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Weekly Reports ㄗ108ㄘon International Trends of Cutting 每edge Life Science Development
Add Timeㄩ2014/2/12 17:16:37
1.      Scrambled Eggs, Hold the Lead
Scrambled Eggs, Hold the Lead
Chicken keeping is all the rage among urbanites interested in affordable, local food, but the eggs may be less wholesome than they presume. Lead, a potent neurotoxin that is especially harmful to young children, commonly contaminates city soils, and urban chickens can pass it into their eggs, researchers report in Environmental Geochemistry and Health. Nearly half the eggs the team collected from chickens raised in New York City community gardens contained detectable levels of lead, whereas none of the store-bought eggs did, and the degree of contamination tracked that of the soil where the chickens lived. So just how dangerous are urban eggs? While no safety standards specifically govern lead in eggs, all but one of the city eggs that the researchers tested had concentrations deemed acceptable for other foods〞good news. Still, the researchers estimated that eating an egg a day with the highest lead concentration they found, 167 parts per billion (ppb), could increase kids* blood lead levels by an amount linked to a loss of roughly one IQ point. And eggs could easily become even more contaminated: Those they tested came from chickens living on soil that maxed out at about 600 ppm of lead, but levels greater than 1000 ppm are common in some cities. Fortunately, urban farmers who prefer their eggs unleaded can take action, including adding clean soil to chicken runs and giving calcium supplements to their flock.
2.      Fight the Flu, Hurt Society?
Fight the Flu, Hurt Society?
Rob Hainer/Shutterstock
Many people suppress their kid's fever (or their own) with medication. But that may actually help the virus spread to others, some researchers argue.
When you've got the flu, it can't hurt to take an aspirin or an ibuprofen to control the fever and make you feel better, right? Wrong, some scientists say. Lowering your body temperature may make the virus replicate faster and increase the risk that you transmit it to others. A new study claims that there are at least 700 extra influenza deaths in the United States every year because people suppress their fever.
As a result, if you have the flu and you're taking medication "it may actually be more important that you stay at home because you could be a greater risk to others," says David Earn, a mathematician at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and one of the authors of the paper. Some scientists call that claim premature, however.
The debate about whether treating fever is good or bad for patients has been simmering for decades. Humans have reduced fevers for thousands of years; Hippocrates recommended extracts of the willow tree bark, which was later found to contain salicylic acid, better known as aspirin; Romans, Chinese, and Native Americans used other plants containing similar compounds. But some research conducted in the 1970s suggested that fever may actually be beneficial when you're sick〞perhaps because it makes it more difficult for pathogens to multiply〞and that cooling your body can have negative consequences.
3.      Injectable gel graft for bone defect repair
▽Text abstracts▼Regenerative Medicine, January 2014, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 41-51 , DOI 10.2217/rme.13.76
Injectable gel graft for bone defect repair
Josephine Fang, Zhi Yang, ShihJye Tan, et al.
To examine the performance of an injectable gel graft made of transglutaminase (Tg)-crosslinked gelatin gel with BMP-2 (BMP-2每Tg每Gel) for bone defect repair in animal models. Materials & methods: BMP-2 mixed with gelatin gel was crosslinked using Tg. The release of tethered BMP-2 through autocrine and paracrine pathways was demonstrated by using C2C12 and NIH 3T3 cells, respectively. BMP-2每Tg每Gel was injected into the induced cranial defect site. After 14 days, the sample was removed for x-ray imaging and histological evaluation. Results: Our in vivo results demonstrated that the injectable Tg每Gel with its osteoconductivity and controllable BMP-2 activity induced bone formation in our rat models when tethered with BMP-2. Conclusion: Tg每Gel as an injectable functional bone graft may enable the use of minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat irregular-shaped bone defects. Furthermore, this novel approach is capable of incorporating and controlling the release of therapeutic agents that may advance the science of tissue regeneration.
4.      Is urine the next source of stem cells?
▽Text abstracts▼Regenerative Medicine, May 2013, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 235-236 , DOI 10.2217/rme.13.24
Is urine the next source of stem cells?
Leann Crandall & Marc Lalande
The recent reports that iPSCs can be successfully derived from cells collected from human urine [2每5] could potentially address the aforementioned problems and greatly expand the number of patient-specific stem cells available to the research community. The few thousand epithelial-like cells harvested by centrifugation from a 50每250-ml sample of urine have been used as a source of iPSCs (UiPSCs) and neural progenitors (UiNPCs) [2每5]. UiPSCs, which have been generated using standard reprogramming factors, show the markers of pluripotency that are typical of iPSCs produced from other somatic cell types. UiPSCs can also be differentiated into at least three different lineages: hepatocytes, neurons and cardiomyocytes [5], and disease-specific UiPSCs have been generated for systemic lupus erythematosus [2]. It is also reported that UiNPCs can be reprogrammed directly from the urine epithelial-like cells using episomal vectors that, in contrast to retro- and lenti-viruses, do not integrate into the genome [3]. It is further observed that the UiNPCs have the capacity to self-renew and can be differentiated into different types of functional neurons in vitro, and in vivo upon transplant into newborn rat brain.
5.      Engineered artificial ovaries have potential as alternative hormone supply
▽Text abstracts▼Biomaterials 34(10), 2412每2420 (2013).
Sittadjody S, Saul JM, Joo S, Yoo J, Atala A, Opara EC.
Researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center*s Institute for Regenerative Medicine (NC, USA) have published a study in a recent issue of Biomaterials showing that they are able to engineer ovarian tissue, which can be used as an alternative treatment for hormone replacement therapy.
The loss of female *** hormones has a range of effects from hot flashes and infertility to an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. Surgical removal, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and the menopause are all causes for the loss of ovarian function. The currently established therapies that are used to treat a lack of female *** hormones have been linked with increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer when used for a prolonged period.
 ※This research project is interesting because it offers hope to replace natural ovarian hormones in women with premature ovarian failure or in women going through menopause,§ said Tamer Yalcinkaya, Associate Professor and Section Head of Reproductive Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Emmanuel Opara, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, described the aim of the study, saying: ※Our goal is to develop a tissue- or cell-based hormone therapy 每 essentially an artificial ovary 每 to deliver *** hormones in a more natural manner than drugs.§ Opara continued: ※A bioartificial ovary has the potential to secrete hormones in a natural way based on the body*s needs, rather than the patient taking a specific dose of drugs each day.§
The researchers isolated theca and granulosa cells from the ovaries of 21-day-old rats and encapsulated the cells in multilayer alginate microcapsules to recapitulate the native follicular structure. This thin membrane allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the cells but will prevent the patient from rejecting the donor cells. The encapsulated cells were stimulated with follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone to produce sustained concentration of estradiol. In addition, the encapsulated cells were found to secrete progesterone and the peptide hormones, activin and inhibin.

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