UMBC Biology Council of Majors

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Frozen rabbit kidneys could solve organ shortage for transplants

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on April 17, 2016 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Is this the coolest solution to our donor-organ shortage? Researchers have discovered a way of freezing embryonic animal kidneys so that they can later be warmed up and grown into full-size organs without the risk of rejection by their recipient.


The results suggest we may one day be able to create a long-term biobank of animal kidneys that provides an unlimited source of organs for transplanting in people. There are three major hurdles for human organ transplantation: the ...

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Blood test with potential to detect all cancers

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on August 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Scientists from the University of Bradford claim to have developed a blood test that can detect any type of cancer. The technique involves damaging the DNA of white blood cells with ultraviolet light.

The DNA in the blood of patients with melanoma, colon, lung cancer, etc. is more easily damaged than healthy patients. Therefore, the test looks to see if there is a pre-cancerous intermediate level of damage to compare; thereby, alluding to cancer. If it works, it could be a w...

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Update on the progress of the IVF therapy

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Back in February, it was announced that the UK’s government was going to allow the controversial IVF (in vitro fertilization) technique of combining two different women’s egg cells in patients. Specifically, the therapy would be replacing the mitochondria of the “bad” egg cells with the “good” mitochondria of the donor’s egg cells. The technique would be used to cure mitochondrial disease that the child would otherwise develop which could lead to musc...

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Acid bath technique denounced after months of scrutiny

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 5, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Unfortunately, the two papers that were published in Nature that claimed that they could produce stem cells from adult cells by dipping them in a bath of acid for 30 minutes have been officially withdrawn. This technique was known as stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) and the cells produced were thus named STAP cells. It would have been a step forward for regenerative medicine since it would have avoided destroying an embryo.

After the publication in Janua...

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$16.9 million prize to those who can solve antibiotic resistance problem

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 25, 2014 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Longitude Prize was awarded by the British government in 1714 to the person/s who could solve a major issue that was affecting humanity. The first prize was awarded to John Harrison for his clock that allowed sailors to pinpoint their position at sea for the first time. The prize has been brought back over all these years with a prize of 10 million pounds ($16.9 million) awarded to the person/s that can solve a problem that humanity current faces. There were six issues that made it to thi...

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Blood-brain barrier to be bypassed with the use of vibrations

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Kullervo Hynynen, a medical physicist at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, will be working with a team of doctors to attempt to open the blood-brain barrier in humans. If they are successful, it would be a huge step forward for the treatment of brain cancers, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, or clinical depression. “Opening the barrier is really of huge importance. It is probably the major limitation for innovative drug development for neurosciences,” e...

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Regenerating teeth with lasers

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 17, 2014 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Scientists from the Wyss Institute at Harvard have figured out a way to regenerate teeth by stimulating stem cells with low-powered lasers in rats. The technique has potential to transform dentistry by giving dentists the ability to naturally regrow dental tissue instead of replacing teeth. It could also lead to ways to regenerate bone, skin, and muscle through stem cells.

It has been known since the 1960s that lasers could occasionally stimulate the growth of skin, hair, et...

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Heart regenerated after damaged in monkeys

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on May 2, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Scientists from the University of Washington have successfully restored damaged heart muscles in monkeys. These findings suggest that this method is likely to be possible in humans. “Before this study, it was not known if it is possible to produce sufficient numbers of these cells and successfully use them to remuscularize damaged hearts in a large animal whose heart size and physiology is similar to that of the human heart,” said Dr. Charles Murry, who led the research.

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Bad cholesterol removed in animals preventing heart disease

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on April 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Scientists from Johns Hopkins have found a way to block abnormal cholesterol production, transport and breakdown. This build-up of plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, is the main culprit for heart attacks and strokes, the number one cause of death among humans.

The researchers have found that cholesterol regulation is controlled by a single molecule. That molecule was found to be glycosphingolipid (GSL) which is mostly known to regulate cell growth, and resides...

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Thymus regenerated for the first time in mice

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on April 9, 2014 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have successfully regenerated a living organ for the first time. The researchers rebuilt the thymus, an organ located above the heart that produces important immune cells. The advancement has potential to lead to new therapies for people with damaged immune systems and genetic conditions that affect thymus development such as DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic condition that causes the thymus to not develop properly.

They accomplished th...

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