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2011-03-07 21:23:05

The intestinal epithelium consists of four main specialized cell lineages: absorptive enterocytes and three secretory cell types known as enteroendocrine, Paneth, and goblet cells. But a rare, fifth type of intestinal cell called tuft cells also exists. Defined by the thick brush of long microvilli that project from their apical surface, tuft cells are seen in several epithelial tissues, yet little is known about their function due to a lack of tuft cell"“specific markers. In the March...

2009-12-03 21:25:41

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have identified a new factor that is necessary for the development of many forms of medulloblastoma, the most common type of malignant childhood brain cancer. HHMI investigator Huda Y. Zoghbi and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine prevented medulloblastoma from developing in mice by shutting down production of the protein Atoh1 in susceptible brain cells. The team's findings, reported in the December 4, 2009, issue of Science, suggest...

2009-10-03 09:17:02

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine assistant professor of pediatrics, neurosciences and otolaryngology, Stephen M. Maricich, M.D., Ph.D., and his team found that Merkel cells originate in the skin, not the neural crest lineage, as previously speculated. The study, "Mammalian Merkel Cells are Descended from the Epidermal Lineage", was recently published in the online version of Developmental Biology and is slated its future print edition. "Merkel cells," discovered by Friedrich...

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2009-09-28 09:14:59

A new study resolves a 130-year-old mystery over the developmental origin of specialized skin cells involved in touch sensation. The findings will appear in the October 5, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (online September 28). First described in 1875, Merkel cells are neuroendocrine cells that reside in the vertebrate epidermis, passing mechanical stimuli on to sensory neurons. In mice, they are mainly found in the paws and around the whiskers but, because they express proteins...

2009-06-19 06:06:42

Light touch "“ the sense that lets musicians find the right notes on a keyboard, a seamstress revel in the feel of cool silk, the artisan feel a curve in material and the blind read Braille "“ truly depends on the activity of Merkel cells usually found in crescent-shaped clusters in the skin, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and colleagues in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Science. "Human, primates and any animal that relies on hands for...

2009-02-25 12:06:12

Starting with the tiny fruit fly, and then moving into mouse and human patients, researchers at VIB connected to the Center for Human Genetics (K.U. Leuven) showed that the same gene suppresses cancer in all three. Reciprocally, switching off the gene leads to cancer. The scientists think there is a good chance that the gene can be switched on again with a drug. They report their findings in the reputed scientific journal PLoS Biology.Specialized cellsAll of us begin our lives as one cell,...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.