Model Systems for Studying the Human Gut Microbiome

Aug 6, 2018

A variety of in vivo, in silico, in vitro, and ex vivo model systems are available to researchers for studying the human intestinal microbiome, its functionalities and complex interactions with the host. Different models serve different purposes, all of them having their relevance as well as limitations and interdependencies. This article by Alexander Maue and Randi Lundberg from Taconic provides an overview of the most popular model system concepts, how they are being employed in gut microbiome research, and how they are complementary to each other. ...

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Brown Adipose Tissue as a Therapeutic Model for Obesity Treatment

Aug 6, 2018

Obesity is a major concern for governments worldwide. In the UK alone, it is estimated that the direct costs of obesity to the National Health Service total £6 billion ($8.5 billion), with prevalence standing at an astonishing 27% in 2015. In the USA, the rate for adults is higher still, totalling 36.5%. For these reasons, obesity has been labelled ‘a national emergency’ by Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s health secretary and an ‘epidemic crisis’ by the US Surgeon General David Satcher (in 2001). Shahzad Ali from Plasticell navigates the causes and a possible solution to this critical issue. ...

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HBP Biomarkers and Assay Development within Laboratory Practice

Aug 6, 2018

“Sepsis is the most preventable cause of death”, and every hour it is not diagnosed will increase the probability it will kill the patient by 7%, so recognising the early signs and symptoms is therefore crucial. Because HBP (heparin binding protein), also known as cationic antimicrobial protein of 37kDa (CAP37) and azurocidin, directly contributes to the maintenance and progression of inflammation, Christine Leiper from Onorach explains that it is a potential diagnostic marker for the assessment of patients at risk of sepsis and should be studied further in large-scale clinical studies. ...

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iPSC Models to Improve Efficiency of Drug Discovery and Development

Aug 6, 2018

Stem cells attract a great deal of attention due to their developmental potential and lineage-independent characteristics. Adult stem cells, otherwise known as inducible pluripotent stem cells (“iPSCs”), are particularly favourable as research tools because they are derived from somatic cells such as blood, skin, or muscle. In this article, Angela Huang from Tempo Bioscience demonstrates that appropriate applications of iPSCs and their disease models will improve the efficiency of drug discovery and development in the coming years. ...

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Novel Drug-based Strategies for Cardiac Regeneration Following Myocardial Infarction

Aug 6, 2018

The human heart is one of nature’s engineering marvels, considering the requirement specifications for this fist-sized hollow organ that only weighs 250–300 grams. Delivering about five litres of blood at an average of 75 contractions per minute, it is required to perform without interruption. Considering the high performance demands, failings can occur beyond normal wear and tear in the heart’s electrical system, the valves, and the muscle itself. Of all complications leading to heart disease, ischemia – the insufficient supply of oxygen caused by restricted blood supply to the cardiac muscle – is the most prevalent. Dr Roman Schenk of ...

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