – the heart’s muscle cells start to die. Sanjay Sinha wants to mend these hearts so that they work again.
Scientists have shown how the precursors of egg and sperm cells – the cells that are key to the preservation of a species – arise in the early embryo by studying pig embryos alongside human stem cells.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have created a new technique that simplifies the production of human brain and muscle cells - allowing millions of functional cells to be generated in just a few days. The results published today in Stem Cell Reports open the door to producing a diversity of new cell types that could not be made before in order to study disease.
Scientists have determined the first 3D structures of intact mammalian genomes from individual cells, showing how the DNA from all the chromosomes intricately folds to fit together inside the cell nuclei.
Two Cambridge institutes have today been confirmed as major research centres by biomedical research charity Wellcome, receiving continued support for a further five years. The centres will be co-funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) respectively.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge have created sOPTiKO, a more efficient and enhanced inducible CRISPR genome editing platform. Today, in the journal Development, they describe how the freely available single-step system works in every cell in the body and at every stage of development. This new approach will aid researchers in developmental biology, tissue regeneration and cancer.
Science is demanding as well as exciting. Dish Life, the final of four Cambridge Shorts films, compares the task of raising stem cells in the lab to the challenge of looking after a gang of unruly kids. In conversation with real-life children, scientists show how tricky it is to work with these ‘super cells’.
The capacity for language is what sets us apart from other animals. Talk with Your Hands, the third of four Cambridge Shorts films, explores the richness of sensory perception in interviews with blind and deaf people together with insights from neuroscientists.
Scientists have identified for the first time the ‘cell of origin’ – in other words, the first cell from which the cancer grows – in basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, and followed the chain of events that lead to the growth of these invasive tumours.
In the first genome-scale experiment of its kind, researchers have gained new insights into how a mouse embryo first begins to transform from a ball of unfocussed cells into a small, structured entity. Published in Nature, the single-cell genomics study was led by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Cambridge.