Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/9/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Regenerated thymus in 'very old' mouse may lead to same in humans

A breakthrough which may pave the way for the technique to be used in humans has been uncovered by Scottish scientists. Researchers have been able to fully restore an organ in a living animal for the first time. 

After the regeneration, the treated mice also started to make more T-cells, which is a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections.

After the regeneration, the treated mice also started to make more T-cells, which is a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/9/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Organ regeneration, mice, Scotland, Clare Blackburn


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The team have successfully rebuilt the thymus of "very old" mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age. The thymus is an organ found in front of the heart.

The rebuilt thymus was not only similar in structure and genetic detail to one in a young mouse -- but was also able to function again.

Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!

After the regeneration, the treated mice also started to make more T-cells, which is a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections. It must be noted that the regenerated thymus was more than twice the size of the aged organs in the untreated mice.

"By targeting a single protein, we have been able to almost completely reverse age-related shrinking of the thymus," Clare Blackburn from Edinburgh's Medical Research Council (MRC) Center for Regenerative Medicine said. Blackburn also led the research.

"Our results suggest that targeting the same pathway in humans may improve thymus function and therefore boost immunity in elderly patients, or those with a suppressed immune system."

While the treated mice were making T-cells, Blackburn's research team could not yet establish whether the immune systems of the older mice were strengthened.

Before the technique can be tested in humans, Black burn says, researchers will need to conduct more animal experiments to make sure the regeneration process can be tightly controlled.
 
The thymus is the first organ to deteriorate as people age. This phenomenon causes the immune system to become less effective. As we grow older, we lose the ability to fight off new infections, such as flu.

Regenerative medicine is a fast-growing area of research and is chiefly focused on stem cells. One of the central aims is to harness the body's own repair mechanisms and manipulate them in a controlled way to treat disease.

Blackburn's team says that they targeted a part of the process by which the thymus degenerates, which is a protein called FOXN1 that helps control how key genes in the thymus are switched on.

The stem was then used genetically modified mice to enable them to increase levels of this protein using chemical signals.

Researchers managed to instruct immature cells in the thymus, which are similar to stem cells to rebuild the organ in the older mice.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Health

Growing the Church in China

Image of

By John Smagula

The world's best teas are grown in China, but many of these teas are unknown in the United States. Remote tea farms in exotic locations produce teas that rarely reach the American teacup. Of the 1.75 million tons of tea that China produces each year, less than 2% is ... continue reading


Teenage Mutant Ninja mosquitoes may be unleashed in the Florida Keys Watch

Image of It will mark the first time that insects with modified DNA will be set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it may sound like a science fiction film straight out of the 1950s, genetically modified mosquitoes may shortly be unleashed on the Florida Keys. While sounding very sinister and threatening, the reason is benign. British researchers win approval to use ... continue reading


Is this it? Has the cure for cancer been found? New proton therapy offers great hope to cancer patients Watch

Image of There are currently 121 Proton Therapy centers around the world, according to CNN.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The battle to cure cancer is one that has been continuously fought for decades. Chemotherapy, radiation, monoclonal antibodies and surgery have all had their fare share in beating cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chemotherapy has had many success stories, ... continue reading


KILLER FLU: 8.5 percent of all deaths nationally, ending January 10 were due to pneumonia and influenza Watch

Image of It most also be noted that the center does not track adult deaths, but does keep track of the number of children who die after having the flu.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're a bit under the weather, join the club. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this year's flu season has returned to an epidemic level. For the week ending January 10, 8.5 percent of all reported deaths were due to influenza or pneumonia. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Bishops Invite All Catholics to Make a Digital Pilgrimage for Life

Image of

By USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

When people hear the word "pilgrimage," many think of far-off destinations, such as Lourdes, Fatima, or Santiago de Compostela. Today, in the digital era, we have the opportunity to make a pilgrimage without ever leaving our hometown. In fact, the U.S. Bishops are ... continue reading


Walking, for life: Brisk 20-minute stroll found to extend life Watch

Image of A 20-minute walk at a vigorous pace or a cycle ride of the same duration moves an individual from being classed as inactive to moderately inactive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walking has always been the favored low-impact exercise that most everyone can accomplish. Now, researchers say that a daily 20-minute walk could reduce the risk of an early death by almost a third. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Couch potatoes," those who ... continue reading


Amazing new spinal implant heals paralysis Watch

Image of Composed of silicone and platinum with stretchable gold interconnects that transmit and transfer electrical signals.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For years researchers, doctors and scientists have tried to find a way to bring movement back to paralyzed patients. Recent progress has been made; flexible, soft spinal implants that send electrical signals are showing strong potential in healing paralysis, according ... continue reading


Do you have this cancer-causing gene? Scientists find gene that causes deadly form of breast cancer Watch

Image of A new study has revealed the gene that causes one of the most aggressive and hard to treat forms of breast cancer, and may point the way to an effective treatment or preventative method.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is new hope for women suffering with, or at high risk for, breast cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England have discovered what triggers triple-negative breast cancer, which is fast growing, ... continue reading


Stomping out Superbugs: Incredible new discovery reveals bacteria compound stronger than drug-resistant superbugs Watch

Image of Teixobactin may be the key to fighting Superbugs.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The key to fighting drug resistant "Superbugs" may have been found. Teixobactin, a compound from a special bacteria detected in soil, is able to bypass the tricks germs have developed for avoiding the effects of antibiotics. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Previous ... continue reading


John Paul II Medical Research Institute Receives ALS Research Support Watch

Image of

By Colette Connolly

While the summer of 2014 will stand out in many people's minds as the season that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went unpredictably viral, for Alan Moy, a physician, scientist and director of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, the globally ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter