"The curative properties of stem cells may rely on prions, a new study suggests, the type of protein made infamous by mad cow disease.
Prions are a special class of protein that can change the shape and function of other proteins around them. While these are found throughout any mammal’s body, the understanding of their biological role is limited. What is known is that prions that become misshapen, through some unknown process, can result in BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) – mad cow disease – and its equivalents in other animals.
Researchers at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, have now found that adult stem cells in bone marrow gradually lose their ability to regenerate without their normal complement of membrane-bound prions."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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