The Role of Cell Death in Viral Infection


Posted by Gary K. on Oct 21, 2020 3:15:00 AM

The regulation of cell death during viral infection is an important factor in the balance of virus and host survival. In this series, we look at pathways that are regulated through cellular responses to virus, as well as in response to virally encoded proteins. Infection of the coronaviruses SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 causes severe lung injury with extensive damages to alveolar and bronchial epithelial cells, and produces extra-pulmonary damage.

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Topics: Cell Biology

Cell Process: Which markers can be used to identify cellular senescence?


Posted by Tamar A. on Oct 14, 2020 3:00:00 AM

In response to a variety of environmental factors – like ionizing radiation, exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs, oxidative stress, DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, or oncogene activation – cells may permanently cease proliferation and enter a state known as cellular senescence. Senescence occurs during normal developmental processes, in wound healing, and as a consequence of aging and age-related disease. Accordingly, understanding why senescence contributes to these processes may lead to the development of pro- and anti-senescence therapies to treat a range of diseases.

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Topics: Cell Biology

Cell Process: What role does senescence play in disease?


Posted by Tamar A. on Oct 7, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Cellular senescence occurs when cells cease proliferation and irreversibly exit the cell cycle. While this occurs as a normal process during development and tissue remodeling, senescence has also been linked to a general decline in tissue function during aging as well as a number of disease states. These include the progression of cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Accordingly, understanding why senescent cells impact these conditions and developing ways to target their removal may provide therapeutic value for the treatment of many human conditions.

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Topics: Cell Biology

Simplify the Identification of Pluripotent Stem Cells


Posted by Harald M and Chris S on Sep 30, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Reagent validation and experiment reproducibility are critical for advancing research of any scientific discipline. Achieving reproducible data in (induced) pluripotent stem cell research presents particularly formidable challenges, due to the biological complexity inherent to this research. The process of reprogramming cells and then subsequently directing them down different pathways of differentiation, is fraught with technical challenges, not least of which is the remarkable complexity of events and interactions required to coax cells towards the desired state.

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Topics: Workflow

Seeding Labs Gives Old Lab Equipment a Second Life


Posted by Chris S on Sep 23, 2020 3:00:00 AM

As stewards of the planet, we’re always trying to find ways to reduce our corporate carbon footprint and offset the environmental damage done through research. Operating a lab requires a lot of electricity: powering the freezers, microscopes, autostainers, and so much more. It all adds up. If you’re like us, you also want to find a way to give back, beyond the good that your research provides.

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Topics: Sustainability

Cell Process: What role do the telomeres play in senescence?


Posted by Tamar A. on Sep 16, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Senescence is a cellular state during which cells remain metabolically active, but irreversibly withdraw from the cell cycle and fail to respond to proliferation-inducing stimuli. Senescent cells influence a number of physiological and pathological processes from cancer to diabetes and aging. Accordingly, understanding why senescence contributes to these conditions may lead to the development of pro- and anti-senescence therapies to treat a range of diseases.

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Topics: Cell Biology

Cell Process: How is cellular senescence related to aging?


Posted by Tamar A. on Sep 9, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Senescence, the cessation of cell division and permanent withdrawal from the cell cycle, is a process that occurs throughout the lifespan — during embryogenesis, growth and development, tissue remodeling, and in wound healing. Senescent cells increase in number during aging and have been implicated in the decline of organismal function over time, as well as in the progression of age related diseases. These include metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. In mammals, aging causes the gradual dysfunction of multiple tissue systems in a heterogeneous fashion, ultimately leading to death. Understanding how and why senescence contributes to the aging process may lead to therapies to slow or even reverse its progression.

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Topics: Cell Biology

Recommended Best Practices for Lysate Handling


Posted by Michelle G on Sep 2, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The preparation of a cell lysate is crucial to the success of many assays, including techniques that use antibodies to characterize protein expression. Ideally, throughout the whole process of sample preparation, from lysate collection to analysis, your protein of interest would be well-preserved and protected from the activities of proteases and phosphatases. Proper storage and handling of the lysate are crucial to avoiding degradation and maintaining the ability to detect your protein.

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Topics: Western Blot, techniques, Tech Tips

Cell Process: What signaling pathways are associated with cellular senescence?


Posted by Tamar A. on Aug 26, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Senescence is the irreversible arrest of proliferation in response to a variety of cellular stressors. This state is associated with changes in intracellular signaling pathways, as well that the secretion of proteins that affect the surrounding tissue microenvironment. Most notably, senescent cells exhibit a persistent DNA damage response, the activation of proteins which control cell cycle arrest, and the senescence associated secretory phenotype. Senescent cells are also resistant to apoptosis and demonstrate altered metabolic activity. Determining why changes in cellular signaling lead to senescence is key to understanding how senescence contributes to normal and pathological processes affecting human health.

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Topics: Cell Biology

PI3K/Akt Signaling Targets Hit Close to Home


Posted by Srikanth S on Aug 19, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The ability of cells to recognize external signal cues (ligands and nutrients) and appropriately respond to a rapidly changing environment involves crosstalk among major cellular signaling networks (1-2). These complex pathways sense intracellular nutrients, metabolic flux, and stress and integrate these distinct signals through numerous downstream effectors (1-2). As a scientist, I find trying to understand the intricate nature of pathways (where they overlap and intersect) to be an interesting puzzle to tease apart.

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Topics: Cell Biology

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