Published News Biology

Scientists have created an artificial organ that can pump out cancer-fighting T-cells

Scientists have developed an artificial thymus, an organ crucial to the human immune system, that could produce special cancer-fighting T-cells in the body on demand.



T-cells are white blood cells that naturally combat disease as part of our immune system, but these artificially engineered versions would be targeted at specific forms of cancer, potentially giving our natural defences a boost in attacking the disease.


Squid and octopus can edit and direct their own brain genes

Octopuses and squid have confirmed their reputation as Earth-bound “aliens” with the discovery that they can edit their own genetic instructions.



Unlike other animals, cephalopods – the family that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – do not obey the commands of their DNA to the letter.


This ancient tick is engorged on the oldest mammal blood ever discovered

Imagine, if you will, an ancient, engorged tick feasting on the blood of a monkey in a steamy tropical jungle as far back as 45 million years ago.



Suddenly, the monkey's companion discovers the tick while grooming its partner, and roughly flings it aside, where the injured, bleeding parasite sinks into a dense, sticky tree sap. Over time, the sap slowly fossilises into amber, preserving the punctured pest in a frozen time capsule, surrounded by the oozing blood droplets of its last meal.


A brand new type of insulin-producing cell has been discovered hiding in the pancreas

Researchers have found a brand new type of insulin-producing cell hiding in plain sight within the pancreas, and they offer new hope for better understanding - and one day even treating - type 1 diabetes.


‘Undead’ genes come alive days after life ends | Science

Genes remain turned on days after animals die. Researchers may be able to parlay this postmortem activity into better ways of preserving donated organs for transplantation and more accurate methods of determining when murder victims were killed.


Largest ever brain cancer study provides key insight into one of its deadliest forms

As far as cancers go, one of the worst is a type of brain cancer called glioma - the disease has a five-year survival rate of just 5 percent, and no reliable method for early detection.



A giant study that pooled genetic data from tens of thousands of people could change that, finding more than a dozen new mutations for physicians to hunt for in an effort to identify who is at risk of developing glioma.


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