News & Events
Stem cell function switch found
- January 18, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
As researchers learn more and more about the structure, chemical composition and characteristics of stem cells, more and more is revealed to them with regard to the possibility of their management. And today, a team of microbiology scientists from the University of Edinburgh conducted an interesting experiment to turn off one important mechanism in stem cells – namely, to deactivate the regulatory molecule that controls the immune pulse of cell defense when it is in danger. The results of the study, being very positive, promise to soon become the basis on which even more effective and interesting experiments will be conducted.
It is worth noting that, unlike any other cells in the body, stem cells do not have their own defense system and cannot use an immune impulse for this protection – on the other hand, when some viruses interact, they still send this impulse, which complicates the work somewhat with stem cells, because in this way it becomes difficult to modify them in the laboratory. That is why Scottish specialists conducted studies according to which they discovered a special protein called MAVS, which in turn triggers the activation impulse of the regulatory molecule miR-673.
And this molecule, in turn, activates the immune defense of the stem cell, preventing it from being manipulated as necessary by scientists. After several sessions of observation experiments on embryonic stem cells belonging to mice, scientists found that the removal of this regulatory molecule leads to a significant simplification of the work with the cell itself.
In other words, by deactivating this molecule, specialists can manipulate the cells with much greater ease, thus changing their structure and chemical composition much faster and easier. And this, in turn, leads to significantly more effective results when remaking a stem cell into something else. However, it remains to wait for new results.