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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

Carroll et al. | May 12, 2022

Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

The number of bacterial infections in humans is rising, and a major contributor is foodborne illnesses, which affect a large portion of the population and result in many hospitalizations and deaths. Common household cleaners are an effective strategy to combat foodborne illness, but they are often costly and contain harmful chemicals. Thus, the authors sought to test the antimicrobial effectiveness of spices (clove, nutmeg, astragalus, cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic) on microbes cultured from refrigerator handles and cutting boards. Results from this study demonstrate long-lasting, antimicrobial effects of multiple spices that support their use as alternatives to common household cleaners.

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Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An in vitro Study

Ramesh et al. | Feb 18, 2020

Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An <em>in vitro</em> Study

Mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) play a role in tumor formation by differentiating into cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) which enable metastasis of tumors. The process of conversion of MSCs into CAFs is not clear. In this study, authors tested the hypothesis that cancers cells secrete soluble factors that induce differentiation by culturing bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in media conditioned by a breast cancer cell line.

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Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

Zhang et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.

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Effects of vascular normalizing agents on immune marker expression in T cells, dendritic cells, and melanoma cells

Yaskolko et al. | Nov 03, 2021

Effects of vascular normalizing agents on immune marker expression in T cells, dendritic cells, and melanoma cells

Tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) are lymph node-like structures that form at sites of inflammation, and their presence in cancer patients is predictive of a better clinical outcome. One significant obstacle to TLS formation is reduced immune cell infiltration into the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent studies have shown that vasculature normalizing (VN) agents may override this defect to improve tissue perfusion and increased immune cell entry into the TME. However, their effects on immune cell and tumor cell phenotype remain understudied. Here the authors investigate whether treating tumor cells with VN would reduce their immunosuppressive phenotype and promote production of chemokine that recruit immune cells and foster TLS formation.

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Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Das et al. | Apr 19, 2021

Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Diagnosing of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using tools developed in the West is challenging in the Indian setting due to a huge diversity in sociocultural and economic backgrounds. Here, the authors developed a home-based, audiovisual game app (Autest) suitable for ASD risk assessment in Indian children under 10 years of age. Ratings suggested that the tool is effective and can reduce social inhibition and facilitate assessment. Further usage and development of Autest can improve risk assessment and early intervention measures for children with ASD in India.

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Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

Venkatachalam et al. | Sep 20, 2018

Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

In South Asian countries, the major cause of oral cancer is reported to be chewing paan, which is comprised of betel leaf daubed with slaked lime paste and areca nut. To investigate how paan may contribute to the onset of cancer, the authors treated two immortalized cell lines with extracts of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime and evaluated how these treatments affected cell proliferation and cell death. Initial results indicate that while betel leaf alone may inhibit cell growth, areca nut promoted cancer cell survival and proliferation, even when co-treated with betel leaf. These data suggest that areca nut could exacerbate the progression of oral cancer in humans.

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Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Park et al. | Aug 16, 2019

Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.

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Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

Imani et al. | Nov 15, 2019

Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

In this study, Imani et al. investigate whether a new proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, can inhibit expression of immune suppressor protein PD-L1. PD-L1 is a transmembrane protein that can be expressed by cancer cells to assist in their ability to avoid attacks from the immune system. Work from this study demonstrates that HF1 treatment can reduce expression of PD-L1 in cultured cancer cells, implicating HF1 as a potential new cancer therapy.

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