Category Archives: Cell biology, development and evolution

Nanoblades: shuttles for genome surgery

Researchers are now able to edit the genome with precision using the “gene editing scissors” of CRISPR-Cas9, which is a highly promising tool for gene therapy. The technical challenge now is to get this tool into the genome of certain cells. With this in mind, a joint team from Inserm, the CNRS, the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, and the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, working within the International Center for Infectiology Research (CIRI), have developed capsules that allow CRISPR-Cas9 to reach the target DNA: Nanoblades.

A Gene Therapy Tested in the Treatment of Myotubular Myopathy

Inserm and CNRS researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Strasbourg) have discovered how myotubularin – a protein deficient in myotubular myopathy – interacts with amphiphysin 2 and suggest targeting the latter in order to treat patients.

Alzheimer’s: identification of potential target protein aggregates for treating the disease

La propagation des agrégats de la protéine Tau dans le cerveau contribue à la progression de la maladie d’Alzheimer. Des chercheurs du Laboratoire des maladies neurodégénératives : mécanismes, thérapies, imagerie (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris-Sud, MIRCen), en collaboration avec l’Ecole normale supérieure, Sorbonne Université et l’Inserm, viennent d’identifier les cibles de ces agrégats. Publiés dans EMBO Journal le 10 janvier 2019, ces travaux permettront la conception d’outils capables de bloquer ces éléments clés dans la propagation des agrégats et de contrecarrer ainsi leur effet pathologique.

Discovery of novel mechanisms that cause migraines

Researchers at CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur and Inserm have demonstrated a new mechanism related to the onset of migraine. In fact, they found how a mutation, causes dysfunction in a protein which inhibits neuronal electrical activity, induces migraines. These results, published in Neuron on December 17, 2018, open a new path for the development of anti-migraine medicines.

Myopathie : un gain de force musculaire chez la souris

myopathie de Duchenne

Des souris atteintes de dystrophie musculaire de Duchenne récupèrent plus de 20% de force musculaire grâce à la metformine.

Cancer under pressure: visualizing the activity of the immune system on tumor development

As tumors develop, they evolve genetically. How does the immune system act when faced with tumor cells? How does it exert pressure on the genetic diversity of cancer cells? Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and Inserm used in vivo video techniques and cell-specific staining to visualize the action of immune cells in response to the proliferation of cancer cells. The findings have been published in the journal Science Immunology on November 23, 2018.

The origins of asymmetry: A protein that makes you do the twist

Asymmetry plays a major role in biology at every scale: think of DNA spirals, the fact that the human heart is positioned on the left, our preference to use our left or right hand … A team from the Institute of biology Valrose (CNRS/Inserm/Université Côte d’Azur), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, has shown how a single protein induces a spiral motion in another molecule. Through a domino effect, this causes cells, organs, and indeed the entire body to twist, triggering lateralized behaviour. This research is published in the journal Science on November 23, 2018.

Resistance to Antidepressants: the Ability of Neurons to Self-regulate

Why are some depressed patients more or less totally resistant to the most commonly-prescribed antidepressants? This question was addressed by researchers from Inserm

Microbiome Influences Brain’s Immune Cells in a Sex and Age-dependent manner

A joint study conducted by Inserm researchers from IBENS (Institute of Biology of the Ecole Normale Supérieure – Inserm/CNRS/ENS Paris) in Paris and researchers from SIgN (Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR) in Singapore has revealed a hitherto undiscovered role played by the microbiota on immune cells in the brain, occurring from the fetal stage. These cells, known as microglia, play a key role in brain development and function, and are affected in different ways by changes in the microbiota in male and female mice at different stages of their lives. The results of this research have been published in Cell.

An Edible Mushroom With Potential to Fight Human Genetic Diseases

Could a common mushroom help fight certain genetic diseases? Although surprising, this is indeed the new discovery made by French scientists from Inserm, the French National Museum of Natural History, the CNRS, Université de Lille, and the Institut Pasteur de Lille[1]. By examining numerous extracts, the scientists thus evidenced that the mushroom, Lepista inversa, acted significantly on three isolated cell lines taken from patients with cystic fibrosis. This research was published in .Plos One

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