Cellular ‘message in a bottle’ may provide path to new way of treating disease

first_img Read Full Story A newly discovered cellular messaging mechanism could lead to a new way to deliver therapeutics to tissues affected by disease, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Researchers found that a type of extracellular vesicle (EV) — a sac secreted by cells that contains proteins and RNA molecules — known as ARMMs also carries receptors that allow signaling without direct contact between cells. This capability may make ARMMs uniquely suited to be engineered to send therapeutics directly to affected areas of the body.“EVs are like messages in a bottle between cells,” said senior author Quan Lu, associate professor of environmental genetics and pathophysiology. “We think that within the next few years, we may be able to swap the endogenous molecules in ARMMs for therapeutic cargos — such as antibodies — and to engineer ARMMs to home in on a particular tissue.”The study was published online Sept. 27, 2017 in Nature Communications.There are an estimated 37 trillion cells in the human body — and 100 times that many EVs. They circulate in the blood and other bodily fluids and are involved in processes such as coagulation and the immune response. They can also be hijacked to spread cancer or viruses like HIV and Ebola.EVs are generating a great deal of interest in the biotechnology field. Researchers believe that the molecules they carry include the fingerprints of disease and harmful environmental exposures. Work is already underway on developing a “liquid biopsy” to test EVs in a drop of blood.Previous work by Lu’s lab described the body’s mechanism for producing ARMMs. Unlike other EVs, which are generated within cells, ARMMs are secreted directly from the plasma membrane at the cell’s surface. Although the physiological function of ARMMs remains unknown, the way that they are made may make them uniquely suited to carry certain molecules.In the current study, the researchers found that ARMMs contain molecules used for NOTCH signaling, a type of intercellular communication that normally requires cell-to-cell contact. NOTCH receptors are plasma membrane proteins involved in critical physiological roles such as embryonic development, tissue homeostasis, and stem cell function. According to the new findings, ARMMs are able to facilitate NOTCH receptor signaling at a distance.“Our research on ARMMs has tremendous potential for therapeutics and public health,” Lu said. While other researchers have explored using EVs to deliver therapeutics, directing them within the body has been an obstacle. Lu believes that ARMMs provide a way past that barrier, and he was recently awarded a patent for generating, isolating, and engineering ARMMs. “It will likely be at least 10 years before we see these methods used in a clinical setting,” Lu said. “But the path forward is clear.”  The study’s first author was Qiyu Wang, a research associate at Harvard Chan School.This study was supported in part by a National Institutes of Health R01grant (R01 HL114769) and by funding from the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Fund.last_img read more

Your credit union doesn’t need to jump off the bridge

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Melina Palmer Why do people say one thing and do another? What really drives behavior? How does the brain actually work – and how can we best communicate with it? What does that … Web: www.thebrainybusiness.com Details I am sure that everyone has heard their mother (father, teacher, aunt, uncle, grandparent) say, “If your friends jumped off a bridge would you do that too?” Most often, this question is met with eye-rolls and irritation from the person it was being said to. Or, possibly, a sarcastic remark (something I know nothing about, of course).As a grown up, this dilemma doesn’t go away, and it has a tendency to show up in our work more often than we may realize. For me, this has been incredibly apparent while my team has been eyeball deep in rebranding work. We knew going into this project that it was important for us to stand out and be different from the credit unions and banks in our area – and there are a lot of them in Seattle. I find myself looking at everything we do and have done and ask, “Why?” continually. “Why do we still have check writing stands in our branches?” “Why do people go to our website?” “Why do we have teller lines?”Some of these questions have good answers that coincide with the direction we are going now. Some do not. I have made it my personal mission to eradicate “because that is what the other financial institutions do” from our mindset. What was right yesterday is not necessarily right today, and what the members wanted last week is different from what they will want tomorrow. We need to be prepared for the future and constantly asking ourselves, “Why” (and all of those other “W” words).I came across a quote the other day (probably a Facebook meme or something, I can’t find it again now) but it said something along the lines of, “Just because everyone is doing things one way doesn’t make it right. And, just because no one is doing something doesn’t make it wrong.”With our new branding, we worked with local bands and artists and had them showcase their talents to show what truth means to them (Verity means truth). We essentially handed over our brand to these artists and had to have faith that it would fit us and resonate with our audiences. We only launched last month, but the results so far are promising. This isn’t really a common practice in our industry, and no one is doing anything like this in the Seattle area. Does that mean it is wrong? No. Is it right for everyone? No. Is it the right approach for Verity? Yes.There are still plenty of things we are doing at Verity that we need to examine to see if it is a “because everyone else does it” or “because that is the way we have always done it” item. And, making a commitment to this approach means we are signing on for a way of thinking – this isn’t a project that is ever really “done.” But committing to asking the question means we are committing to being exceptional and really doing what is in the best interest of our membership.Do you take the time to ask “Why?” enough? What are you doing wrong just because everyone else does it? If all the other credit unions decided to jump off of a bridge, would you jump too?last_img read more

Men’s and women’s swim teams to participate in Big Ten Quad Duals

first_imgRiding high after recent winning streaks, the University of Wisconsin men’s swim team (5-2, 1-1 Big Ten) and women’s swim team (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) are looking forward to continuing their success at this weekend’s Big Ten Quad Duals. The Badgers will travel to the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn., where the two-day meet will mark the end of the dual-meet season.“I think they’re excited because we’re just about ready to start resting for Big Tens and NCAAs,” Wisconsin head coach Eric Hansen said. “They know this is the big turning point to start getting really sharp.”Both teams have been swimming well as of late — the women are on a two-meet win streak after placing an impressive third at the Texas Invitational, while the men have won three in a row, including a 216-80 win over St. Olaf and also placing third in Texas.“Right now we’ve been doing well, clicking as a team, going fast when we need to go fast. Mainly in Texas we all went really, really fast,” senior captain Kyle Sorensen said. “I think that was the best performance in Texas in my four years — that’s usually a really big meet for us.”Last Saturday, the Badger women swam to a 174-65 win over UW-Green Bay. The dual-meet was the 100th for Hansen while coaching the women’s program. Junior Candice Peak swam well, as she scored three individual event wins in the 200-meter freestyle, back, stroke and IM, while freshman Beckie Thompson took the top spot in the 50-meter freestyle and anchored the team to wins in the 200-meter medley and freestyle relays.“The two teams’ performance this year, I think, has been the best it’s been since I’ve been here, and I know the coaches keep telling us how its been the best since they’ve been here,” Peak said. “The team we have right now, we all click together and we’ve got huge talent, especially in our underclassmen, so we’re very lucky with that.”Each year, the Big Ten Quad Duals are held right before the conference and NCAA championships. As a result, it would not be a stretch to see teams look past these final dual-meets, but the Badgers are still looking at this weekend as an important meet.“We do need this meet,” Hansen said. “We need to compete and race ourselves into ‘race form,’ I would call it. We’ll use it as kind of a test set to get our snap back.”Luckily for Hansen and the Badgers, history seems to be on their side. Since the 1999-00 season, UW has won 45 consecutive conference dual-meets. Also in that season, the Badgers began their streak of 25 consecutive wins at the Quad Duals.However, Hansen is not about to let his teams get ahead of themselves.“We’ve had a little bit of everything,” Hansen said. “We’ve gone to that meet and been completely flat because we were so close to our Christmas training and we hadn’t raced a whole lot — now we have two meets under our belt before this so I think we will be sharper.”Hansen also acknowledges while the team does have to travel to Minneapolis, rest is not a major concern.“We can’t control the amount of rest that the other teams have, but it all comes out in the wash at the end of the season, at NCAA’s,” Hansen said. “You want to be starting to rest, but you don’t want to be too sharp because you don’t want to peak for another seven, eight weeks. Some teams will show up pretty sharp, but that’s fine, that’s their choice — each team is coached with a little bit of a different philosophy.”This weekend, the Badgers will be facing tough competition in Minnesota and Purdue, and the women will also take on Illinois. Both the Minnesota men and women are ranked ninth in the nation, while Purdue’s men are No. 15 and their women are unranked. Both Minnesota teams are coming off impressive victories, and the women are the defending Big Ten champions. Meanwhile, the Purdue men come in rested after an idle weekend following their 208-90 win over Michigan State on Jan. 17, and the women are trying to rebound from a 210-159 loss to No. 13-ranked Indiana last weekend. Illinois is unranked but holds a 5-1 dual-meet record after their 219-81 win over Illinois State last Sunday.“Minnesota’s obviously a great team, and I think they’re probably going to be our toughest competition there,” Peak said. “But we have swimmers here that are neck and neck with their best swimmers too, so there are going to be some really good races.”Clearly, the Badgers know what is ahead of them this weekend. The competition will be fierce, but the teams are ready.“Although it sounds like we don’t put a lot of emphasis on dual meets, when we get to the blocks, we want to race hard,” Hansen said. “The day of the meet — game on.”last_img read more

Chargers make iconic powder blues their primary home jerseys for 2019

first_imgThe Chargers will be changing up their home uniform for the 2019 season by wearing their iconic powder blue jerseys that previously served as an alternate uniform, the team announced Tuesday.“The sweetest uniform in the NFL,” wide receiver Keenan Allen said, per the team’s website. “Those powder blues, they special. That 13 — Allen on the back — looks sweet.” you’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/CSLCALd289— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 16, 2019The Chargers have worn different variations of the powder blues dating to their inaugural 1960 season in Los Angeles. They used the color scheme until 1974 in San Diego but then brought it back 20 years later as alternate jerseys. “All the guys I grew up watching, it was always the powder blues I think of with them. Phil. LT.  Gates,” Allen said, referring to franchise mainstays Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. “That’s what I’d think of when I thought of the Chargers.”Linebacker Denzel Perryman added: “That powder blue just brings out something different. It’s my favorite jersey, and that’s what we hear (on the field) whenever we wear them. It just pops. You can’t help but feel good when you wear them.” powder blue jersey.gold facemask.our primary. #BoltUp pic.twitter.com/Y7LP8YloWG— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 16, 2019The Charges also announced that the players’ helmets will include gold facemasks to go with their powder blue, white and royal blue jerseys. Over the past three seasons, the Chargers wore the gold facemask — acknowledged as the first color facemask in NFL history, introduced in 1974 — whenever the team wore its color rush uniforms.“It’s (what you think of when you think of) the Chargers,” cornerback Casey Hayward said. “I remember watching LT and all those guys wearing that color. It just brings back a lot of memories. I’m glad we’re wearing them a lot more this year … and of course I look kind of sweet in it!”It should be noted the Chargers have gone 4-0 in the iconic powder blue jerseys under coach Anthony Lynn.last_img read more