ApoE4 and the Insulin Receptor — It's a Trap!

Posted by Richard C on Aug 1, 2018 3:15:00 AM

You might be surprised to learn that diabetes, a metabolic disease, may be linked to the neurodegenerative condition Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Diabetes is driven by altered insulin signaling from either insufficient insulin production (Type 1) or altered insulin receptor (IR) signaling (Type 2). In a seemingly unrelated disease, the human e4 allele of APOE is the strongest genetic risk factor for AD.


Topics: Metabolism, Journal Club, Alzheimer's Disease, Neurodegeneration

Missing Link: Why Do Insulin-producing Cells in Type 2 Diabetes Fail to Divide?

Posted by Neha G on Jan 17, 2018 3:00:00 AM

Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic, and is recognized as one of the most serious metabolic disease worldwide. A multifactorial disease, type 2 diabetes is a perfect example of metabolic miscommunication between different organs resulting in a pathological outcome. According to CDC in the United States, 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 8.1 million may be undiagnosed. The disease affects more than 1 in every 10 adults, and seniors aged 65 and above are most affected. What makes the disease morbid are the secondary complications associated with it; atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy are the leading cause of death in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The need for an effective treatment has become a global health priority.


Topics: Metabolism, Cell Biology, Journal Club

Immunotherapy: Empowering Nature’s Anti-Tumor Artillery - Part I

Posted by Liana G on Dec 6, 2017 6:15:00 AM

Immunotherapy as an anti-neoplastic strategy has gradually claimed the spotlight over the past several years. In fact, some now consider it as one of the pillars of cancer therapy along with chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and targeted therapy. Scientists and clinicians alike are cautiously optimistic, and point to response rates never seen before. 

And, why not take advantage of our own immune system and the best of its weaponry, the T cells, to fight cancer?


Topics: Cancer Immunology, Journal Club

Journal Club: TREM2 Opens a Rabbit Hole of Questions for Alzheimer’s Researchers

Posted by Richard C on Nov 8, 2017 3:00:00 AM

It's almost time for the 2017 Society for Neuroscience meeting. To get your neurons excited for the meeting, here's a journal club discussing a recent paper with interesting findings for Alzheimer's disease. 

The pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Despite decades of research, the direct (and indirect) contribution of these lesions in disease progression is poorly understood. Do these lesions directly cause neuronal dysfunction and neurodegeneration? If so, why do some patients accumulate these lesions, but exhibit normal neurological behavioral before death? Do AD patients have secondary defects in cellular and/or molecular processes that normally function to protect patients from accumulation of these nefarious lesions? If so, what are these cell types and what…


Take a breath.


Topics: Metabolism, Autophagy, Journal Club, Neuroscience, Alzheimer's Disease, Neurodegeneration

Autophagy: It’s a cell eat self world

Posted by Claire S on Sep 27, 2017 3:00:00 AM


If the thought of self-cannibalization is not appealing to you, you may not want to read the next sentence . . . Your cells are literally eating themselves right now! In the 1960s, Christian de Duve named this process “autophagy” from the Greek auto (self) and phagein (to eat). He was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his contribution to the cell biology field. Little did de Duve know what an issue this word would cause: do you pronounce it “aw-tof-a-gee” or, “auto-fay-gee”? Well, actually – it’s a bit like tom-ay-tow/tom-ah-tow – both are right! As de Duve himself said, “I coined the word, but not the pronunciation.”


Topics: Journal Club

Journal Club:  Hippo pathway and intestinal stem cell regeneration

Posted by Liana G on Sep 20, 2017 3:00:00 AM

Journal Club: YAP-dependent reprogramming of Lgr5+ stem cells drives intestinal regeneration and cancer.

The article we have chosen was published in the October 29th, 2015 issue of the journal Nature by Gregorieff et al., from the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute and University of Toronto, Ontario Canada. The article is entitled YAP-dependent reprogramming of Lgr5+ stem cells drives intestinal regeneration and cancer, and focuses on stem cell dynamics within the intestinal epithelium, the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult mammals.


Topics: Cancer Research, Journal Club

Journal Club | The genomic address of bivalent nucleosomes

Posted by Liana G on Apr 26, 2017 3:00:00 AM

The activity of genes and their regulatory elements is, in part, governed by their cell type-specific chromatin organization. Nucleosomes, the building blocks of chromatin, are wrapped around a core of histone proteins that are subject to many post-translational modifications that can either promote or silence gene expression.


Topics: Epigenetics, Journal Club

Journal Club | Zika virus turns off Akt signaling to hijack autophagy in developing neural tissue

Posted by Ken B on Mar 29, 2017 3:00:00 AM

The Zika virus (ZIKV) is related to flaviviruses that cause dengue and yellow fever, and is spread via mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus) bites and secondarily via sexual transmission. ZIKV infection in adults is associated with mild dengue-like disease or Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder of the peripheral nervous system. Most alarmingly, ZIKV is also transmitted across the placental barrier during pregnancy and can lead to the severe birth defect microencephaly (underdevelopment of the brain).


Topics: Journal Club, Literature Review

Journal Club:  Hippo pathway and intestinal stem cell regeneration

Posted by Liana G on Jan 6, 2016 3:00:00 AM

Journal Club: YAP-dependent reprogramming of Lgr5+ stem cells drives intestinal regeneration and cancer.

In the spirit of keeping you abreast of new and interesting scientific discoveries, the writers at CST have embraced the idea of a virtual journal club, where we discuss recently published scientific literature.


Topics: Cancer Research, Journal Club

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