Clumps of Neurons Help Scientists Study Gut Disorders: Scientific American These neurospheres—free-floating balls of glia (red), neurons (green) and stem cells—were cultivated in a lab from stem cells taken from the intestine or stomach of a mouse. Researchers use the neurospheres to test treatments for gut motility disorders, in which portions of the intestine, sometimes referred to as the second brain, lack sufficient nerve cells to function properly.
✯ HeLa cells are a continuously cultured cell line of human cancer cells, which are immortal & thrive in the laboratory. They are widely used in biological and medical research. The spherical cell at centre is undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death). Apoptosis occurs when a cell becomes old or damaged. Blebs (vesicles) called apoptotic bodies form on its surface, which prevent toxic or immunogenic substances from leaking when it is phagocytosed (engulfed and digested) by specialist…
Coloured light micrograph of a 1-week old, nerve cell (neuron) cluster. This cell cluster has been grown in culture. The nerve cell bodies are still grouped together (centre) and the neurites (either axons or dendrites) that will connect the cell bodies to form a network, are beginning to develop (dark lines).
Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells to repair damage from acid and digestive fluids
New research has shown that the stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized, likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat. Stem cells can make multiple kinds of specialized cells, and scientists have been working for years to use that ability to repair injuries throughout the body. But causing specialized adult cells to revert to stem cells and work on repairs has been challenging.Scientists fromWashington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Utrecht Medical Center in the Netherlands report in the new study that a class of specialized cells in the stomach reverts to stem cells more often than they thought.“We already knew that these cells, which are called chief cells, can change back into stem cells to make temporary repairs in significant stomach injuries, such as a cut or damage from infection,” said Jason Mills, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Washington University. “The fact that they’re making this transition more often, even in the absence of noticeable injuries, suggests that it may be easier than we realized to make some types of mature, specialized adult cells revert to stem cells.” The findings are published Oct. 10, 2013 in Cell. | Amazing Science
Nerve cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of nerve cells, known as neurones. Nerve cells occur in the brain, spinal cord, and in ganglia. Each nerve cell has a large cell body (brown) with several long processes extending from it. The processes usually consist of one thicker axon and several thinner branched dendrites. The dendrites collect information in the form of nerve impulses from other nerve cells and pass it to the cell body.
Confocal light micrograph of a purkinje cell (stained with green fluorescent protein), a type of neuron (nerve cell). Purkinje cells consist of a flask-shaped cell body with many branching processes (dendrites) that receive impulses from other cells. Purkinje cells form the junction between the granular and molecular layers of the grey matter of the cerebellum.
Fluorescent micrograph showing cell division in an Arabidopsis seedling used to study in vivo gene expression and cell growth analysis, cell by cell from living tissue Communicate Science: Images of Science
Light micrograph of synapses between a motor neurone (tree-like) & skeletal muscle cells (bands in background). The end of the axon (large fibre) of a motor neurone in contact with a muscle cell divides into branches, each one terminating in a motor end plate on a different muscle fibre.
"Leprosy bacteria use 'biological alchemy'-Infectious bacteria have for the first time been caught performing "biological alchemy" to transform parts of a host body into those more suited to their purposes...The study...showed leprosy-causing bacteria turning nerves into stem cells and muscle...Prof Chris Mason, a specialist in stem cell research at University College London, said: "The ability of bacteria to convert one mammalian cell type to another is 'alchemy' by nature on a grand…