Research News

Illustration of research directions using microgravity

Effects of Microgravity on Stem Cells

May 29, 2020

Grimm et al. published a review looking at the effect of micogravity on stem cells and cancer cells.  Because commerical space travel will become more common in the future, the affect of gravity on cell growth and differentiation should be studied for its potential positive and negative effects.  Additionally, because "real" microgravity (r-μg) is costly due to the necessity of actually...

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Summary of the EMBL-IBEC Winter Conference (February 2020)

May 15, 2020

A review article was published in The Company of Biolgists outlining topics covered at the joint  European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) winter conference in February 2020.  

  • Perspectives on the ethics of using synthetic embryos
  • Approaches to influencing the development of engineer biological systems.
  • The role of the microenvironment, epithelial...
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shows a merged immunofluorescence image for SARS-CoV-2 dsRNA and DAPI. Arrows indicate perinuclear viral replication sites

Human iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes are Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection

May 1, 2020

In a preprinted article, Sharma et al showed that SARS-CoV-2 can infect hiPSC-CMs in vitro.

  • Though COVID-19 symptoms are usually respiratory, they can also include arrhythmias, heart failure, and viral myocarditis, thus making it necessary to study interaction in cardiac models.
  • Used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.
  • SARS-CoV-2 is...
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Glial cell diversity and methamphetamine-induced neuroinflammation in human cerebral organoids

April 24, 2020

Dang et al. showed the potential for using cerebral organoids combined with single-cell RNA sequencing to study the effects of drug-induced inflammation.

  • analyzed 20,758 cells from eight untreated and six METH-treated cerebral organoids and found that the organoids developed from embryonic stem cells contained a diverse array of glial and neuronal cell types
  • identified transcriptionally distinct populations of...
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Demonstration of brain region-specific neuronal vulnerability in human iPSC-based model of familial Parkinson’s disease

April 17, 2020

Brazdis et al. 2020

  • Modelled human PD using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from familial PD cases with a duplication (Dupl) of the α-Syn gene (SNCA) locus
  • Elevated α-Syn pathology, as revealed by enhanced α-Syn insolubility and phosphorylation, was determined in PD-derived mDANs compared to PD CPNs
  • Results show a higher α-Syn pathology, oxidative stress level, and neuronal death rate in human PD mDANs compared to PD...
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XBio: Interactive Learning Website

April 10, 2020
Explorerbiology.org is a website made for 'students in higher education and self-learners'.  They host lessons in the forms of videos and essay about classic biological concepts, with backstories on how discoveries came to be.  Under the 'bio-dictionary' tab, you'll find notecard-like definitions and pictures of everything from actin to zygotes and in the activities section are interactive lessons on topics such as gel electrophoresis and foldscopes.  This is a prime resources for... Read more about XBio: Interactive Learning Website